Serving My Left Ovary an Eviction Notice

March 6th, 2012

You heard me. Pack your cysts, and your pain, and your $500 sonograms and leave. Don’t let my belly button hit you on the way out.

So here’s the deal, I’m having my left ovary removed on Tuesday, March 13. I’m totally OK with it. In fact, if we could have done it yesterday I’d have rearranged my schedule. It’s not emergent, but it is necessary.

My cystic ovaries and the issues they’ve caused me have been discussed many times here and has been part of my medical dialogue since my senior year of high school. In 2008, I went on birth control to manage the cysts. In fall 2006, shortly after we started BabyOrBust, I had surgery for ovarian cysts. In 2004, shortly after I graduated from OU, I had my first surgery for cysts, an exciting way to spend a Saturday night after a grandparent’s funeral. Prior to that, I can recall all the way back to my senior year of high school having severe pains every other month and thinking they were bladder infections. Knowing what I know now, and what I learned after my first-ever gynecological visit at the tender age of 17 because of the pain (NO, MOM, I AM NOT HAVING SEX AND I DON’T NEED BIRTH CONTROL! GAH!), I am convinced my cyst issues started all the way back then.

In the past four months, I’ve dealt with almost constant pain. Sometimes the numb, annoying kind like when you eat too many Hot Tamales and your gums ache. Other times, it’s been crippling pain that left me stranded on the couch or in the bed with Lortabs. Frankly, this isn’t what I want to live with. The pain takes away from playing with Paisley, needing to just sit at my desk, stand at my stove, and umm, other stuff, and so I’m ready to just not have to deal with this any more.

In November I visited my awesome OB/GYN Dr. W and we did a sonogram that discovered yet another cyst on my left ovary. I was told to come back in January to see if it had gone away. I waited until late February when they found the cyst still firmly attached, only larger at almost 5 centimeters. Let’s go golfing!

Ordinarily, we’d let sleeping cysts lie. The kicker this time is that this is a (as I type this Stephen Colbert is using a trans-vaginal ultrasound wand to stir margaritas. How appropriate.) dermoid cyst. Simply put – it’s my parasitic twin. This thing can be made of hair, teeth, nails, bone… my doctor informed me it can have any type of tissue that the body produces except for heart tissue and something else that I can’t recall right now. The look on my face as he described this was classic WHAT THE F! All I could think was … THIS is what happened to the second embryo!

Unlike the cysts that I typically have, these won’t rupture and they won’t go away. They also tend to embed themselves into whatever they’ve grown on, giving cause to remove the ovary.

All women grow cysts on their ovaries, this is where our eggs develop. For most women, these burst (we’re talking teeny tiny ladies), you ovulate, babies are or are not made, life goes on. I do all of that except the bursting part. Mine wait to do that until they are the size of lemons and soft balls and then send me to my knees in pain. It’s like, totally super fun. Except not.

My husband was incredibly concerned when I shared this surgical development. I assured him that I’m OK with this. I’m not sad. I don’t feel like I’m losing anything. I think I’m gaining a life that isn’t filled with so much pain.

I don’t have any plans to have another baby. Even if we did, I have a spare tire on the right that’s never caused me an ounce of worry, pain, or lost twin sisters. In fact, during IVF, my right ovary produced most of my 17 eggs. We’re holding on to her.

So, that’s the deal. If you need me next Tuesday, Wednesday, and likely Thursday, I’ll be drooling on myself and eating macaroni and cheese in between nibbling on my Lortab candy necklace.