Fair warning to my male readers: You may want to skip this post. “Female issues” will be discussed. The kind many men would prefer to avoid. HOWEVER, have the women in your life read it. Just saying…
I wasn’t going to blog about this. But every time I’ve mentioned what’s been going on with me over the last month, my women friends jump in with their own stories. Or tell me they haven’t had an exam in a long time and now think they should schedule it. So in the spirit of shining light on women’s health issues, here we go.
In early July I had my overdue annual exam at the
. Yes, they do more than just
deliver babies. I’ve been in fine shape. No symptoms of anything and I expected
a routine “everything looks good, see you next year” comment. But during the
exam, she palpated a “mass” and referred me for a sonogram. I could have it
done at the same place and same time as my also-overdue mammogram, so no big
deal. I still expected to receive an “everything looks fine, it was nothing,”
response. Midwife Center
Except everything did not look fine. There was something there, probably a fibroid since I had a history of them. But whatever it was blocked their view of the right ovary so they couldn’t give a definitive diagnosis. Whatever it was, it was big and needed to come out.
I spent the next few weeks going through proper channels and getting an appointment with the same doctor who had removed a large fibroid from me twelve years ago. I love my doctor even though he sent me for every blood test known to mankind (womankind?). SIXTEEN vials of blood. I also had a second sonogram and an MRI. He wanted no surprises. Everything came back “benign.” All signs pointed to a fibroid.
Last Wednesday I went in for a total hysterectomy. I admit I was anxious. And annoyed. I felt FINE! But I knew when I woke up I wouldn’t. Abdominal surgery is painful. This wasn’t my first rodeo. I knew what to expect.
And I was right.
However, it seems in spite of all those tests, my doctor got a surprise after all. While, yes, I had two small fibroids, the “mass” was actually my right ovary gone wild. He told me the name for it, but I’ll have to get back to you on that. I haven’t seen the ten-dollar word for it in print yet, and my drug-fogged brain didn’t detain it. But the important word is still BENIGN.
My ovary was 10 centimeters, which as I understand, is over twice what it should have been. Yet I had no pain. No discomfort. NO SYMPTOMS. I was lucky it was benign. Ovarian cancer is a silent killer, and now I truly understand what that means.
Ladies, girlfriends, moms, sisters, pals: Have your annual exam. Get a sonogram. Don’t assume just because you feel fine that you ARE fine.
As for me, I’m in recovery mode. I’m catching up on naps and books. Even post-op, life ain’t bad.