The Doctor Called

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.Β  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.)

68 thoughts on “The Doctor Called

  1. I was so relieved to see the sentence “I have clear margins,” but being a pragmatist myself, I completely understand why clear margins aren’t giving you the relief you wanted. There’s so much on your plate still and I only hope this is one small step in the direction of peace for you. Sending lots of love!

  2. HOORAY for clear margins!!!! If anyone can handle all of that in one year, it’s you. Don’t sweat it… you’re a superhero.

  3. Take at least a few days to relish in the good news – CLEAR MARGINS!! -before you set in to take on the next hurdle. This IS good news, and by golly, you deserve to just have some time to say, hey! it IS GOOD NEWS!. It doesn’t take away what is ahead, but it can add a little bit of light to your heart.

    You’re an amazing young woman, and however you manage to get through this, you will. You and Mr. Darcy are meant to share the rest of your lives, and they will be long and lovely.

    Give yourself a couple of days to just enjoy the CLEAR MARGINS!!! Give your body a respite from the stress. There is plenty of that coming soon enough with all you have going on!


  4. I totally get it, there’s more to come, BUT BUT BUT YAY FOR CLEAR MARGINS!! And always remember just to take life one day at a time. It’s just too damn overwhelming to think of EVERYTHING all at once. I hope you can breath just a wee bit easier at the moment. You can do this lady! xoxo

  5. I can see how you’re struggling with this. And I can only imagine how tired you are, going through all this. But the fact that you can (at least) go get married without having cancer is a big freakin’ deal. Easier said than done, I know, but a wedding day without cancer hanging over you sounds like a great outcome to this shitty situation.

    Then you go from there. I’m sure now you’ll receive many stories about women who went on to conceive and birth a baby while in a very similar situation before having a hysterectomy. Take from those what you can (they may be helpful, they may not), but the fact that you also have options is another thing to celebrate.

    We’re very alike in our personalities. I wouldn’t be getting excited either (I rarely get excited for anything, even for my wedding). And, it takes other people telling me it’s OK to smile and celebrate something, even when I’m not sure I should. I think you can take a breather here and go become man and wife.

    You’re incredibly strong.

  6. Clear margins. That’s huge and wonderful and we are all thrilled for you. Still, I hear what you are saying. The only thing consistent about cancer is its unpredictability. Once you’ve gotten a taste of how inconsistent and illogical the disease is, it is hard to trust any sort of good news, or even just to feel a bit of relief.

    I love you and I’m happy for this seemingly good turn. I will keep sending good thoughts that it continues to go this way for you, toward healing and healthy babies. Love you.

  7. You are absolutely allowed to be not 100% joyous at the news – totally understandable. Also, your comment about how this process has aged you? Reminds me of why US Presidents go all gray in their first round as Prez … seriously shit really does age us all!

    I, for one, am ecstatic at “clear margins” and to hear you two will be able to try to have kids (or hopefully will). It’s what you have talked about for as long as I’ve known you (one day having a family of your own). And I think all of us who are more “mature” when starting a family would agree that there’s never the right time or a best time to start a family, but if it’s something you really want, you figure out a way and you do it. And, I see a Sizzle fighting through health issues so that she can figure out a way to start that family she’s always wanted. It’s empowering and inspiring to know you during this time of your life.

  8. I cried happy tears reading this at my desk. I know about the curse of pragmatism…I’m like that too. But maybe just one step at a time–this buys you time to be Sizzle the Bride until you get married and go on your honeymoon. Then, maybe back to business with the cancer coping? Just a thought. (I don’t know if I could do it, I just want you to fully enjoy your wedding.) xoxo

  9. Sizz, I’ve been reading here for a long ass time (I was AndiePandie for a while) and for as long as I’ve been reading, having a kid is something you have wanted very much. That is a possibility again for you and Darcy which is AMAZING. Clear margins and perhaps the chance to have a wee one is fantastic news! I understand your worry because I can be the same way and always looking at the bigger picture. But right now, I think focusing on the positive and taking the small steps are important too. You are getting married, you have clear margins, and you could have a baby. Good things! πŸ˜€

  10. I’m rejoicing at the good news for you–even though it isn’t paving an easy road for you, at least it’s one that buys you some time and some space. There’s a lot to worry about, and a lot to strategize, but at least you can do it with clear margins to give you some breathing room.

    I completely understand how your pragmatism is acting up (mine would be too), but also try to remember to take small moments to enjoy the relief of THIS MINUTE. Time is going to bring what it brings (and I fully believe that whatever that is you and Mr. Darcy together can handle it), so try to take a few deep breaths on occasion and think “CLEAR MARGINS!”

  11. I’m so happy to hear about clear margins, and I can only imagine how exhausting this all is. For now, take it one step at a time. Enjoy your wedding, and worry about what’s next after. And remember how much we all love and support you!!!

  12. Whew! Of course you are tired.

    And what a mixed bag. Are you supposed to be grateful that you will survive (first hurdle) that you have clear margins (second hurdle) but then….everything goes kind of what-iffy past that?

    Probably not grateful for that, no. But.

    Do you yet have a life to celebrate? Yes. Do you have a wonderful partner to celebrate that life with? Yes. Do you have the future promise of bringing a new life into the world together as a couple? Yes!

    We all of us take the good with the bad (because we have to, that’s why) and past that it is and always will be a struggle to focus on one or the other, or one and then the other.

    I think you are wise to focus on the wedding for now. You can focus on what your contraception challenges may be (emphasis on the “MAY”) when you get there. Break it all down into as small a step as you need at a time. Rinse, lather, repeat. Each step taken in tandem with Mr. D and every step taken while surrounded with love and positive wishes for you both.

  13. I am so relieved for you. And the thought of even *potentially* being able to conceive a child fills me with hope. It would be a miracle baby. So loved.

    But I’m getting ahead of myself. You inspire me.

  14. That is great news! While I am sorry that you are going through so much stress I am happy to hear that everybody’s thoughts and prayers and good will have helped you through at least one hurdle. Good luck and hey…Why put off what you can do today until tomorrow, ha ha.

  15. This was such a relief it made me cry. Wow, my heart is pounding. πŸ™‚ Hope you’re able to relax and rest and recharge before the wedding. Can’t believe it’s only a few weeks away! REALLY looking forward to lots and lots and lots of pictures of your wedding and celebration. Hang in there Sweetie, “just breathe”.

  16. Things never go according to plan. It’s ok. CLEAR MARGINS ARE AWESOME. Pre-cancerous cells are not. But ours is not a perfect world. We take the good with the bad, and allow ourselves to be blissfully happy for two months. Congratulations. This calls for MORE TEAL THINGS. Preferably including something sparkly.

  17. Clear Margins!!! Woohoo. I know you may not be able to fully rejoice and I understand, trust me. Love you and sending big hugs and kisses!

  18. Wonderful news! It’s understandable that you’re not as overwhelmed with joy like you might have expected – you’re tired out and mentally drained. Maybe it’s enough just to be able to take a deep breath and offload one more giant stress from your life.

  19. WONDERFUL news — but still a battle ahead!
    I understand the tired, I really do — I don’t have cancer (thank God), but everythign else you’ve just described (got engaged, got married, bought a house, sold a house, rented a house, started a new job, moved, moved again… annnnnnnnnnd now I’m pregnant), all in the last year and 3 months. So, I can’t imagine adding illness on top of that, but also, know that other than the cancer — the rest of that stuff — it is doable. I’m exhausted too, but it is doable…

  20. Tattoo that on your arm, Sis. I know you’re not out of the woods yet but this is proof there is light beyond the dense foliage.

  21. Oh gosh! So happy this means you have a chance and do not have to do anything drastic RIGHT THIS SECOND. Just this year. It’s a rush, but like you said… efficiency πŸ˜‰

    So happy for the good news! And yeah, start that baby making now! You are so close to the wedding! πŸ™‚

  22. I would never suggest my cancer was like yours. Each experience is unique. I would simply say I had skin cancer, also in situ, while pregnant with my first child. I had to have two surgeries, too, to get clear margins. It worked, and 19 years later — well, you know I’m wonderful πŸ™‚

    You are marvelous Sizz, and I am confident that no matter the upcoming hurdles, you will find a way to manage them and thrive. We all have moments of freaking out, we all have our own ways of coping with the unknown, but you seem to overcome life’s challenges as well as anybody I know.

    And remember this — just as you can’t foresee the upcoming hurdles, you can’t see the unexpected blessings. And the blessings are always there, just waiting to be noticed. I have no doubt many more are coming your way.

  23. Nothing clears the palate quite like trying to have a baby. I suggest you start arriving home each evening by announcing “Drop your pants, It’s baby-makin’ time.” I also suggest yelling “hurry up, I’m ovulating!” during intercourse, because that shit is HOT.

  24. You have a new normal, and I know it takes more than good news to adjust to that. But I am also so relived for you and for the idea that you get to try to take a path that could have otherwise not been possible without your great medical care and, I believe, because it was meant for you. I have no idea why there’s “pre cancer” and things that grow inside us that aren’t supposed to be there, and all this in-limbo weirdness and new normals that come with it all, but I also think it must be because we somehow will grow and experience our one life on a path that would’ve been possible no other way. And that, even if it sucks our mental energy and ages us, the end can only be good.
    Love and hugs to you. Xo

  25. I completely understand what you’re saying. It’s as if there’s still a sense of urgency to everything. No room to relax and say, “We got that garbage out of my body, ONWARD!”

    That said, I am beyond thrilled for you! Because you DO have room to move, to plan on that baby, to enjoy a honeymoon without post-op recovery. You now know what you’re dealing with, and you have regained some control. This is all very good news πŸ™‚ XO

  26. Wonderful news about the clear margins. I think I wished and hoped harder for you than I did for my parents when they had their respective cancers. I think I was mad at the universe for giving you some awesome things in life these past few years and then going, “ah ah ah! no so fast.” Life isn’t always fair, I realize, but I felt you deserved to enjoy the awesomeness for awhile! Anyway… breathe a sign of relief and keep living in the moment!

  27. Clear margins is a big step in the right direction. I hope you find a chance to be in the moment and enjoy this victory. You have so much happiness ahead of you before you get to the hurdles.

  28. Even though I know there is more to worry about, all I hear in this post is “CLEAR MARGINS!”. That’s fantastic. You’ll face the rest with so much strength. I know it.


  29. Woohoo! Clear margins! That is great news!

    And I understand that your anxiety isn’t relieved. And this might sound weird, but I think it’s good that you’re thinking pragmatically. But I hope you’re able to celebrate and be happy!

  30. I am so happy for the good news πŸ™‚

    … but of course you’re allowed to feel thoroughly overwhelmed and exhausted. Like you say, it’s been a crazy year! Give it a few days to sink in and I reckon your mind will be making plans and taking control again (as a fellow control freak I totally understand!!!!). Don’t give yourself a hard time! You’re allowed to be completely exhausted by this and want to just stop and not think about such serious life stuff!

  31. I hate how good things are rarely ever simply good but instead complex, twisted and emotional. I can certainly appreciate the feeling of being emotionally exhausted — not that I’ve been where you are, but I’ve been to that point where I feel like I absolutely cannot handle anything more, good or bad. I’m happy for your clear margins and praying for all the rest of it, most importantly your strength and endurance.

  32. Yay for clear margins!!!!!

    OK, this may only be the first step BUT at least it was the BEST first step to hope for at this moment. πŸ™‚ Lots to think about and process and you will, in good time.

    Please do what you can to smile, enjoy your wedding and your love. You deserve it. All of the happiness coming your way.

  33. DUDE! EEE! OMG!! i know there are still caveats but THIS IS REALLY GREAT NEWS!! i am so happy! you get to go into the rest of this time before your wedding cancer-free (CANCER-FREE!) and able to focus on you & mr. darcy. there are challenges ahead, but you beat the bad this time around. who’s to say you won’t beat any further bad that shows up down the road too – i certainly believe you can πŸ™‚

  34. I am so happy that the news you received was what you hoped for. I hope that the charge from this news will help you to move forward on your life plans – I wish you the best in everything and of course, for continued good news.

  35. I am so happy to hear about the GREAT news. You still have a big road ahead but it always helps when the load gets lighter. Big Hugs, Pam

  36. I am so happy to hear that you finally got some good news. Take a breath. Focus on being a bride and then take each step one at a time. It will all work out. I have faith. πŸ™‚

  37. I am so behind! Just got all caught up on my reading here and was so excited to see the words “clear margins” in this post. I really think you manifested that with all your positivity. Maybe the next thing to write on your arm w/the thumbs up is “healthy pregnancy.” πŸ™‚ I really just have this feeling you’ll get that. It feels meant to be.

    So glad you got to be Sizzle the Bride and enjoy your shower! It’s those events that really force you to be grounded and enjoy the whole wedding prep process. Hopefully you guys can enjoy a little breather now and throw some Grecian formula on Mr. D’s grey. πŸ˜‰ Hang in there. I’ll try to send lots of “all will be well” juju your way for that honeymoon baby you’re going to conceive.

  38. Thrilled to hear those positive and hopeful words, despite the lingering what ifs. I hope you and Chris can go into these next few weeks with some peace in your hearts and be able to focus on all of the amazing things that are happening in the midst of the crazy. You definitely deserve a long, relaxing honeymoon! xo

  39. This is so similar to my trajectory with cervical carcinoma, including the surprise ending!

    And insanely, after it all, my most recent pap smear was totally clean. It is possible! (And FYI, some people say it’s actually easier to conceive just after a conization or LEEP, because there’s so much more space.)

    So happy for you!

  40. I’m so glad to hear the news of the clear margins. I’ve been keeping you close in thought. I hope that these next several months prove to be less stressful and more healthful for you, and that the road ahead is a bit easier for you. I know you still have a lot on your mind, but this one piece of good news was well deserved.

  41. I completely understand how there is still a lot you have to deal with. And Yet I am going to jump up and down and say YAY, Clear Margins!!! I can only imagine how hard it is, but try to take a few moments to rejoice and then tackle the rest.

  42. I guess you have to try not to have any expectations and take each day as it comes. Just enjoy being the bride for now and don’t think about anything else. The wedding is going to be awesome, no matter what!

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