Friday, April 10, 2015

Just like Angelina, but worse...

It seems I go a year between posts these days. I'd like to say that's because life is normal, with nothing major to report. And until yesterday, that was true.

I see my oncologist, Dr. Pippas, every six months now. Upon entering the room he immediately noticed my hair color. "You look beautiful Carly've made a change with your hair...I like it. It's always a pleasure to see your name on my schedule." He went on to reveal that my tumor marker number was a happy 23 (anything less than 38 is the goal). So far, so good.

He did a physical exam and did not encounter any unknown masses...which always paralyzes me momentarily because I'm immediately jolted back to the day four years ago he so casually identified the Stage II lump under my left arm. He then rolled backwards and we embarked upon yet another life-changing conversation together, probably our fifth or sixth by now.

"Carly Byrd, since you were pre-menopausal and HER2/neu positive, it's time to remove your ovaries and Fallopian tubes, and preferably your uterus."

In summary, TOTAL HYSTERECTOMY. I will be 33 on June 10th.  I am supposed to have this done within the next six months. My eyes have been like broken faucets for more than 24 hours now. All I can think is how badly I want to go back in time and tell this little girl--> not to anticipate a normal life. Stop saying you can't wait to have children.  Just stop making expectations for your future and let it just happen. That way when you're preparing for your 20th surgery near your 33rd birthday, you will just feel that it is your normal.

What I find most frustrating is that all of the magical parts that females can do miraculous things with are ALL being removed from me. Breasts, uterus, ovaries. All in an effort to prevent MORE CANCER.......breast cancer, ovarian, uterine......

I meet with my friend and ob/gyn next week to discuss my options. It is still up to me whether to have a full hysterectomy or only the ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed. Until then, my fingers will be cramping with the all too familiar google research cram session. Thus far I've encountered that the following side effects to just the oophorectomy alone include: Bone thinning (osteoporosis), discomforts of menopause, and increased risk of heart disease.I am so scared to google the side effects of hysterectomy. Needless to say, instead of the medicine cabinet of a 70 year old, I will now have the medicine cabinet of a 90 year old.

I am sure some of you reading this have or have had cancer.I am sure some of you reading this have or have had a hysterectomy. But I would also be willing to bet that most of you have beautiful children that have your eyes, your laugh, your sense of humor....

If I seem despondent or removed, now you know why. It is not in my nature to dwell in the funk for extended periods of time but this has me absolutely shaken.

Thanks for reading.  Keep on praying since this journey is apparently NEVER ENDING.