Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Shocking Discovery

On Feb.6, 2008 I was sitting in the exam room waiting on my doctor to come in, casually flipping through the available magazines and jotting down the occasional eye catching recipe. I wasn't sure what to expect for this visit. I was bleeding from the D and C and didn't expect an examination, so what was I there for? Just to tell him I'm okay? That I no longer have any pain? Of all the things that went through my mind, I never once would have considered my doctors true reason for wanting to see me.

After coming in and giving me a brief hug, my doctor sat down and looked me right in the eye.
I will never recall the exact words, but I try and recap as best I can.

"There are normal pregnancies, and not so normal pregnancies. Yours wasn't normal, it was something called a Molar Pregnancy. Not the animal mole, or the one on your skin, it's something more like a tumor. . . This can lead to cancer known as Gestational Trophoblastic Disease, not that you have it, but there is a possibility you could. There's nothing to worry about, one round of chemo and you'll be fine. We do need to start blood work today and you'll need to have your blood drawn once a week to monitor your hcG levels. Let's go ahead and get that done."

I was stunned. Hearing the words cancer and chemo my eyes started tearing up and I immediately began to fight the battle to keep them at bay, while struggling to remember everything my doctor was telling me. After he walked out of the room, I quickly hurried to write everything down I could remember. I'd gotten Molar Pregnancy, but for the life of me I couldn't remember the word Gestational, let alone Trophoblastic, all that stuck was disease. When I asked the nurse handing me the form for my blood work was the words were, she didn't have a clue. Feeling vaguely numb and totally bewildered, I made my way to give blood. I would get my first impression that my veins were becoming greedy as what usually happened in less than a minute would take closer to 2. My head turned the other way as the lady stuck the needle in my arm, I heard her ask me, "Why aren't you bleeding?" Fear grabbed my heart as I struggled to find and answer. "That's where the I.V. was." I offered, while she without removing the needle move my arm in one direction and the needle in the other. "I got it." She said as my blood began filling up the vial. "Must've just needed to poke through some scar tissue."

With my elbow wrapped with tape, I headed out to the car. My problem now, how to tell my husband and my family that I might have cancer.