Sunday, April 02, 2006


Last Friday I got the dreaded call from my surgical oncologist. I had cancer. I had discovered a small tumor a few weeks before and went to my new GP for a first time visit.

I had been thinking of switching primary care physicians for awhile and decided I wanted a new doctor. Why? He didn't listen and I didn't feel he was interested in me being a partner in my own health care. I would get that 'I know better than you' look whenever I had a question or concern. I am convinced that had I gone to him this time I would have been told it was 'nothing' and sent on my way.

My new doctor took my concerns seriously and she wanted me to see a surgeon for a biopsy. I immediately got the name of a highly recommended surgeon in Los Angeles from my daughter's OB/GYN in Los Angeles and saw her within 2 days. I had surgery last Thursday and the preliminary biopsy while I was in surgery came back clear. So I came home the next day feeling more than a little relieved.

So you can imagine my shock when my doctor called the next day to say the full pathology report came back cancer. Luckily (if you can call cancer lucky) it was carcinoma in-situ...which if you have to have cancer, it's the best kind to have. That was the good news. The bad news was that the report didn't show clear margins. When a tumor is removed, they want to make sure all of it is removed so no cancerous cells remain--therefore they want clear margins all around. I had to have more surgery.

My second surgery was this past Thursday and I'm happy to report that Friday the pathologist confirmed clear margins so I am finished with treatment. I am very lucky and I had a wonderful surgeon who was there for me every step of the way. Her entire team was awesome and I am forever grateful.

Thursday night after I came out of recovery and had pain meds and felt well enough to get up I went down to the Plaza Level to smoke (yes, I know!) my first cigarette that day and get out of my room. I had my IV with me and my daughter came down with me to make sure I would be okay. She had the baby in the stroller and Luke with her and they walked around looking at the beautiful flower beds several yard away, but close enough to keep me in sight.

About that time Lukas had to use the potty so she was going to take him back inside to the restroom, but the doors we came out of were locked. She went to another set of doors and they were also locked. It was after 8pm and I guess there are only certain doors unlocked at that time. When she came to the third set of doors, she pulled to open one and Luke came around behind her and ran right into the door as she pulled it open, cutting him right above his glasses in his eyebrow over his left eye. Blood came streaming down his face and she screamed for me. I couldn't see what happened as I was on the far side of the plaza but I heard her scream, 'Mom! I need you'!! I grabbed my IV pole and ran across the plaza pushing it as fast as I could, which was pretty damn fast considering I had just had surgery hours before. I got to them and saw the blood and about that time a young doctor came to the door and immediately escorted us to the elevator and down the back way to the emergency room. She was carrying Lukas and I wheeled my IV pole with my left hand and the baby's stroller with my right hand. We were quite a sight entering the ER the back way. The ER staff looked at us and I could see they weren't sure what to make of us and what was happening. One of the guards came up to help me maneuver the stroller and the IV pole while a nurse took my daughter and Luke into a room for a second, then took us all into the pediatric ER.

Lukas was so brave. His big brown eyes showed he was scared but he didn't cry and he let the doctor clean off the blood to see about the cut. He needed stitches. Six of them in fact. About this time the local was wearing off and I was in a world of hurt and asked for an ice pack. The doctor was kind enough to get me one and after learning I just had surgery, offered me his chair. I gladly accepted it and ended up having to go back to my room because couldn't take the pain any longer and
I needed pain meds.

When I got back up to the 7th floor, the nurse acted like I had gone AWOL and started to lecture me about being gone so long and walking too much, etc. I explained that my grandson was downstairs in ER getting stitches and I had not been down there on an extended smoke break. In fact I didn't have another cigarette until the next afternoon. Didn't even want one.

When I get back on my feet I am taking Lukas to the toy store where he can pick out a toy for being so brave when he got his stitches. Poor baby!

FYI...Adeline was entirely calm the entire time we were racing down the hallways in her stroller!


Blogger Ronni said...

You may just be th only person I know who has extra-curricular adventures in a hospital! What a nightmare! I think Lukas deserves a prezzie, too!

4/2/06, 11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey CG - If you are home and feel up to it, come by and see us on Tuesday night at 9.

4/3/06, 12:07 AM  
Blogger Gwenhwyfar said...

Whatta brave boy! Ya know, I can just picture you with the stroller, IV pole racin' around the emergency room, hehehe! So glad you have a better doctor. I didn't know your PCP was such a poop.

4/3/06, 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CG, so glad you came out "clear".

You even managed an adventure! It's us damn smokers, I tell ya!

Luke definately deserves a present for being so brave.

ADORABLE dress on Adeline, as well.


4/3/06, 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi CG,

Ditto what Nora said -- please join us Tuesday at 9. We have really missed you! I'm so glad to hear you're going to be okay. Wow, what a shock, but all's well that ends well.


P.S. Adeline is precious!

4/3/06, 7:40 PM  
Blogger CountryGirl said...

Nora and Liz, I will try and join you tomorrow night.

My PC crashed and I finally DLd the chat program a few weeks ago. I should DL it here on my laptop since I am sleeping upstairs on the couch near the ice packs. LOL!

You'll have to excuse the typos at night due to the pain meds. Hoping to get off of them soon--but 2 surgeries in a week took its toll painwise.

Gwenhwyfar, if there had been a video camera I would be in some serious $$ on AFV for sure!

4/3/06, 11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ruby, your life is amazing. I don't know if the Man upstairs is joking with you or giving you a test. Regardless, you've always dealt with it all. And with great spirit. You're amazing too. Always have been and always will be. We have not seen each other for 23 years now (remember our car trip to northern CA? That was the last time we got together in person) and dammit, nothing's changed with you. I love ya and I'm so thankful that your 'clean' and happy. XO

4/4/06, 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm glad you had nice clean lines for your operation.

Wow, they do things really quickly over there.

You are very brave, being home so soon.

Sorry you are experiencing so much pain.

I hope Luke is okay.

4/5/06, 8:58 AM  

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