Sorry for such a long message - yesterday I met with Gynae-Oncologist and specialist Nurse Practitioner to discuss what comes next for me.
The multi-disciplinary team didn’t receive my MRI in time to review it at their last Monday meeting as planned so they will look at it next week (it was always quite an ambitious timetable). Your man took a very quick look at it while I was sitting there and said he could see something in the cervix which could be another tumour (already had one removed in the LLETZ) but he would ask the Radiological Consultant to review the whole film and they will call me on Tuesday to give me the result. Not ideal, but fair enough I think.
The MRI also revealed a fairly large ovarian cyst so they are now testing to check that isn’t anything too sinister. I’ve been having heavier and more painful periods for a while, but I initially thought that was just the runup to the menopause. Since all this started I’ve been having more pronounced abdominal pain and although I know that isn’t a symptom of CC, I was a bit worried that it might indicate that the cancer had spread.
Now that I know I have an actual cyst, a number of things have fallen into place, particularly the fatigue and feeing of ‘unwellness’ that prompted me to go for blood tests in the first place. My cancer was detected because I caught up with my overdue smear as a bit of an afterthought while I was seeing the practice nurse to have the blood taken. I suppose I should be grateful to that cyst…
Anyway, they got out the big book and chose December 4th for my radical hysterectomy. Apparently they will remove my abdominal lymph nodes first and send them for a ‘frozen section’ to see if there are any cancer cells in them while I wait spark out on the slab. The specialist nurse says the lab can do the biopsy in about an hour while the surgical team wait - amazing isn’t it?
If they find any cancer in the lymph notes they’ll abort the surgey and I’ll have a course of radio and chemotherapy instead. (Hoping that doesn’t end up being the case).
Assuming the lymph nodes are clear they’ll crack on and do the surgery. The G-O said he always tries to do it as keyhole surgery but that he’ll do it the old fashioned way (let’s call it the ‘letterbox’) if that doesn’t work. He was a bit abrupt but not unfriendly and he did say I could call him and leave a message if I thought of any questions and he would call me back. I was quite impressed by that although I don’t think I’ll be ringing him any time soon.
One thing I wasn’t expecting (although maybe I should have) was that he would want to give me an internal examination. It was quite unpleasant as he did that ‘palpating’ thing with his hands where they press down firmly on your abdomen while pushing out from your vagina. Wasn’t expecting to have quite so much of a man’s hand inside me 4 weeks after my LLETZ. I was also very conscious that my husband was in the room on the other side of the curtain and I did let out an involuntary ‘ouch’ a couple of times. At least he apologised for hurting me and it was all quite quickly and effiiciently done.
So just a little over 3 weeks until the surgery. That means that the time from when I went for my smear to having a rad hysterectomy will be 8 and a half weeks - is that a record? Good job I bought a whole bunch of comfy ‘post-op pyjamas’ earlier this week…