Retrospective – The Biopsy

I thought this would be a good time to reflect on my recovery and to remind myself how far I have come in a relatively short period of time. These are posts from my CaringBridge site. I set it up prior to my surgery to help me communicate with my friends/family. Hope this is of some help to those of you who are just beginning this journey.

Hurry up and wait…

While I struggle to decide which surgery I will have first (I need to decide by the end of the week), I have also been trying to schedule my biopsy. I was trying to get in on November 9 and 10 because my husband will be able to go with me on those days, but we are a week out now, and I still do not have a confirmed appointment.

Since I need to submit my leave with enough time for it to snake its way through the bureaucratic hurdles at work, and because it will be harder to get hotel/air reservations the longer I wait, I have contacted them to let them know that November 9 and 10 are no longer an option. I gave them a few new dates. Now I continue waiting to hear back from them.

A little more research…

So, the more research I do, the more I realize that I cannot determine which condition is causing my symptoms because most of my symptoms could be caused by either condition. This makes me feel like I am basically being forced to resort to a roll of the dice to decide which of the two is more urgent.

Case Study of Patient with Symptoms Resembling Mine

Friday I had decided that I was going to go with the GYN surgery first. I called to schedule the procedure, but I got an answering machine. On Monday, they called to tell me they were waiting to hear back from my GYN. In the meantime, my back pain has changed… it is more persistent, and continued reading has provided me with more examples of spinal cord tumors causing the symptoms I am attributing to the uterine tumors.

The Biopsy

Finally made some progress. The biopsy is scheduled for November 21 and 22. I am going to fly over on the morning of the 21st. I have a pre-procedure consultation at 1:30, then I have to go back the next day for the biopsy. They are going to perform a fine needle biopsy, so it will be minimally invasive. Hopefully there will not be any complications (i.e. spinal fluid leaks). They will keep me for three to four hours after the procedure for observation, and they told me I have to wait 24 hours just in case there is a delayed response. Fortunately, thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday, I will only miss one day of classes. On Friday, we will fly home, and that will give me a couple of days to rest before heading back to work on Monday. It will take about a week to get the results. The doctor expects confirmation that the tumor is a schwannoma, but there is a slight chance that it could be a meningioma, a neurofibroma, or an ependymoma.

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