Monday, May 23, 2011

Potholes the Size of Elephants

This began my journey into fertility treatment.  Oh the joy of diagnostic tests, peeing in cups or on sticks, drugs, and daily temperatures.  After 6 unsuccessful attempts, I underwent a laprascopy to see if endometriosis was the issue.  I will never forget my Sister-in-law, Peggy telling me that there was a problem.  I had an ovarian tumor. 

I remember after Peg left the room starting to cry.  One of the recovery nurses asked me what was wrong.  When I told her she said to me, "you're a nurse, right?".  She and I just looked at each other, then she softly told me "you know what that means" followed by a softly spoken, "I'm sorry".

I had to wait a month for my next surgery.  It was complete torture for me.  I am fairly sure it was also a horror story for my family and friends.  The next surgery revealed my tumor was a low potential malignancy serous tumor.  My right ovary was completely tumorous (bad news), my left ovary the tumor was encapsulated (good news); my fallopian tube and bladder also showed involvement (bad news).  My right ovary, the encapsulated part of my left ovary, and the growths on my fallopian tube and badder were all removed.

So with my thumb nail size ovary I continued to with insemination's....for the next year.  By this time I was physically, emotionally and financially broke.  I felt like such a failure because I just couldn't go on with treatments anymore.  In the meantime, I underwent every 6 month check-ups to ensure my tumor had not re-occurred.  After about a year I realized I was not going back on the fertility merry-go-round and went to the gyn oncologist for a hysterectomy. 

I was about 2 years out at this point.  The oncologist gave me the news that latest methods to handle my type of tumor was to NOT do surgery and just continue to follow with 6 month exams and ultrasounds.  This went on from another 3 years; every 6 months I would become anxious and frightened each time  I really worked on dealing with my anxiety, and of course the first time I was actually relaxed weeks before and after my check-ups I was told my tumor had re-occurred.
More tests.  A CT scan showed "something" on my liver.  I will never forget setting on the exam table looking at my sweet Dad on the anniversary date of my Mom's death...from cancer with metastases to her liver.  More tests, ultrasounds, MRI.  And good news:  the "something" on my liver was just a "snarl" of blood vessels, nothing more.

I underwent a total hysterectomy a month before my 40th birthday.


  1. Oh, Becky, I never knew you had to go through all of that. How scary for you. What you have gone through has probably made you stronger and I am sure both your mom and dad would be so proud of you.
    Joyce Choate Betz

  2. Thank you so much Joyce. But I am grateful; I learned a lot along the way. And in the end I got Isabella!!