Monday, July 11, 2011

At least we're all on the same page...

Ok, it's been a great weekend of birthday goodness and joy, but it appears that it's time to get back to reality. I resisted any and all housework for as long as I could, but the sink full of dishes and sippy cups was relentless with it's eyeballing me every time I walked through the kitchen this afternoon. Eventually I caved...which coincidentally coincided closely with the time that Hubby would be arriving home from work. Odd. Nothing like sweating over a pan of steaming hot dishwater, cleaning sippy top valves to knock a pseudo-queen down from her pedestal. Ah, was nice while it lasted.

Speaking of reality, I suppose this is a good time to address my most recent doctor appointments and the impending lymph node elephant in the room. I did go to meet my sister's doctor last Thursday afternoon for a second opinion of sorts on everything that had been explained to me about my enlarged lymph nodes, my need for a biopsy, chances of lymphoma, and the possibility of getting lymphedema as my reward for having surgery. I can only imagine the horror she felt as I added more and more history to my story, but her poker face remained, and in the end I liked her. She was kind and funny and she listened thoughtfully while I recounted my entire ridiculous medical history, and took notes as I detailed the CAT scans from the past few months. She definitely seemed to be taking in each word rather thoughtfully, which made me feel like she was really in tune with the urgency I was feeling over making a decision about the
biopsy and my chances of having lymphoma. It probably took me a whole 30 minutes to bring her up to speed and explain to her why exactly I was sitting there in her office at 4 o'clock on a Thursday afternoon. It took her approximately 60 seconds to tell me what she thought; that I really need to just have the surgery and get the biopsy done and shut up about it already! Ok, she didn't say that, but it was implied, or maybe I was just saying it to myself. Either way, blerg...the end.

Fast forward to this morning when I went to see my rheumatologist for my long standing quarterly check-up. It's been 4 years since I started seeing him for my Sjogren's syndrome after Little's birth, but this was my first appointment with him since all of this lymph node business so rudely invaded my life. I had hope going in that he would be able to offer great insight on the situation, as enlarged lymph nodes and runaway immune systems are sort of his thing and, as expected, he didn't disappoint. He was able to tell me that my lymph nodes, while rather large, don't feel like lymphoma stricken ones, and that my chances of getting lymphedema are most likely much lower than the 30% that the surgeon estimated they would be, and that my lymphocyte count was normal in my last round of blood work that he had ordered 3 months ago...all very encouraging things. But he still recommended that I go forward and have the surgery. Blerg, blerg! But on the other hand, this was a positive thing as well.

For the first time since I got the news about my second failed CAT scan almost a month ago, all of my doctors are in more conflicting stories and recommendations, and that's a huge relief, even if it wasn't what I had hoped to hear. I have the wisdom to acknowledge that upon having children, I gave up the ability to take chances with my life...the luxury to "wait and see" in situations like I've decided to just suck it up, stop whining and have the damn biopsy done. My appointment with my second opinion surgeon is scheduled for July 18th, one week from today, in hopes that she will be of the opinion that a needle biopsy would be thorough enough, as side effects of that are far lower than actually removing an entire lymph node, but even I realize that the chances of that happening are low. (Triple. Blerg. To the max.) But lest yee feel sorry for me, I must say that whatever happens, I'm a tough cookie, and I have no doubt that I'll get through it. And to end on a positive note,, at least we're all finally on the same page about what's going on and what I need to do next. That has to be worth something.


Rebecca said...

Glad to hear there is some consistent advice now. Thinking of you tons!

Jenny said...

Thaaaaaaaanks Becca!! Surgery August 9th. Be there or be square.

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