Well, today was quite the day! We went to the UMC Cancer Center to find out what is going on in my body. Turns out that my doctor, Dr. W, isn’t going to bother with a biopsy at this time because he said that no matter what, the mass needs to come out. The “blob” is much bigger than we originally thought – it’s the size of a softball and almost perfectly round. Then he told me that he isn’t a bettin’ man, he’s never been to “Lost Wages” (Las Vegas) but if he were a bettin’ man, he would bet that what I have growing inside me is a ““. This news didn’t scare me at first, because he said that the direct translation is “fish flesh”, which made me laugh. Then I read the little folder full of papers and realized that it’s much more serious than I thought.
“Soft tissue sarcomas are malignant (cancerous) that can develop from fat, muscle, nerve, fibrous tissues surrounding joints blood vessel, or deep skin tissues. There are many types of soft tissue tumors, and not all of them are cancerous. When a tumor is not cancerous, it is called benign. When the term sarcoma appears in the name of a disease, it means the tumor is malignant.”
The sheet on the top of the stack of reading materials I received from Dr. W says this; “What is Sarcoma? Simply stated – a rare and aggressive cancer.”
This means that I have surgery scheduled for this Wednesday, the 29th at 1pm. When he opens me up, he is going to take a biopsy and send it to the lab rats (I’m no hater, we know how freakin’ smart they are) to see if it is an active, growing cancer or if it’s a mellow, stable cancer. There are 3 possible outcomes:
1. Best scenario, Dr. W goes in, pops out the mass because it’s not connected to any vital organs, and sews me back up, lickety-split (vote for this one!).
2. Second best scenario, Dr. W goes in, realizing that the Sarcoma has invaded the small intestine and kidney and he has to take out a part of the intestine and the whole left kidney.
3. Worst case scenario, Dr. W goes in, realizes that it’s an active, growing alien and has to sew me back up. I go through chemo and radiation in order to kill the cancer so Dr. W can take it out at a later time.
The Blob is underneath my pancreas and spleen (good news, YAY!), and that’s why it would be hard to get a biopsy, but it’s also pushing on the small intestine and left kidney. The biggest problem is that The Blob is pushing directly on the blood vessel that leads to my heart, so it’s going to be risky to move it. It’s also laying around and leaning on the tube (no, I don’t know the technical term for it) that leads from my kidney to the other organs in my body. This kind of cancer tends to grow toward the lungs, so while Dr. W is conducting the surgery, he is going to check to make sure that my left lung looks good (there is some small scarring showing up on the CT scan) before he sews me up.
I also have to stop taking the ibuprofen now because it acts as a blood thinner and can lead to bruising during surgery – all I can have is a Vicodin at night to help with my soreness from last week’s surgery (this means that I get to sit on the sofa and order Gila Man around some more!).
Sarcoma grow on connective tissue, so I was a little confused about why I had one growing in my abdomen.
“I don’t have any connective tissue in my abdomen.” I said.
“Yes, you do, dear.” The nurse replied, “You have fat.”
Well, that took a minute for me to process.
“Soooooo…I have a FAT tumor? A tumor growing on FAT? Because that is ga-ross!” Then I turned to Dr. W and said that maybe that’s why my stomach was sticking out the way it was. He just looked at me and replied,
“No, I don’t think that’s the reason why…”
I seriously LOVE this doctor!
So we are going to just take this a step at a time, working toward Wednesday and whatever next weeks brings.
But some awesome news?
I got my stitches out today. Which, with all the rubbing on my shirts and the itching and the just plain hurting? I was not sorry to see them go.