Ok so, I am definitely a writer, but I must share with you a very recent life changing experience. I have been in menopause for quite a while now, and was gaining weight (oh not good). The more I read about the subject, the more I thought I understood about weight gain and various other things. Well the weight continued to pile on the upper abdomen and was quite rapid over a couple of months. I must have gained 25 to 30 pounds. This did not seem right, but what do I know – I have never been in menopause before!
I began a weight loss program to lose this weight, and the better I ate the more I gained! Now what in the world is going on!. I thought my age and the hormone changes was causing the difficulty of the weight loss.
The other things I was experiencing was swelling in my ankles and general water retention. I did have some shortness of breath – but this was suppose to be part of menopause also – right.
I finally thought it might be good to have a physical to see what was going on. So the first thing the doctor asked me was “Do you think you are Pregnant?” Well, I said, I don’t think so.. . . but this lead to a pregnancy test in the doctors office. Which of course came up negative. She seemed kind of concerned about the swelling in my ankles as it was pretty bad!
So she sent me, the same day, for an ultrasound of my abdomen. Which lead to an immediate CT scan of the same area. WELL. Live and learn – they found a large cyst that they thought was attached to an ovary! This all happened on a Tuesday; two days later I saw a specialist and was scheduled for major surgery the next Monday, less than a week later!
Needless to say it was a very frightening week and after lots of prayer I checked in for my surgery. Upon waking – half coherent mind you – I was told that the cyst initially tested as not cancerous!. Prayers answered! I needed to wait a couple of weeks to get the results of continued testing.
Ok so needless to say I wasn’t thrilled with having to wait for the final results, but as determined to heal and feel better. Once I got home I realized that I had lost 25 pounds really fast and began feeling better each day. I do not recommend this method of weight loss by the way!
After the first two week wait ,and another couple of weeks wait, as they discussed the “cyst” at the tumor board ( I don’t like the sound of this); I finally got the results. Well. . . after fearing all of my life that I would get cancer it has happened. I was told they found a small amount of cancer sells in a cyst the size of a basket ball!. My diagnosis is Stage One High Risk Ovarian Cancer. I must begin three rounds of chemotherapy with a possibility of 3 more rounds for a total of 6!
I was pretty shocked to say the least but there has been a few positives in this. First, I went to the doctor at the right time and did not wait any longer. Things moved pretty fast from there and the tumor was removed. Second, the diagnosis of Stage One, I am told, is very rare. Most women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are usually stage 4 or 5 as it is a silent killer of women. I will write another post on this later.
I am very thankful that things have happened as they have. If I could share anything from this experience. . . when you detect even the slightest change in your body, please – please have it checked!
Olivia was created in 2012 to support Bears that Care that raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research. More to come about her soon. Have you had a life changing experience that you never would have believed would happen to you?
Bear Hugs, Carolyn