The Dreaded C Word
The dreaded “C” word cont….
Read the above two before you tackle this …
My journey begins. For years, I suffered from endometriosis. Medical explanation to this is a tissue that lines the inside of the uterus starts to grow out side. I also had a few fibroids in my ovaries. I just like growing things inside my body. If I had done so much growing on the outside of my body I could be six feet tall instead of 5ft. This meant for years I had suffered from bleeding and severe stomach cramps. Naprogesic (a pain killer) was my ever loving friend. I was anaemic at most times. It was unbearable pain and discomfort. However as a working mother of two over energetic boys and a wife of a domestically under contributing husband, I had no choice but to soldier on. The GP’s were shying away from a hysterectomy as I was under the age of 40. Damn hormones, you can’t live with them and you can’t live without them.
With a busy lifestyle my visits to the doctor was not that frequent. I turned 40, but we also moved states and yes there was so much else happening. So, no trips to the doctor, just trips to the chemist to get more Naprogesic. I was 41, I could feel that things were getting really bad; a job got cancelled last minute. That day was no different, I was in a lot of pain, I was already in the car when the client declined, so decided to drive to the doctors and get this pain sorted out once and for all.
My reasoning was that I had two kids, not planning on another, I had enough, I want the whole thing out. Well, did I open the Pandora’s Box or what? Ultra sound confirmed that I had plenty of rubbish in one of my ovaries, and the endometriosis was well cooked. Next stop, the Gynaecologist. Met the Gyno, nice man, apparently his dad was a Gyno too, and his sister was a midwife. Hope they were not talking shop at the dinner table.
Didn’t, realise that this would be the start of all tests. At this stage, things were rather simple, decision was made to remove one of my ovaries, so that the other could produce enough hormones and we could avoid hormone replacement therapy. This was around June/July. I was told that I will need two months minimum to recover. I am a very practical person. I thought well I will have to do it in one month. We set the date for the surgery one week before the school holidays in September. I had endured this for so long I couldn’t see the urgency. I had so much to plan before the surgery. Two months gave me enough time to cook and freeze food for the domestically challenged and his kids. School holidays meant no school drops offs, and sports drop offs, no chess clubs and no debating.
I started cooking. My surgeon had given me scripts for a few more scans and blood tests to be done before the surgery to assist him with the surgery. Blood test completed. Two weeks went past and my life remained the same. I was still yelling at kids to get up in the morning, and the husband to get out of the toilet.
I was at work, it was 11: 30 am. Just had a coffee and biscuits, too late to feel guilty about that chocolate bikky that I downed. Yep, it’s Lyn, my surgeons’ nurse on the phone asking when I had something to eat. I said just now, thinking “Christ I am only going for a hysterectomy not a lap band surgery” She said politely, “Can you not drink or eat anything anymore and can you please come in for some scans at 4.00pm?” My blood test revealed that my CEA count was high. That was a Pauline Hanson moment – Please explain. Carcinoembryonic Antigen. She said “best if the doctor explains it, he will see you tomorrow after the tests”. She said it’s a type of tumour marker. I am still in the dark. But I realised, that there were some alarm bells going off, at the doctors. I didn’t have much time to ponder if it was a false alarm or not as I had to organise school pick up and everything else. It did stun me for a bit though. Talked to the girls at work, they were nurses before they started their own business doing physio therapy, they had some idea but I was probably not in the right head space to take in all the information. Went outside to get some fresh air, and to call hubby, ask a friend to pick up the boys. Time passed very quickly. Had a CT scan of my lungs and a MRI of the stomach.
Little did I realise that this was the beginning of radiology cocktails. Most of them were white, some of them had slight pink tinge, some pale yellow. It didn’t’ matter what colour it was, they had one common component. They all tasted rotten. Anyway, I was asked to come the next day to meet the Doc.
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