Tuesday, August 28, 2012

...And the journey begins...

Hello family! :)
I know most of you, if not all of you have heard the last updated news from my appointment with the Oncologist on Monday. I would like to first off say I am so thankful and I appreciate each and everyone of you for sticking by me throughout my journey.  I am so lucky to have such a wonderful, amazing and very LARGE family! I believe I might have a family members in just about every state! (haha) Thank you to those have provided me with email address, you know who you are! :)
My appointment was at 11am on Monday with Dr. Matthew Borst (Oncologist).  I am very thankful to have been referred to such an amazing doctor.  I do believe he was put on this earth just for patients like me.  He is fantastic! :) We spent about 3 hours at his office on Monday going over anything and everything.  He showed diagrams of exactly what anatomy is being effected and how it was all connected.  Very educational.  I had a pelvic exam done, with that he said the ligements (that hold the cervix in place) felt to be very normal.  Which is great news, as this means it might not have spread to the muscle or surround tissues.  He also said the tumor is about 2mm. He says this measures about the size of two thumbs put together, thumb pad to thumb pad.  My cervix only measures around 4mm.  To put this into prospective the tumor is more than half the size of the cervix.  The tissue samples that were taken at the colopscopy earlier this month were sent off to pathology.  The results came back as cancer, but we are unsure at this time which type of cervical cancer.  As that pathology report reads in lamen terms, we are looking at it being one of three types of cervical cancer.  Neuroendocrine, Adenocarcinoma and Squamous cell carcinoma. Neuroendocrine and Adenocarcinoma are the two we hope and pray it isn't.  Squamous Cell is the one we hope for.  It's the easiest treated, the most common and the overall survival rate is much higher.  As the other two are not low survival rates, they are just lower than Squamous and effects much more than just the one area of the body.  Dr. Borst has suggest I have a partial hysteroctomy at this time, as the tumor is protrouding through the cervix, and is visible to the naked eye. With this surgery he will be taking my Uterus, Cervix, ligements and pelvic lymph nodes.  These will all be sent to the lab for disection.  Pathlogy will disect the tissues samples, this will then tell us what type of cervical cancer I have, and most important what stage I am.  Right now, because we don't know what type of cervical cancer, or how advanced it is, he is calling it Stage One (IB1).  Depending on what type of cervical caner it is will determine if radation or chemotherapy will be needed post op.  If the cancer is in the ligements then radation will be started immediately after surgery.  If the cancer is in the ligements and the lymph nodes then radation and chemotherapy will be started immediately after surgery.  If it's just in the cervix surgery should get it all. 
There is still a chance once he is in there, he might have to do a total hystorectomy.  In which case I would be put on homone therapy soon after surgery as well.  With either a partial or a totaly hysteroctomy I will be unable to have children.  I have a call into him to see if it is at all possible we harvest some of my eggs before surgery.  Following up with my PCP tonight she states at this time, she is not sure I will be able to freeze them before surgery.  When they harvest eggs usually this takes a few days (days in which we don't have) to inject the patient with hormones, for a few days and then harvest the eggs, to make sure we are getting a good amount of eggs.  Since surgery is scheduled for Friday at 930am we just don't have enough time.  If a total hysteroctomy isn't done on Friday, we may be able to harvest them some time after surgery when I have recovered.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate and love those of you who have offered to be a surrogate for us.  That is a decision we will have to think long and hard about, when we are ready to start a family.  That's an amazing gift you have offered to give to us. I will forever be greatful for you! :)
I know some of you have asked mom details on the hospital, so I am going to include the address and phone number as well as my home address and phone number for those family members that have requested this information.  My surgery will be at 930am on Friday August 31st.  Surgery should last about 3-4 hours.  I will be inpatient for about 2-4 days.  My recovery will be about 4-6 weeks.
Banner Good Samaritan                                                                                       
Tanya Johnson
1111 E. McDowell Road        
Phone Number: 602*839*2000                             
540 N. Nassau, Mesa, Arizona 85205                           
Phone: 480*272*0386
Phoenix, Arizona 85006                                                                                         
Please feel free to email me or text, phone calls are welcome as well. :) After all what am I going to do for 6 weeks if I can't lift anything heavier than a milk jug? I am sure mom will have her phone on her as well for those of you who can't make it to the hospital or are out of state.  Once I am able to I will update you all I will as well! I am going to have a blessing tomorrow night, Scott's mom Marsha was wonderful enough to set this up for me.  That is going to be at 7pm in Mesa.  Let me know if you want to come, I can give you more information on where it's going to be at.
I love each and everyone of you with all my heart,
P.S...I hope I have covered everything, if you have any questions or if I have missed something please let me know! I am more than happy to answer any questions anyone might have.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Friendly Hello and Update...

Hello Family and Friends,
With my recent life events, I made promises to each and every one of you that I would keep you all informed on what is going on with me.  I know you all would like a personal phone call to keep you in the loop with everything happening.  However, I have been so overwhelmed and stressed out, and let's be honest we don't exactly have a small family!!    Frantz wireless runs better than my Verizon wireless does at times, so I know if I missed someone you all are great in getting the needed information in the correct hands.  I am sorry to anyone I forgot to include, if you find I missed someone please let me know.
You are all fully aware I was recently diagnosed with Cervical Cancer.  I have my first appointment with my Oncologist Dr. Matthew Borst, MD on August 27th at 11:00am.  I am very much looking forward to meeting with Dr. Borst, since I have heard nothing but wonderful things about him and his whole team.  I was assured by many health care professional MD's, DO's, NP's and even his very own patients that he is the BEST OF THE BEST!!! I know I am in good hands.  I can't really answer many of your questions right now.  All I know is what little information I have been given.  I went in to see my OB/GYN due to some complications I was having with my IUD.  I was told many times the complications I was having was due to the IUD and it was normal.  After the fourth visit to my doctor for the same complications they found an "angry bump" on my cervix.  (No lie, that is what she called it) I went in a week later for a biopsy on the cervix when she found several more "angry bumps".  After waiting two agonizing weeks, it was finally time to get the results.  I know this may sound crazy but for some reason I had this bad feeling in the back of my head, or gut or wherever that it wasn't going to be good news. I kept telling myself it wasn't Cancer, but all along I just had that bad feeling.  Thank goodness for my mom and Scott for going with me to get the results.  I will never forget the feeling I had when my doctor walked in the room with two sheets of paper that held the answer to the question I had been waiting so long for. There is no easy way to put this kind of news, and I know it can't possibly be easy for a doctor to have to deliver it to anyone at any stage in their life. When she said it was Cancer, at that moment I stopped listening. My whole world seemed to fall apart.  She took five biopsy samples from different parts of my cervix, and all five came back positive for Cancer.  She said she sent them off to a lab here in Arizona and when they confirmed it was Cancer, that lab then sent it off to a specialized lab in New York that again confirmed the same results. She said she called right away to get me an appointment with Dr. Borst.  The soonest appointment he had was August 27th at 11am.  I was thinking here we go again another two week wait to get more answers.  My amazing PCP Dr. Rodarte assured me two weeks to see Dr. Borst was outstanding, he is usually so hard to get into see she was shocked my GYN was able to get me in this soon.  She herself even called to see if she could get me in sooner, and is still calling every day to see if they have any cancelations, or can get me in sooner.  Upon walking out of the office at the end of my appointment, I lost it.  Hugging mom tossed me over the edge.  Seeing her so upset, upset me.  I am sure seeing me so upset, upset her.  She came down for the day, just to go with me to the appointment.  Scott asked her to stay, but as we all know how stubborn she is, (this is where I get my stubbornness from) she declined and said she needed to get on the road and get home.  I started making phone calls.  I called each one of you.  The hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life thus far, is to deliver this kind of news to my loved ones.  Now I know how my doctor must have felt delivering it to me.
Since my OB/GYN isn't specialized in anything but Obstetrics and Gynecology any further questions were out of her scope of practice, but she answered as best she could.  She did say I will have to have a surgery.  What that means exactly I can't say.  When will that be, I can't answer that either. I will have more answers for you all when I see my Oncologist on Monday the 27th.  I don't know how advanced it is, or how aggressive it is.  I don't know what my treatment plan will be or even treatment options.  I can promise you when I know, you all will know.   Like I said earlier in this LONG email of mine, that we have a big family; It is going to be easiest for me to keep you all informed on what the doctors say and what is going on with me that I put it all in an email and send it out.  It's so hard and emotional to make the same phone call 100 times over, answering the same questions you all have, the same questions I have. I do apologize now if anyone is offended, or gets offended by my communicating through email.  It's not my intentions, it's just what is easiest for me.  My emails go right to my phone as well to my computer, so please feel free to email me anytime for any reason! :)
I appreciate each and every one of you. 
I love you with all my heart,
Tanya Nicole Johnson