Answers and Solutions and Progress, Oh My!

Kage Baker taught me lots of things in our lives. How to make cornbread, what little I know of German, how to play pool. In the last year of her own life, she taught me to grab firmly on to every bit of good news and success, and let the bad news work things out on its own. Cling to the good stuff; pen it up and the stuff will breed yet more.

Bad news is like a nasty drunk. It wants attention and power. The only way to get rid of it is to chase it away or leave it fulminating alone. The solutions are good guys – embrace them, make them comfy on the bar stool next to yours, and they will eventually take the bad news out back and beat the shit out of it.

Most of all, Kage taught me to throw modesty to the winds and run to the gynocologist the minute anything goes funny with one’s lady parts.

Caveat here: I am going to be indelicate. You gentlemen among my Dear Readers aren’t accustomed to having relationships with your internal organs. Until you reach middle age, you ordinarily aren’t required to think much about anything on the inside of you. It’s different with women – we’re in close, daily communication with our plumbing from an early age. It produces in us a casual coarseness about the processes. If you are feeling squeamish, please feel free to retire to the study for cigars and brandy, and get one of the ladies here to give you a synopsis later. But rest assured, today’s post has a happy ending.

Today, I feel … good. Oh, I’m weak and sore; still bleeding, and it feels like I’m pissing battery acid, but that will all pass. Overall, I feel a distinct improvement, and a lessening of the creeping malaise that was draining me. And I know why I feel all those things. It’s because the biopsy and hysteroscopy were a rousing success!

I have been relieved of three massive polyps and my entire endometrium – which, at my age, wasn’t supposed to still be lolling around the place getting fat anyway. My gynecologist assured me they looked everywhere in my uterus; they now have material to biopsy everything, and they’re on it already. They even managed a Pap smear, though that seems like small potatoes compared to everything else. And because they removed everything that was causing the immediate bleeding, I am better! My gyno even took a stitch in the nick she’d accidentally put in my cervix, which is also helping matters. As soon as the post-surgical cuts heal – and they are healing fast, I can feel it – I won’t be losing blood for the first time in months!

This is generally considered a good thing.

Polyps and endometrium can grow back, of course. In fact, they usually do. But before they have a chance, all the tests will be complete and the villain will have a face. Permanent solutions can be put into effect before the bad guys can reassemble their plans. Most of the signs are pointing to a simple Stage 1 endometrial cancer – common, early, easy to cure. If it was small enough, they may have coincidentally removed it already! Tests will show if that happened.

Of course, this being me, a few weirdnesses have insisted on coming along for the ride. The main one is my cervix. At my age, it’s supposed to be thickening; especially with the endometrium doing that already. Instead, it’s abnormally thin. My gynocologist is determined to find out why, as it’s an unusual situation in a 58-year old woman. The most common cause for a thinning cervix is third trimester pregnancy … which  can be decisively ruled out. Another possibility is adenocarcinoma, but if it’s that, we’re already dealing with it.

But I will find out next week, when all the test results are in. And then we can plan Stage Two. Best case scenario, of course, is that everything that was causing trouble was removed when they refinished my uterus to the walls. Next best (IMHO) is removal of the damned uterus to get rid of any leftover budding cancers. Luckily, my gyno shares this opinion, understanding perfectly that I am done with that particular organ … Next next would be chemo, but I really don’t think it will come to that: we’ve caught this early, surgical options will not impact my reproductive choices, and a clean sweep is so very, very effective!

My gynecologist – who is also an oncologist and surgeon – is therefore a triple threat resource. She’s wonderful. I ordinarily have no gender prejudice in medical care providers, but sometimes a female gynecologist is better. She  usually has a better understanding of the female body, she can tell the difference between cold and warm examination instruments, and she has small hands. These are practical considerations.

My doctor is a wee, tiny lady – shorter than me! – who is also massively pregnant with what she says is just one enormous boy-child. She’s not due for some months, but looks huge already. So there is also some haste to get this done before she can’t reach the table anymore … I am pretty sure she has to stand on a box as it is. But haste is good! I like haste! And so does she, thank the Goddess.

So there we are, and there I am, and I am pleased to report that at the moment – all is looking well. I will share some of the funny bits with you all tomorrow – there are always funny bits when you go to hospital, believe me – but for now I am going to go rest with my feet up, as ordered. It actually seems to be making a difference  now. At last!

Oh, someone let the gentlemen know they can come out now, eh?

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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11 Responses to Answers and Solutions and Progress, Oh My!

  1. Carol Light says:

    Rarely have I been happier to see a post and rarely have I been happier that I happen to be sitting at my computer to see a message.

    Huzzah! Hoooray! and exclamations of great happiness (the three cheers, of course) at such nice news. The best news is of course, Kate, that you’re feeling better already and that they’ve done the gynecological equivalent of the Big Dig to get rid of any of those troublesome lady bits that have been bothering you. Good riddance to ’em.

    Now, continue as you were, resting, feet up, optimistic, cheerful, and looking forward to finishing this particularly annoying chapter in your life.

    I am confident that the best is yet to be.


  2. Kate says:

    Than you, Carol. I am moving forward and am very confident this will turn out well. Even my cardiologist is pleased at my progress! He likes seeing stress reduced, and has been working closely with my gyncologist. I am as blessed in my medical support as I am in my friends.

  3. Brad Campbell says:

    Well, it took all the grit I have left at my age, but I read it all and only grimaced a few times. Well, four or five, actually.
    I’ll be pleading with Fate and the Universe until the tests come back…


  4. mary lynn says:

    Oh, halleluiah! “plumbing” problems are the worst.

  5. If you’re going to get cancer, this is the way to do it. My father has had two (completely separate and unrelated) types of cancer. In each case, it was diagnosed early and taken care of with surgery (one fairly minor, one somewhat less so). I call him the luckiest bastard to ever get cancer. I’m glad things are looking good (relatively speaking) for you, since the worst-case scenario just involves nuking the entire site from orbit.

  6. Tom says:

    Aside from the general rejoicing and tap-dancing (here in the Long Beach Home For The Recycled) over your good news, we are again hard-smitten by the fact that you are just one hell of a writer.
    But mostly – The Happy Dance!

  7. OK, I hung in there for the squeamish bits, despite my gender, and I am happy to report that I am delighted by the good news.

    That being said, have we ruled out brandy and cigars?


  8. Kate says:

    Oh, no, Steve, brandy and cigars are never ruled out!

  9. Mark says:

    Glad you are getting a handle on all this… And yes, despite my gender I read the whole report, since after a 3 cm kidney stone (surgically removed), plumbing simply qualifies as “another damn thing to deal with…,” hopefully with good drugs. I recommend Scotch.

    Get yourself better. Try to make it up for last weekend of extreme Christmas, otherwise I will be forced to make a special trip across the Valley to deliver lime marmalade….or maybe lime curd. Since the recent winds have caused the lime tree in the backyard to rain down fruit in bucketfuls.

    • Kate says:

      Oooh, lime curd! What a wonderful idea. Never fear, Mark, I shall be up next weekend! I was tempted to come up this weekend anyway, but my sister Kimberly threatened to hide my car keys, and to turn me in to my Guild members as a fugitive.


  10. Widdershins says:

    Excellent news, excellent!

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