The Lucky Find
Crazy few months. Worked like a mad women through July to get work finished and shipped to 3 group exhibitions. Mailed off the last package on a Friday afternoon and it was lovely to relax and just breath.
But by the following Monday, August 6th, I feel ill with a stomach bug. I just thought rest, I'll be right. My P.A. Miss Willow and I were due to fly out Thursday to visit my home town in Queensland for my nieces 21st. Wednesday came, still not well so there was no way I could make the flight. So off to the doctors for a medical certificate. I felt better when he said it was something going around and it kept me unwell for another week but...
The Lucky Find was the doctor wanted to feel my stomach and he found a LUMP! The gastro had helped, I'd lost 2kgs the previous two days and I actually felt something move as I laid down on the exam table (bit of an alien moment). Blood tests, Ultrasound and CT Scans later showed my ovaries had been racing to see which could grow bigger. So actually there was two lumps.
The yellow circles in the CT Scan to the left shows just how big my ovaries got without me knowing. Both are over 10 cm and they should only be about 3-4cm. The bright white areas are my bones, bottom center is my pelvis and the longer ones are my hip bones. And the white dots either side at the top of the image are my ribs. This technology is so cool.
After I found out, I could just feel part of one lump (and then I'd have to lie flat on a hard surface) besides having a rounded belly there was no physical signs that worried me.
September 6th I went into surgery to remove pretty much all my reproductive organs. Both ovaries, uterus, cervix plus the appendix and part of my duodenum (one of the ovaries had started to attach itself) Plus they biopsied about five things in there too.
ALL CLEAR! waving hands in the air. The biopsies have come back clear and although each ovary had Stage 1 cancer, both the surgeon and specialists are confident that it has all been completely removed in time and no further treatment is needed. I'll still need to have blood tests for a few years to be given the complete all clear.
This is me in the waiting room before the procedure, I slipped into a hospital gown, lovely pressure stockings and accessorized with an IV.
I ended up with quiet a few accessories post-op.
So here I am October 6th, 4 weeks after the operation, my scare is healing, my muscles are healing and I can now walk without looking like a old aged zombie hunchback and feeling well and very lucky. I still have to be very careful, no lifting, no housework, no strenuous exercise. Not that I would get very far with any of those.
Now I've written this page to let family and friends know how things have gone but also for everyone out there to be aware of your body and any changes. I had no symptoms that I know of at the time, I just thought my body was getting older and putting on weight. In hindsight I was getting symptoms for a couple of months, very mild not out of the ordinary symptoms just a bit stronger, longer period pain than normal. My belly had grown and although I thought it unusual that the rest of me hadn't increased along with it, I thought I was just getting fat and signed up for a weight loss & fitness program. Large meals hurt my stomach and I just started getting indigestion.I just thought I'd ate to much and sat the wrong way on the coach after.
I found this great website on the weekend for ovarian cancer. , Please give it a look, knowledge is power.
Don't be afraid to ask your doctor or think you are too busy. Be alert not alarmed.
I am very, very Lucky. I finally got the timing right.
Lucky I got gastro to need to go to the doctor in the first place.
Lucky I bought plane tickets to go to my Nieces 21st or I wouldn't have gone to the doctors.
Lucky I was scroogy enough to want my money back on my plane ticket and needed a medical certificate.
Funny Note - the surgeon had told me the incision would run from below my bikini line up to my belly button and if need, he would take it up to my ribs. He wanted to remove the ovaries in tacked to prevent the spread of cancer. I was cool with that.
In a weird way I was slightly disappointed. This is a survival scare and grateful to have it.
Please, if you think there is a change in your body - investigate. Early detection is a big factor for what treatment you might need.
Well I think its time to get back to my studio and some Art Therapy, slow and steady with lots of rest.
Thank you for all the lovely flowers and plants and chocolates and beautiful messages
Enjoy x Luna