Saturday, 24 March 2012

The CT Scan that was not to be and the Operation

Arriving at Royal Columbian

The transfer was pretty straightforward, and honestly getting there was a bit of a daze. I remember my friend Paige coming to see me at the Eagleridge ER and talking for a bit, and a couple of hours later the ambulance had come through and I was transferred to  RCH.  I was taken straight to the surgical ward, which should've given me an indication of what was in store. At this point we were still under the impression we were going to get the CT scan, or better yet an MRI.

A couple of hours later however, both the admitting obgyn, Dr. B, and another obgyn, Dr. U. came to see us. They let us know that they had gotten the ultrasound and information, and that based on that I wouldn't be going to either the CT scan or the MRI, as they would instead be taking me into surgery.  They felt that waiting for imagining would only delay treatment, and that at this point this would not really be in my best interests. We, of course, gave the go ahead... what else was there to do? I signed the consent forms, and was told that as it -looked- to be an ovarian cyst I might lose the ovary, but that was fine by me as I'd already made peace with that thought.  They would be doing the whole thing via laparoscopy if possible, only doing a laparotomy if necessary. They thought they could get everything out vie the first though, which would make recovery easier.   I gave the go ahead and let them know that if anything else needed to come out I was okay with that too.

We were told that they would try and find us a surgery spot in the next 6-8 hours. We called my mom and sister and let them know that as I would be going into surgery, could they look after our son? This was monday morning, and I was incredibly glad that was the week that the teachers had called a strike for Mon-Wed, as that meant that our son might not miss much school. The next two weeks were Spring Break, so I would have time to recover and he could go have fun with his other grandparents while I did.

Plans arranged, it was only about 15 minutes later that the doctors came in again... to inform us that they would  be wheeling me into surgery in half an hour!! So much for 6-8 hours. Although relieved, worry also set in. Clearly things were more urgent than we'd been led to believe thus far.

Half an hour or so later, off I went. Chris was told I'd be out in about 1-1/2 hours, so we'd see him them.

The Operation's Aftermath

I've only had a couple of operations in my life, but sedation seems to hit me hard. I remember coming out of it and throwing up, being wrapped like a burrito in blankets after I complained that I was cold. I remember my husband there, briefly.

When I woke up later, it was in stages.  I was still in the OR recovery room, listening to the nurse call up for people to take me up to my room. I wasn't quite awake yet, but  I was pretty alert; her words drifted in and out, and gave me the first idea that things hadn't been quite as expected. From her I surmised that  draining the cyst hadn't been as straightforward as expected; in fact, it wasn't liquid at all but a thick Jello-like substance. They had drained close to three LITERS of the stuff out of my abdomen. An ovary had come out alongside the cyst, and upon first looking at my organs after that they'd seen my appendix was enormous -- so they had called in a general surgeon, who performed an apendectomy on the spot as well. In the end the operation took a bit over three hours, I'm told.

They came in and wheeled me out. I was too out of it to ask anything, and drifted off to sleep.

Early the next morning I was awake, and both Dr. B and Dr. U came by to see me.  They told me about the jello-like ooze, the ovary and  appendix that had been taken out. Apparently one more surgery was also done to repair the umbilical hernia caused by the pressure of the cyst on my abdomen. I was told that they were going to send in the pathology of the jello to the lab, and await results... because they suspected it was something that behaved -like- a cancer, they would also be referring me for follow up at the Vancouver Cancer Centre. My omentum and right ovary were also taken over by the slime, but they hadn't removed them; taking that other ovary would've put me into premature menopause, something they were trying to avoid for the moment being.

It was a lot to take in.  Chris wasn't there, so they left me to digest the news, which I shared  with Chris once he got in. It was a lot to digest, but not cause for panic yet. I had to get over my current surgeries and get home to rest and recover, and we had a follow up with Dr. U for check up 10 days later, at which time  the pathology should be in and we would know how to best proceed ... AND we still had the scheduled CT scan on March 13th ( the next week) if I was feeling well enough to go.


  1. So Saddened by the news of your diagnosis. Have your life turned upside down from one moment to the next. Take the advice of your very wise friend and live each day as it comes. You can do it.
    You have a very fine and loving family, let them help. It will help you concentrate on yourself and it will help them be a part of your treatment. Most of all believe it will get better. Positiveness is almost as agressive as quimo in fighting illness.
    Please know we are thinking of you often and if we can help, we will.
    Wilma (and Arnoldo)

  2. I’m sorry hear that. It is not easy to deal with an operation, at first. But I know you’re able to make it through. You’re a strong and courageous woman. Just believe that everything’s gonna be alright. It’s better that you had it removed before it turned to something unbearable.

    Julio Loose