recent medical crisis…

21Mar14

which had nothing… well, nothing directly… to do with MS. In fact, I’ve been joking with some folks that this is my body’s way to remind me that MS is just nothing but background noise in my life.

I’m always telling my health (and nutrition, and physiology… but it especially comes up in health) students never to ignore lower abdominal symptoms, since even something vague–such as gas, bloating, etc, which seem innocent–could actually be colon cancer, hanging out in hiding. So, a few weeks ago, when I had this type of pain, I figured I should take my own advice. I had achiness and occasional sharpness with sudden movement in my right lower quadrant, and there was a little bulge on that side.

So I thought… no big deal, ovarian cyst that wasn’t going away on its own. Easy to treat. Doctor agreed, sent me home with 3 days of high-dose naproxen. Didn’t do anything. Doctor wasn’t pleased, neither was I.

Ultrasound was busy, but when I got in a week later, I’d had some more pain radiating into mid-back. (Hm.) I usually only have techs take a look at me, but she brought in the radiologist as well. He didn’t say much, other than that my ovary is quite enlarged, and to talk to my doctor “soon”.

I got home from that late afternoon appointment just after 5, and the radiologist had already called and talked with my doctor. My doctor’s office was calling me. He wanted me to come in “now”, and he’d wait for me. Wow.

Apparently, I have a mass (of mixed density, so it could be partially cystic) on my ovary that’s tennis-ball sized… ovaries are usually the size of an almond. Pelvic exams didn’t catch it, and I never had a ton of pelvic pain, because it’s growing up (toward my head) and inward (toward my spine). Thus, I guess my right flank pain was always from that, and not from my poor laptop ergonomics… (I guess I should be better about that, anyway…)

The doctor told me I needed to get to a specialist the next day. When I told him I worked all day until 8, he told me, “no, you don’t–get that appointment.” I cancelled a class, which I never do, and talked with a gynecologist who’s seen several of these… agreed that my symptoms didn’t match up with malignancy and that I shouldn’t be worried, but still, she took a blood sample to run through a test to look for 5 protein markers that ovarian cancer cells produce.

It was a long 5 days until I heard the test results… but the numbers came back being low. Which means low risk for cancer. Doesn’t mean no risk, but it also meant that I could wait until the end of the quarter and spring break to have this thing removed from me, rather than being rushed into a procedure.

Mind you, throughout this, I’ve still had no Rebif for the past 2+ weeks due to my supplier and insurance screwup. I’m just taking things one day at a time and staying as calm as possible…

And enjoying the time I have with friends, my husband, and this last week of telling silly jokes to this week of students. Life is good!

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