5. “Malignant”, what next?

It takes about ten days to find out whether you have a benign or malignant tumour post surgery. Does anyone know the procedure for obtaining these cytology results? I should probably know after having studied Biomedical Sciences at the University of Manchester for three years. I suppose you have to grow the cells in some sort of medium to establish their speed of growth. I also presume that the tumour cells are analysed under a microscope of some sort to confirm what type we are dealing with. Could molecular biology techniques be used for any of these processes?  The results are then compiled to grade the tumour cells as Grade I, II, III or IV, where I is “benign” i.e. good news and IV is “malignant” – the most serious grade where the tumour can more easily metastasize (spread)  and be terminal i.e. bad news.  My tumour contains two different cell lines, which are ”thankfully” by and large Grade II, however, with an element of Grade III. Shit! (Excuse my French; I rarely swear, but as I said in my introduction, “at the moment I really don’t care”) As usual life is neither black nor white, just shades of grey red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.  

I received a letter through the post from the same hospital that operated but a different department, Jubileumskliniken. I presume this place will be my final stop as further surgery is not an option to my understanding. It will all begin on March 7th when I have my first meeting set up with my oncologist. I believe I am to begin with radiation therapy and will hopefully have the energy to keep you posted.  Scared? Not yet. I am as I said earlier feeling “normal”. Besides, I firmly believe what I recently read in a book my husband received as a gift from his employer called “Att välja Glädje” (To Choose Happiness) by Kay Pollak. The author began by quoting Viktor E. Frankl, a survivor from Auschwitz:

“Everything can be taken from a man but …the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”



  Dana Ozik wrote @

Good luck with your oncologist today!

Regarding a previous post…I really enjoy Grey’s Anatomy as a medical TV drama. It’s kind of 50/50 medicine and melodrama, which keeps me pretty engaged. If you do want to watch it, I recommend starting at the very beginning, as there is some pretty important character development that happens in the first season. 🙂

I’ll be coming back to your blog to keep myself posted on your status.

  Cecilia & David wrote @

Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you continue to fight your disease…

  Andrea Feher wrote @

I hope everything went well today!!!

Andrea 🙂

  Talia wrote @

I’m sending you love and strength across the oceans today! What an incredible site. I am completely awed by the magnitude of this.

Love you so much,


  Margi Bowen wrote @

My prayers are with you. 🙂

And I must echo Dana’s info on Grey’s Anatomy, good show. But you don’t get the humor you’d get in Scrubs or House.

  Johanna Syrtén wrote @

Jag hoppas att det gick bra på mötet och att du fick träffa någon/några som hade en trygg och stabil inverkan på dig. Tänker mycket på dig och din familj och förstår att du har mycket att kämpa både för och emot.
Kramar från Johanna

  Emma wrote @

Tänker på dig varje dag.
Kan jag göra något för dig?
Du är fantastisk som tar dig igenom detta med ett sådant mod! Tack för att du låter oss vara delaktiga, det är så mycket lättare att bemöta dig när du själv är så öppen i hur du känner och mår. Du underlättar verkligen för oss andra! Tack för att du är en så go och klok tjej!
Kramar från din kusin Emma!

  Henrik Wijkander wrote @

Your courage in the face of adversity is inspiring to say the least. You are in our thoughts constantly and I would like to thank you for sharing your experience with the rest of us. Reading between the lines of your detailed diary and technical explanations – it’s a blessing seeing your cheerful personality shining through. Our actions is what defines us and what you are doing here shows yet again what a compassionate and determined person you are. Good luck & speak soon

  Jane wrote @

My 24 year old married daughter with a 14 month old went thru brain surgery again on Feb. 21st to remove a tumour that we thought had been completely removed July 22, 2004. Her onset was seizures both times. The second time around the MRI said it was small but when they got in there it was bigger than the last which was golfball size. It’s in the left frontal lobe , an oligoastrocytoma, Grade II.This time there will chemo with a pill and radiation. This starts April 2nd. She is going thru physical therapy and speech at home. I got your name and info from Ginny, friends of yours Per and Lehna went to church and told your story. God bless you and your family on this journey. Jeremiah 30:17 and Romans 8:11 is what we are standing on.

  Cecilia Odden wrote @

Kjære Maria,
For en fantastisk side! Det er utrolig å få ta del i det du går igjennom, og jeg er overveldet over motet du viser. Jeg tenker på deg og familien din hver dag og sender alle gode tanker 🙂

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