And I’m feeling ok about it now.
I’ve started a few threads leading up to this, going all the way back to my first Baker’s Cyst thread back in August of last year, up to my recent thread in which I stated I’d rather deal with the tumor than the immigration department (immigration turned out to be fine. I guess my cow-orker just went on a bad day).
Anyway, some background: I’ve had a
lump on the back of my right knee since last summer, and the two different GPs I saw (on about five different occasions all together) both diagnosed it as a Baker’s Cyst, which is just the result of fluid collecting around a ligament injury. They said that as long as it wasn’t hurting, I shouldn’t worry about it, so I didn’t, although I did keep going back periodically to see if it was still ok, which they kept saying it was.
At the end of April, my wife’s mom had a ceremony for the fifth anniversary of her husband’s death (from cancer, coincidentally), during which I had to sit in a kneeling position for about half an hour (the ceremony was interesting, and the Shinto priest was a pretty cool guy). Afterwards, a patch of my right calf was numb, which is normal, but the feeling still hadn’t returned by the end of the day, which isn’t (it still isn’t back). I went to the GP again, who was baffled and sent me to an orthopedic specialist, who started saying things ending in -oma and sent me to another orthopedic specialist who worked at the National Cancer Institute.
This doctor said at first it looked like a lipoma, which is a non-malignant
fatty tumor. After my tests and X-rays came back, however, he said nope, it was almost definitely cancer, probably a liposarcoma, possibly a
malignant fibrous histocytoma. He did a needle biopsy and on Friday I went back for an MRI (to compare with the MRI I had done in February to see if it’s growing) and a CT scan (to see if it’s spreading anywhere), with an appointment scheduled for this morning to talk over the results and find out what stage the cancer is in (1 = surgery = good, 3 = metastasis = chemo = not good).
Soooo, last week was just a tad tense, and my wife and parents both took it pretty hard. Today, however, I got some better news: the cancer was still in stage 1, which means that, with a high likelihood of success, it can be taken care of with just surgery, which we scheduled for the week of the 16th. It’s either a well-defined or a mixoid-type liposarcoma, which are the two varieties with the best outlooks. The standard practice for this hospital is to remove a 1cm thick area around the tumor as a ‘buffer area’, but I won’t be losing any of the bone in my knee. I will lose part of my hamstring, I will need a skin graft, and I may need some kind of bypass for the main vein there. Still, I’m feeling a lot happier now than I was last week. I may not be ready to terrorize Roppongi with Cerowyn by the time he gets here again, but I should be well enough to meet him for dinner.
Also, I’ve said this before in other threads, but I love my company. The Chairman, Prez and VP have all told me “your health is the most important thing, so take off as much time as you need and don’t worry about work. Your job is safe.” The company will also loan me any money I need for hospital bills (I have private insurance that covers 100%, but I have to pay everything up front and get reimbursed later). That definitely takes some of the worry off.
So that’s where I am now. And I’m feeling pretty good.