"Wierd" is the word Dr. T. used to describe the sarcoma he removed from my abdomen. After being studied by several pathologists here, in fact, he has sent it off to Harvard's medical school for further study. Apparently, pathologists study such tumors and determine how malignant they are and, possibly, how they originated. My sort of sarcoma, for example, can originate from cells from any number of tissues: fat, ligaments, etc. From what they can tell, mine seems to have originated from multiple sources — they even found a bit of bone in it. Gross. Was it malignant? Yes, but at varying levels depending on where they tested it. Some parts of the sarcoma tested high-malignancy, and other parts tested relatively low. Anyway, they don't quite know what to make of it, which is why it has headed east. Perhaps someday my sarcoma will be featured in a medical journal!
All this has left me feeling a little wierd myself. If my sarcoma spontaneously erupted from more than one tissue, then I feel pretty vulnerable to a repeat attack. What in God's name caused this, anyway? All I hear is vague references to environmental factors, like chemical or radiation exposure, which to me could be anything: Leaky microwave? Mississippi crop-dusters? I have not done one iota of research into sarcomas so far, which is very unlike me. I'm usually really into "Internet research" on stuff like this. Of course, my efforts usually end up scaring the wits out of me, so maybe that's why I haven't touched this. I'm already scared enough with where my imagination leads me when I dwell on the cancer part of this journey: Will it come back? (There's a 50 to 60 percent chance that it won't.) How soon? (Probably in the next two years if it does.) Can they get it in time if it does? (As long as it doesn't spread.) Will I die of this? (That is a huge, huge unknown, and it hangs over my head every day now.)
I won't know anything certain for a while. I won't get another CT scan until after the baby is born (due date end of March). Then, it will be every four months, so hopefully if there's anything to catch, they'll catch it early. All I can do is try to live this life I have and focus on my healing and having this baby and try to enjoy the ride as best I can. I do feel much better than I did last week: I have much more energy, and I feel stronger. Yesterday, we walked all the way to the College of St. Catherine for Mass, and I did OK. That chapel is restfully beautiful, and Daniel got to play at the duck pond afterward. Plus, we ran into Steve's brother and his wife and their little girl, so we got to chat with them for a little while. By the time we started back home, I was pretty exhausted. The walk home was rough, but it was worth the effort.