Exactly one year ago, I (Lindsey) was sitting at the doctor’s office getting a sonogram of my ovary to ensure that the supposed hemmoragic cyst had resolved itself…or was at least shrinking. Little did we know that I would end up with ovarian cancer….A lot can happen in a year.
After years of infertility and treatments, sonograms of my ovaries had become routine and normal. Definitely not as exciting as seeing a baby sonogram, but I had never gotten to experience that…so I continued to be mesmerized by the incredible wonders of medicine and the human body—and for now, pictures of my ovaries and uterus would have to suffice.
The sonographer took her pictures — boldly saying that the cyst had not only changed size…but had, in fact, gotten bigger. “Please go sit in the lobby and one of the partners will see you soon.” My regular OB/GYN was in Guatemala doing some relief work as he does every January (isn’t that awesome!?). So he was unable to consult on the sonogram at the time. Because of the situation at hand, they wanted to talk to us about what was found and project what they think might be the diagnosis.
After sitting with the doctor, he said that they believed we were dealing with a tumor that was not going to shrink and that removing it via surgery would be our best option. After taking some blood for testing, he said that he would discuss the case immediately when my doctor arrived back in the States and verify the impending surgery.
They did not know the severity of the tumor or what type it was….they just knew that my right ovary was over 2x the size of my left. YIKES! This is what we remember from exactly one year ago — January 28, 2009.
Fast forward through surgery #1 where they removed the tumor, found/removed endometriosis, and ran a bunch of pathology tests. The pathologies revealed that I indeed had ovarian cancer and it was a very rare form (i.e. – happens in .2% of ovarian cancers). Typically slow growing, my tumor grew to the size of grapefruit in the matter of 2-3 months. Being “potentially malignant”, we consulted with numerous oncologists and proceeded with full abdominal biopsies (i.e. – Surgery #2 )– taking biopsies throughout my abdomen.