I cannot express the amount of relief, happiness, giddiness, and peace I am experiencing right now. Isaac too, for that matter.
If you have read my two prior posts about the mass that was discovered on my ovary last Friday, then you know how anxious I have been about it. I have been trying to stay brave and calm, but I have been terrified.
Today my doctor called at 9am to tell me I had a 1pm appointment to investigate the mass. I was grateful, as I couldn’t bear spending another clueless night, but still apprehensive. At 12pm I left my office and felt like I was going to vomit. Or soil my pants. Maybe both. It hit me that this doctor’s appointment could be a game changer in my life. As hard as I tried to push away the pessimistic thoughts, I couldn’t help but think “is today the day that I begin my journey with ovarian cancer? Is this really going to be my life?” It may seem dramatic, but driving to a doctor’s appointment to explore a “complex looking mass the size of a baseball on the right ovary” feels like hell. It was one of the scariest days of my life.
I won’t go into details about the doctor appointment, this would no longer be a PG post ;-), but we were there for a total of three and a half hours. It was uncomfortable, scary, and a little painful, but my doctor was really great. It turns out he went to my same high school in Northern Virginia, small world! After reviewing my CT scan from Friday, the doc had an idea of what the mass may be. Down to the ultrasound room we went.
The sonogram tech showed my left ovary, it was normal looking. She then brought my right ovary onto the screen and it was HUGE. It took over almost the entire screen! I’m pretty sure my eyes were bugging out of my head. She said “I can’t believe you weren’t crawling in here today with the size of this thing.” I still felt no relief, as I didn’t know if this gigantic mass was dangerous or just for show.
My doctor walked in the room, took one look at the screen that showed my “bundle of joy” and said “oh good, it’s a hemmorrhagic cyst.” I didn’t know what that was, but hearing the word “hemorrhage” sure didn’t sound good.
Turns out, it IS good news. It is NOT a tumor and is in no way related to ovarian cancer. In a nutshell here is what a hemorrhagic cyst is:
A hemorrhagic cyst develops when one of the small blood vessels located in the wall of a recently formed cyst breaks for some reason. Blood from the vessel then spills into the body of the cyst, causing it to begin swelling at a fairly consistent pace. Along with creating a significant amount of pain, a cyst of this type will often begin to develop blood clots. The clots can further complicate the situation by restricting blood flow. This in turn increases the level of discomfort, as well as increasing the risk for some type of damage to the ovaries. (source http://www.ovarian-cancer-facts.com/hemorrhagic-ovarian-cyst.html)
Okay, it’s kind of gross, sorry you probably didn’t want to read all that but I don’t care…because it means that I am going to be just fine!! The doctor said he was a little worried that he was going to find that my fallopian tube had twisted, meaning that instead of sitting here and typing this right now I would be in emergency surgery. Thank God that wasn’t the case.
There is really no way to shrink the cyst, other than time. The doctor warned that it may take months to shrink and all I can really do is try to manage the pain. I will be going back for checkups to see it’s progress. In the meantime, I’ll have to suspend or cancel my YMCA gym membership because the only activity I am allowed to do is walking or swimming, for months! Yikes. Considering running and weight lifting have become HUGE parts of my weekly regime, that breaks my heart a little bit. But? I can deal with it. TRUST ME, I’m okay with it.
I cannot thank my friends and family enough for the words of encouragement, text messages, emails, prayers, and phone calls throughout the past few days. They meant the world to me and reassured me that when times get hard, I have so many people who care about me.
Tonight Isaac and I are celebrating the good news with video games, beer (for him), and lots of chocolate (for me). The near crippling anxiety that we both felt this morning is already far from our minds, and we have been laughing at my ability to make anybody and everybody feel awkward. Constantly referring to my cyst as a “bundle of joy” and asking “is it a boy?” mid-ultrasound made the ultrasound tech noticeably (and hilariously) uncomfortable. Aaahhhhhh, still got it.