No news is good news when it comes to test results. I didn’t hear anything all week and found out yesterday that my MRI was all clear. What a huge relief! I had my appt yesterday with my medical oncologist. She is wonderful and my favorite doctor. It isn’t because she hugs me every time she sees me, though that does help. It’s because I can tell that she cares about what happens to me and she listens to my symptoms, fears, etc. and has intelligent, thoughtful and easy-to-understand answers.
Yesterday she and I talked a lot about a secondary medical condition I have called uterine fibroids. When I was 25 I was diagnosed with the fibroids when I had extremely heavy bleeding and awful abdominal pain. I had a surgery called a myomectomy and at the time, the doctors weren’t sure if they would need to do a hysterectomy instead. It was a terrifying experience and I thought it would be the worst medical condition I would ever suffer – at least in my 20s. Obviously we know I was wrong about that! Anyway, the fibroids are growing back now and are very large again – about 7cm for one and 6cm for the other big one. Then there are smaller ones. They are at the point where I can feel the pressure in my abdomen sometimes, especially when I lie on my belly.
It’s always a hassle to have medical problems, but having more than one certainly complicates things. Part of the treatment leading up to and after a myomectomy is taking an estrogen supplement. I can’t take this because my tumor was estrogen positive. Any new surgeon I would work with for my fibroids would need to be in contact with my medical oncologist. It’s exhausting talking about work-arounds and risks.
And then there are fertility questions – as if the chemotherapy and breast cancer weren’t enough of a complication. I have no real answers at the moment, just questions that can’t be answered, such as: Will the fibroids continue to grow? Will they grow faster or slower when I stop taking tamoxifen next summer? Will they cause enough pain for me to have another myomectomy? Will I choose to have a hysterectomy instead, to eliminate the need for additional surgeries? Will a hysterectomy happen anyway because the fibroids have infiltrated my uterus too completely? I have no answers to any of these questions, so I will put them aside and try to concentrate on my life, work, family, friends – and enjoy my time while I am healthy.