I would first like to express how truly grateful I am for all of the love and support that I have received over the past week. Never in a million years did I think that cancer would ever be a factor in my life, but it is. The amount of positivity coming my way from family, friends, acquaintances and strangers alike has made moving forward from this diagnosis far easier.
As many of you know, I have been diagnosed with Ovarian Epithelial Cancer. Since my luxurious stay in the Charlotte Hungerford Hospital over Thanksgiving (don’t worry! I got turkey AND pie!) I have been referred to an amazing gynecological oncologist at Yale New Haven Hospital. I can assure you that I am in the absolute best hands. My parents and I met with him in person on Monday and he has since sent my case to what is called a tumor board (a team of doctors at Yale) to review. My oncologist and the tumor board have agreed that my tumor is considered low grade, which is good news as it typically has a better prognosis.
On Tuesday, December 4th, I will undergo surgery to remove as much tumor as they can. It will be a very extensive surgery with a long recovery time as the doctors must remove my ovaries, uterus, omentum, and restructure my bowels. They will also be removing a small amount of tumor on the surface of my diaphragm and liver. Because tumor has spread to other organs such as my liver the oncologist believes it to be a stage 3 cancer. The staging will be confirmed once I undergo surgery. Don’t get too hung up on the stage classification! The good news is that my cat scan showed that my chest is in good shape- none on the lungs, woo-hoo! This is all I can ask for. Overall, Tuesday will mark the beginning of my journey to a healthy and happy future.
I will be taking a leave of absence from my wonderful job at Bryant University starting this Friday, November 30th until February 4th. This should give me enough time to recover. I will have my surgery this coming Tuesday and will likely be in the hospital up to 8 days. After that I have 4-6 weeks of recovery. Luckily I have two amazing parents and the best big brother in the world to take care of me at home in Torrington, CT through my recovery. Once I have bounced back I intend on returning to Providence for chemo through Women and Infants hospital. I have no idea when that will begin.
Overall I have gone through tidal waves of sadness, anger, and fear. More than anything I have been uplifted by the support of my loved ones. I do not just think- I KNOW, that I will come out on the other end of this illness victorious and healthy. I am by no means minimizing the seriousness of this condition but there is nothing I could have done to prevent it. There is nothing fair about the hand I was dealt but I am more than ready to do anything it takes to be well and live the life I have imagined.
I will keep you all updated as details unfold. Due to the amount of pain killers I am expecting after my surgery- I may not be able to provide an update right away (unless of course you want a cryptic email where I accidentally disclose all of my secrets). I will have my family disseminate information when they are able to.
Keep the positive thoughts going because I sure am.