Back in early March, I had a stomach thing. I can never tell if I am really sick or just struggling with hormone issues. After that- I had what felt like a gas pain in my left side that would come and go as I ate or “did my business”. But it went on and on. After two weeks, I went into my doctor’s office to get checked. Dad had ulcer issues, maybe I was developing one.
They did an x-ray and found my stomach and intestines on my left side were bloated. They did not see anything that looked like a blockage or anything abnormal, but they decided to follow up with a full abdominal ultrasound to check all my organs. I also had some spotting which I hadn’t had in over 5 years, so they wanted to do a trans-vag ultrasound as well (men- if you’re truly curious- ask your wife). With that they intended to check my ovaries (my mom had benign growths on hers) and my endometrium to look for a thickening- this could be something that would need a biopsy.
All the results turned out normal. All that showed was a few cysts (fluid-filled) on both my liver and my kidneys. Nothing to worry about- lots of people have these. I’d had one on my liver before. Drink lots of water and avoid things that might cause more gastric distress until things calm down.
So, as I was having my breast biopsied a few weeks ago- I thought- What If? What if when they were checking my left side and my stomach they had only moved the ultrasound wand a few inches upward to my breast? Would they have found the cancer when it was much smaller? Would I have a better chance of survival if they had?
What if, when after another few weeks the gas pains still hadn’t gone away, I had insisted on being examined again then? I had a little more spotting- maybe if I’d insisted on a gyno* exam, they would have done a breast exam also, and found the lump a full month before I did? Would it have made a difference?
What if I hadn’t been so confident that this would never happen to me that I was more diligent in doing more regular monthly self-breast exams? What if I had stopped the birth control pills as soon as my bleeding got under control way back in 2010, and not been so afraid to see what would happen without them?
Would any of that have made a difference for me?
Does it matter now for me? Not really. But, maybe it matters as far as telling all of you- PLEASE do your self-exams, PLEASE don’t take hormone pills any longer than you have to, PLEASE see the doctor regularly, especially for regular gynecological exams and mammograms, and for anything that you know just doesn’t feel right about you. It doesn’t really matter now if it would have made a difference for me, but it certainly might make a difference for one of you.
As for today’s update – I am doing okay. I went to work, then had to go in for the neulasta shot in the afternoon. This is the booster for white blood cell re-growth. After that I came home and had a nap. I spent the evening at Chris’s baseball game – it was a nice night. So far the nausea has not hit me, but they have me taking Zofran 3 times a day to keep it at bay. I spent all day sipping water to stay hydrated. I am tired though- sort of like you feel when you are just getting over the flu.
Thanks to all of you for your support- it means so much to me.
*(FYI- I say “gyno”, knowing full well that the entire word is spelled gynecological, therefore for short it should be “gyne”, but that just doesn’t look or sound right to me)