Upcoming Surgeries – Cyst Excision, Rectocele Repair, Hemorrhoid Removal

The saga of my bizarre and complicated body goes on.

Thursday I will be having a small cyst excised from my scalp. No big deal, I don’t even have to go under and I can drive myself home afterward. Not excited about it, but not too nervous.

Next Friday, the 3rd, I have a dual surgery scheduled and I am writing about it because I can’t find a lot of first-person accounts online and I really wish I could because I AM nervous about it. And also it’s not the type of surgery you bring up in casual conversation, which means I have basically not told anyone about it, but it’s a serious surgery – I have to go under for it. So this will be my introductory blog on the subject and then if you want to know more you can read the follow up blogs on the procedure and recovery.

Ever since I can remember, I have had jacked up digestion. Then during chemo I had c diff not once but TWICE, and since then have had IBS. So my whole digestive system is a mess. Add to that two full-term pregnancies and you just have a real train wreck.

One of the issues is a rectocele. I won’t get into all the specifics of the problems it causes (you have Google), but here’s the brief definition from the Mayo Clinic:

A posterior vaginal prolapse, also known as a rectocele, occurs when the wall of tissue that separates the rectum from the vagina weakens or tears. When this happens, tissues or structures just behind the vaginal wall — in this case, the rectum — can bulge into the vagina.

I would love to indent that to set it off but WordPress has completely changed the way you format blogs since the last time I posted and I can’t figure out how to. Sorry.

Anyhow I have been putting off rectocele repair surgery for a LONG time for a lot of reasons but over the past year I’ve had not one, not two, but THREE thrombosed hemorrhoids and the theory is the rectocele may be contributing to them. Don’t know what a thrombosed hemorrhoid is? You’re so lucky! I had one for my birthday last year. Here’s the good ol’ Mayo Clinic again:

If blood pools in an external hemorrhoid and forms a clot (thrombus), it can result in:

  • Severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • A hard lump near your anus

YAY! I can 100% confirm the severe pain and can also inform you that the first one I had was the worst one and it lasted nearly 2 weeks because I am an overachiever.

So I’m finally getting the rectocele repaired, and at the same time, I am getting extra skin removed and any visible hemorrhoids repaired/cauterized. I don’t know all the details to be honest with you, but I will be finding them out (presumably) at my pre-op consultation on Thursday (right after I get the cyst removed). And then I will be sharing them with you.

All this goes to say that yes, I am continuing my journey toward being bionic. And please keep me in your thoughts over the next two weeks.

Update on timeline

I talked to my doctor. He has no problem moving things forward, but here’s the catch.

I need to have an MRI before I can have the lumpectomy/axillary lymph node removal. The most accurate MRI results will not be till at least day 7 of my menstrual cycle, which is not until the second week of October. What does having an MRI before then mean? Potential false positives, i.e., areas of shading that appear to be cancer but are not. What happens if the MRI turns up (false) positives? Additional biopsies.

The biopsy SUUUUCKED and I do not enjoy the thought of having additional, possibly unnecessary biopsies. BUT I also do not enjoy the thought of chemotherapy, or twiddling my thumbs for another two weeks while I ponder the lesion growing in my boob.

With that said, MRI has been moved forward to 9/30, and results should be available 24 hours after the procedure. After that, doc says the lumpectomy/axillary lymph node removal (which from now on I’m calling ALNR because come on) can be scheduled fairly quickly.

So now, MRI in a little over a week. Fingers crossed for good (and in this case, “good” means “negative”) results so we can just go ahead and get this sh*t out of me without any further testing.

Out, out damn spots

So I emailed my doctor this morning, because I want the damned cancer out.

They KNOW I have two small spots of high-grade – that’s dangerous, fast growing – cancer in my right breast. Based on the tests they have done – mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy – they THINK there is no other cancer in my breasts and that the cancer has not yet spread to the lymph nodes. And finally, only 1 in 500 women tests positive for the BRCA gene, and since neither of my grandmothers, my mother, nor any of my aunts have had breast cancer, AND my 23andme results came back negative for the three BRCA mutations they test for, I feel fairly certain mine will come back negative as well. With all these things in mind, how much sense does it make to keep waiting? It’s fast growing but not in the lymph nodes yet – how long will it take to get there? What if it only takes a month? So then I have to do chemo because rather than act quickly we chose to bide our time and see what the stupid test results said? The only test result that truly matters already came back and it said HI YOU HAVE BREAST CANCER.

My doctor replied and said he’ll call me today to discuss options. We’re going out of town this weekend and I am hoping he presents me with the “You can have the lumpectomy on Monday after you return” option.

A rolling stone gathers no moss and all that. Will update when I know more.