Monday, August 26, 2013

Bone Tumor

This journey I have been on for the past few months has honestly been one of the hardest of my life. 

In the beginning of May I went to see the doctor for a routine bladder infection, while I was in there I asked him if he could take a look at this growth that has been between my right eye and my temple for quite some time.  The doctor felt it and said he would send me for an ultrasound to get a better look at it and know exactly what we were dealing with and then we could figure out treatment from there.  At that point he told me he was quite sure it was just a dermoid cyst.  I was very shocked to get in for an ultrasound in Calgary just two days later.  It somewhat even concerned me.  If I was getting in that quickly did it mean it was something more?
At the ultrasound appointment the tech that was working on me had never seen or heard of anything like this before.  She ended her time with me very quickly and got the actual radiologist to come in and examine me instead.  The radiologist told me that she had never seen anything like this and wasn't even sure why the doctor would send me for an ultrasound.  Ultrasounds don't see bone like this.  She told me I needed to get a CT Scan and that she would make that recommendation for my doctor.  So exactly a week later I was in at the hospital getting a CT Scan.  It was only a week.  When I first moved here my ENT sent me for a CT Scan to see how my sinus's were doing since I am constantly blowing my nose, or it is stuffed.  That took me months to get into.  Now it was only a week?  I was very nervous.  The actual scan took less then 2 minutes and I walked out waiting for the results.
The following Tuesday I had a message on the phone saying that I was being referred to Dr. Hamilton and that they would call me when I had an appointment.  I found it very strange that they wouldn't leave more of a message then this, like maybe telling me what the results were.  The next day they phoned saying I had an appointment with the specialist for May 21.  I told the receptionist I would appreciate knowing what I was seeing this doctor for.  After discussing/arguing for a few minutes she reluctantly agreed to have the doctor call me.  When he did call me he told me in one of the worst possible ways the results.  He said, "Amanda, I have two minutes.  You have cancer.  We think it is benign.  It is osteochondroma.  I will be sending you to a specialist to have it removed.  Any questions?"  I was so shocked.  I couldn't think of anything to say.  I hung up the phone and called Ryan.  Ryan up until this point had come across to me as very worried.  He was so worried that I was having to have all these tests done and why I would need them done.  So I called him and told him very point blankly it was cancer.  We were in complete shock.  I started thinking about how I needed more information.  So I called my sister Robyn (her father has terminal cancer), no answer.  Called my sister Darcy (an RN), and she answered.
I cried her name, "Darcy!?"  and then I just started sobbing/screaming, "he said I have cancer!!"  I couldn't control myself.  The tears came and came.  After speaking with her and hearing reassuring words I calmed down a bit.  I got off the phone and I started googling and reading everything I could on the tumor.  Word to the wise, don't watch youtube videos of the removal of it.  Gag.
For the next week I had the terrible task of letting my family and loved ones know.  Asking them to pray.  
The day of my appointment my dad went with me.  I told my concerns to Dr. Hamilton and he reassured me that this was NOT cancer.  Well at least there was a very slight chance it was, which I will take compared to being told it is!  I was so angry that my family doctor would say that it was if it wasn't.  He explained the procedure.  I would be awake and they would take a hammer and chisel to the area and get it out that way.  
July 29, I went in.  My parents very graciously took Josh and Abby for the weekend so Ryan and I had a marvelous time just with each other.  We also didn't have to worry about the kids while I was at the hospital.  I went into the procedure room, and much to my and Ryan's dismay they asked him to leave.  They froze me around my eye.  It was a strange sensation.  I could feel it going into my eyeball, it's very hard to explain just how it felt.  Ryan was allowed to stay in at this point.  He said my eye was extremely swollen and I could tell just from my vision.  When they were ready to begin they asked Ryan to leave.  I felt them make the incision, it felt like a cat scratch, then the hammering began.  I thought it would be just a little kink, kink, kink, kind of thing but it wasn't.  When I say I was hammered I was H.A.M.M.E.R.E.D.  My head was bobbing all over the table.  It was an awful sensation and an awful feeling and sound.  The nurse told me to make sure my eye's were closed.  At one hammer I think the doctor must have slipped because I felt it.  Oh did I feel it.  I gasped and clinched and jumped all at once.  He asked if I felt it and I said through, yup.  When it was finally over I asked to see the bone, but they had already packaged it up and had it out of the room for testing.  The doctor said he removed a piece the size of a large grape from me.  
This is me pre-surgery.  You can see the bump on the corner of my right eye.
Here I am after surgery.  My kids had just gotten home and we missed each other terribly.  This was my first time EVER being away from them.

He bandaged me up and told me to take the bandage off the following day.

The bandage came off on Tuesday, day 2, I'm thinking the circle under the stitches is where he hit me when I had felt it.
Wednesday, Day 3
Thursday, Day 4
Friday, day 5 I was back in the hospital but not for me for poor Abby.  We went to Ryan's cousins wedding and during the dance Abby's elbow was put out again.  So off to the ER I took her.  I think now I'll know what to do if it happens again.

August 7 I went for my follow-up appointment.  I took both kids with me which was kind of scary but I talked to them a lot about what is happening and because Josh is so fascinated with the body and how it works he was very interested in seeing what was going to happen.  At the appointment the doctor was going to take the stitches out so I told the kids they would have to sit very quietly and hold my hand because I was kind of scared it would hurt.  
So the doctor took us into his office.  I had the kids sit on the chairs and I was directed to lay on the table.  As soon as I was laying down Josh stood up and came and grabbed my hand.  It's okay, mom, he said, I'm here.  He gave me a squeeze on my hand and watched with fascination as the doctor pulled the stitches out and told me the results.  It was BENIGN!  So in celebration we went and spent the rest of the day at Callaway Park.  I can't think of anything better then being with the two kids I love most, only wish Ryan could have been there too!

1 comment:

  1. I've never been happier to read the word benign before Amanda. You are a strong woman and I'm glad this wasn't worse (even though its been difficult in the process!)