Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It's Not a Tooma


In the interest of not being a liar pants, I will tell you about my appointment with the surgeon yesterday.
But I don’t want to tell you. I will…but only because I said I would.

If you’ll recall, I had a gallbladder test last week which was both painful and barbaric. Fortunately, it indicated that there is indeed a problem with my gall bladder. The doctor said that most gall bladders do their gall bladder thing at a rate of 50% blah, blah, blah.

My gall bladder is currently under-performing at a rate of 32.5%. Splendid, I thought. They’ll take the blessed thing out, and I can go back to my diet of red meat and sausage.

Not so quick, my petite pumpkin. While half of all surgeons will remove a gall bladder functioning at under 35%, my particular surgeon holds himself (and my organs) to a more stringent standard. In his estimation, the organ must be functioning at 30% or below to warrant removal. Therefore, he does not recommend surgery at this point.

Me: Well, I am disappointed, but at least I got confirmation that it is indeed my gall bladder, so next time this happens maybe I can get it resolved more quickly. (I smile hopefully but not, I pray, desperately.)

Surgeon: Well, there is actually something else…

Me: (smile frozen)

Surgeon: The HIDAScan found a benign mass on your liver.

There was lots more explanation after that, including how long term use of birth control pills can lead to such a mass or maybe it’s a clump of blood vessels, but really the final message was …blah, blah, blah…there’s something foreign on your liver, and we’re not sure what it is.

So, here’s me, a cranky mommy blogger with a mass of something or other on my liver.

Me: But at least it’s benign right?

Surgeon: I’m 99.9% sure that it’s benign.

Well, thank goodness for that.

I figure that surgeons don’t throw out the “99.9% sure” phrase for just anything. He’s got to be pretty confident; therefore, I am confident.

I do feel pretty good about it all – except that it means that I have to go for more testing next week to get some specs on the I'm-sure-it's-benign mass.

Surgeon: We’ll just need to get a good look at the tumor to clarify exactly what it is. Then, we’ll have you repeat the test next year to see if the tumor – well, it’s not really a tumor, I shouldn’t call it that – to see if the mass has gotten smaller.

Me: If it’s not really a tumor, can we not call it a tumor?

Surgeon: Oh, of course. It’s a mass. Sorry about that.

So, this is how I take control of a situation. I word smith it.

My coping is phenomenal.

But I truly am feeling positive and fairly un-worried. I will feel better, however, after the test results come back verifying that my liver may have lumps but none of them are cancerous.

Now, if I could just get rid of this pesky gall bladder.

12 comments:

L. Noelle said...

Maybe it's not even a mass at all, maybe it's a nothing they think they saw! The gallbladder does seem like the enemy though! Please keep us updated!

S. said...

Geez! I hope you can drop that gall bladder soon! I can't even imagine how bad you must feel.

Kristi said...

Really? My best friend had all sorts of gall bladder issues when she was pregnant and they whipped that sucker out as soon as she recovered from the delivery. Your gall bladder sounds eeeeevill.

Tell your dr. your name is Inigo Montoya and your gall bladder needs to prepare to die. If that doesn't get you into surgery, maybe it will get you some good psych meds.

Dustin said...

You'd think Doctors would get their terminology straight. In the mean time...is red meat still out? =)

Anonymous said...

No more birth control pills?

Zany Mama said...

noelle-
The gall bladder is a terrible enemy. It must be vanquished!

(I will let you know how that whole vanquishing thing goes.)

s-
The pain is primarily emotional at this point - I miss steak, and french fries, and eating as much as I want at all times.

kristi-
Fabulous idea!

My name is Inigo Montoya, you take my gall bladder right now surgery boy or prepare to die.

(This being a conditional threat, I will most likely avoid jail, but I will probably get either surgery or good meds.)

Brilliant!

dustin-
Sadly, red meat is all but out. I can eat a bit of it, but not much. I haven't had a steak since Dec. 29th.

My life is quite empty.

anon-
That apparently is the treatment of choice - provided that the mass is what they think it is.

This ,of course, means I'll have to change my trampy ways.

Dustin said...

Life without read meat...I don't even know if that qualifies as life. What about bacon? You can still eat oinker, can't you?

Thea said...

No snide comments this time. I hope everything comes out (pun intended) alright.

SRH said...

I am doing everything in my power not to be spinning around in little tiny circles wringing my hands muttering, "Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God!"

Don't get me wrong, on an intellectual level I understand that even the bloodthirsty surgeons are not worried about this, but on an emotional level there is AN UNIDENTIFIED "MASS" ON MY WIFE'S LIVER!

Zany Mama said...

dustin-
I'm not big on the bacon - but I can't do much pig at all.

I miss sausage.

thea-
I liked you better when you talked smack.

srh-
I hear that you're having a little trouble coping with all this.

Hang in there, baby.

allrileyedup said...

My, my, my...

Why oh why can't there be a course in bedisde manners for doctors. Seriously, a "tumor" vs. an "unidentified mass." For the love of Hippocrates!!!

Oh well, if you need some tasty red meat-less recipes, you know where to find me...

Zany Mama said...

riley-
What I really need to know is: is life worth living without red meat?