02/17/10 12:08 AM

Meeting an Oncologist

Authored by Mom

Yesterday I shared about what happened before my oncologist's doctor's appointment and how God showed up totally unexpectedly in the form of a changed appointment date. It really was a pleasant surprise. Isn't it wonderful how He reveals Himself to us so completely by showing up right in front of our faces, in such a surprising way?

Walking into the office area was interesting. Before I got there, I tried to imagine what I would see. I've never been to a cancer doctor before so....

I arrived before my husband. I was a bit nervous upon arriving, only because it was a new place, with forms to fill out, an agonizing wait... Then he arrived and life did seem a bit better just having him next to me.

I'm not sure what I thought I would see in the office waiting area. But I remember thinking all of these people are here because they either have a suspected cancer or they have cancer. That thought was big and immediate for me. Wow. Yes, all of those precious people were like me. Either suspecting cancer or there fighting cancer. Sitting there, in the chairs, waiting to hear the results of the MRI, plan the surgery, get some chemo. It was a sobering place. I looked around and wondered what their lives were like, how were they making it, did they have support systems, were they alone or surrounded by love. I silently prayed for them.

Those people were just like me, with hurts and feelings, worries and excitements just like I did. There were younger people and some older. Magazines littered the tables just like any other office. They were just like me.

When my name was called, I felt shaky walking in. Sounds silly really. I've been to countless doctors in my life (although never an oncologist) and while I sometimes get nervous, not usually overly shaky.

The nurse was friendly {as was all of the staff really up to this point - I think I must have really caught them on a day when they had a fight with their husband when I called before}. Unfortunately, I can never get let off without a proper weighing. So of course this time was no different. She led me to the room and asked me a slew of questions. Didn't I just answer those on the endless number of forms I just handed in at the desk?

Then I waited. And waited. And waited and waited and waited. I waited there for nearly an hour. We almost thought we were forgotten. {Isn't it great how we have a Great Physician who doesn't forget us? Whatever is wrong, whatever we struggle with, the pains, the hurts, the health even, He doesn't forget.}

This Doctor was so nice and has a calming, gentle spirit about him. I am sure he encounters many ladies who are nervous, anxious, scared and worried. I am glad that he approached me so kindly at the beginning.

Almost immediately he asked to see the scans I had brought with me from my cat scan. He looked at them and said "Well, that's gonna have to come out." Just as nonchalantly as meeting someone on the street who informs you "boy, it sure is raining cats and dogs, ain't it?" Just as simple, just as normal, everyday.

I had to strain my ears closer and said "What? Come out? How are we gonna do that?" I'm sure that he had a little chuckle inside while I had to clear my throat, thinking what was really going to happen.

We had a long talk. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was be. It was much worse than I thought it would be. It was terrible and alright both at the same time. I wasn't sure I was really there, to be completely honest. I remember that time now very vividly and I remember sitting in that chair. I remember which chair I was in and how it felt to be asking those questions. I remember how the doctor answered them, calmly, gently, with full knowledge, feeling confident that what he said was what was true and needed to happen.

I asked about 10 times if he was certain that I needed surgery. I am not a fan of surgery. I just really would rather not go through all of that. I asked maybe more than that even if he was sure that I needed to lose my ovary and fallopian tube.

But yes, I did need surgery. The mass {tumor? mass? is there a difference?} was probably football size or close to it. Of course I needed surgery. It had to come out. I mean, what other way was I thinking this thing would come out?

Still I know I asked if I had to. I must have really not wanted surgery.

My doctor was fairly confident {although not 100%, which is not what one wants to hear} that the mass was not cancerous. Not cancerous, that's good. He was pretty sure that all that would be taken out was the mass, my ovary, and fallopian tube. I just kept thinking and hoping and praying that he was right.

I left the office with the possibility of a complete hysterectomy in my future. If the tumor {mass?} was cancerous, the other ovary (and fallopian tube) would be removed, along with my uterus. (As I found out, a woman doesn't really need her uterus if both ovaries and tubes aren't present. Unfortunately I'm a weird one and just want to keep it all, thank you.) Then in that case, they would continue to take (oh I don't even remember what all he said he was going to take out to test) to test for cancer. Modern medicine is amazing and they could test for the possibility of cancer while I was in surgery. Amazing.

In one week, I would undergo an oopherectomy and a possible hysterectomy with staging.

LIFE can CHANGE in an instant.

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