Today I woke up knowing we would get some real clarification from the oncologist. He would have seen my PET Scan and CAT Scan, reviewed with the other Gynecology Oncologists in his Fellowship and have a treatment plan. As I stood in my closet looking for something purple to wear (more on the reason for the color later) a verse clearly came to mind.
"This is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalms 118:24
I repeated this verse over and over in my mind thinking it was a strange verse for God to give to me for this particular day, but soon my nerves did calm and my heart could smile. It was time to rock n' roll and go see what we were supposed to be so darn joyful about.
About 5% of vaginal cancers are adenocarcinomas and I am one of these few. Approximately 40 women will be diagnosed with vaginal adenocarcinoma this year. (The 3 I mentioned before was an old statistic.) The good news is that I want to be one of these few because it means that this is a primary cancer, not a cancer spreading into this area from somewhere else. The other good news is that it hasn't spread into other parts of the body, especially the lymph nodes. The doctor said the lymph nodes are like the river flowing through the body and the lymphatic tissue is like the river bank. My cancer only spread to the river bank and this is much easier to treat.
I had surgery 14 days ago removing a large portion of this cancer. However, based on the scans there is still cancer in the body and it is on my right side and draping over and behind the vagina. Because there is not enough room in this area to get negative margins (healthy tissue) around the cancer removed they cannot treat this cancer with additional surgery. The doctor says I will have radiation 5 days per week for 6 weeks and chemotherapy 1 day per week for the same 6 weeks.
Next steps are too get a 2nd opinion, most likely at the OU Cancer Institute, but we are still researching this. I will be with a radiology oncologist on 12/2 (radiation treatment) and a medical oncologist on 12/9 (chemo treatment). I will have another CAT scan done to determine particulars of treatment at some point as well.
I am rejoicing that we have the best possible news given the situation and we have a plan to move forward.