Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Jiggety Jig

We're home!  

And I have never had such an amazing homecoming!  My sister, Andrea, had popped over earlier today to surprise us with a clean house, food in the fridge, flowers and a card!  We walked in and the first thing I saw was the flowers, along with some special soup packets from Switzerland (Fladli- pancake soup we grew up with.)  Then I noticed fresh bananas in the fruit bowl, and the surprises kept on coming!  The dishwasher had been unloaded, kitchen looks better than it has in a long time, and food in the fridge- new milk, homemade apricot jam, stuff for dinner, my favorite english muffins for breakfast and homemade brownies!  And the living room had been organized!  This was so unexpected and helpful, it really made our day, and was such a nice ending to our trip.

An aside- I'm counting 5 exclamation points in the above post.  Sarah has taken on the job of being my blogging coach.  One of the first things she suggested was to limit the amount of exclamation points and to use them only when necessary.  Well, this time I just couldn't help myself!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


We've spent the last few days in Kailua on the windward side of Oahu visiting Ethan's brother, Daniel.  The entire time we've been here there has been a 2" baby gekko hanging out in the house on the corner window screen.  It's been very mellow so far, which is just what I need.  We've had macadamia nut pancakes at Boots and Kimo, we've hit the thriftstore, taken naps, we had a sushi picnic lunch at He'iea Park overlooking Kaneohe Bay, we went up to the Pali Lookout, with super strong wind gusts blowing us over, had dinner at People's Cafe in Honolulu (including Poi) and breakfast at the Pancake House in Kaneohe followed by garage sailing and smoothies at Lanikai Juice.  We had so-so luck at the garage sales.  I found a Sounds of the '70's- Punk and New Wave CD and got a free Danish magazine I'll bring to Bodil.  Sarah found a necklace for 25 cents.   

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hawaii or Bust

We're off!  Being in a house overlooking the ocean with a bunch of friends is just what I need!  We'll be with Maria, Cicada, Z'ev, Matt, Larnie, Bodil, Liv, Pat and the birthday boy, Keith.    The MD said it was OK to be in the ocean a little, but I should avoid the pool.  Hmmm.  I guess that's better than nothing.  

We've been planning this trip to celebrate Keith's 55th birthday for about a year.  It's very strange that it landed in the 2 week window that was available between the follow up appt. with the MD and the time they want me to start chemotherapy.  The EXACT time, to the day.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Went to the 2 week post surgery MD visit today, along with my crack team leader, Ethan.  We each had a list of questions a mile long, and I have to say they were very patient with us and answered every one.  

Last week we got a copy of the pathology report which answered some of the big questions.  Top of the list, was there cancer in the lymph nodes that were enlarged?  Big sigh of relief, no there wasn't.  Also, they didn't find cancer cells in the "washings" (I think that's abdominal fluid) and the tumor on the omentum was contained to a marble size lump and hadn't spread.  Then there were some other areas where it had spread, but the surgeon said they had anticipated that some of the biopsies would show this and since the cells aren't visible as tumors, they'll be taken care of by the chemo.  A few things on the report struck me as odd- one of the procedures I had was called an oophorectomy, and even odder- they biopsied my cul-de-sac!

The other thing we worked out at this meeting was the next step.  When we get back from Hawaii (that will be another post) I will have a minor surgery to implant a port (yes, a PORT) into my abdomen, probably Aug. 5th, then chemotherapy will start after that.   yippee.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Will somebody please explain to me what just happened?

So, Ethan suggested I start a blog.  My first reaction was panic, but then realized that it would be a good way to pass along news to you, and might even be beneficial for me.

I am sitting here at home, with a 4" incision on my belly, still reeling from the surgeon's words after the operation telling me I have ovarian cancer.  It happened so fast.  On June 16th I went to our family physician asking her to look at a lump I noticed on my left side.  She ordered an ultrasound which happened a week and a half later, and I got the results from her within a few days- large cysts on both ovaries.  One the size of an orange, the other a grapefruit.  She also let me know they weren't the usual fluid filled cysts, they had solid parts as well.  She made me an appointment that same day with a doctor specializing in minimally invasive surgery to figure out the next step, and also had me go in for a CT scan.  The specialist did another ultrasound exam and decided to make an appointment for me the following Monday the 30th with an oncologist, he said "just in case" it was cancer they wanted to be prepared for any scenario.   So at this point it was scary, but still the chance of cancer seemed very remote.  My friend Allison and her son accompanied me to this appointment, as Ethan was in L.A. for the memorial of a good friend.  Thank goodness they were with me, I started panicking a bit when I saw the harpist playing in the hallway of the medical center!  The oncologist I met with let me know that he didn't think laparoscopy (minimally invasive) surgery was the way to go.  The CT scan results showed enlarged lymph nodes and some other red flags.  He suggested the laparotomy should be scheduled for Thurs. July 3rd, just 3 days away.    After much debate we decided to trust the oncologist's call.  The surgery went well and I stayed in the hospital for 3 nights, then went home with Nurse Ethan.  While I was in the hospital the surgeon visited to let me know it was indeed ovarian cancer and it had spread to a few other places within my abdomen.  They had removed my uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, omentum, appendix and a few lymph nodes.

Nutshell version:
-June 16th:  Showed family MD lump in pelvic area
-June 25th:  Ultrasound
-June 27th:  Results from ultrasound: large suspicious looking cysts on both ovaries.  Appt. with specialist.  CT scan
-June 30:  Appt. with oncologist
-July 3:  Surgery
-July 6:  Home