My Personal Journey Begins Here…
Dear Mom and Dad, It’s Linda. I need to tell you something that’s difficult to share and challenging for me to comprehend. A large solid tumor was found on the outside of my right ovary. Let’s back up. I had a little vaginal bleeding toward the end of the summer. Of course, I called my Gynecologist and asked to be seen as soon as possible. After my gynecological exam, I found out that I needed a vaginal ultrasound procedure. Luckily, I was able to have it scheduled the next day. During the ultrasound, the technician kept pressing hard on my abdomen while apologizing for the pressure which, by the way, did not hurt.
Although most technicians won’t share any information, even when I tell them I am an experienced nurse, she said she saw a growth outside my right ovary. I appreciated her honesty and asked “is it a small growth”? Her response surprised me when she said “No it’s big”! I asked, “Well, how big?” She said it was the size of a small grapefruit. Up until that moment, I always loved eating grapefruit!
The oddest thing I think about is marking an X in one of the boxes on a medical form asking about my general health. I’ve always put an X next to EXCELLENT health and now I am not sure what to do. Do I still check the excellent box and put an addendum PS: I have Stage 2 Ovarian Cancer?
You might remember, Mom, that I had surgery almost 28 years ago for a benign tumor (not cancerous) on my left ovary. A solid tumor mass is more common with cancer. In the next two weeks I had a CT scan and met with the Gynecological Oncology Surgeon who specializes in the surgical and medical treatment of ovarian cancer. After an exam, he reviewed the results of the ovarian cancer blood test which showed a level of 225 – normal levels are less than 46. The CT scan showed that the tumor was 10 cm — a large size. Based on that information, the surgeon was 99.9% convinced that I did have ovarian cancer.
Unfortunately, he was correct. Luckily it turned out to be stage two ovarian cancer based on my pathology report. I had surgery as soon as it could be scheduled, a total hysterectomy on November 9th, 2020. Surgery finished at 6pm and I actually went home the following day! Yes, I had pain, but I never opened the prescribed Norco bottle and just took over-the-counter medication. I even walked 2 miles the day after I was released from the hospital. I usually walk 3-4 miles/day several times a week so please don’t expect your experience to be the same. I recently started chemotherapy, but I’ll save that story for another blog.
Random thoughts: The oddest thing I think about is marking an X in one of the boxes on a medical form asking about my general health. I’ve always put an X next to EXCELLENT health and now I am not sure what to do. Do I still check the excellent box and put an addendum PS: I have Stage 2 Ovarian Cancer?
So here is where my journey begins…
My blogs will continue as a series of topics where I will share my experiences, suggestions and tips for cancer patients and their families. My hope — as a cancer patient, nurse and seasoned health advocate — is that this information will benefit you or anyone else who faces similar challenges with their cancer.