Early Monday morning on November 28, 2016 I went to the Emergency Department at Mayo Clinic Health System-Fairmont for abdominal pain that was progressively worsening and severe. The pain was in the middle of my abdomen and into the right lower side. I was thinking this was appendicitis, a CT scan was ordered which was concerning. The CT scan did show a mass in my pelvis, in addition, I also had a partial small bowel obstruction. Due to the findings, I was transferred to the Emergency Department at St. Mary's in Rochester for further evaluation.
I was seen by Gynecologic surgery and they were concerned regarding the mass. The mass on the CT scan is approximately 16 centimeters. This was pressing on my small bowel as well as my bladder causing hydronephrosis (distension or dilation of the kidney).
It was decided that doing an exploratory surgery in my abdomen to determine what was going on would be the best way to proceed. The plan was to remove the mass and if needed a complete hysterectomy.
The surgery was scheduled for the morning of November 29, 2016. I left my room at 9:30 AM and surgery began shortly after 11:00 AM. The surgery did not go completely as planned. The primary goal was to determine what the mass was and then remove if possible. The first goal was met, as they were able to determine what the mass was, but it had spread and invaded to many areas of my pelvis that made it difficult and impossible to remove safely. Through the use of an pathologist, they were able to determine that the mass was cancerous, but they will not know the specific kind of cancer until Friday or Monday. Due to the involvement of the small bowel, they did place a temporary ileostomy (if a question, Google it). The presumptious diagnois is stage 3 ovarian cancer.
With these results, we are currently in wait and see mode here in Rochester. It is looking like I will be here until Friday or Saturday with chemotherapy starting as soon as they know what the cancer type is hopefully on Friday. The goal of chemotherapy is to reduce the size of the tumor to allow it to be surgically removed safely with well defined and clear margins. As more details become available, I will share them with you.