One year ago today Harold and I had an appointment to see Dr. Andrew Soisson. He works mainly in SLC but has a clinic within the women's clinic in Provo once a week. As I mentioned before, I knew that an appointment with this particular doctor meant cancer but when I told Harold we were seeing an oncologist he didn't know what that meant.
The appointment was in the afternoon. The doc was in surgery and we had to wait sooooo long. Eventually the nurse came in and offered us Fast Bucks which is Intermountain's money that you can use at the gift shop, cafeteria, and cafe. We took the Fast Bucks but we didn't use them because we were fasting. The entire Nichols and Johnson clans had been contacted and asked if they would fast with us.
Harold and I walked across the street to Big Lots and perused the aisles. We ended up buying some kind of Christmas decoration. While standing in line we had one of those instances where there are a bunch of people so a new sales associate comes up and opens another register. Then, from behind me, some obnoxious woman darts to the other register, completely ignoring us and the fact that we have been standing there for a while, waiting. I was ticked. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate when this happens and I get super angry and sometimes even start loudly telling the person who did this what I really think of them. I didn't do that, but I turned to Harold and said (with a mischevious grin), "Doesn't that lady know I have cancer? Would she have been so rude if she did?" Harold didn't think it was as funny as I did, but for me humor is the best medicine.
We went back to the doc's office and he finally showed up. Up to this point no one had actually said cancer. Funny how you can get a referral to an oncologist, but they won't say CANCER! I guess they just weren't sure. There was proliferative hyperplasia (excess of cells), that we knew for sure. The doc offered us a couple of options.
1. He knew we were wanting more children so he could send us to a fertility specialist to see what the chances were of getting pregnant. If the chances were good the doc would put me on some kind of medication for a few months that had a 50/50 chance of working. I would be monitored after a few months to see if the medication worked. If so, great. If not, we go to option #2.
2. Complete hysterectomy. I told the doc if I did have a hyst that I wanted it done laparoscopically, which is using instruments through small incisions in the stomach instead of a large incision. The doc said if I wanted it done that way that I would need a referral to a doc up at the Huntsman Center in SLC because that doc was the only one who could do a laparoscopic hysterectomy and still do lymph node sampling.
The doc wanted us to think about this for a couple of days and let him know. I knew right then that #2 was the right option for me/us. But, I felt that Harold might need some time to talk about it alone. We left the exam room and as we were walking down the hall Harold and I started talking and both felt very strongly that we needed to do the complete hysterectomy right away.
We turned around, found the nurse that the doc had told us to contact and started making arrangements immediately. We got an appointment with Dr. Karen Zempolich up at the Huntsman Cancer Institue in SLC.
I later found out through reading my medical records that the doctor didn't feel that our chances at fertility were very good and that his offering of option #1 was basically to put our minds at rest concerning the issue.
The thing is, we didn't need the fertility specialist to tell us anything. Through the fasting and prayers of both of our families, we knew what needed to be done and felt it very strongly.
There are times in my life that I can say with 100% certainty that the Lord's hand was there and that the spirit was speaking to me. This was one of those times. I don't think I ever thanked my family (Nichols and Johnson) for their fasting and prayers on that day, November 15, 2006. Thank you, your efforts made all the difference.