It's been a whole week since the last update, and there is much to relate!
This past week I met the new oncologist.
Ah, much better! In he bounced, wild curly hair flying every which way, wide grin on his face, eyes sparkling - a lovely nebishy man, similar to the best of the boys I grew up with in St. Louis Park. And the first thing he did, bless his heart, is tell us that he had studied my case very closely, and agreed with me that it made sense to approach this cancer first with hormonal treatments rather than with chemo. He understands both my reasoning and some of my feelings - he was diagnosed with colon cancer last year, so he's experienced some of the dehumanizing treatment and some of the worries that come with this package.
HA!! So there, Dr. "You can get a second opinion if you like, but he will just tell you the same thing I'm telling you now."
So. Given my low ferritin/iron levels and other blood markers for anemia, my menstrual cycles that tie me to a bathroom for more than a week of every month and the endometriosis that renders them very painful, the PMS that adds a few more days of Not Fun to each month, and the ovarian tumor combined with the suspicious uterine activity on the scans... Dr. Bouncy agrees with the surgeon: it would be reasonable for me to see a gynecologist about having the whole system removed.
Dr. Bouncy also feels it would be a good idea to biopsy the bone on my hip to see if that tumor still retains the hormone receptors that are on the cancer cells in the breast. Not looking forward to that, I must say, but we will try leave each concern unto its own day as much as possible.
New gynecologist - a brisk/abrupt woman who is not my style, but who seems competent enough - agrees with breast surgeon and Dr. Bouncy that a hysterectomy/oophorectomy would be a reasonable choice, both for cancer treatment and for health/comfort reasons.
So. Bye-bye hormones. Hello sudden - and extreme, given my current hormonal status - menopause. What hormones are left in the system after the surgery will probably be eliminated (or more accurately, rendered useless) by drugs that I will have to take for whatever remains of my life.
Wheeeeee... should be fun for me, and a real joy for all the people who have to live with my moods for the foreseeable future!
I finally got hold of the chiropractor/naturopath/homeopathist/kinesiologist I worked with more than a decade ago when I was in serial car accidents (for a couple years I evidently had a big target on my car that said, "I'm bored sitting at this red light, please smash into me.") Well, I got hold of her receptionist, anyway. The extremely busy Dr. Carol very kindly gifted upon me some homeopathic remedies to take before and after the surgery.
Ultrasound of uterus on Monday, to see what sort of surgical procedure will be possible - although the surgery could literally change midstream during the operation, if it turns out that the hernia situation (or something else) complicates things. Pre-Op physical on Tuesday. At some point an ultrasound measurement of the breast tumor, hopefully, to get a measurement of where we are pre-treatment so that we can compare growth/shrinkage to post-op treatment. Surgery on Wednesday, followed by a 3-6 day hospital stay, depending on type of surgery, complications, and how quickly I can get the plumbing working again. A biopsy of all the excised stuff will tell us if there's any malignancies there - metastasis to organs brings with it a more grim prognosis, so we are crossing our fingers that all fibroids and dermoids and etc. will be benign.
Wish me luck.