Life is a test.

So, the last thing that I wrote about was my mole biopsy and all that fun stuff. Deep down I already knew what the outcome was going to be, I knew the day I made the appointment with the dermatologist. I was diagnosed with melanoma cancer, stage IIa. It's not the worst that it could be, but it's absolutely not the best. My tumor was 2.1mm in thickness, which is fairly large in the world of melanoma tumors. It penetrated deep enough that I need to have surgery to take out a large chunk of skin on my chest (my scar will be approximately 6 inches long and a couple inches wide), inject the radioactive dye into the area to see which lymph nodes it drains to (it could be either my left or right armpit, or both), and then they need to biposy the lymph nodes that it goes to. It's day surgery, so I don't need to stay overnight, but it's really scary, and I am sad to say that everything that I was planning on is now changing.
Because of the nature of the cancer my surgeon wants to do surgery sooner rather than later. I am totally against medical birth (for me) unless necessary. My biggest fear is giving birth in a hospital and medical interventions. I had to make the choice to wait it out and give birth naturally or induce labor. After a lot of crying and talking with Jason we have decided to go ahead and switch to an OB to induce early. If I waited it out it could be up to 7 weeks before I have this baby, and then add on another week or week and a half until I can have my cancer surgery. I need to wait at least a week because I want to establish breastfeeding as much as possible, and then it's all about scheduling.
We have our appointment at the birth center on Wed. and I am going to have them refer me to an OB at the North Austin Medical Center. Then I will have an appointment with the OB and I guess set my induction date. Ugh. I really hate this. I don't want to be induced. I don't want to have to be at a hospital, but at least I will be at a good one. Baby can room in, they have lactation consultants available and think skin to skin contact is important. Hopefully I will be able to have a birth that is as enjoyable as it can be given the circumstances. I just want to be healthy for my baby so I can be a good mom.
This is all a really big blow to both Jason and I. We have been really sad about everything. I just keep thinking why me, over and over again. This is supposed to be the happiest time in my life, but there's this big dark cloud looming overhead.
Breastfeeding is going to take some extra effort. Because of the cancer surgery I will not be able to breastfeed for about 2 days. I am going to have to start pumping as soon as my milk supply comes in so I can stock up on breastmilk. After the surgery I need to pump for 2 days to get all of the radioactive materials and drugs from surgery out of my body until I can breastfeed. I am going to be contacting the La Leche League, and I have a list of lactation consultants that my bradley instructor gave me. I also think that I can contact the lactation consultant that I work with at the NAMC after my delivery.
So, all I can do right now is wait. We have some answers, but there are some answers we won't have until after the cancer surgery. I am nott religious at all, but I have been hoping and praying that everything will turn out ok, and that after the surgery that's that and all I have to do is go get checked out by the dermatologist every 3 months.

Check yourself! If you have any moles or anything on your skin that seems weird, is changing shape, color, or size then do yourself a favor and pay that specialist co-pay and go get it checked out! I will also never not wear sunscreen again. I found a list of the safest sunscreens (meaning they don't contain all sorts of chemicals and are all natural). I bought some Badger spf 30 sunscreen yesterday and I am going to make sure I don't go outside without it on. Melanoma cases are rising at a pretty scary rate, the statistics are that 1 in 75 children are going to get melanoma. So just be careful and make sure you are checking things. The sooner it's caught the better. I don't want anyone to ever have to feel the way I have been feeling lately.

1 comment:

A Baby Peach said...

OH MY GOD. I don't even know what to say. I read this entry and started crying. I'm so incredibly sorry - about the cancer (I can't believe it!) and about your birth plan being turned upside down. We feel the same way about so much in terms of that so I can imagine how hard it is for you, but it sounds like you're making the best decision given the circumstances.

I will be thinking about you, take care of yourself!!!

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