This is really hard to continue writing. Because of that, I decided to take Sundays off from posting for now. All these memories are coming back strong, and I don’t like it one bit. I don’t know you can imagine how hard it’s been to think about these things, let alone live those nights and days. But I try to be strong.
… A few weeks passed by, on and off I would have days and nights that just wouldn’t really work for me. I was miserable and officially depressed. I was on depression medication and I still had those horrible feelings that I was going to die. Scrapbooking was my therapy during this time. Would spend hours and hours scrapbooking. I wouldn’t go to bed until 1 or 2 am and then I would wake up and do it all over again. My mom would help me a lot. She would be over every day to help me clean and make dinner for my husband. Our families from both sides were so supportive. My in-laws were always making sure we were ok and it was good all around. But I still was dealing with Cancer. It couldn’t get off of my mind.
It was the day of my first appointment at UCSF. My dad and husband asked for the day off from work and we left early enough to make the appointment on time. My doctor was a nice very young woman, whom seemed very aggressive with treatment. She asked me some questions and then gave me some good news within all this bad news.
She mentioned that my OBGYN did an extraordinary job with the surgery and he did lots of wonderful notes. She said that she believes that all the cancer is out and I should be fine now, but we can’t be 100% sure of that until we do another surgery. She called the surgery Laparoscopic wash and (something else that I can’t think of right now). I mentioned that we had been planning a cruise that was coming up at the end of April since two years ago, and that I didn’t really want to miss it. She said she would try to do the surgery when I came back.
Overall, the appointment went well, nothing to major. She put me down as a Stage 1B Cancer patient. As she comes back to the consultation room she says, “Ok it’s time for the biopsy of your uterus to make sure there is nothing abnormal about it.” “What do you mean doctor?” “Well, if it is abnormal we might have to do a hysterectomy. We’ll get the results in about 1 week or so.”
Hysterectomy? I can’t have a hysterectomy! I want to have a baby. This can’t happen. Oh my god! This can’t happen to me! This can’t! This is going to be the longest week in my life!!! Oh my god!!!
We headed home. I slept all the way home. I was tired. Exhausted from so much that had been going on. Crying, being happy, being depressed, and my world was changing so fast. Then I received a phone call. It was the UCSF Doctor’s office. I heard the voicemail, “Hi, Natividad. This is your doctor calling. I have been trying to contact your OBGYN office and they are not returning my call, so I have no choice than to ask you to call them. I need to know if he took out the tumor as a whole or he took it out in pieces. I have the specimen here but unfortunately it’s in pieces because it’s been examed so I can’t go off of that. If he took it out as a whole that’s perfect, but if he wasn’t able to, then that means you automatically become a Stage 2A Cancer patient because Cancer cells could have attached to other parts of your organs. Please let me know if you find something out and I’ll do the same.”
WAIT! What? Are you joking? Oh God! No more bad news, please please God! I get on the phone and call my OBGYN’s office and the nurse says that the doctor will be out for the rest of the week. What am I going to do until then? First, I’m waiting on results on the biopsy. Now this?
Scrapbooking wasn’t cutting it as therapy right now. It just wasn’t. I went to bed that day depressed, feeling defeated. This was it. They were going to do a hysterectomy and then do chemo and radiation. I would lose my beautiful curly hair (I used to hate my hair, but I had found a new love for it).
The following morning, one of my friends called saying we should go to the scrapbook expo. I shouldn’t get alone. I said no, and then she finally convinced me to go. I got dressed, and my other friend was awesome enough to join us. We had our usual trip to the expo and then lunch at a nice place. I tried to enjoy myself. But my world was upside right now. I tried concentrating, but my life wasn’t my life. As we finished with the expo, and then with lunch, we were headed home. I was in the back seat, dozing off, when suddenly my phone rang. It was my OBGYN office. I felt my blood drain from my face to my feet. I answered.
“Hi Natividad? Yes this is the Doctor’s nurse, we were able to get a hold of the doctor and he apologizes to you and the doctor at UCSF, we resent all the notes that show all the details including that the tumor was taken out as a whole and NOT in pieces. “
I couldn’t help it but cry and say, THANK YOU a million times. I hung up the phone and started crying as a baby. My friends were overjoyed as well. Finally, some light in the tunnel!!! Finally, something to tell me it just MIGHT be ok. I call my husband right away and he sounds so relieved. I called my parents as well and my mom cries of excitement over the phone. There’s light. Not much, but some is enough.
The next 7 days were still torture though. To the point that I was still crying every day, still in disbelief that I was in such situation. My husband was very stressed out. The poor man didn’t know how to act sometimes, but I don’t blame him, neither did I. the 7th day came around and still no call from UCSF with the results. I couldn’t get a hysterectomy, God. I just can’t. We want to have a baby. We want to have a baby and if that happens, it’s going to just kills us. 4 pm comes around and no call yet. I call UCSF and they tell me that they have no news yet. They said that sometimes it can take up to 2 weeks. Oh god. Another week of feeling like an eternity. The last 7 days went by feeling like a whole month had gone by.
Scrapping, scrapping scrapping. That’s all I wanted to do. On the 8th day, around 10am, I decided to scrap some more while my mom was downstairs making me some soup, when the phone rings. UCSF is on my phone screen. This is it. This phone call might change my world from bad to worse… “Hello?” “Hi, Natividad? This is the doctor’s nurse and I’m calling you about the biopsy results. We just wanted to inform you that…” I have tears running down my eyes, I can’t stop them. I just wanted to scream to the world. My mom had made it upstairs already when she heard the phone ring. She was right there by my side waiting to hear the results. “Your results came back negative. Your uterus, cervix and all other areas of the reproductive system are doing just fine.”
I say thank you and hang up. THANK YOU GOD!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU GOD!!!! THANK YOU GOD!!!!!!!!!!! The happiness and joy can’t stop from bursting out of me. My mom hugs me and tells me to call my husband right away. He’s going to go be so relieved. My mom tells me to not move around so much since my incisions were still really delicate, but I can’t help it. I’m ok!!! We just have to do that other surgery and if can get everything cleared from there, I would just have to do a few rounds of chemo and radiation and that’s all. Oh my god!!!! Thank you my god! THANK YOU!!!!!!!
UCSF called me back a couple of days later to schedule the new surgery. It would be on Friday, April 29th. Perfect. Our cruise was going to be from April 10th to the 16th. We’ll be great! We would have to take it easy, but we’ll be fine.
We left to Long Beach to go to our cruise the following morning, as we arrive to the hotel, I realize, there’s blood spots on my underwear and when I went to poop, there was blood mixed in with the poop. Oh god? What does that mean? Not now. This is our vacation. Oh God. I can’t tell anyone. I don’t want anyone to be worried about me. I couldn’t hide it from my husband though. We couldn’t call the doctor because it was a Saturday. We would just have to see what happens during the week. I already had a doctor’s appointment set up for when we come back, so I should be fine this week. Just ignore it and enjoy.
And I did just that. We had a great time on our cruise (please see pictures below). When we came back from our cruise, I was ready to conquer the world once again. My surgery was 13 days away, and I was in great spirits. Those spirits would be low at times in the evening when the tiredness of the day would settle in, but overall, I was good.
The day finally came. My surgery day was here. My parents and husband came with me. I went into prep and got ready to be put in to surgery. Once again silently crying as they pushed me away from my loved ones, I was alone. But this time, I felt that this would be it. This will get me through to finally becoming parents. No Cancer is going to be found and this will finally be our turn. Although we were barely in April, I wanted 2011 to end already.
The surgery was very extensive. It took 9 hours. They washed my insides, took my appendices out and just moved everything that was in there all around searching for any signs of cancer. When I woke up, I was in a lot of pain. So much more pain than the c-section surgery I had a couple of months ago. I felt like they had beat me up with a bat. Like if my entire insides were taken out and stomped on and then put back in. Thank God for pain medication. I woke up and saw my parents and husband there. It made me smile, especially when they said “They didn’t find anything wrong. Everything went great and you still have your uterus and ovary.” I dozed back to sleep with a smile on my face. This was awesome.
That night was a painful one. Not only was the room TINY and my poor husband needed to sleep on a chair, but I just didn’t sleep at all. We took walks every 2 hours. 11pm, 1am, 3am, 5am, 7am, and then my parents woke us up at about 10am. NO SLEEP WHATSOEVER. I wanted to go home. I missed my bed, and the fact that I still had an hour and a half drive home was something I didn’t look forward to. I was in a lot of pain. I could barely walk. Seriously, MUCH worse than the c-section. Weird right? Thankfully the doctor discharged me around 12pm and away we went.
My post-op appointment was scheduled for May 12th, 2011. As we head into the consultation room, I do a little prayer. Please let this post-op appointment be NOTHING like the last one. We sit down, my husband, my mom and I. It’s an eternal wait for the doctor to come in. It seriously had felt that we waited there for an hour when just 10 minutes had passed. Finally the doctor comes in. She tells me something I’ll never EVER forget. “Your surgery went well; we found that you are completely clean. I’m leaving you a Stage 1B cancer patient on the notes and that you are now a Cancer Survivor. All is well and after a long discussion with the medical board, they do not find the need to put you through chemo in order to not do any more damage to your uterus and ovary so that you may have a healthy pregnancy if you decide to do so. I do not recommend any type of fertility treatment until 12 months from now.”
I’M CANCER-FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’M OK!!!!!!!!!!! I’M GOING TO LIVE!!!!!! (I’m crying right now as I type this. You don’t understand how much this entire event of my life tortured my family.) I didn’t care that we had to wait a year to try to conceive again. All I cared about was the fact that I was cancer-free. I was given another chance. I couldn’t be any happier and overjoyed.
The doctor releases us from the appointment and my husband and mom take a moment to just breathe in and understand what just happened. A few months ago I was told I had Cancer, my whole life was meaning nothing, and yet right now, as I’m walking out the building my eyes only see light. By some reason, it was a bright and clear day in San Francisco that morning. You could see EVERYTHING… like a way of God telling me that my future was bright.
My dad was so overjoyed as well. Shedding some tears, he said, let’s go have lunch! My brother’s, dad, mom, and us (my husband and I) went to have a delicious lunch that day. Our faces couldn’t show a bigger smile.
May 12th, you will NEVER be forgotten.
-To be Continued-
|Scrapbook Day with my dear friends.|
Cruise time with the Family