Friday, June 29, 2012

"I have cancer"

"I have cancer."

Those are three words I hadn't said to myself until this past Wednesday. Saying those words made everything come crashing down on top of me and I lost it. I had just been saying "the tumor is cancerous" or "there is cancer on my bladder", that was easier to say instead of being placed as the owner. I felt I had been doing real good at staying strong and as positive about this until I said those three aweful words. Even though the doctors felt real confidnt they got everything out it is still a scary thought to think there maybe just one little guy hanging out just waiting to attack. So I am ready to do whatever it takes to attack harder. I am the youngest child and thanks to my older brother I have learned how to put up a fight and now is the time.

I had my appointment with my oncologist this afternoon and it didn't go as planned. Things changed and not for the better. I have an appointment with an oncologist at KU tomorrow morning (this morning) so Kyle and I drove up to KC to spend the night. I got to see my sister, her husband and their 3 kids while we wete up here so that made things better as we don't get to see each other that often.

My good news for the day: I get this stupid catheter out tomorrow and the stitches in my belly button will get to come out on Tuesday. The plastic surgeon did an awesome job on the belly button and I can't wait to see what it looks like without the stitches. He also told me I could get in the pool but no chicken fights or swimming laps, so that's what I'll do this weekend.

I will update tomorrow with more information on what the KU oncologist says and our possible new plan with treatment.


Monday, June 25, 2012

One Negative but Many Positives

I finally had an answer. I had been having this pain in my lower stomach since about February and nothing the doctors were doing was helping. I had been treated for a UTI two times, nothing. They thought I may have interstitial cystitis and had me change my diet, nothing. I was referred to Dr. Evangelidis who is a urologist here in Manhattan. He had me get a CT scan of my stomach and a cystoscopy of my bladder. The results from the CT scan were good, but the results from the cystoscopy were not as good. Dr. Evangelidis saw a tumor on the top part of my bladder that he felt needed to be removed as soon as possible. I had the cystoscopy done on Monday June 11th and was having surgery to remove the tumor the following day.

I had a follow up appointment on Friday June 15th to get the results from the biopsy. As Kyle and I sat in the room waiting for Dr. Evangelidis, every possible thing was running through my mind. I knew the chances of it being cancerous were pretty high but I wasn't sure if it would be the low grade or the high grade. If it was low grade I would just have follow up appointments every 3 months to keep an eye on it. If it was high grade they would perform another surgery and I would have to start chemotherapy.

The tumor turned out to be high grade cancer and my surgery to remove the rest of the tumor, the urachus, and part of my belly button was now scheduled for Wednesday June 20th and on that same day they would insert my Port, which is used to give me the chemo. This was not the news I had wanted, I was scared and not sure how to react. I was scared to let my family know because I didn't want to let anyone down or scare anyone. I was scared to let all my girls know at the gym and disappointed I wouldn't be able to be there for them as much as I wanted to be. I was scared to let everyone at work know, I didn't want to disappoint any of them either. And I was scared for Kyle because he has and still is going through this stupid cancer thing with his father. I didn't understand why I was the 1 in 5 million people to get this type of cancer and with it being so rare would they be able to treat me as well...

The type of cancer I have is adenocarcinoma of the bladder. Adenocarcinoma beings in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids and only about 2% of cancers are considered adenocarcinoma. My cancer was caused from a birth defect in the urachus, which is the tube that runs from the bladder to the belly button that drains the bladder of a fetus. The tube is suppose to close off before birth, but mine did not. I was really lucky to where the tumor was found. If it was in the urachus I wouldn't have had any symptoms which would have meant they wouldn't have found this. The doctors believe we caught it real early and will be able to be aggressive with the chemo because I am young and healthy.

During the surgery they had found that the cancer had spread to one of my lymph nodes so they removed both of those but everything else went good and they feel really confident that got all of it out. I will be able to start the chemo on July 2nd and my doctor doesn't think it will make me lose my hair or make me sick. I will be on for 5 days and get 2 weeks off. That news made me feel better because it is killing me not being in the gym with the girls or being able to go racing right now. They aren't putting any resistrictions on me during this process, it just all depends on how I am feeling.

I have had so much support from family and friends and I am very thankful for that. Kyle is loving all the food and goodies we are getting.

This blog is going to be used to keep everyone up to date on how I am doing, so make sure to check back for more updates.