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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ovarian Cysts and Romantic Bliss

I know you're all dying to know about the man in my life, and I'll get to that... but first I know a lot of people have been very worried about me the last few weeks because I have gotten very sick again. Here is the good news: I am still CANCER FREE! However, complications from my treatment which I knew to expect have come up.

While laying there, I woke up feeling like I had been punched repeatedly, maybe even kicked, right below my belly button. I could barely move. Something was wrong but I didn't know what. I went home and laid down and tried to sleep away the pain, but it continued to get worse. I took some of my left over pain killers for the next few days and tried to ignore it. After about a week of this, and the pain getting worse, I knew I was going to have to do something about it. I was also developing a sinus infection and bronchitis and so it was time to see a doctor.

Here's where things get complicated. I met someone. Yes, I had been pushing myself too hard. Caught up in the whirlwind of a new romance. Trying to spend every second together. I was partying, gyming it, working and not taking care of myself. I knew the bronchitis/sinus infection was a result of poor diet and lack of sleep but the pain was not. It was where I was most vulnerable, it was near and dear to my lady bits. It felt like spasms, cramps of the worst variety, debilitating, I would cripple over in pain, unable to speak or walk. Having met someone, I knew the time would come where we would be how can I put this delicately, ....intimate.

I was a girl on a mission. I was crazy about him, and I was also scared $#!%less, because through my treatment I had basically become revirginized. But in the few weeks we had known each other, we were inseparable and there is that connection you only read about in Nicholas Sparks novels. I always said when I have sex again, it would have to be with someone I completely trusted and I've found that person. He wanted to wait to make it special, I however thought it was special just because it was him, hence, girl on a mission. So the next morning when I awoke to the pain, I got worried. I didn't tell him, not because I didn't trust him but because I didn't want him to think it was his fault, and so I went home and tried to hide it from everyone. I felt like maybe it was too soon. Maybe my "rehabbing" hadn't prepared me enough. This was my own fault and so therefore I needed to suck it up.

Eventually while at lunch a week later I told him,
"I think I need to see a doctor, something's not right."
He was already fabulous, and was more willing than I to ease into things, to wait until I was ready. Only the right guy cares more about me, than getting his rocks off, reinforcing my decision that there was no other person I would want to be going through this with. Mentally, emotionally I was more than ready... physically was a different story, and it was frustrating as H-E- double hockey stick.

I went to the doctor that afternoon and got antibiotics for my bronchitis/ sinus infection. The pain and its locale was not his specialty as a family doctor and therefore he referred me to a gynecologist.
The next day, the pain took over and won. I couldn't wait for the referral and I ended up in the ER.

I was immediately given pain meds and so it all becomes hazy. I had a cat scan which showed that I had cysts rupture on my ovaries. "Well isn't this just dandy. I have ovaries that don't even work and now they're causing me problems."

The gynecologist I was actually referred too happened to be on duty and came in to explain the best she could what was happening. She did a pelvic exam which took me back to my high dose radiation pain days. Tears flowed down my face and I clutched My dad's lady Claudette with all my might. The pressure, and the pain in the most innocent, vulnerable of places. They took biopsies to check for cancer and continued to infuse dilaudid which is another form of morphine, which I'm allergic to (The morphine, not the dilaudid- because that would be stupid to give me something I'm allergic to). I was told I could be admitted but I just wanted to go home. I just wanted to hide, and ignore the fact that I was not normal and yet again I was dealing with complications out of my control.
The next week was a blur of pain meds.
(Just wanting and ready to go home)

My Man came by to see me everyday, my parentals even gave him a key. My key actually... I think they like him better than me. We were supposed to be in the midst of our honeymoon phase and here I was doped up with out makeup and god only knows how often I showered. OMG I hope I shaved my legs. The point... he was there. He didn't scare, and he's still here now.

A few days after the E.R. I had an MRI and I got an appointment with a Gynecological Oncologist who worked out of Kingston and Oshawa. I had my MRI and a few days later we went to Oshawa. She was FABULOUS! She went to Yale, and was so smart and also mentored my ob/gyn back home, whom she said was her favorite resident. I was happy. As far as how we were going to proceed, this is where things also got complicated. Ovary removal, wait it out, hysterectomy?
(After the MRI- I had to pee and only the mens room was available)

I already can't have children, so the hysterectomy or ovary removal wouldn't be the worst decision. It would eliminate the possibility of the cancer or cysts returning and hey, maybe I'll lose a few lbs. However there would be a 6 week recovery time, which I didn't want to have. I wouldn't be able to work, or work out, or enjoy my new found romantic bliss. To which he replied
"6 weeks really is not a big deal."
...swoon. There was also the issue of the damaged tissue from the radiation making surgery more difficult and possibly creating a longer healing time.
Waiting it out... well this proved slightly problematic as well. I would be in pain longer from the damaged tissue, and on pain meds longer. There is also the chance of the cysts returning and the unbearable pain is not something I wanted to go through again.

A week after this appointment I had an Ultrasound to check out how things were looking. Things were better, but I'm still in pain.

I'm about two weeks past the initial incident, maybe three (Time has been lost on me from the meds). I havent been able to work or go to the gym, I've gotten out a few times, but even that has been a risk. "Low Dose Pain Med Nights." Low dose so that I would be able to interact with fellow humans not coming off as an intoxicated junkie. I've already got a slightly overwhelming personality, (Hello Past cheerleader: always enthusiastic and excited) so I didn't need pain meds completely removing my filter and upping my energy in public.

I've had wonderful visitors... Thank you C, even though it took me about 15 minutes to realize who you were lol!

We've decided to wait it out. The risk of surgery and healing and my weak immune system is not conducive to an easy or necessarily safe surgical procedure. I get to return to life next week. Easy at the gym, couple shifts at work, maybe even a bevy or two. Basically I wont feel like I'm on house arrest anymore.

My man and I have bonded in the short while we've been together because he's already seen me at my worst. When I'm supposed to be worrying about which lip gloss to apply or curls or straight hair, he's been with me laying in bed, listening to me ramble about god only knows. I've also just recently read an article that your sex life significantly improves as time goes on. I have so much to look forward too. Until then pain meds, and rest. More details on the man... because, it really does read like a Nicholas Sparks Novel. Its cliche and everything that I was fearful about as a cancer survivor, well... sigh.... He's wonderful.


  1. Wow! You are one amazing person, Courtney! You've been through a lot, but you still keep your humor and optimism. I had fun reading your earlier posts, and this one was no exception. It takes a singular kind of courage to be that honest about one's feelings and condition. I hope everything is going well with your love life and your health! All the best!

    Rachael Peterson @

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