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 “Soft Tissue Sarcoma“. 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.”

Dang it.

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.


17 thoughts on “Today

  1. Sarah, your blog made me laugh, and then cry…..I’m praying for you. Stay positive, and strong. Love, Cori

  2. Sarah! How is it that you can turn something so scary into an entertaining anecdote about your day?? I’m praying hard over here. You are an amazing woman.

  3. Oh Sarah! I would be so freaked out if I had a scary mark like that on my tummy. I agree. You always have a way to lighten hard situations up. You’re family is so lucky to have you. Did they say how long they thought you would be in surgery?

  4. Cori – Staying strong is easy when I have everyone else doing the work around here.: )
    Gerb – Um, I’m not sure, that’s just how it comes out of my mouth. Plus, I have plenty of funny stuff to work with. I mean, seriously? I fat tumor?
    Karen – Thanks so much!
    Jenn – I will be in surgery anywhere from 2-4 hours, depending on what they have to take out. The recovery will be at least 3-4 days, which also depends on what I still have left in me after surgery. If they take my kidney, I have to have one of those gross “drip” bags afterward, so they’ll keep me until that works itself out also. Plus, the scary mark on my tummy isn’t much compared to the GASH I’ll have next week – I kinda like my little mark!

  5. My vote is for outcome number 1, the best case scenario. You know, I am grateful they found “the Blob” before it got really bad. Thanks for keeping us posted. I’ve been checking my blog list to see when you have updated.

    My prayers are with you and your little family! I wish I lived closer (or heck, you lived closer) and I could take the ninos for ya and let you and Gila Man rest.

    Good luck chica!! We’re rootin’ for ya over here!

  6. Sarah, the prayers will continue and grow stronger. I can only imagine how scary this must be for everyone but your amazing ‘tude must make it so much easier for your family to bear. They are SO lucky to have you. And I’m fortunate to be able to call you my friend <3. Good luck Girl and let's hope & pray you get scenario #1!


  7. Sarah:

    What you have is exactly what i had, but mine was growing in my abdominal wall and was only growing for THREE weeks!!

    I just love the attitude you have, keep it up and the only scenario you will need it # 1.

    We will keep you in our prayers!! Mom says HI!! LOve u sarah !!muahhhhhh!!!

  8. Yadira – Wooo-hooo! So good to know!! You are all cancer free and everything, my tumor is all big and old, but *hopefully* it kept to itself in there.
    You and your mom are GREAT, I love you right back!
    Danita – I am SO lucky to call you (and Cyrstal) my friend, plus you make the cutest cards ever, so, BONUS!!
    Allison – I totally think that Arizona and Texas should be closer, we could call it Tarizonexas!
    Raysha – You are helping by letting me know you care, so THANKS!

  9. I am submitting my vote for option #1, and I am also voting on behalf of Uncle Brian and our 4 children…so that would be 6 total. Oh, wait, my dog, Holly, is also voting #1 and I would venture to guess that the 4 fish are agreeing with the dog…so there are 11 strong votes for #1 coming from Scotts Valley, CA. I may do some door to door campaigning too, I’m certain I could rally a few thousand more #1 votes, if I only talk about what an incredible woman you are, Sarah! Thank you for being upfront with your story and for allowing us in to show that we care. Love you lots, kiddo!

  10. First of all, great looking site you have here and great post too. I would like to keep up with your posts but having problem subscribing to your rss.

  11. You are so strong- I don’t know how you do it. Just remember that on the days that you don’t feel like you can be strong that there are so many who are right there to lift you. I love you!

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