Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Actual results [another update]

So...the kidney thing that had me so upset, even though I really was trying to stay calm, not so bad. Actually, not bad at all. There are two tests they do that are direct measurements. They are both in the normal range and are exactly what they were five years ago. Since then they have added another number which is a calculation based upon the first two numbers. THAT number is slightly abnormal. The doctor says he has no idea how you can do a calculation on two numbers that are normal and come up with a result that is abnormal, so maybe we should check it again in a year, but he isn't worried.

I picked on him about terrifying me by calling me in to tell me that everything was fine but weird. He apologized.

My blood sugar was normal, which since I had a diabetic pregnancy I am always happy to hear.

My cholesterol was a little high. Not so high that he wants to put me on a drug, but enough that maybe I should change my diet, exercise more, take those Omega 3 tablets, or start drinking every day. Since my father is an alcoholic I have generally try to drink only occasionally, so maybe I will try those fish oil tablets.

And now the part you have all been waiting for....THE LADY TOWN...

There is a big ole cyst on my right ovary. My left ovary is way up high, just high enough that they can see it is there but too far away to get a good look at it. The endometrial lining is 8mm [see update below on that number]. There's something towards the bottom of my uterus, in the canal. It could be polyps. It could be scarring from a D&C (except that I never had one of those). It could be thick endometrial lining. It could be cancer. Further diagnostics are recommended. I am seeing an ob/gyn next week. So far I've just seen the same family physician I have seen for 17 years for everything from asthma to birthin babies. [Added: I googled all the big words. There one thing that is probably a fibroid, and I also have multiple cysts on my cervix.]

The sort of diagnostic tests that I could have include a biopsy, a thing where they stick a scope up you (forget the name of that one), or an MRI. I asked, again, if we couldn't just do the hysterectomy first and the biopsy second. Family Doctor Guy didn't think that was an unreasonable request, but I need to talk about it with OB/GYN Guy.

So that's all until next week.

I talked to my mom on the phone and gave her all the information. She asked if I was really sure that I was going to be able to go on the trip in a few weeks, because it sounded to her like I really was going to need to have that hysterectomy. She's nervous about traveling and I had to tell her no such luck. I was quite confident that I could schedule any surgery for after I got back. She still has to pack her bags and fly to Sis's house.

Roland wants to know how long it takes to recover. I'm considering telling him that I'm pretty sure I won't be allowed to do any housework or lift anything heavier than a Kindle for six weeks.

This is as much for me as anything. I tend to lose notes and the blog is the first place I go to see if I've recorded certain pieces of information.

Kidney test: The bad number came from a calculation based upon one of the "high normal" numbers plus the fact that I am a 45 y/o white woman. It is an estimate of the results I would get if they did a different test. If it is accurate, it is pretty bad. On the hand the direct measurements they did are not only in the normal range, they are exactly what they were five years ago. So even if my kidneys are a nothing to brag about, they aren't degenerating. If I have the same results next year, I will probably have a follow-up, icky, invasive test. Given that I have bigger things to worry about, it isn't worth doing this year.

The 8mm lining might or might not be "too thick." Right after a period or in menopause it tends to be 3mm, at least under 5. During the regular cycle it gets thicker. I believe it usually tops out at around 10mm (1cm). The problem for evaluating mine is that I have been spotting on and off for seven weeks now and there is no way to know where in the cycle I'm supposed to be. That is why Family Doctor Guy told me that he would recommend a biopsy if it was over 6mm. Anything under that and it is surely okay. Over that and, in my case, he doesn't have enough information to assess. And in case your interested, I'm pretty sure that 15-20mm is normal for pregnancy and outside of normal range (which doesn't mean pathological) for the rest of us.

The reason that too much endometrial lining is an issue is that it means that it is growing too much (duh), and sometimes that growing-too-much turns into cancer. If you have an over-growth there are things they can do that will lower your chances of getting cancer. Things that are not hysterectomies. If it is cancer, a hysterectomy is the recommended treatment.

Of course I have the maybe-too-thick-lining and the "what the heck is that junk in the bottom" issue.

In my case, I can't see choosing anything other than the hysterectomy. I'm an academic, which means summer is a good time (to the extent that any time is good for surgery) and the rest of the year would be really, really bad. I am also done birthin babies, and my kids are old enough that they don't need my to do things like lift them up (which is good since they are all bigger than I am). Besides I'm pretty sure that a "no cancer" result would really mean "no cancer now, but come back and get more tests later." Many of you know how poorly I cope with uncertainty.


  1. Glad to hear that the results for today were okay. Sorry for all the suffering beforehand! So wrong to do that to patients.

  2. Reminds me of the two new fathers discussing life after babies. First Dad asks, "Don't you just hate that you have to wait six whole weeks to get intimate again?"

    Second Dad replies, "Six weeks, my wife's doctor told her she had to wait six MONTHS!"


    If you plan to lie, might as well lie big! haha

  3. I was *just* thinking on my way home (saw an ad for kindle) that this is a perfect excuse for you to get some reading done! Great minds, huh?

    Glad to hear that at least the kidney thing isn't such a big deal, and most importantly that you can continue eating mushrooms and spinach. (I agree, I don't know what I'd do without those two staples of my diet.)

  4. I hope you treated yourself to mushrooms, spinach and bulgar wheat to celebrate!

  5. Six weeks? How about six to ten weeks so if you're getting frustrated you can say your fine and lift away but if your boys are taking care of you you can have a whole extra month of being cared for. You deserve it. ;)

    In all seriousness I hope you can give yourself a decent break and take care of yourself if you have the surgery. You can do some serious damage just lifting wet washing.

  6. Omega 3 tablets are not that bad, and you can get ones made from flax if the fishiness bothers you.

    I'm glad this is moving along and seems to be quite treatable whatever it is. There are many worse things than to have to spend some time in bed with the boys in the family taking care of themselves! And thanks to the lack of kidney problems, you can even spend quality time with your luxurious hair while you do it.

  7. I am relieved the kidney thing is ok but still feel cautious re., the uterus stuff until they get that thing out of there. Why oh why do girl parts have to give us such trouble from (nearly) start to finish???????

  8. I'm sure it's a relief just to know. Hopefully, the girl parts can be taken care of and then you can go back to just worrying about work and the boys.

  9. Thank you all for being so supportive! I really do appreciate it.

  10. Taking six weeks off in my life is a no go. I agree, summer, with plenty of time to be fully recovered before school starts again sounds like a good plan. And don't listen to them if they tell you the biopsy isn't that painful. They lie.


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