Friday, December 22, 2006

The Poop and the Pee

AKA: Translation of medical gobeldigook (SP)

When I was a neonatology fellow, I tried to explain to one of my college roommates who does something to do with finance that I don't understand, what I was doing. I started telling her about pulmonary hypertension and meconium aspiration and got a resounding- what? from her. So, I broke it down as follows: Fetuses have to be surrounded in their own pee and "breathe" it for their lungs to develop. If the fetus doesn't make urine their lungs don't grow- weird, yes- a little disgusting maybe, but hey science is cool. However, the fetuses aren't supposed to breathe their own poop (kindly called meconium so it doesn't sound so dirty), when they do they get sick. That is why you have to be careful when a baby passes the poop before they are born. When LD, the same friend had her baby 2 years ago she had pooped and the OB tried to explain to her why the NICU people would be at her delivery, and she laughed and said "oh, I know all about the poop and the pee" and launched into the above explanation.

So, what does any of this have to do with my foot, excellent question. LD tried to look up the kind of cancer that I have- myxoid liposarcoma and she got the following definition- "a liposarcoma of the myxoid variety". I mean really people anyone could figure that out. So she asked for a poop and the pee definition. I'll do my best.

Liposarcoma is a soft tissue cancer that arises from fatty tissue often the fat right under the skin. Sarcomas are cancer that arise from the connective tissue of the body- things like bone, fat, cartilage, tendons, muscles really anything htat holds your body together. Myxoid means mucus- like. Apparently that all means that the tumor has a mucusy characteristic. I don't fully understand yet what all that means. One of the important ways to tell how advanced the cancer is, is to count the round cells ( I swear that is what they call them) <5% is better. I have < 5%, so a low grade cancer.

I am not sure if I helped, my tumor biology isn't great. What I know is that there are bad cells that must be cut out and then killed with an xray beam. I do find it curious that I have ankle cancer arising from fat, when my ankles are one of the decidedly few skinny parts of my body. Even as I have gained weight, my ankles have always been thin. My best friend used to make fun of me for my skinny ankles. Well, I guess there was enough fat there to go crazy. I mean really where is the justice.

1 comment:

LD said...

Thanks, Lisa! I got it now. My favorite part was the "low grade" and "<5%" part... Best of Luck! My thoughts and prayers are with you always!