Hello reader! Thank you for keeping up with me in this chapter of my life! Please read Part Two to stay up to date on this story.
After a long-awaited call from the oncology department, we finally scheduled my appointment. My husband and I arrived the following morning at the hospital looking forward to learning more about my condition. As he parked the car he reached over and held my hand and then whispered, “Don’t worry honey, everything is going to be okay. We’ll get this all figured out.” On a typical day, his gentle words would ease my weary heart, but today was different. Very different.
Somehow, I gathered the courage to go inside the hospital, regardless of how sick with nervousness I began to feel. The facility was large, we actually got turned around trying to find the oncology department. Good thing we arrived on time, my husband does not enjoy being late to places. I was the youngest patient there that morning. The others were older men and women in about their seventies waiting for their names to be called. “Jacobson?” the medical assistant called. We greeted one another as she guided me to take my height and weight, and asking a few questions about my medical history. Soon after, she led us to the appointment room where we waited about ten minutes to meet my oncologist. *Knocks on door* “Hello, my name is Doctor ‘Young’!” as she received me with a kind smile. Doctor ‘Young’ was full of personality, the life of the party. Most importantly, she was well educated and respected as senior surgeon in the hospital. Hmm…no wonder the medical assistant had told me how lucky we were to have her on my team.
After her vibrant introduction, we dove right into the facts regarding the disease. Doctor ‘Young’ explained that my tumor is extremely rare. In fact, it only affects about 2% of women with ovarian cancer. I know this sounds terrible, but it’s good news. You see, this tumor is the least aggressive form of ovarian cancer. It’s extremely slow growing. (Hence this is the reason why it’s been over a year that I’ve had it and was unaware). She then began to tell me what feeds my disease. Estrogen. Darn you, estrogen. I asked, “What symptoms typically follow this cancer?” “Bloating, irregular menstrual cycles, constipation, infertility, and weight gain are a few.” It all now makes sense. My cycles have been crazy for the past 9 months. Sometimes I wouldn’t even have one! Oh, and don’t get me started on the weight gain! But infertility? Everything began to illuminate. Andrew and I have tried to conceive for almost a year now and have been completely unsuccessful.
We then went over the one thing that seemed to be daunting me the entire time. My treatment plan. I was elated to find out that I didn’t require chemotherapy. However, I needed to have my right ovary removed. That news didn’t make me very happy. Dr. Young explained that during my next surgery, she will examine my left ovary and abdominal cavity to make sure the cancer didn’t spread anywhere else. Somehow, Doctor ‘Young’ made our visit go a lot better than we anticipated.
As my first oncology appointment began to come to a close, I couldn’t help but think about this cancer that I’ve carried. I have been a host of a living disease for over a year and a half. It is an invasion. Cancer has attempted to rob my husband and me of parenthood. Ultimately, it tried to end my life. With its many faces, cancer has snuck up on the lives of millions of other men and women. Like myself, some have been fortunate to discover it early but others too late. My circumstance isn’t favorable but I have hope that abundant life is ahead at the end of this race (Jeremiah 29:11).
*Photos are from my recent surgery. Blog post coming soon about my procedure.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer:
- Weight gain/Weight loss
- Irregular Periods
- Abnormal Bleeding
- Pelvic Pain