Please close this window now if you are sensitive to profanity, as I intend to use a lot of it from now on. You probably shouldn't talk to me over the phone either.
After two splendid years of being cancer free, the little fucker has returned.
At my checkup two weeks ago, sweet Dr. J told me my CA125 (cancer marker) was up to 31 from 15 three months earlier. Have you ever felt as though someone suddenly poured hot liquid into a vein in your neck and the heat flowed down your arms and rushed up to your ears and your face probably got red and your heart screeched out some kind of disgusting sound that only you could hear in the form of a big clang in your head? That's how hearing you have cancer feels. I remember having the same feeling once when my third grade teacher told me that I talked too much to my "neighbors". That was a doozy. My bony knees knocked all the way home. Come on, she didn't even know my neighbors.
Anyway, as you know - and I mean the two of you who actually read this blog to begin with - I was diagnosed with fallopian tube cancer in April 2011. Fallopian tube cancer comes under the heading of ovarian cancer, so from this point on, let's all refer to this disease as ovarian cancer (OVCA), that's just easier all the way around. I like to call it the Little Effer when I'm in mixed company. By the way, it is believed that most OVCA begins in the fallopian tubes; just so ya know.
Back then, I had a massive surgery, referred to as "debulking" in medical-speak. What a ghastly, unladylike term. Honestly. It involves removing all kinds of stuff you think you couldn't live without, like ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, appendix, omentum, and, in my case, a large piece of my sigmoid colon. I wasn't using half that crap anyway, so good riddance!
How ya holdin' up so far? Hungry for more?
....You know, I just had a thought that if someone were to come in here and "debulk" my sewing room, I'd be so happy. Erika.....?
I was given the standard protocol chemotherapy consisting of carboplatin and paclitaxel (carbo/taxol, as we call it in the biz.) I was also in two clinical trials, one using a PARP inhibitor, and one using Avastin. Treatment was fairly uneventful...oh, except that I got high blood pressure and my head exploded from the Avastin, landing me in the hospital twice in January of 2012, but other than that, really, it was no big deal. Oh, and I was bald.
Moving on to what is now being called my FIRST RECURRENCE. I had a CT scan the day after seeing Dr. J. He phoned two days later to say, "I'm sorry, but you $%^*+&=#! and you %#$*&^?< ...or words to that effect. I heard that clang in my head again, and my chest had that hot liquid in it. He said the mass (apparently it's a Catholic tumor) is very low in my pelvis, perhaps on the wall of the rectum and very close to my tailbone. Well hell, no wonder sitting was so uncomfortable! He said that at this point, he was disinclined to operate, fearing that I might be left with a permanent colostomy. Yup, I remember that part. Obviously, we/I don't want that, but frankly, I'd shit out my ear if it meant getting rid of cancer. Let's not think about that for now!
Four days later, Chuck and I went to meet with Dr. J and to look at the CT scan. It was cool, except for that ugly tumor thingy. See... it IS a tumor! (sorry, but that never gets old around here.) Dr. J asked if I had any questions and I said, "Yes. Does this mass make my butt look big?" .......did he say yes? nope. too kind.
Next step was a biopsy and drainage, which was done Monday, via transvaginal ultrasound. Now, don't get all wiggy-waggy, they were originally going to go through my fucking back! And one night a week ago, when dear Marie was here to "comfort" me, we pondered just how they might approach that sucker to drain it. I surmised they'd probably have to put the Jaws of Life up my ass, grab a plumber's snake, snag the thing, until the floor was awash in my bodily fluids!"
Actually, the process was speedy, except that we waited for two flipping hours to get it underway! Some ridiculous excuse about "needing" a "special" "new" "motorized" stretcher, which is "so much better" than the crappy old piece of shit they'd been using for years on every other poor slob. Better for whom? After seeing the thing, believe me, I could have done the whole job ON MYSELF with a plank laid across a couple of sawhorses. Geez, people! Cancer patients are ON THE CLOCK. We have no time for this bullshit.
In the end (get it), it was worth it, since I am much more comfortable sitting down. Dr. Ultrasound removed a wineglassful of fluid - yep, 80 cc - ....ahhhhhhhhh. Of course, as we expected, it's the same cancer I started with. It's like an awful, freeloading, asshole tenant. You evict him, but the grime he leaves in the apartment may be impossible to clean up. Well I intend to scour the living shit out of my place. No more Mrs. Niceguy. I am having a port, aptly called a PowerPort, implanted on Tuesday and will start
kicking ass chemo the following day, Wednesday, September 4th.
Ok, that's all for now. If you are still reading, you may now go back to playing Candy Crush, or have a drink, or go to bed, or whatever. Just be sure to say your prayers.
Link to first mention of the little effer: