Wednesday, August 29, 2007

this just gets suckier and suckier

Back from the appointment with the surgeon. This isn't going to be the easy fix I hoped it would be.

This thing is big, the size of a cantaloupe, 15 to 18 centimeters, and it is irregularly shaped, and it is pressing against my kidney and the vena cava (a major blood vessel running down the center of my body) and wrapping itself around my aorta. It's probably been growing in me for five years. (How could I not have felt it until three weeks ago?) It is, in the words of Dr. Suhr, "complicated" — too complicated for his surgery clinic and the HealthEast hospital system, apparently, to handle. So he's recommending the University of Minnesota or the Mayo Clinic. He was able to pull some strings and get us an appointment this afternoon with a doctor at the U of M, who he says is very good and he would send his own family to him. I haven't had a biopsy yet, but I think it's safe to say this is a bad thing, a sarcoma. I don't know if we are going to lose our little baby, but I have a bad feeling about it. I overheard the doctor on the phone telling people at the U of M that "time is of the essence" and using words like "abortion." I feel like this might end up being a fight for my life, much less the little one's. Oh God, it's heartbreaking to think about what could happen.

I am hovering in a wierd place between disbelief, sadness and fear, yet somehow a little removed from it all, like the emotions haven't sunk in all the way. I have been crying off and on, but I've also been cracking jokes with Steve (bless his shocked heart) and baby-talking with Daniel. Somehow, listening to old hymns of praise like "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty" brings me a sense of comfort, like a reminder that there is so much beautiful in this world in spite of this. I hope I can stay strong and positive through all this. So far, I'm holding it together, but I see such a tough road ahead.

Ironically, my life insurance policy arrived in the mail today. So at least we've got that going for us. Ha.

Anyway, everyone, thanks for all your support. It means so much. By the way, some of Steve's family knows what's going on through this blog (you know who you are!), but we'd like to tell the rest of the family ourselves, so please keep mum. :)

13 comments:

Roxy said...

You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Please call when you feel like talking. We are here if you need anything!

Vicki (aka Kodi's mommy) said...

Emilie - I'm sorry this is happening. Please know that when I ask what can I do, I mean it.

LutherLiz said...

Emilie, we are all praying for you, the baby, Daniel and Steve. Anything you need, just ask.

Anonymous said...

Emilie,

Every once in a while I click on your blog in my list of bookmarks to see your adorable photos of Daniel, but I am in total shock at what I just read. I am so sorry you're going through this. You looked so healthy when I saw you at the SCC conference, it's just hard to believe. I am praying for you right now and I'll continue to do so until I hear you're OK. If you need anything, please call me.

Julie C.

Jamie said...

Em, I'm going to be at the U seeing my own dr. this afternoon. I emailed you my cell phone - feel free to call if you want to get together for a quick cup of coffee or anything. I'll be at the Wagenstein building, my appointment is at 4:30.

I'm SO very sorry this is happening to you. Mike I continue to hold you and your family in our prayers. Jamie

Maria said...

Emilie, I'm praying for you and Steve and Daniel and the baby. PLEASE let me know if I can help in any way, like babysitting Daniel.

liz said...

Continued love & prayers for strength and health for you, Steve, Daniel, and the baby...

Monkeymama said...

Thank you for updating us. It is good that they are getting you seen right away. I'm so sorry this is happening. Know that you are in our prayers.

Jo on the go said...

Oh, Em,
I'm so sorry! This is sucky.

My little skin cancer scare was nothing compared to this, but I remember just feeling so helpless and mortal. And I went and got a pastry. And cried. I just can't imagine what it would be like if it were more than just my life at stake.

Please call me if there's anything I can do. Anything.

Ellen said...

Thank you for keeping us updated, Em! Waiting and wondering for the concrete facts in order to start making some decisions is probably the hardest part, at least it would be for me. I'm truly praying for you.
Whatever happens, you have friends and family to catch you. I will do what's needed to help take care of you and your family so Steve can work, all you have to do is just say the word.

Kristie said...

You are all in my prayers! I can really relate to those feelings of being a little removed from the situation. I was there not too long ago with my heart diagnosis.

If there is anything that you need, please call, I will be there in flash!

Anonymous said...

Emilie, I'm so sorry this has turned out even more complicated than imagined. I'm so glad you're able to crack jokes with Steve - his support is invaluable. He is a wonderful man and husband.

Like Ellen said, whatever help you need, let us know. I was talking to Mom a few minutes ago, and she feels the same way. I also posted something on Planet Cancer, asking more about sarcomas (if that's indeed what you have). Hopefully I'll hear back from some people (sarcoma survivors) soon.

- Susanne

Kerry said...

Can I just say, "SHIT"! This shouldn't happen to you, or anyone for that matter. You are going to get through this, you are going to do it, and we are all going to do it with you. You fight for you and the baby and when you feel like you can't you call one of us. You are strong and will come through this.