Let’s Start From the Beginning

Everyone has resolutions for the start of the year, right?? Okay, some of you are shaking your head, but in the back of your mind you have things you’d like to do differently/change, we all do.

2017 was going to be my year…the year I had no regrets, got my voice back and said/wrote what I felt no matter what the outcome may be (Glennon Doyle Melton said it best in one of her Facebook posts earlier this year – “Try saying what you really feel, what you really see, what you really want, what you really love, what you really mean…”) , the year I started doing things to show my daughter and son there are no boundaries and they can do anything, to start building family traditions with them…it was the year for my Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim of the Grand Canyon…I was going big and bold. My shitkickers were dusted off and I was ready to go!

Thankfully, they were dusted off…I just didn’t know at the time why I’d really need them…January 19th at 12:07pm, I discovered why.

2016 ended with what I thought was a slight UTI, but I just couldn’t seem to kick it. January 2nd came and I went to Urgent Care (AFTER the Winter Classic…The Blues beat the Blackhawks, in case you missed it! Let’s Go Blues!!), they gave me another form of antibiotics, but nothing. Finally on January 5th Mo, who’s part of my “Home Team” and an NP, told me to go to the ER this had been going on long enough. Reluctantly I agreed and had my mother take me. What I would find out at 1:46am was that I had a “large” mass on my right ovary, they would be contacting my OBGYN and that I’d be staying overnight to manage the pain. What I haven’t explained is the amount of pain I was in…no, I wasn’t pregnant, but felt like I was in the early stages of labor.

The large “cyst”.

The concern I should be feeling at this point hadn’t set in yet, that would come the next morning when my doctor arrived at the hospital. My first question: “large mass means what?”. I’m a visual person, I needed to know what we were dealing with. Answer: “10cm or so, it’s a complex/dermoid cyst, nothing to worry about, it will be removed and you shouldn’t have any problems. We’ll biopsy it just to be safe. Oh, and I’ll draining the other cyst in your left ovary, it’s about 6cm but appears to be only fluid”. Do what?!? I have not one, but 2 cysts of substantial size on each of my ovaries…I was now worried. I spent two more nights in the hospital, to be released to rest at home for two days before returning for surgery on January 11th.

Now, I’ve had several surgeries, no big deal – they’ll go in, remove what they need to and be on my way. I was worried, really worried. You see, I’d returned from a trip on December 31st and told my mother on January 1st that I was having genetic testing done to make sure I didn’t have a Breast Cancer gene since my grandmother on my Dad’s side is a Breast Cancer survivor, something was telling me I needed to have this done.

The small “cyst”

7:30am on January 11th I headed back for surgery, the same time I was supposed to be boarding a plane for Denver with my children for MLK weekend, their first time snow skiing. Surgery went as planned, nothing looked out of the norm, I should have the results by the end of the day on Friday, January 13th. …the 13th came and went, as did the 16th. The morning of the 17th I texted Dr. McDonald to see if she’d heard anything…the response, “I’m giving them until after lunch and then I’m going to see what I can find out, I’ll keep you posted”…18th, nothing.

Morning of the 19th I rode with my Mom to take the children to school, wished one of my closest friends a happy birthday and safe travels, and told myself I’d give her until 1pm, then I was going to text again…she beat me to the punch.

When a doctor starts a phone call with “How are you feeling?” and not “I have good news” you know things aren’t headed in the right direction. Although I can’t remember word for word what she said, it went something like this… “honey, I have some bad news. I’ve been contemplating all morning if I should have you come in or call you on the phone. You have Ovarian Cancer and we need to get you to an Oncologist soon…” No matter how much you prepare yourself for the news, you’re not prepared. I asked her to give me a second and I cried (more like sobbed), took a deep breath and started listening and asking questions….then I sat in the kitchen and waited for my Mom to get back.


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