So my surgery yesterday went well. It was ZERO fun, but everything went pretty standardly. They didn't have to cut a hole in my throat like I expected, which was nice. I was really not looking forward to having to explain to people why I appeared to have had a tracheotomy at 26. What they DID do was give me an IV that was supposed to put me into a "twilight sleep" (which, despite the name, apparently does not mean you get to party with Edward Cullen)... but it didn't do anything to me. I was really looking forward to experiencing the whole Morphine part but as it turns out my body thinks that is a bad idea. They gave me several local anesthetic shots in my chest and then stuck a biopsy needle in next to my sternum and went through my ribs to get a sample. I have to say it hurt like a b!tch. They kept having to give me more local shots to numb it and I finally just kind of gave up and waited for it to be over. On the plus side I got to see the CT Scan they were taking to guide the needle while they were doing it, which was kind of cool. I couldn't see the tumor very well but I got to see an x-ray of my chest cavity and my heart and all of that. I also got to see that when I lay down on my back, even a CT Scan shows how huge my "ta ta's" are, which I found amusing.
My mom went with me and was so great the whole time, as were the nurses over at the Irvine Kaiser office. I went through my recovery time (got a little sick from the drugs) and went home and relaxed. By 6pm I was okay to go to my own house and even did a little laundry. Today I feel back at 100%... well 100% for still having a tumor in my chest but I'm starting to forget what it feels like to not have chest pain on a daily basis.
So now I wait. I wait until Friday or so to get my biopsy results and see what this thing is and what I have to do next. I really hope it doesn't involve any more biopsies or surgeries... as it turns out I do not enjoy those. Weird, I know.
So I have been waiting until I talked to my parents before I posted anything about my recent events in my life, out of respect to them so that they knew first. I was also not totally sure I want to share something so personal about my current situation but I have felt a lot more comfortable with it in the past few days so I think it's okay to talk about it now.
For anyone who has been following my blogspot you know that I have had a crap time with my back and chest for the past 6 months or so. For more details on that experience, scroll back a bit to when I go over my frustrations in detail. Well on Monday of last week I finally made an appointment to have a CT scan performed. They were supposed to call me back within 4-5 days, so you can imagine my surprise when my primary care physician called me early Tuesday afternoon. He informed me that they had found a rather large growth in my chest, between my sternum and my lungs. He assured me that it didn't appear to be at all cancerous (Thank Goodness) or really all that dangerous besides the obvious chest pain it has been causing me. But it is, in fact, a sort of Tumor. They had some blood work done on Tuesday and it came back kind of inconclusive, so they are having me go in tomorrow to get a surgical biopsy done... not fun. They have to put me under with anesthesia, cut a small incision just above my clavicle, and go through it down about 3 1/2 inches under my sternum to get samples of my new found friend. The good news is that after that they should know for sure what exactly is going on there and what steps we will need to take to correct the situation. The options I have heard so far are either surgery (which my doctor is saying is the last option) or some sort of chemotherapy (which he seems to think is our first line of defense). As far as I can gather the chemo I would be going through wouldn't be hair-loss, multiple session chemo like a Cancer patient would receive, so that's comforting. But I'm not 100% sure what mode or method of chemo they would use... most likely a localized chemo that hopefully wont keep me from my life for too long. My doctor assured me that my main side effect would be nausea. But this is all purely speculation as we really don't know for sure what we are up against here and any of it could change if they figure that it's something totally different (hopefully in a good way). My main concern with any type of Chemo is that it would be pumping my body full of toxins that would most likely haunt me in the future, something I don't feel very happy or comfortable with. Obviously a second opinion is necessary if they tell me that is my plan of action.
Anyways, I'm obviously very nervous but all in all fairly good spirits about all of this. More than anything I am grateful to have finally figured out why my body has been in pain for 6 months, and excited at the silver lining of not having that pain in the near future. I'm happy to have excellent insurance to help me cover a lot of the costs of this, and hope that it is as helpful for any future expenses that may come along. I'm grateful that I finally asked for a CT scan... my doctor told me that he NEVER would have requested that had I not taken the initiative, which blows my mind because I wonder how long I would have had this tumor if left to my doctor's own devises. It's an amazing lesson to me that I learn to take even medical matters into my own hands, because sometimes you just need to man up and do something yourself.
I will be out (ha! Literally!) tomorrow, but hopefully I will be back at my computer Wednesday and I can give some kind of an update. Probably not a diagnosis, but I can fill you in on how my surgery went. Wish me luck!
Posted by Megan McCrindle at 10:19 AM