Posts Tagged ‘ovarian cysts’

Serving My Left Ovary an Eviction Notice

Tuesday, 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.

IVF Shots Day 14 – Stim Day 5

Monday, July 27th, 2009

No wonder I’m so tired. I apparently spent the weekend making eggs. Twelve to be exact. Just call me dodeca-mom – I’ve got 12 eggs inside me! I had my ultrasound at 8am, and think I probably showed the clinic staff how much I’m not a morning person. We were told everything looks “absolutely perfect.”

Yesterday afternoon I started noticing some dull pain in my pelvic region and right side. I liken the pain to what I usually feel when I have ovarian cysts. Almost like a pulled or strained muscle sensation, or as if I had a kidney infection. I knew something was up when I noticed that. Sure enough today they found eight eggs on my right ovary, and four on the left. She said I might make a few more, but for now we just want these to grow. The goal is 16mm – currently the largest are 12mm and the smallest are 8mm (if I remember correctly). They did blood work today and found that my estrogen level is 572 (normal is about 400). On retrieval day they estimate it will be around 4000. Finally, we learned that my retrieval day could be 8/3 or 8/4, but of course won’t know for certain for a few more days.

This morning I really didn’t feel well at all. The headache is still here, a little nausea, and extremely fatigued. I did today what I’ve been saying I need to do for days – I took a nap! And not just a catnap, but two whole hours! I felt much better after I woke up and had a little lunch. By the time the evening started I started feeling tired again. So I’ve been resting all night.

My Menopur shot tonight HURT LIKE HELL! I mean, I screamed. And Shelton removed the needle and had to stick me again. The needle is longer than other needles we’ve used and so he thinks he might have hit muscle tonight, saying it felt like he’d actually hit something when he stuck me. Whatever it was, it was awful and I hope we don’t have any more shots like that.

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Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Today, my doctor gave me a prescription for birth control. Alanis Morrissette never spoke truer words as she did on Jagged Little Pill- “A little too ironic… don’t ya think?”.

It’s a necessary evil. Birth control is just as effective at, well, controlling birth, as it is regulating hormones. Mine are jacked right now. I’m having long periods with weeks of spotting in between. It has been months and months and months of this nonsense and I’m pretty much over it.

I thought it had something to do with my ovarian cysts, but he assured me one has nothing to do with the other. We’re going to try it for four months and then stop using it. Hopefully that will hit some sort of period reset button.

False Hope

Monday, March 24th, 2008

I forgot to tell you…

In January I was experiencing tremendous abdominal pain. Immediately I thought, “here we go again!”. I wasn’t at all interested in another surgery for these friggin’ cysts. I rode it out a couple of days, but the pain was different, excruciating, but different. It was tucked up under my rib cage- it hurt to sit, walk, lie down, breathe, cough, on my side, standing- it just hurt.

Finally, Shelton insisted I make an appointment with the doctor. Our family doc, Dr. H, wasn’t available that day so I saw his P.A. I had never met this P.A., but he was likable right away. I explained the agony, my med history and my personal hypothesis for the problem. He asked if I could be pregnant. I laughed. He looked amused. I explained that unless God himself planted a baby in my womb that there was no way I was with child. Again, he looked curious. I explained. He thought my pain could be a few things, but wanted to rule out pregnancy for sure. I said why not.

It’s funny because the night before I was joking with Shelton- “what if I go in tomorrow and they tell me I’m pregnant?”. He told me he’d have a paternity test. (Insert lots of laughing)

So I took the pregnancy test and a bunch of other lab work. And then I sat in the waiting room for about 15 minutes. Suddenly my brain went to this strange little world of What If. “What if I’m pregnant? Is it possible? It’s possible. People tell me all the time stranger things have happened. Maybe one snuck through? I’m pregnant! Holy crap, how cool would it be to leave here and tell Shelton that I’m actually pregnant?” These hopeful, silent little ramblings went on inside my head until the nurse (the scary one) called my name to return. He told me I wasn’t pregnant.

Really? I do not have a medical degree and I could have/did tell/told you that. But thanks for the past 15 minutes and the swarm of butterflies that have taken flight in my digestive region. I guess we saved a few hundred dollars on a paternity test.

Nothing was wrong with me- the pain went away… by the way.


Sunday, October 8th, 2006

A huge thank you is very overdue and so now I’d like to extend that…

THANK YOU to Lesli, Amy, Shellie and Coreen. These women brought us food for the entire week following my surgery. And not just a ham sandwich and a hug- full on dinner with sides and dessert. All of it was delicious and we scarfed up every bite.

This was an incredible gift. My first reaction when I received the offer was to say no. But Lesli said “I know you’re going to want to say “no,” but I’m only going to take “no” for an answer if you’ve lined up a personal chef for the next few weeks”. Who can say no to that?!

Shelton was so busy taking care of me and my not being able to do much without him, eating took a back seat. Thanks to these kind women, we were able to enjoy wonderful meals without any stress or planning.


My Beauty Lies Within

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

Today I made it over to Dr. T’s office for my follow-up appointment from surgery. I’ve been feeling like a champion and back to 100%. The only complaint I’ve had is that my stitches were still in and my pants/panties were rubbing. I probably should have taken two seconds to slap a bandaid on it to prevent the rubbing, but I didn’t.

Dr. T was wonderful as usual. He explains things slowly, intelligently and not like he’s talking down to me. I appreciate that. I told him I was feeling fine and all-in-all I thought the surgery went well. He agreed. We discussed the endometriosis and he told me he didn’t think it was anything that I need to worry about. If it ever showed its pretty head again, it would be a minor case similar to now. So no effect on my fertility and that was an ENORMOUS relief.

He showed me pictures from the surgery. We also have a copy of these. I told him I had framed them and put them on the mantel. The photos are of my very beautiful ovaries and fallopian tubes. He told me that I had two very beautiful ovaries and I had textbook perfect fallopian tubes. I thought, wow, I really AM beautiful on the inside! All joking aside, he told me that all of my parts are perfect, healthy and prime for baby making and carrying. Now I just need to get a baby “all up in”, as a dear friend of mine says.

He asked where we were with Shelton and his urologist, Dr. G. I told him that we needed to pay Dr. G a lot of money (about $4,000) to do the surgery to retrieve and freeze his sperm. He laughed and said OK. He told me we’re totally on our schedule. If we were 45, he’d have told us we needed to have done all of this yesterday. But the fact that we’re 25 and 26- we’ve got nothing but age on our side and said that we can start as soon as we’re ready. So that was comforting- I don’t feel as rushed as I have.

Believe me, I still want to be a mom and make Shelton a dad and start a family more than anything in the world. I think about it daily and cannot wait for that moment that I realize that this little person will call me mommy. BUT- this gives me more time to save and raise money, more time to alleviate some of the MAJOR stressors in my life and get my body in tip-top shape.

I left with him telling me that I would not need to come back until we were ready to start our first cycle. So, that should be in January if all goes as we hope and plan. In the meantime, we’re signed up for the October IVF class.

I will certainly keep all of you updated as we progesss. Hopefully time between posts will be less than ithas been. Thanks for reading and keeping up with us. And thanks for all the positive, encouraging emails. We’ve made so many new friends in this community and together we’re all going to influence big change in IVF treatment, coverage and expense.