11 March 2009

living in gratitude 24 : the good news

Where do I start?
Firstly, the amazing news is that the procedure went really smoothly. Thank you so much for your thoughts of wrapping me up in a mango-coloured-blanket-of-love and the prayers done at various full moon pujas conducted around the world (as yesterday was full moon)... I went into the operating room really calm and relaxed and very confident that all was going to be OK. The team who operated on me were in a very good mood.

When I woke up, I felt F_I_N_E...peaceful, relaxed, without pain... which was really important as I have felt really depressed in the past when I have woken up from a general aneasthetic...

The thoughts of love from around the world kept on pouring in and this really helped me to feel aok.

The afternoon before was rather unsettling, as I had been told that I was going in for a celioscopy (to check out the level of cancer cells in the area of the lymph nodes on a microscopic level).

However, when I arrived at the hospital I understood that I was to have a biopsy under general aneasthetic the following day and that the celioscopy was to be in a few weeks... I was upset by this misunderstanding and rather than wait and see, I got on the phone and called around to both surgeons to clarify...

(In the PREPARING FOR SURGERY BOOK - it explains that the patient NEEDS to feel totally OK and informed about what is happening to their body... I was not feeling OK - in fact, quite upset about this glitch of information).
After several calls, I was reassured by both surgeons that it was a biopsy, my main surgeon JN, came and visited me in the hospital at the end of his day to clarify.

My heart sank when he spoke to me... does this mean MORE DELAY to my treatment??? Another operation??

He explained that the biopsy was important to measure the tumor and understand how extensive it was. The tumor had been measured at 4cm by the specialist at NY three weeks earlier. The French surgeons needed to know which exactly the size of the tumor ... was it closer to 4.5cm or to 4cm or to just under 4cm?

"Why? Does it make that much of a difference?" I asked.

"Huge," responded my surgeon. "a 4 cm tumor is twice the size of a 3cm tumor in terms of cell count as we are talking about a diametre of 4cm."

I seemed to understand with a 4cm tumor there was more likelyhood of cancerous cells in the lymph nodes (thus the importance of the cileoscopy).

I was really appreciative of the explanation and the time he had taken with me: the dedicated doctor who takes time out to explain what it happening. It was Monday evening, 7.30 pm when he visited me, which meant his family was having a meal without him.

Yesterday afternoon (cannot believe it was only yesterday...tuesday... feels like a week ago...), the surgeon , S who operated on me earlier in the morning, came in to say that my tumor was .... less than 3 cm! (Remember the specialist in NY had measured it at 4cm)...
After the conversation with JN, my main surgeon, this sounded like
She said, it's very contained... (and I said to myself and the tumor has shrunk!) and as it is less than 3cm this means that the only treatment required will be radiotherapy.

Me :"What about chemotherapy?"

Surgeon:"It won't be necessary"

Me: "Are you sure? What about the cells that maybe wandering about my body that everyone keeps mentioning??? The lymph nodes?"

Surgeon :"In the hysterectomy, we'll test the lymph nodes but it is very unlikely that we will find anything "

Thinking back on this conversation - I also remember the surgeon saying that the tumor had appeared to be much smaller in the IRM which I did last Friday (wondering if this is why they did the biopsy instead of the celiopscopy... will need to ask at my next meeting).

I came home last night, in a lot of pain (the anaesthetic had worn off).
Sushumna, my friend who has come from India to take care of me over the next few weeks had arrived. Cecile + Valerie (who had picked me up from the hospital went to get me the prescribed pain killers). By the time the pain had subsided, we all sat on my bed and watched Valerie's latest lovely documentary which she has almost finished cutting. (On the way from the hospital I told them that I had over-dosed myself in my hospital with reading about cancer + listening to cds of people talking about cancer as a transformative experience... I wanted to see a film, something which would inspire me, and make me laugh and NOT mention cancer!).

They left and I called Mitch my oncologist in NY to tell him of the news. (Despite the fatigue I HAD to tell him the news...)
"Mitch, the tumor measured less than 3 centimetres in the biopsy!"

He replied extremely calmly (but I could hear the smile on his face: "I am not so surprised. Sakthi Amma does this for my patients all the time. Remember your tumor measured at 4cm by Dr D in NY - that was no mistake. Sakthi Amma has really lessened this for you."

Image of Durga, who sat by my bed in hospital :

Goddess of Protection and Inner Strength

om namo narayani


(Text)ure and (me)aning said...

and with that great news
are tears
smiles and tears.
Rest well and take care.
Sending you strength.

Anonymous said...

Amma-may-zing! Amma-may-zing! Amma-may-zing! Amma-may-zing! Amma-may-zing! Amma-may-zing! Amma-may-zing! Amma-may-zing! Amma-may-zing! Amma-may-zing! Amma-may-zing! Amma-may-zing! Yasmin x

Anonymous said...

om namo narayani!
Amma-zing indeed! The day we did full moon puja in Sydney i was buying the ghee and I found a beautiful golden durga at the Indian store and brought to the puja and after chanting Om Namo Narayani - we sang He Ma Durga with the intention of sending you strength!!! Maria was there with her fam and friends and with your God Son Max and the Lakshmi you had given him. We set up Lakshmi on the altar next to the Sri Narayani Coconut Amma had given me a week before and started the Yagam with Max helping with the offerings. During the Lakshmi Suktam theertum and flowers were poured on your Lakshmi which felt like we were pouring love on you! So glad to hear the wonderful news - love to you from all of Amma's Sydney children. x om namo narayani Edo and Jo

Kym said...

Wonderful wonderful news Nat...what a great big step for you on this journey...keep strong lovely girl and sending you all my love and hugs (you get to choose the colour...) xx

Exchange Academy, 2-23 April 2008, Tbilisi, Georgia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sophia Tabatadze said...


This is very good!!!
Thanks for updating.

Makes me very happy

You are very special

(for publishing this I have to type the word verification and that is 'marry')