The last few days have been fruitful. We have had many contacts with family, friends, and additional practitioners. I appreciate Facebook at a time like this a lot, because word can be spread quickly, and support, from all over the globe!, has been received quickly as well. Many thanks!
We, Grant (SigOth) and I have had contact with family, friends, or other practitioners which include oncologists, former oncology nurses, the primary care physician, nutritionist and functional medicine practitioner, anthroposophic doctor, and energy worker, in addition to the gynecologist and the office of the gyn-oncologist we hope to get a second opinion from. My dad went along to three of four appointments on Monday, to be an extra set of ears, which was gratefully received.
Additionally, we’ve been digging deep into our historic knowledge base and belief that the conventional medical industry itself does not necessarily have all the answers. We have been listening to or reading the works of Lorraine Day, Christiane Northrup, Lissa Rankin, and have an additional stack of books from authors including Myss, Oz, and Ornish.
The gist of the meetings yesterday was that in spite of the first gyn-onc’s opinion, which was, “It’s ovarian cancer, stage three. You’ll need a full hysterectomy, plus whatever else needs to be cut out. I can schedule you for Tuesday,” most are taking a decidedly more conservative approach.
The general consensus is that we don’t really even know for sure that it is cancer yet, as the only definitive way to know that, is to do a biopsy, and that would be done surgically, probably with the removal of the mass plus the left ovary. Pathology could be done immediately during the surgery, and if it is indicated, then additional structures could be removed as necessary. However, keeping an ovary is a priority to me, if at all possible, as it continues to function as a hormone producer well past menopause.
While the CA-125 marker is high (3000+), that test is also not reliable enough to be definitive. People with ovarian cancer can show no readings at all, and high numbers can also be due to a number of different conditions. So, it still could be some sort of cyst, as no one but the first gyn-onc saw the CT scan and immediately said, “cancer.” Everyone else immediately said, “cyst.” I’ve been remembering the old saying, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.”
So we are in the process of getting the second opinion on Thursday in Denver. And we are quite a bit clearer on not being ready for an immediate, highly aggressive treatment. We hope that the surgical biopsy can take place sometime in the next 10 days.
In other news, Grant (SigOth), in the midst of the trauma that was last Thursday, suggested that he had been thinking that maybe we should “finacé” ourselves, and that he had been thinking about this before now, but it seemed like it was especially important to discuss then, so would I want to do that. And I said I would want to do that. So we have agreed to be “engaged.” We’ve ordered simple rings. So, in the midst of possibly catastrophic news, we also have very happy news.
Grant, my fiancé, is my partner, and now, though we haven’t said any vows, and might not say them this way anyway, is now sticking by me “for better, for worse, in sickness, and in health.” And I’m grateful for that, and for his strength, his tenderness, his authenticity, his attention to detail as well as to the big picture, his spirituality, his tenacity, his loyalty. What a gift to be receiving Now, for me.
Thank you to family and friends for your support, for connecting in a variety of ways. Dean Ornish MD says, in Love and Survival, (1998):
“… love promotes survival. Both nurturing and being nurtured are life-affirming. Anything that takes you outside of yourself promotes healing — in profound ways that can be measured — independent of other known factors such as diet and exercise.” (p. 71)
“Love and intimacy are at the root of what makes us sick and what makes us well, what causes sadness and what brings happiness, what makes us suffer, and what leads to healing. If a new drug had the same impact, virtually every doctor in the country would be recommending it for their patients. It would be malpractice not to prescribe it….” (p.3)
These are my mantras:
Calm Clear Compassionate Confident Connected Courageous Creative Curious
Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness Goodness Gentleness Faithfulness Self-Control
Healing in process….