Friday, December 10, 2004

the sooner, the better..........

The surgeon finally came out after the scope. He said the mass was pressing on her colon, and even though he tried smaller sizes he could not complete the test because she was almost completely obstructed. This explained all of the terrible cramping she had been having.He said he really didn't think the colon was involved. It is just being compressed by the mass. He said he saw on the chart that she was being transferred out and was in agreement with that. His exact words were, "the sooner the better."
He said she was in pain because of some air that had been trapped in her colon during the test, and they were going to keep her in recovery awhile longer.

My sister arrived almost immediately after the Dr left. I had been trying to keep my composure. I wanted to be in 'strong mode' when I told her what was happening. I motioned for her to sit and she looked like a frightened little girl. She could sense something was very wrong.I started to tell her about the mass they found and she stood up, started to cry, and tried to leave the room. The lady behind the desk tried to talk to her. Then it seemed like sis was just walking in circles in the waiting room. I know that sounds crazy but its how I remember it. All of this took just a few seconds, but in my mind it was all slow motion.

A priest walked into the room then. My angel behind the desk had called him, because she thought maybe he could help me. I'm not catholic, but any port in a storm.....He suggested that we go into a private room and talk. So here I sit in a hospital room with a priest, trying to explain to my sister what had taken place that morning.Every so often the priest said a few words. He had a very heavy accent, and was hard to understand. (The only thing I can think of is Jamaican.) We would look at him and nod...Finally my sister said, "Could you leave us alone? We have each other now." I was shocked! My quiet little sister asked the priest to leave. The whole damn thing would be comical if it weren't true.


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(written September of 2005) I have learned much in the last nine months. I have read that ovarian cancer whispers. I say it screams. It just needs someone to listen. The American Cancer Society statistics for ovarian cancer estimate that there will be 22,220 new cases and 16,210 deaths in 2005. This is a death rate FOUR TIMES that of breast cancer.Almost 70 percent of women with the common epithelial ovarian cancer are not diagnosed until the disease is advanced in stage. The 5-year survival rate for these women is only 15 to 20 percent. This is unacceptable. Women need to be made more aware of the symptoms, and doctors need to listen to their patients. Especially when the patient tells them that they fear they have ovca, as my mother did for almost a year before she was finally diagnosed. It’s so sad and senseless when a woman knows the symptoms but can’t get anyone to listen to what she is saying.