TMI and the Endometrial Biopsy

I promised that this would be a journal of my cancer journey, and my purpose is to be honest about the experience - at least, the experience from my point of view. If you are easily rendered queasy by mentions of bodily bits (especially those normally carried about on our insides) you might want to consider this post to fall under the "Too Much Information" category and skip along to a different post.

You have been Warned...

For the more stalwart, here's a moment from last week:

About 10 days ago my 'cancer navigator' called and breezily informed me that she had scheduled me for a biopsy in TWO HOURS. And, oh, yeah, by the way, she'd forgotten to mention the not-so-little ovarian tumor and questionable activity in my uterus that the PET scan had picked up. Just a small oversight, nothing to be concerned about. Let's get on with the more important issue: why the heck would I not want to meet with my oncologist on Christmas Eve?

So having squashed the noticeably-less-chirpy navigator's Christmas Eve plans for me, I rushed off for the endometrial biopsy, the blood draw to check on what my ovaries might or might not be doing, and what turned out to be a biopsy on the large polyp that had apparently grown up practically overnight on my cervix (Go, Me! I have a black thumb when it comes to growing plants, but I am aces at growing other stuff!)

A few days later my period starts, as expected, and as usual it starts at the most convenient time possible - late in the evening before Christmas Eve, while I am out on the town with the Fabulous Susan.

Luckily I was expecting something similar, so I had the necessary equipment in my bag to deal with said issue. After equipping myself accordingly in the public restroom, I turned to flush the toilet...

And noticed that there was a piece of ME floating cheerfully about in the bowl. I think it might have waved at me and winked, but I was in enough shock that I'm not entirely certain of that part.

This was not a teensy bit, either - it was a couple inches long, and knotted in the middle (as a knitter, I could appreciate that I can evidently knot things as easily on the inside as I do on the outside - I am so talented!)

You may be surprised to find that I was rather shocked and distressed by this discovery.**
For some odd reason the Fabulous Susan had never had this interesting experience, so unfortunately she could shed no light on the situation. I flushed the toilet and decided, Scarlett-like, to think about it tomorrow.

The next morning, bright and early, I called the OB/Gyn's office to see if they could reassure me that people regularly find bits of themselves falling out at random, and that it Probably Meant Nothing. Being Christmas Eve, I had to wait for the On Call physician to return my call, and of course that meant that I and my boys ended up being late for the traditional Christmas Eve Breakfast at my folks'. But we all must make sacrifices when we enter It's All About Me Land...

According to the On Call physician, it is possible that during an endometrial biopsy some tissue could be displaced and subsequently come out during the following menstrual cycle (let's not think too hard about the fact that this particular 'displaced' tissue was considerably larger than the chunk of me taken and cheerfully displayed for my edification during the biopsy itself). I should only be concerned if more tissue appears during my next period.

Well. They do say that with cancer it's important to set short-term goals and to have something to look forward to...

** you may also be surprised to find that the sun does not circle around the earth, but who am I to judge?


Glorious Hats said...

Well, maybe your body is evicting cancer bits; not wanting to wait for radiation or chemo, she is forcing out freeloaders.

timary said...

Yes - I like Glorious Hats' explanation. I have a feeling you can be very strong-willed when you have to be (and I mean that in the best possible sense...)

The Violet Hoarder said...

I totally agree. That was a bad bit being cleansed from your system. I think we all have tremendous untapped potential for purging and healing ourselves. (So glad you didn't let this event completely wreck your holiday.) When I was getting my second breast biopsy, I was living in England and the terribly professional, not-warm-in-the-least physician who was going to do the surgery--seeing that I was about to cry--chucked me on the chin without a smile and said earnestly "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." Then promptly left the room. But you know, I kept thinking about that the whole way through the surgery and the week's wait afterward. He was right. You're already doing all kinds of hard, hard stuff and you're still able to enjoy friends and holiday lights. Be a little proud of yourself!

Dori Ann said...

I can not believe I was laughing thru parts of this! Your humor hasn't abanndoned you :)
I am inclinded to agree, although it has been so long since I had a period it's hard to say. I had a "removal" when I was in my 20's. Haven't ever looked back:)
Have they gotten the results back yet? I have heard, that if you visulize your body ridding it's self of poison, it helps your body to zone in on those areas and do so. I'd fight that nasty stuff from the inside out! You go girl.

Dawn said...

Push all that CRAP right out. I agree your body is working to right itself. Anything we can do to help? Prayer, Laughter, puppy kisses? You name it we will try to send it.

Krishell said...

Thank you for sharing your brave journey. As Dawn suggested, many puppy kisses for the new year. Happy 2009!

georgina said...

Oh Ellie, hugs for 2009. This is a terrible time to have a medical crisis - skelelton staff all over xmas and new year. I hope that things improve but remember that you can change your oncologist if you are not happy. Your oncologist should be running the whole show here - the surgeon is correct in that they are the technicians of the oncologist in these circumstances.

Do you have a anyone like the nurses that we have here in Oz who try to attach one person to each new patient to support them and discuss options at length after appointments? The McGrath foundation aimed to provide every new breast ca patient diagnoses with one of these people and they are close to achieving it.

Remember that all the figures they give are estimates and that you could well be an "outlier" on the much more positive side. Did you decide about the brain scan?

Love Georgina (Aussie Georgina, mother of Philippa from yahoo group)xxxx