Saturday, June 06, 2009

An Ode to Arnold: It's a Tooooo-muh

I've been going back and forth trying to make up my mind whether to share this piece of information on my blog, but finally decided that it wouldn't hurt anything to share. I may not see my "bloggy friends" in my daily life, but bloggy friends are still friends and it seems like we all share a lot of our ups and downs.

This is a bit of a "down."

The short version of this downer is this: I have a tumor in my bladder and I'm a little freaked out about it. I'm waiting on the hospital and my insurance to work out the details of the surgery that's needed to remove it. I'm hoping to know early next week when it'll be scheduled.

The history/longer version of it is this: For anyone who's read my blog for a while, you've likely seen more than a few posts where I complain/whine/gripe about the frequency with which I get UTIs and kidney infections/stones. I'd been having a good stretch with no problems for a little bit, when some routine labwork showed a few abnormalities. I had no problems or symptoms, but on a microscopic level, there was something going on. My doctor, who is getting ready to retire, had me see an associate who recently joined the practice. My first impression left a bit to be desired, but the second impression was much better. Especially when she said that she was a family practitioner and she didn't think it was within her scope of experience to manage my case and she wanted me to have the best care possible. She recommended a specialist, so off I went.

It's not important, but I would like to say that the specialist is young and quite attractive. He shall henceforth be known as the hottie doc. HD for short.

Anyway, HD saw me for a consultation and basic exam, did more labwork and other than some peculiar hematuria (blood in my urine), he couldn't find anything wrong. He recommended a minor procedure to take a look inside and see what was going on--I felt like it was a waste of time, because a CT scan hadn't shown anything, but I agreed. He said that given my history, it was likely that I either A.) had a kidney stone stuck somewhere that had never passed and may have adhered to the bladder wall or gotten stuck in one of the tubes, or B.) given the number of stones and infections I've had, it might be some irritation/inflammation or scar tissue.

My thoughts were along the lines of, "Okay, fine, whatever." He did mention in passing that it was possible, but very, very unlikely, that I could have a tumor. I raised my eyebrows at him, but he was quick to reassure me that the odds are almost statistically non-existent. For a healthy, 31 year old female, the odds were something like 0.05%.

I always have been the type of person to defy all odds.

I had the procedure done on Thursday morning and all was going well (if uncomfortably), until I heard HD murmur, "Hmmmmm." I partially sat up, laughed a little and asked him if all doctors take a class called "Scaring Patients 101: Mastering the Hmmmmm."

He asked me to lay back down, then turned the monitor my way and pointed out some healthy tissue, then moved the scope a bit to show me another area. I suddenly understood the "Hmmmm." He reminded me that the scope magnifies everything, so certainly the tumor wasn't as big as it looked, which is good, though it didn't change the fact that there is indeed a tumor there.

He did mention that he was shocked when he found it and wondered out loud who was more shocked, him or me. I told him since he got to keep his pants on, and I was the one stuck in an ugly hospital gown, I had paid my dues and earned the right to be more shocked.

There were a lot of words thrown around...transitional cells, noninvasive papillary tumor, urothelial papillary something-or-other. I asked him to skip the medical jargon and he said, "It's a tumor and I need to remove it."

I've been processing all of this, feeling alternately anxious and annoyed. I'm sure I'll feel better once there are some actual answers and not just a bunch of what-ifs and maybes.

So, that's the scoop. Not much to tell, but definitely enough by itself. Right now, my little kiddo is asking me to lay down on the couch with her to watch a movie and that sounds really good. I'll post as I know more; and of course, I'll keep posting about how I'm trying to navigate crazy-a$$ highway we call life.


Jim Latchford said...

Worth sharing? Heck yea, it's worth sharing! How else are your "blogging buddies" going to know what specifically to pray for? In my opinion you're going to be just fine. Not that I have any medical training, but I did spend last night in the Holiday Inn just to hedge my bets! Keep us posted and this "blogging buddy" will keep on praying. (By the way...I stole a towel from the HI as an added good luck charm. Don't tell annyone.)

Cheryl said...

Yes I want to know about this. I'm sure you're going to be fine, but it's still worrisome. Promise you'll post what you know, when you're having it removed, etc... We're real friends, OK? And you were so funny with HD. If you were me you would have snuck a pic :)

Kate Hanke said...

I got really sick last July with pancreatitis (before I had it, I had never heard of it). It's so hard when you are going along thinking everything is fine and then BAM you're in the hospital or scared out of your mind. Everything worked out for me though and I hope the same happens for you. Sometimes it's hard to navigate this highway we drive on, but there is such nice scenery and great stops along the way!