Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Not happy to be back

I have to say, I haven’t missed writing in this blog . . . and I’m not real happy to be back here. Hopefully, it will be a short stay. But here goes . . .

Since last fall my CA 125 (ovarian cancer test) has been going up – from 7 to 14 to 52 to 100 – under 30 is considered normal. I had a CT scan on March 30 and nothing serious showed up, just some tiny nodules in my lungs and an occlusion in my right subclavian vein. I had the vein thing checked out and it was fine. Then in April I noticed my left eye was acting weird – droopy eyelid and pupil much smaller than my right. I went to an ophthalmologist who diagnosed Horner’s syndrome. He said it’s not much of a problem itself, but it is indicative of a bigger problem. Apparently, the nerve that controls pupil dilation begins in the brain then travels down into the chest and back up the neck into the eye. Horner’s syndrome can be a symptom of a lung tumor called Pancoast tumor. With my history of cancer, he wanted to inform my oncologist and get a scan of my lungs. Of course, I freaked out a little bit remembering those tiny nodules that showed up on my last scan. He also wanted me to see a neuro-ophthalmologist to determine where along the nerve pathway was the problem. In the meantime, I noticed a lump on the left side of my neck just above my collarbone. I assumed it was my thyroid and since I take Synthroid for low thyroid I was hoping the problem was just thyroid-related.

So yesterday, I went to see Dr. Spector, a neuro-opthalmologist at Northside. He did a test with eye drops and determined the problem was in my neck or chest, not in my eye. I showed him the lump in my neck and he wanted me to get an MRI and CT scan that afternoon. After multiple mishaps (change of location, MRI machine broke down, went home only to be called back in), I finally got the scans done. I had never had an MRI before and I was shocked when he said it would take 2 hours! So after going into the machine at 5:00, I got to go home at 7:30! I just kept hoping it would be all worth it when they realized it was just my thyroid.

This morning, John and I go back to Dr. Spector for the test results. It’s not my thyroid, it’s a lymph node. It’s highly likely that it’s the cancer metastasized. I have to have a biopsy done on the lump. I go tomorrow to meet with the surgeon and get it all set up.

From what I’ve been reading (I know I shouldn’t), the left lymph node is called Virchow’s node and it receives lymph flow from the abdomen and can be an early indication of ovarian cancer spread. Don’t ask me why it wouldn’t have shown up closer to the original site first! But all my scans have been clean, just my CA 125 has been suspicious . . . and now this!

I have had some narrow escapes in my life and I’m praying for one more! I know God can create loopholes when there seems to be no other way and He can make this lump benign even though all signs are pointing toward the worst. I've never liked to pray for specific outcomes, I have always trusted His will and just prayed for peace and acceptance. But this time, I’m asking for one thing – a loophole! I appreciate all the prayers you can give – thanks!

1 comment:

Vicki said...

Melinda- You are so strong, and I will be praying for one more loophole as well! Dr. Spector is wonderful. I have a 'date' with him in the morning. I will pass along your prayer request to my bible study and prayer chain friends. I know you have so many good friends and family who love you. Promise to never hesitate to pick up the phone and ask for help with anything you need. Sending prayers and love from the Tuckers!