Saturday, December 21, 2013

Back in the U.S.

We decided to come home for treatment.  I consulted with two world-class doctors in Boston yesterday.    They agreed on diagnosis and treatment:  surgery.  Neither thinks it is cancer.  Both think the prognosis depends on whether the tumor is intact, or whether it has leaked.  One was more self-assured, the other more cautious.  Both are considered top doctors.  But, one is going on vacation next week, which kind of tipped the scales.

The one who is here is the one I was more comfortable with, anyway.  He was more careful, less's so hard to choose, really, but I was comfortable with him.  The condition is really rare--a few thousand cases a year in the U.S., and he sees maybe 10 cases a year.  The other doctor sees 3-6 cases a year, so he's a bit more experienced.  His hospital sees maybe 70 cases a year like mine.

So anyway, long story short, I'm having surgery on Tuesday.  The pathology will take a week.  We'll be here for a minimum of two weeks.  We won't really know much about prognosis or further treatment until after the surgery.  I am sad, and scared, but trying to stay positive and hope for the best.  I just want to be here for my girls, today, and Christmas Day, and always.

Monday, December 16, 2013


When we left off in mid-November, I had a lovely spring in my step and all appeared right with the world.  If only that had lasted. . .

The pain in my side persisted, and so back to the doctor I went.  I went to a different doctor this time, because I wasn't so confident in the prior one(s)  (primary care or gastroenterologist).  This one prescribed a CT scan, purely as a precaution.  I was hopeful it would be okay.  I was pretty sure it would be okay--I had that CT scan 18 months ago for the kidney stones, and it didn't show anything weird.  I might have even had one last summer (I think I did, in fact), when my liver values were all wonky.  Today as I was sitting at my desk at work, I received the results from the hospital via email.  I went flying to my doctor's office when I saw the results.  Unfortunately, there is something there that shouldn't be.

We don't know exactly what it is yet, but it appears to be a rare kind of tumor on my appendix.  It could be benign, or it could be. . .worse.  Googling it is just freaking me out, because according to google, even if it's benign, if it's complex, it can have a chance of turning malignant.  So. . .yeah.  I'm freaking out.  I have two little kids.  This cannot be happening.

Right now we are trying to figure out what to do.  I don't want to have surgery here.  It's not that they can't do it, but it's complicated, and I just don't want to deal with this in Spanish.  I don't want to be sick and in pain and trying to explain myself in another language.  I could easily transfer my care to Miami, which is logistically close and easy to set up.  Or, I could go "home," to my mother's or to another relative's house.  Each location presents its challenges, though, including economic ones.  I don't know how long I'll be gone, or what this will entail.  If we don't go to a place where we have family, T can't come with me, because who will watch the kids?  Or he could come with me, but not be with me.  And I don't even know when we will be going, because I don't know if I need surgery imminently, or whether it can wait until after Christmas.

I am trying to make the most of every moment with the girls this holiday season.  We are doing advent crafts/projects/fun every day, and it is so much fun.  I am so, so scared of what is going on with my health, and what this will mean.  I hope that once again, it will be simple and easy and not serious.  I feel like I have had so many health problems since SB's birth 20 months ago--shingles, kidney stones, wonky liver values, and now this.  I'm ready to be healthy and happy.  I want to focus on my girls and my family, and not be worrying about health stuff.  Especially right now, when they are at such awesome, fun ages.  Especially now, during the holidays.