Next Steps, More Hope

We walked into the gyno oncologist’s office yesterday and Ray LaMontagne’s “Trouble” was playing. I passed over my new patient forms and insurance card. While I paid my co-pay, “Let It Be” started playing.

Really Universe? Okay.

The doctor reviewed the pathology report in depth. We spent over an hour with her asking all our questions, jotting down notes, going through different scenarios.

It basically boils down to this:

There is more cancer inside of me. We know this because there were no clear margins from the tissue removed during the cold-knife conization surgery. Clear margins means there is like a ring around the sample that shows no cancer or pre-cancer. Kind of like if my cancer was a castle the clear margins would be a moat. My sample had cancer all the way up to the edge. The cancerous part measures about 2 millimeters. We don’t know how much more is in there so we have to do another conization surgery. This time the doctor will cut up into my cervix in a more narrow, pointed cone shape since that’s where the cancer is showing up.

Good news: no cancer presents in my lymph nodes or my uterus, what they found is small (2 millimeters), and it was caught early.

Best case scenario is that after I have the second cone, the results will show clear margins meaning they cut the cancer out of me. This type of cancer I have, adenocarcinoma, is less common and so they don’t know much about how it operates unfortunately. It’s pretty disturbing that I could have only 2 abnormal paps and that the colposcopy didn’t show any cancer but that it took a conization for it to show up.

I’ll tell you this much: “clear margins” is my new mantra.

(Please, please, please let me get what I want this time.)

The option between the cone and the hysterectomy would be a trachelectomy (where they remove my cervix only). Very few doctors do this surgery but this doctor’s colleague does which makes me feel better. I’d rather have someone within reach if it comes to that.

Mr. Darcy and I feel . . . better. I certainly left there feeling like I could breathe a little easier than I had the past few weeks. I do better with a plan. And it helped to hear that it was caught early and it’s small even if I was told that originally. In this past week of fear and worry, I’ve lost sight of it. While I would much rather not have cancer at all, I’m grateful I have a fighting chance. There’s a glimmer of hope that this could be the last surgery I’d need and if that’s the case, maybe we might be able to conceive. I can tell you this much- no patient should be told she has cancer and then have to wait a week to talk to someone who can actually explain what was found. It is pure torture!

We have scheduled my second surgery for September 5th. I can’t have it any earlier because I have to wait 6 weeks from my last cone so that my cervix can heal. After that surgery we’ll wait a week for the results just like last time. Between now and then, I’m just going to focus on hopeful, happy thoughts like all the love in my life, my amazing fiance, my awesome network of support, my wonderful family, and my fantastic friends. Because if this cancer has shown me anything so far it’s that I am blessed. So very blessed.

So there is more fight to fight, more road to travel, but we’re readying ourselves for what lies ahead. Thank you for being along on the journey with us. Your support has buoyed us in this time of trouble.



36 thoughts on “Next Steps, More Hope

  1. Yay! Yay! Yay! Not about the cancer part. About it being small and the Sept. 5 surgery being the last. You should be able to conceive. You’ll be a high risk pregnancy with an incompetent cervix, but that can be dealt with in these times. I know. I didn’t know cervices could be incompetent either, but there you go.

    I know it is hard – impossible, really – to not think about it, but do your best to spend time with those you love, especially Finn, and enjoy the beautiful things around you.

  2. Yeah! Take that good news and run with it! Yes, you still have more to go through, but I’d definitely say you earned yourself a break from intense worrying… if only long enough to take a deep breath, acknowledge what is ahead and then get on with the preparations to evict the cancer. Its hard to *not* worry. I know that from experience. So I won’t say ‘don’t worry’ but, yes, you have earned a break in the stress. Even if just for a few minutes! How about a bubble bath and a glass of wine?

    Will be thinking of you and Mr. Darcy, hang in there, Sizzle. You can beat it!

  3. That is awesome news given the options. The fog of pronouncement is clearing, the steps ahead are rising out of the mist and you, because you are Sizzle, are preparing the way.

    “Clear margins” from the 9/5 procedure it is, then. Intentions duly announced, waves of love continuing your way.

  4. SO glad you finally were able to talk to a doctor who gave answers. Hoping, praying, crossing fingers, toes, and everything else that the surgery in September is the very last one you’ll need!! Sending good thoughts your way lady!

  5. So glad to hear this, and continuing to think of you and wish you the best. I’ve wanted to comment on your last few posts but couldn’t find words that didn’t just sound like platitudes… but know I’ve been holding you in my thoughts the whole time, and will continue to do so.

  6. The sucky thing about cancer is it’s a process. You don’t just find out you have it and swat it like a fly to kill it. It takes appointments and waiting and time and that sucks donkey balls. I’m sure having a plan makes you feel more comfortable about the coming weeks. Also, having a supportive partner must mean the world to you. If this past week has taught me anything, it’s taught me that watching a spouse in pain is one of the worst things to go through, but deciding to support that spouse through their pain is the easiest decision I’ve ever made. I’m sure the same holds true for Mr. Darcy. Hang in there – you now have people everywhere cheering for “clear margins, clear margins, CLEAR MARGINS!!!!” xoxo

  7. Clear margins, clear margins, clear margins. It’s as good a mantra as any. I’ll say it too, because that can’t do anything but help.

  8. This is VERY encouraging news! I’m so pleased for you – well, under the circumstances because this is still all kinds-o-suckish. Clear Margins My Dear!

  9. “Clear margins” has officially joined “healthy baby” and “healthy Katie” as my personal mantras.

  10. I’m so glad that you are feeling a bit more at ease after this appointment. You got some more answers, a bit more clarity, and now you have a plan. In the meantime, you have a wonderful attitude, an amazing fiance, and so much love around you. If you can, take a day off with Mr. Darcy and do something absolutely fun. Think of your idea of a perfect day, and go, live it with your love. Keep on living in the moment and remembering all the good you have in your life, and that will carry you through these hard parts. Much love to you my friend.

  11. Man, the waiting must be the worst, worst, worst. I am glad you got some answers and are able to look into the future with a bit more positivity. Clear margins FTW!

  12. Clear margins. Clear margins. Clear margins. Rooting for clear margins!

    So glad that you have a plan and some answers. Still sending healthy happy thoughts your way.

  13. I am so glad you’re a little more at ease, have some more answers, and have some progress. And I am glad you have good doctors taking care of you. You and Mr. D are in my thoughts– youuuu caaann doooo eeeeet! (Sorry, had to come out.)
    Clear margins, clear margins! I shall repeat this with you. xoxo

  14. So happy you are focusing on the hope now. I am sending you huge hugs and all the positive thoughts I have!

  15. Hi Sizzle…I don’t think I’ve ever commented here before, but I read here and there, coming from Tori’s and Kim’s blogs. I just need to say that I’ve been thinking of you, I think all this sucks big time, and CLEAR MARGINS! Crossable parts all crossed for you…

  16. You remain in my prayers and lots of positive thoughts and wishes coming your way!!! I see we have at least a third friend in common as well – Brookem!

  17. So glad you have some clarity on this and that the word “hope” made its way into your post title. That made me very happy to see! I seriously think with all of us focusing on clear margins, we can manifest that little moat by the time Sept. 5th comes. 🙂 Clear margins! Manifest the moat! Keep enjoying all those blessings. Love to you and Darcy both.

  18. Glad to hear you’ve got a little more direction now. It sounds like the answers weren’t too too bad, so now you can hopefully put most of the worry to the side for now and focus on living. Clear margins all the way!

  19. I can relate to needing a plan during hard times in order to feel like things are ok. I’m glad you’ve got one! And I will be chanting “Clear Margins!” on Sept 5th!

  20. I know I’m a terrible blog reader (Sister yells at me all the time for not reading her “traveling around the world for a year with Gabe” blog, so believe me, Jonesy, it’s not just you, it’s BLOGS!) but I did just sit down for 90 minutes and catch the fuck up on your goings-on, FINALLY! I love you madly and I’m so proud of you. HOly shit, what a ton of craziness to be going on around trying to plan a wedding and a future and all of the peripheral crapola that goes along with it. Last thing we need right now is uncooperative cervices (I think that’s the plural, and if it’s not….well, it is now!) You’re rocking the world – mine and everyone else’s – as always. I’ll try to be a better blog reader, but realistically, I’ll probably read another chunk in another little bit of time. What I’m really excited about is the Sizzle-in-person at your wedding…green shoes on your pretty little feet…a smashingly executed first dance…and the opportunity to toast the hell out of both of you. Here’s to a long and happy life, with or without various organs. Fuck ’em! I love you soooo very much xoxox Bird

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