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My journey started in early August when I started experiencing some vague abdominal pains that didn't make any sense to me. I had no loss of appetite, nausea, loss of energy, change with my bowels, etc. However, my belly was sorer than it should have been (even when I stopped working in the garden and digging up the potatoes from the summer garden). I finally decided that I had to see my gynecologist (I had already had a normal GYN exam in January), and saw him on 9/10/12. A sonogram identified a complex cyst on the left ovary and I drove to Baltimore to see Dr. Neil Rosenshein, a GYN surgeon. I was admitted that night to Mercy Hospital and had surgery the next day.
He found a fallopian tube cancer that had widely spread in my abdomen but was able to remove it all. The surgery was almost 3 hrs, and I was in the hospital for a week. I had absolutely wonderful care while I was there from the nurses, doctors, staff, and my family and friends who made sure that someone was with me 24/7.
However, although the cancer was removed, chemotherapy would be required and I started that once I got back home. I will need at least 6 cycles, 3 weeks apart to complete the course of therapy. (During this time I will be out of the office to reduce the risk of me getting an infection while I am getting the chemo therapy).
Unfortunately, my early weeks of treatment were rather complicated. 5 days after my first chemo treatment, I developed Clostridium Difficile colitis and had to be hospitalized for pain control and dehydration from the diarrhea at Meritus Medical Center. This is the diarrhea illness that may occur in anyone after taking antibiotics because the antibiotics kill the good bacteria, but not this particular one which can take over.
Again, I cannot say enough about how wonderful the staff were!! But, after getting the C. Diff under control and getting home in 6 days, I continued to have a lot of back pain, unusual sweats, a high fever of 101.9, and subsequently was diagnosed with a presacral abscess in the abdomen. This resulted in my readmission to Meritus with the experience of having a drainage catheter inserted through my left buttock into the abscess. This drain remained in place for 12 days until the abscess had resolved.
However, I was able to get out of the hospital within a week, and learned how to sleep, sit, and drive with the catheter until it was removed.
My strength has greatly improved, the fatigue is better, and I feel like I am on the road of recovery.
I am VERY positive about the future. I do not accept this cancer as "part of me"; it is an invader, a parasite, that I fully intend to be killed so my good health remains intact and whole.
I have just finished my second course of Chemo and so far, so good. I have been able to eat and drink over the last few days and the muscular skeletal pain isn't terrible.
I am very lucky to have such wonderful support from my family, friends, and staff. Particularly, I am forever appreciative to Christine Feathers, my nurse practitioner who has taken over the responsibility of managing the office while I am recovering. In addition, we are very lucky to now have another nurse practitioner join us, Lorri Rice who has been working for years in primary care and recently for the Meritus Urgent Care Center. It is our hope that everyone will continue to receive the medical care that they need even if I am not in the office.
I hope to keep everyone informed of how I am doing at this web site.