News I’ve Haven’t Shared, but It’s Time

March 6, 2013By

Hi all.

I’ve been putting off writing this post, but it’s time.

As you might recall, I’ve been having a lot of stomach problems recently. It got to the point that my stomach was so bloated that I looked pregnant, it just didn’t look normal for someone my size.

Based on my symptoms, my physician figured it was my gallbladder, and after a few tests, it was determined that I had a nonfunctioning gallbladder, and I went in for gallbladder surgery on February 19th.

Here’s where everything goes sideways.

As it turns out, the doctor performing the surgery discovered tumors in my abdomen. He took the opportunity to run a biopsy while I was in the surgery, and determined that the tumors were cancerous.

I went to sleep thinking I was having my gallbladder removed, and woke up with cancer. It was quite a day.

From there it was tests and waiting to find out the exact diagnosis.¬†Friday morning (the 22nd) was the meeting with the oncologist, where I received the diagnosis of GIST: gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Mine are inoperable, but there’s hope, in the form of a very specific medicine developed in just the past 15 years or so. My oncologist is cautiously optimistic – he’s former military, so I don’t think it would be possible for him to blow rainbows, so when he says the chances are good, I believe him.

And that’s what’s been happening with me for the past two weeks. I have good days and bad days, but overall I feel better than I did two weeks ago. I’ve gone from not being able to eat much at all (mmmm, Ensure!) to keeping down three small meals a day. I’m fatigued, and the medicine makes me very nauseous, but I’ll take some discomfort if it means the medicine is working. I’m actually going back to work tomorrow, which I’m looking forward to – routine! Getting out of my own head for a while!

So that’s where I am now. I have cancer. It’s being treated. This is all very new and very scary, but my family has been amazing. My parents flew up from Florida and spent a week here, which was hugely comforting. Ben (Mr. Martini) has been a rock star, dealing with insurance companies and making appointments and contacting people when I just didn’t have it in me.

I’m not sure how to end this post. This is something I’ve never done before. I just wanted to put it out there, just to let you all know what’s happening. I suspect I’ll have a lot more to say in the upcoming weeks/months. Stay tuned. xoxo

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Comments (22)

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  1. Annika says:

    Sending you lots of love.

  2. Sonia says:

    Am thinking of you. My mum was recently diagnosed with cancer and the first few weeks were crazy with info and appointments. Enjoy going back to work and take it easy. Hugs x

  3. Dottie Vining says:

    Prayers are headed your way. You have a good outlook and I’m sure life will be fine. Just hang in there.

  4. michelle says:

    sorry to hear it. sending much hope that the medicine is doing it’s job and that you will feel much better soon!

  5. Brooke says:

    I love you to the moon and back! You are a badass and I have no doubt that in a couple months, you’ll feel even better than you do now. Can’t wait to get one of those famous Susan hugs this weekend. —>HUG<—

  6. amyhasbangs says:

    Susan, darling, I am so sorry to hear that. Please know you have my e-hugs and thoughts and prayers and love. Hang in there, which I know is easier said than done…but you have a lot of Louisville that loves you. xoxo

  7. Veronica says:

    I so hate to hear this, Susan. But I know what a strong woman you are and I know you can conquer this. You will be in my prayers. Please let us know if I can do anything. My heart goes out to you and Ben.

  8. Lindsay says:

    What a whirlwind this has been for you and yours. I don’t know firsthand what you are going through, but cancer has affected many in my family, and I hope and pray for strength and peace – and HEALTH for you. I admire your bravery to write this post and the honest to admit that you don’t even know how to write it. Best wishes as you return to work and your routine!

  9. cauchy09 says:

    yikes. yikes. *fingers crossed*

  10. Dawn says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a few months. I wish you all the best – hope, strength, love – as you go through this. My DD battled cancer for 3 years starting at age 19. She’s a healthy 25 year old, now, but it will always hang over us. Cancer sucks. Kick its ass!

  11. earthchick says:

    Oh wow. Prayers, healing vibes, hugs, and all good things to you.

  12. Katie Earley says:

    Hugs and prayers!

  13. Mer says:

    Susan, I can only wish to show the same strength and courage you have so gracefully shown us all in this post, if ever faced with a similar situation. I admire you very much for sharing this news so eloquently and honestly. Hope and determination, from what I’ve seen in these cases, makes for very powerful medicine. You look like you are using them both very well. If you begin to run low on either, please reach out. Let me know whatever I can do and whenever I can do it. You’re in my heart and thoughts. I will keep you (and your superman) in my prayers. You can beat this. You will beat this and I look forward to your remission celebration. Much love. Keep in touch with us all.

  14. I’m afraid I can give no information on cancer or stories of people who have “had just what you have”. But I do know when you go in for something and wake up with something else it is a real kick in the teeth. It’s hard to get your head round stuff like that and I am so pleased that your family have been the rock you need right now. I’m glad you have got good doctors and you have a good treatment and I’m sure you will have ups and downs over the coming weeks or months. All I can say is that craft has got many people through really tough times, so when it doubt – craft! I wish you all the best and that you continue to get the care, love and support that you need.

  15. Darleen J. Peck says:

    TIM AND I THINK OF YOU OFTEN. YOU ARE ON OUR MINDS AND IN OUR THOUGHTS EVERYDAY. WE ARE PRAYING AND HOPING FOR NOTHING BUT THE BEST FOR YOU. TIM ISNT ONE FOR SHOWING FEELINGS BUT I KNOW HES FREAKING OUT. WE LOVE AND MISS YOU

    • Darleen J. Peck says:

      IF YOU NEED ANYTHING EVEN IF ITS NO MORE THAN SOMEONE TO TALK TO DONT BE AFRAID TO CALL. I WILL SEND YOU MY NUMBER IN A MESSAGE. LOVE U SUE

  16. Melissa says:

    Susan, I continue to pray for your recovery/miracle every day. If you ever need me for anything, please let me know. Love you both very much.

  17. Diana Zaldivar says:

    Eloquent writing about such a difficult, life-changing, experience. I wish health and love and miracles for you and Ben.

  18. Lucia says:

    Oh Susan, what startling news to get! Sending you lots of positive thoughts that the medicine eradicates the cancer entirely!!! Your guardian angels are working overtime right now, lifting you up towards complete healing, believe that! Hugs and prayers being sent your way!
    Lucia “knittylucia” on Ravelry

  19. caroline aka FiberTribe says:

    Delurking to add my name and love to all that is sent and wished and dreamed for you.
    Cancer is beatable. Just you take care of yourself, sweets. I’m pulling for you and sending all
    healing vibes and prayers.

  20. Karen says:

    I’m really sorry to learn of your health issue. I’m sure it is pretty scary, but since it can be treated, you should have a good outcome. Take good care of yourself, both physically and emotionally. You will be in my thoughts :)

  21. julee says:

    I’m really sorry to hear this news, but happy that things look optimistic. Sending good, healing thoughts your way!