As most of you know, Don, Liam and I are expecting a wonderful addition to our little family next month. Sadie Glenn Butler will be gracing us with her presences towards the middle/end of February 2015. This was an amazing and wonderful surprise that we had been wanting for a while now. Little did we know at the time that Baby Sadie would be come a very big blessing in disguise.
What most of you don't know is that right around the time that we found out that we would be having a little girl, the doctors also happened to stumble upon a small mass in my right ovary. At first, it seemed to be nothing but a common ovarian cyst. However, a month later at the beginning of November 2014 that all changed. We went back in for another ultrasound and found the the mass had grown significantly in a little less than a month. The doctors decided it was time to do an MRI to see what was going on. A week and half later I was squished into the smallest MRI machine at 6 months pregnant getting pictures of my insides taken. That was uncomfortable to stay the least. About 5 days later I was told that I needed to see a GYN Oncologist, because the MRI revealed that it was more than just an ovarian cyst. I have never in my life been punches but this news was like what I imagined getting punched in the face feels like. Knowing that I was pregnant and now possibly having a cancerous mass in my body, I felt completely helpless.
The day before Thanksgiving Don and I went into meet my Oncologist (it is still surreal to say that). This appointment would forever change my life and life of my family. After going through the routine doctor checkup we were ushered into the doctors private office to discuss the findings. This was when Don and I were told that there was a very likely chance I had some type of Ovarian cancer and that surgery was going to be necessary and it needed to be done as soon as possible. Now this was an even bigger punch to the face than finding out the mass was more than just a cyst. I didn't think that was possible. The surgery part was even harder to hear for both Don and I because there was a little baby still growing strong in the area they needed to get at. I know that we were both terrified but we both new that it had to be done because the alternative was not an option. After going into the more detail with the doctor she was confident that the could preform the surgery and keep Baby Sadie inside to continue to cook. I was skeptical at first, but she seemed very confident about her abilities and for some reason that made it seem we could do this. It was decided then that the surgery would happen a week later on December 4th.
After the longest week of my life and thinking of nothing else but cancer and "how are they going to keep this baby inside me", the day was finally here. After checking in and going through Pre-Op I was finally in the operating room with the five teams of doctors and surgeons that would be taking care of me and Baby Sadie for next the few hours.
Once the surgery was over I was awakened in the OR to find that they did indeed keep Baby Sadie safe and inside to cook for the remainder of her time and that they were also able to remove all parts of the tumor and lymph nodes that the tumor had affected. This was also when we found that the tumor was indeed cancer, I was preliminarily diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. However, we would have to wait a few weeks to get the official pathology results back. Knowing this and having this long recovery ahead of me I was in for what will now be the longest weeks of my life. Just after Christmas 2014 I found out officially that I was being diagnosed with Staged 3 Cancer of an Unknown Primary. I know, what the heck does that mean???? This means that even though the tumor was found in my right ovary, the cells of the tumor were not acting like ovarian cancer. The two pathologist were not able to pinpoint the original origin of where the cancer is coming from. This is actually a common diagnoses and basically at this point I have a lot of tests in my future to rule out the various types of cancers that do exist.
It was also decided that I would start an aggressive form of Chemotherapy that would attack and kill any remaining cancer cells that could be hiding in my body while we try and figure out what type of cancer I do have. This chemo regiment will consist of six rounds, once every three weeks beginning January 2nd. I know that the first round was two days ago and so far so good, but I am now just waiting for the inevitable side effects to start and also the hair loss. The hair loss I am not so excited about but if this is what needs to happen so that I can get better and take care of my family then so be it. The alternative is not an option!!
I know that this is a lot to take in at first but I plan to keep all of you updated on this long road of recovery I have. I just want everyone to know that I am a wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, niece, friend and that I plan on being these things for a very long time. I have a tough fight ahead of me and I plan on beating this because I have a lot of life left and I have two kids and an amazing husband that can clearly not function without me :).
Thank you all so much for your support, prayers, help and kind words thus far. I know more will be needed down the road and I don't know many times I can say thank you but if I have to say it a billion times I will.