On Friday I was convinced my doctor was going to call me with news from my surgery but Friday came and went with no call. And so I went into the weekend wondering about clear margins and my once intuitive gut being on the fritz.
But then Monday came and it was time for me to return to work. It was around lunchtime and the office was quiet as most were off eating in the sunshine. I was at my desk when the unknown number rang through. I answered it as I walked quickly to a vacant office, my heart in my throat.
My doctor was on the line with news of my fate.
She told me she had tried to call me Friday but she only had Mr. Darcy’s number on hand and didn’t feel she should leave a message on that line when he didn’t pick up the phone. (So my gut was right!) “I wanted to give you good news to go into your weekend,” she said. Good news??
I have clear margins. Wide, clear margins.
It’s what we were hoping for and yet it comes with its own complications. Yes, they did not find cancer in this biopsy. Instead this time they found spots of adenocarcinoma in situ (pre-cancer) which is what I had originally after my colposcopy. Then I had the first cold-knife conization and they found adenocarcinoma (actual cancer). Then I had this last surgery, the second cold-knife conization, and they found the pre-cancer again. Cancer is a tricky bitch.
So what does this mean? It means we’ve bought some time and the possibility that we could conceive our own child is back in the mix. I have to go back in a month for a post-op check up then have a pap smear in 3 months to make sure it’s clear. If it is not abnormal, I will get the go-ahead to try to get pregnant. I’m not sure how I can have a normal pap after all this and with the news that there is still pre-cancer in my cervix. But apparently that’s what we’re hoping for. . .
I’m sorry. I know I should be rejoicing but I’m too pragmatic to ignore the hurdles ahead. I’ve had two surgeries on my cervix which will make conceiving more difficult and giving birth even harder. I’ve been tensely holding my breath for months now, living amidst the cancer chaos, and hearing “clear margins” isn’t actually releasing my anxiety. I know this is good news in long line of bad news and I’ll take what I can get. But even if we do get to have a kid, I’ll still have to have a hysterectomy. The only cure for cervical cancer is to cut out all the lady parts. What clear margins gives me is a greater opportunity, a chance to try to have a baby with Mr. Darcy, and a bit of breathing room until the inevitable (hysterectomy).
This was not what we had planned. I didn’t think we’d get engaged, buy a house, move, Mr. Darcy would start a new job, I would get cervical cancer, we’d get married, and we’d try to get pregnant all in one year. I LIKE TO BE EFFICIENT BUT THIS IS KIND OF RIDICULOUS.
I am tired, friends. These past few months have aged us. I see the gray hair accumulating on Mr. Darcy’s head. I see how the worry has set up camp in my eyes. But we will take this good news and rest in it while focusing on our upcoming wedding. I have been confronted with so many lessons in all of this, many I am still unraveling. I know, without a doubt, that I have a sea of love carrying me. That I am not alone. That I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams with love and support and kindness. (Thank you.)