Gotta start somewhere…
I was diagnosed a little over a year and a half ago by sheer luck. I was out in Atlantic City at a club and after one too many adult beverages I feel off of a bench in the VIP section. The good news in the yours truly is the least graceful human being on the planet and falling is nothing new. I got back up laughed it off and continued with the night. The next morning that struggle was real (as it usually is after a night in AC). I got up took a shower and so Advil to try and fight off what I was sure to be a nasty hang over. Little did I know that the pain I was about to be in could make the world’s worst hangover (I’m talking drank a box of wine alone hangover) look like Christmas morning. I spent the next few hours puking on the side of the AC express way (classy) and experiencing extreme lower back pain. Let me point out I have a crazy high pain tolerance. I called my mom and we both agreed it was probably my appendix and we decided to meet at the hospital. After about 8 hours or so and ruling out that it wasn’t the second immaculate conception the doctors ran a CT scan and were expecting to take my appendix out that night.
By the time the scan was done and the doctors reviewed the results my mom and I had been sitting in an exam room for close to 10 hours. To say the we were punchy, nervous and deliriously tired would be an understatement. The doctor came in and said, “the good news is that you don’t have appendicitis but the bad news is that you have a 17cm mass on the right side of your abdomen. I just about fell over and I’m fairly certain my mom had a heart attack. Needless to say it needed to come out and I needed surgery.
Through some more good luck and good people I ended up at the women’s specialty center of the University of Pennsylvania under the care of Dr. G. From the very beginning my experience was wonderful. We scheduled surgery for June first I have to wait about a week and a half. Dr. G explained that he thought it was just a giant cyst that filled with fluid. I ended up getting very sick two days before surgery and was in excruciating pain
for a solid 12 hours. We decieded we needed to go the ER and Dr. G came in and decided that we needed to do emergency surgery. It took four hours or so (don’t quote me on that I was asleep) the mass ended up bursting do they had to do a partial staging. They took everything on my right side. Recovery wasn’t nearly as bad a I thought it was going to be. I week post-op I got officially diagnosed with stage Ic ovarian cancer.
We decided to forgo treatment and just monitor with scans and blood work. This was a double edged sword — no chemo is awesome beyond belief. Waiting around and hoping nothing is going to show up is scary as hell. So far everything has been clear and I’m hoping that remains that way. The physically recovery from surgery was cake and honestly the first year wasn’t terrible. I feel like that hard part is starting now — learning who I am post cancer.