Now back to time, options and choices… My doctors at Kaiser do not recommend that I wait much longer before the surgery. They said a week is okay, but two or more is not recommended. They are concerned about how aggressive the cancer is and how quickly it grew. My tumor is currently 4 centimeters or the size of 4 lead pencil tips.
Options - I have the option to get a second opinion. Which part of me wants and part of me doesn’t. I want to trust that my current doctor’s have my best interest at heart. But there are too many stories about Kaiser and HMO’s, etc. that worry me. Tomorrow, my mom and I are making calls to Stanford and the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Texas. The doctor’s in Texas said they could see me on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. They also believe they may have some fertility sparing options because of my age. When I asked them what those options were, they said we could talk about it at the appointment. I don’t know if I want to fly across the country if they are going to tell me about the same options I have here. From conversations with my doctor’s and research on the web, the options I know of are as follows. One – a Radical Trachelectomy where the surgeon removes the cervix, parametrium, surrounding lymph nodes, and upper 2 cm of the vagina. The uterus is then attached to the remaining vagina. A cerclage is placed where the cervix used to be to allow the patient to carry a pregnancy. My doctor’s at Kaiser have said that I am NOT a candidate for this procedure because they are only currently preformed on women with a tumor 2 centimeters or less in size. The pregnancy success rates and full term delivery statistics are not impressive either. Two- I could go to a Fertility Clinic like Stanford has. I could undergo the 3-4 week process of injecting myself with hormones to stimulate my ovaries and have the eggs removed and frozen. I would have to wait until my ovaries return to the normal size before I could move forward with the hysterectomy. Again, my doctor’s do not suggest putting the surgery on hold to do this. If I have the surgery now, there is a chance I could harvest my eggs two months after the surgery (once I am fully healed). I could delay chemo and radiation for a month in order to attempt to preserve my eggs.
All of these options and choices could change drastically once I get the results of my PET scan. If the scan shows the cancer has spread, I have to call an audible and figure out my next move. My dilemma boils down to this… I trust my doctor’s at Kaiser and I want to believe they are giving me all of the options available based on my condition. However, I would feel like a fool for going under the knife when I am not 100% certain of my decision. Do I forgo the second opinion and have the surgery on the 13th or do I take another week to be 100% certain? I want to fight for my eggs. I want to fight for the option to have a mini Britni someday. Even if I ultimately choose to adopt children, I want the OPTION to choose between my eggs or adoption. You can’t always get what you want. Like I have said before, it is all very surreal and overwhelming. These are decisions I never thought I would have to make at 26.
In between my calls to Stanford, Texas and Kaiser tomorrow, Mom and I are going to get a mani-pedi. Then my dad is BBQ’ing a yummy family dinner. I’ll get to spend some relaxing time with not only my parents, but my nieces, nephew and friends too. I hope this helps me relax and refocus my energy on not only fighting the cancer, but fighting for my options too.
You never know what tomorrow is going to bring.