After my initial visit with Dr. Murphy I was sent off for my blood work, MRI & CT Scans. The treatment plan would be a Radical Hysterectomy unless MRI & CT results showed something different. We were travelling the following week for 3 weeks to Belize and she said that she didn’t feel it was a problem and if something came up on the MRI & CT she would call us. I felt it was important to tell her that part of our trip would be on a catamaran in the middle of the ocean so it might be very difficult to reach us. She said, “Well then… If I do have to call you then it’s because I think you will need to come home early because of change in treatment.”
So, ok then… off we go! I tried to call the office before we left and didn’t hear back. The good ol… no news is good news doesn’t always stem true.
Have you ever wondered where you would be when you got the call that your cancer has spread? It’s not something that I ever put on “my list.”
On Tuesday, August 11th I saw that I had 3 missed calls from Cindy. She’s my emergency contact.
I’m not sure about you but I’ve always been a big planner – I like to make sure all things possible are thought out before travelling to make sure that if anything happens… anything at all we would be in a situation where we had all the info and a stressful situation is made not as stressful. I’m the person who photo copies the passports, makes the lists, emails a copy of the passports, flight info, hotel info and any other info possible to myself and my mom and emergency contact. You have to have more than one emergency contact because if it’s an emergency and one person isn’t available. Well – you get it. I’m the person who reminds my friends while travelling to Buffalo for a shopping day to get travel insurance because well… You never know.
You never know when you are going to get a call in the middle of the ocean to tell you that your cancer has spread.
You never know.
Well, I knew. I knew as soon as I saw 3 missed phone calls from my emergency contact that it wasn’t good. First of all… the fact that I had my phone on and that I had reception in the middle of the ocean was crazy. I had given Cindy all the contact numbers but before we left Placencia on the Catamaran I felt like I should leave my phone on – not considering the cost of obscene roaming fees. I didn’t really care. For some reason I had reception but I couldn’t call out – but I tried texting and it worked. Cindy called me back and I was able to take the call and she said explained that Dr. Murphy was trying to get a hold of me. You try not to let your mind wonder but she did make it pretty clear that she would only call if something came back that would change treatment plans.
After I got off the phone I dove straight into the ocean… my heart sank at the thought of what the next phone call conversation would be.
We had to wait until the next morning to call in to the Hospital as the clinic had closed for the day. Trying to get a live person on the phone at Princess Margaret Hospital is almost impossible. Trying to explain to the one person you finally get through to that you need them to transfer you to a live person because your calling in from the middle of the ocean… almost impossible.
When I finally got through, I heard a familiar voice – my nurse Emily.
“Nikki… are you there? I’m so sorry to tell you this while you are away but we have been trying to get a hold of you – unfortunately, the MRI & CT Scans show that your cancer has spread to your lymph nodes and you have stage 2B cervical cancer and the doctor would like you to come home right away so we can start a new treatment plan of radiation/chemo.”
They say that you should take someone with you to all the appointments so that you get all the correct information because it can be overwhelming and become a blur. Let me tell you… none of what Emily said was a blur, I remember the conversation like it was yesterday. Dr. Murphy felt it was necessary that I come home immediately and start the process of the new treatment plan.
I was devastated. The thought of a new prognosis was terrifying and the overwhelming lack of control of the situation was unknown for me.