The day after D-day we had my first appointment with my Oncologist. She. Is. The. Greatest. Her reputation is outstanding. And I am so blessed to have her as not only my cancer doctor, but also my surgeon. My appointment started as all others do, with paperwork. Filling out my personal history section was a little different this time around. I was actually a little stunned when I saw the check yes or no for cancer option. Wow. I actually have to fill this in as yes now. I have cancer. And, forever, I will have to mark that tiny little cancer box as yes. Although I will kick cancer’s ass, I’ll still have to tell my doctors that I once had it. Surreal.
My paperwork was complete, the cancer box checked, and before I knew it, I was heading in to the exam room. Another exam. I guess everyone needs to see what’s going on in there! This time around, a thought perked my interest, so I asked my husband what he thought. He said yes. We entered the exam room, and pretty soon, I was introduced to my Oncologist. I loved her from the start. She seems fun. Having a fun surgeon never seemed like a good thing. But believe me, any positive traits your surgeon has, the better. Eventually, the exam started. My husband was able to see what all of us women go through when we get our “annuals”! He, of course, was thrilled. <–Sarcasm, folks. Once my Oncologist found my cancer, which apparently, is not that hard to do, I asked the question Matt said “yes” to, as stated previously. “Would you mind if you pointed out the cancer to my husband?” Surprisingly, she laughed and told us that our request was far from the more weirder ones she’s had. Matt joined her, and she soon started telling him what he was looking at.
After my exam, the doctors left, and Matt and I were left alone while I changed back into my clothes. Perfect opportunity to get the “human” as opposed to “doctor” perspective on what my cancer looked like. His description exactly was, “It looks like manifest sin. It looks evil. It looks like charred cauliflower with black veins running through it. It looks mean; like it might growl at me.” There ya go, “human” perspective. As descriptive as this is, I am so thankful that my husband was able to see what has been trying to take me down this past year. Now I know not only what it is, but what it looks like.
With this new knowledge, we then met my doctor in her office. What a breath of fresh air. She had Christian sayings, bible verses, and angels populating her space. She could be a believer! My mom and step-dad joined us for this part of the appointment, so all 5 of us sat in chairs in a circle. My Oncologist started describing my cancer. Essentially the same things that my Gynecologist had explained. However, she restaged me at 1b1. Even better than 1b2! So, for now my cancer is stage 1, and that’s awesome.
During this meeting, she explained that I have a 10-20% chance that my cervical cancer could spread to my lymph nodes. Therefore, just to be sure, while I’m in surgery, she will biopsy them. Speaking of surgery, it is currently scheduled for a week from today. Wednesday 2/8, at 12:30pm. I’ll have to check in at 10:30am. I would love for as many people who want to pray with us to be there! All encouragement, support, and prayers are going to be deeply appreciated. The procedure will take about 2-3 hours. She will make an incision similar to a c-section, and remove everything that way.
Next steps from here are:
- PET scan
- Appointment with fertility doctor
My oncologist also filled me in on what my future will look like. As far as scans and testing for cancer go, here’s the schedule: Every 3 months for the first 2 years after treatment, I’ll have to get Paps and scans. Once I reach the 2 year mark cancer-free, I’ll then be checked every 6 months until I reach the 5 year point. If I have reached the 5 year marker with no cancer, I will officially be in remission. I can’t wait to get to 5 years!
Proverbs 1:7 (ESV)
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”