The Plan

In the middle of my second fertility doctor visit I started feeling excited about making little frozen embryos. My imagination gushed with images of the pre-baby cells happily chilling out together, waiting for me to get well.  Then a thought hit me, “I haven’t been taking prenatal vitamins” I gasped.  The doctor smiled and looked over my bloodwork.  “You’re great, your folate is good, B12 is good…” I breathed a sigh of maternal relief.

During the pelvic ultrasound to see how many potential eggs I have, the doctor patiently and sweetly explained the dark moving blobs on the screen.  I could not understand how she could see anything but nodded as if I did.  I wanted to hear how many eggs I had.  I didn’t want to understand those blobs until the day when I have a ultrasound to see a little babies heartbeat inside me.  She told me that I had 3 eggs in my right ovary, some fibroids and a small simple cyst.  Then she went over to the left.  “Seven” she exclaimed with a smile that faded all too quickly.  She had discovered my left complex cyst.  She measured it and it had grown.  She said she was sorry but it was so odd looking she had to refer me to an oncologist.  “I can’t get your eggs with that in the way”.

I left with my head swimming.  I have to start the hormones for egg retrieval on my period and it starts soon.  If I miss it, it will be a whole other month before I can start my cancer treatment.  With the Independence Day holiday I only had a four day week to get into see another oncologist and possibly have it removed.

My awesome nurse practitioner pulled strings to get me an appointment with a GYN oncologist at 7:30am this morning.  Here are some of things I learned from the visit

1. Getting the BRCA test might be a good idea.  It is really hard to screen for ovarian cancer and it is more dangerous, so if I test positive it might be advantageous to take it out.

2.  They can take out the ovaries and leave my uterus-so I can still carry a baby.  Yay!

3. It is strange to discuss ovary removal before 8am.

4. They have no idea what my cyst is.  It is possibly filled with poisonous liquid so even if I didn’t need it out to get the eggs I may have needed to take this out anyway.

5. If it is cancerous, they will immediately take out my ovaries.  This will mean no frozen babies for me, so fingers crossed.

6. It is odd and weirdly comforting to have one of your best friends in the room during a girlie examination.

7.  They remove ovarian cysts laproscopically through the stomach.  It is done under general anesthesia.

8. My surgery is this Friday.

I have no time for a second opinion, I have to trust this man I have never met before.  It is scary and overwhelming even though I can see the positives ie: probably not cancer, they are getting it out before it can burst, laproscopic is so much better than cutting my whole stomach open.  However just thinking about possible negative outcomes makes me sleepy and hazy.

Then I get a call that my breast oncologist can fit me in today.  I go alone since I didn’t have time to call anyone.  My brain was not on full alert but below are some things I learned

1. The breast cancer is not accelerated or aggressive:)

2. My oncologist likes soduku

3. He thinks it is not a bad idea to go through the fertility treatment even though it may cause a spike in hormones and potentially some growth. It will be zapped 2 days after the eggs are harvested by chemo.

4. He showed me charts that said my chances of recovering and not getting cancer again are pretty good.  (Not including if I am BRCA postitive)

5. Chemotherapy -is the German word for medicine

6. With the new chemo I will definitely loose my hair.

7. You can not breast feed from a breast that has been radiated.

8. He is open to eating vegan cheeses.

Lastly, here is The Plan at least til I get a second opinion

i. I have surgery to remove the cyst this Friday

ii. Early next week I begin hormones

iii. 2-3 weeks Later they remove my eggs

iv. 2-3 days later I start chemo (T/C Taxotered Cytoxan)

v. Chemo for 9 weeks

vi. Lumpectomy to remove lump

vii.Chemo for 9 weeks

viii. Radiation

ix. Tamoxifen (5 years?)

x. Doing fantastically (forever:)

I am off to go eat, since I will not be allowed anything but clear liquid tomorrow.  I feel sorry for whoever is around me then.  There is a fine line between me and not so nice me and that line includes toast!  So sorry to my friends in advance.














About tatumderoeck1111

Welcome to my new blog. When I found out I had breast cancer I threw a 'Drinks and Positivity' party. I wanted to keep the drinking (although my drink of choice in the future might be a healthy smoothie) and Positivity going, so I started this blog to keep everyone in the loop.
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6 Responses to The Plan

  1. Karma says:

    Wow Tatum, that is a PLAN. My head is reeling after reading all the interventions you have lined up!! Congratulations on reaching a decision and going with it! I cannot imagine how much soul searching that must have entailed. VERY glad to hear that neither accelerated or aggressive and that your oncologist thinks egg harvesting is not a bad idea. Yay!!

    That final list makes me feel overwhelmed just looking at it. Can’t imagine how you must be feeling. Well I guess probably relieved to have a such a clear plan of action. Tatum darling, my thoughts will be with you tomorrow. I’m SO hoping they don’t need to take both ovaries out when they go in. I wish again so much that I could be there but my heartfelt thanks to all your wonderful friends out there who are going through this first-hand with you.

  2. Lauren says:

    You are amazing. I am so grateful that we finally have the game plan. Your list is so clear and it makes me feel confident to go forward. We will take it one step at a time until we get to the final step “x. do fantastically forever”


  3. Abi says:

    Hey Tatum, That is A PLAN! I hope everything goes as well as it possibly can do for you tomorrow. Will be thinking of you. Lots of love X
    p.s there’s never a not so nice you!

  4. Jesse says:

    I decided awhile back (when I gave you sunflowers for your birthday) that you remind me of a sunflower. (I’ve never had a person remind of a flower.) So I wanted to share the lyrics to a song that my mom taught me when I was little. It is called “Sunflower.” The lyrics remind me of YOU 🙂

    Sunflower, sunflower yellow and round,
    You are the prettiest flower I’ve found,
    Tall, straight, full of grace;
    I love the light in your bright yellow face.

  5. Jaime E. says:

    Tatum–my mom also had stage 2 ductal carcinoma that hadn’t spread to her lymph nodes. She got a lumpectomy and the BRCA test (was not positive) and was on Tamoxifen for five years. She’s been off of the Tamo for four years and gets a checkup every three months. She’s doing great! Just wanted to share that outlook with you. I hope everything goes as smoothly for you as it can. 🙂

  6. Dana says:

    Tatum! Just reading this now, on Friday afternoon… So sending you tons of love and healing energy!! Your plan, your future, your health… YOU GOT THIS. I know it. I find that prayer, gratitude and finding ways to laugh help me get through tough times. All things you seem to be doing enthusiastically! *Another mantra I really love that I’ve used time and again for health and just general well-being is: “Thank you for my healing.” In one simple little sentence you are being grateful, acknowledging some kind of ‘issue’ so as not to be in denial, and acknowledging and ACCEPTING that you are already healing and on the road to health! You got this! Love to you… And if there’s anything I can help you with, being that I’m in LA, and despite my track record in the past, please let me know. Seriously. I mean that.

    Loveloveloveandhealing, Dana 😉

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