Thursday, July 21, 2011

God, Yesterday, and the Biopsy (Part Three)

So last Wednesday, I went to church. At my church, every Wednesday night, we have a healing service. It's just like every other service, except after communion, you can stay up by the altar to be annointed with oil and prayed over, as James 5:14 says: Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

I was hoping my bleeding would stop, but it didn't.  I believe one of two things happened though: either God's plan for this situation didn't involve healing right then, or there was some internal healing. Maybe it was cancer but it isn't anymore, or it was a bigger stage of cancer and went down or whatever. But I know it's one of those two possibilities. Indeed, today's verse of the day is one of comfort for me: The LORD of hosts has sworn: "As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand."

I confided in a few more friends Thursday and Friday, then at Bible Study put in a vague health concern prayer request. I wasn't ready for the sympathy.

The weekend, I was busy and not busy, alternating.  The fear and I battled a lot.

I was in pain Monday and Tuesday.

Adding that to the fear, I was very irritable. I hated it, because I was spending my time alone praying and praising God and then half the time I interacted with others I found myself snapping at them or yelling at them. Grrr. I just had such trouble controlling my emotions.  So I tried to keep to myself.

I was reading a book on Christian missions, which was fascinating. I'd been reading it for over a month and finished it Monday night. That's pretty unheard of for me... I tend to read things in a day or two. If it's dense, maybe a week. But something about this book made me take it slow and with much thought.

Then on Tuesday, the day of my doctor's appointment, I picked up this book I've had for over a year but hadn't read yet. Well, it was definitely God's timing at work!

It's called Hind's Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. It's a Christian allegory of a girl Much-Afraid, who wants to leave the Valley of Humiliation and flee her family, the Fearings, and go to the High Places, so the Chief Shepherd tells her the way, but she must go when He calls and in the company of the two companions He picks... who end up being Sorrow and Suffering!

It was pretty awesome. It caused some good prayer and some cathartic things. I read it in a few hours.

Then I was trying to distract myself with television. Because the pain was really bad. And it was working and I watched one show and I put on another... and then my sister Alison started arguing because she didn't want to watch the show. So after arguing angrily with her, I finally left. I didn't want to argue with her, and I was being angry, but she was wanting to discuss and compromise and truthfully, I just didn't have it in me.

So I went and prayed and Ryan popped in my head. Of course! So I called him. And talked to him and he soothed me and loved on me and oh how I love that man! And then I started crying, because of the pain, and Sophie, my darling dog, came running to snuggle and comfort me. And I just knew God sent Ryan to be the soothing voice and shoulder to cry on I needed, and for Sophie to the warmth and hug.

Then, just because He is SO SWEET, Jesus had Alison come in with mail for me: a book! I signed up to review books on my blog, and I got my first book! Just in time to read it in the waiting room of the doctors!!

Soon I was in the car and on my way.  My appointment was at 3:30 and I got there just in time. I settled down in the waiting room (with my Mom... I had gone to the last appointment alone, but needed moral support this time) and the receptionist calls me back up.  Apparently my appointment was at 3:00! She wasn't sure the ultrasound tech could get me in! What? I was sure it was at 3:30!! My voice was too loud and cracked when I told my mom, to my humiliation as everyone started staring at me. But I had just said I wasn't sure if I had my ultrasound, and when my mom said "Don't cry" I said "It's hard for me control my emotions these days." So they probably just thought I was pregnant. It's an OB-GYN office, after all. (The pills I'm on are hormone pills, and they're making the emotional controlling all but impossible).

But they did fit me in. I had to wait for a long time, but I had my book, which so far is great.  The ultrasound was internal, and extremely painful. But my technician had Christian music playing in the background, and as I left I saw she had Colossians 3:23 displayed "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men".  It's not that I would have minded if she wasn't Christian, but I found it comforting that she was my sister.

I could see the pictures on the screen they had set up, and when I saw the picture of my uterus, I could see it wasn't even.  So I wasn't surprised when, after blood pressure, a urine test, and an inner waiting room, the doctor came in and told me that there was a stripe of thickened uterine lining.

Which if we hadn't seen, would rule out cancer. So it's not a good thing.

So he told me he'd have to take a biopsy. I agreed readily, and expressed my fears about cancer.

He told me that there are three stages between normal and cancer, so he really doesn't think it's cancer. If it's not normal, it's probably pre-cancerous.  (He used the technical medical jargon, but I don't remember it.) He also explained a possible non-cancerous reason for the thickened lining. I discussed another major symptom I've been having and he assured me it was totally normal and once we stop the bleeding it'd go away. That was a relief.

So then I had the biopsy. They said it'd be no big deal and would take 30 seconds. Yeah, it was several minutes and it hurt. Like I'd like to use a curse word to describe it. The ultrasound hurt as much or maybe more, but after it was finished, it stopped. I'm taking prescription strength pain meds now and the doctor said it'll take a few days to go back to normal...

But don't get me wrong. I am glad we did it.  I'd do it again (but I don't want to!!) I don't want to scare anyone in a similar position out there into not doing it. Because I am so glad to know that in about a week I'll know for sure if it's cancer or not, or pre-cancerous or not.

So basically this is where we are:  In a week I'll know if it's possibly cancer or pre-cancer. If it's anything but normal, I'll get a D&C (surgery where they remove everything inside the uterus, but the uterus is totally left alone.) If it's normal, I'll just keep taking the pills (well I'm continuing the pills now).  If in six weeks, I'm still bleeding every single day, then I'll get a D&C.  And if in two and a half months I'm not completely back to normal, I'll get a D&C.  But there's hope the pills by themselves can take care of it by then.

As for losing my uterus, I told him what I'd read, about them taking your uterus even in stage one and he made a face and said "That's... just ignore that." And he explained that usually endometrial cancer (the type I might have) can be taken care of with just a D&C.  Indeed, he's had cases where they took out the uterus, then looked at it and realized that a D&C would have done it (in that case the woman had her tubes tied already so she was just like, take it.)  I got the impression he'd never pressure a childless 25 year old woman to give up her uterus.

Have I mentioned I like my OB-GYN? Cause I do.  I like and trust him. Which is really important. Oh, and my nurse was wonderful and loving and caring.
Me, this morning, as I wrote part one.  See, I'm okay. :)
So all in all, it's good news.  Or at least medium news. The best would have been my ultrasound saying everything was normal. But I've been bleeding nonstop for over a year and a half. I already knew it wasn't going to be normal (no matter what Ryan insisted).  But my fears have been comforted.  And I'm not even really that scared of the cancer diagnosis anymore, since I know there's a good chance of getting out of this uterus intact.

So that's my cancer scare story, so far. And yes, I'll keep you updated and tell you what the biopsy says next week. And yes, yes, yes, I definitely welcome prayer.

Here's the links if you missed part one or two

1 comment:

  1. Always praying for you cant just resist when i start reading your blog its like piercing in the heart, and most importantly being with Ryan i am always updated i get very less time to read your blog but you write so sweet and big


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