Lump in Groin

I really don’t want to have to write this, but … I’m now heading to Brisbane for more treatment due to swollen lymph glands in my groin.

This has been a real shock for me and my family because I feel really well (and I love the way people tell me I look well too). In fact, last week I was cross country skiing and I climbed to the top of Mt Stirling at 1800m and skied down again, feeling invincible!

John and I had started our trip south. We planned to take a couple of months touring and visiting. It’s very disappointing that we didn’t get far before this medical interruption. I wanted to see more family and friends, but now this is postponed.

I recently discovered lumps in my groin that weren’t there on 14th July at my check-up with the specialists. I went for ultrasound scans and a biopsy in Victoria, then I received the phone call from the specialist in Brisbane on Tuesday. He said there were cancer cells in the biopsy so … back to treatment. I don’t know yet what this will entail, probably surgery and chemo and/or radiation. I will find out soon and write it here.

The reassuring thing is that we know my body deals well with chemotherapy. Last time the medication quickly destroyed the cancer and I didn’t suffer too badly with side effects. I am also hopeful that there are more and better options available all the time due to ongoing research into ovarian cancer.

I am really sorry to bear bad news. It has been fantastic being well and having you all cheer me on! I felt like a great success. This last week I’ve been a bit ‘in denial’, that’s for sure, and I’ve also had lots of different feelings to come to terms with, including:

  • Sad about the distress this causes those nearest to me.
  • Calm about the treatment – I reckon I can cope with surgery and chemo.
  • Savouring (is that the word I want?) my groin – trying to make the most of having it while I still do.
  • Regret over the loss of “miracle cure” status. It was such a good image I’ve enjoyed for a while!
  • Fortunate that I feel I know and trust the medical team.
  • Apprehensive about radiation therapy – it’s a fear of the unknown here – also anxious about lymphodoema and other possible problems of being without lymph nodes in my groin.
  • Hopeful that I can get well again quickly.
  • Grumpy about having to become dependent again – wheelchairs and stuff!
  • Disappointed that I didn’t get to see all my lovely family and friends as we’d planned, so I hope to do it later.

I guess there’s plenty more that hasn’t crystallised into words.

I love Hugh’s comment that this operation will be like cutting toenails compared with my first mega-surgery! However, last time I was glad I could spare the bits they ‘took’, happy to be past childbearing. This time seems a bit different. As you know I am a very grateful person when I think about my intestines (after last year’s temporary ileostomy)! After Liz’s thumb operation, I’ve even been remembering to feel grateful for the tendons that work my fingers, but oops, I probably haven’t spared a thought for my groin. I’m treasuring it now, doing yoga warrior pose etc!

I don’t know why this poem by C.J. Dennis is on my mind

As I rode in to Burrumbeet,
I met a man with funny feet;
And, when I paused to ask him why
His feet were strange, he rolled his eye
And said the rain would spoil the wheat;
So I rode on to Burrumbeet.

I’ve composed a new verse (to be read in a strong Aussie accent):

As I rode in to fair Brisboin,
I met a gal who had no groin;
And, when I stopped to ask her what
Had happened, she said not
To worry coz she’s foin;
So I rode on to Brissi-boin.

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