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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Attn: Ladies - Please learn from my mistake.
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04/15/2007 11:47:40 AM · #1
I have thought about this for awhile. Normally I am very private about personal things but I have a point to make from my experience.

PLEASE READ ON for this is important and might save a life or save someone a considerable amount of trouble & pain.

Sunday March 18 I begun to feel terrible. I have had stomach pain that came and went and pushed it off as stomach flu or something I ate. By Thursday the pain came on stronger that it was by sheer willpower on the way back from walking my children to school that I did not pass out.

Thursday night March 22 was an emotional rollercoaster ride for me. Long story short I was admitted to the hospital after several tests showed I had a large cystic mass on right ovary.

Large as in 22 cm x 20 cm x 19 cm (basically around 8 inches in size - the size of a cantaloupe ). There was considerable concern that it might be cancerous. They did surgery Friday afternoon and sent it to the lab. It is benign so thank goodness that worry is gone. The mass was actually twisted around the left ovary so they could not save that but again that is small potatoes.

I am just happy to be alive and cancer free. I returned home that Saturday and will be recovering for the next 6 weeks.

So the moral of the story ladies - is if you have not gone to the gynecologist in several years DO IT NOW!

Please do not suffer from the 'Superwomen Syndrome' and take on everything (work, home, taking care of the kids, etc. etc.) and ignore your own health. I am lucky that this was caught and it did not burst. This could have been caught much earlier had I made a yearly visit to the gynecologist.

Gentlemen, if you have a sister, mother, or your wife has been pushing off going now might be a good time to gently remind them that their health matters too. Encourage them to make those yearly check-ups a practice so that they remain healthy.
04/15/2007 12:09:54 PM · #2
Wow, I'm glad you're okay. I was mildly sick all of last July - not sick enough to miss work, but sick enough to keep me from doing things I enjoyed and to make me sufficiently miserable. It turned out to be a marble-sized ovarian cyst, and the monthly bursting was what was making me feel so terrible. It's now being treated with hormonal birth control and everything is cool, though I'm probably going to be on it for the rest of my life. I can't imagine if it had been worse or required surgery, I'm such a baby about such things!
04/15/2007 12:12:43 PM · #3
My 22 year old cousin currently has one that is 6 pounds!! They are giving her hormonal birth control therapy as well to try and shrink it. The alternative is a complete hysterectomy and she would never be able to have kids.
04/15/2007 01:48:46 PM · #4
Glad to hear your recovering.
04/15/2007 01:56:48 PM · #5
A very sobering moral tale. Everyone tends to put off discomfort thinking it will go away. But, it is wise to have a check up if in doubt, no-one will blame you if it turns out to be just a minor ailment.

Good to know you have had it removed and that is was benign. Take your time and recover fully, let others do all the rushing about you would normally do. Get well soon.
04/15/2007 02:23:19 PM · #6
So glad to hear you had positive news on it not being cancerous! My Grandma had one the size of a watermelon that surrounded both ovaries, and it was cancerous. A painful reminder for the rest of the women in our family to stay up to date on our check-ups!
04/15/2007 02:25:59 PM · #7
Glad to hear everything's ok!! Hopefully recovery will go fast & you'll be back at it in no time! Make sure you take care of yourself, it's definitely easy to get the "I'm fine" attitude but sometime's we just aren't. Thanks for sharing your story!
04/15/2007 02:35:08 PM · #8
On my way now. Oh wait...

Good to hear your ok though. It's good advice to anyone really, don't hesitate to get checked out.
04/16/2007 02:01:11 AM · #9
Originally posted by Kelli:

My 22 year old cousin currently has one that is 6 pounds!! They are giving her hormonal birth control therapy as well to try and shrink it. The alternative is a complete hysterectomy and she would never be able to have kids.


I hope that they did a CT scan to take a good look at it for if it twists on the ovaries it can cause severe pain and is in danger of erupting.

I do hope that she responds well to the medication and it takes care of the problem. Hopefully she will not have to have a hysterectomy.
04/16/2007 02:01:14 AM · #10
Originally posted by Rebecca:

Wow, I'm glad you're okay. I was mildly sick all of last July - not sick enough to miss work, but sick enough to keep me from doing things I enjoyed and to make me sufficiently miserable. It turned out to be a marble-sized ovarian cyst, and the monthly bursting was what was making me feel so terrible. It's now being treated with hormonal birth control and everything is cool, though I'm probably going to be on it for the rest of my life. I can't imagine if it had been worse or required surgery, I'm such a baby about such things!


I know that feeling I had a burst cyst about the size of a pea back in 91'. Each month of ovulation a cyst is released with the egg and it can either reabsorb in the body, grow into a larger cyst or burst. Tis not fun. In your case at least they now have medicine to treat your condition
04/16/2007 02:04:56 AM · #11
Originally posted by TheStick:

So glad to hear you had positive news on it not being cancerous! My Grandma had one the size of a watermelon that surrounded both ovaries, and it was cancerous. A painful reminder for the rest of the women in our family to stay up to date on our check-ups!


Thank you.

My condolences, I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother.
Regular check-ups are a very good thing especially when it can be caught early and treated.
04/16/2007 02:05:38 AM · #12
Thanks for posting this.. sometimes we need reminders.
04/16/2007 02:24:12 AM · #13
a friend of mine (same age as me 37) went to the dr because she wasnt feeling right, felt bloated and tired.
they did an ultrasound and found a mass on her ovary but they could see another mass behind it, they decided on exploratory surgery and found that the other mass was a 4kg tumor. This tumor had ruptured so they did a radical hysterecomy. She now has malignant ovarian cancer. She sees the oncologist next week to decide on treatment.
I am hearing more and more cancers happening in younger people. Please keep on top of your health.
04/16/2007 04:25:39 AM · #14
Originally posted by CNovack:


So the moral of the story ladies - is if you have not gone to the gynecologist in several years DO IT NOW!


I have already made it a point that my wife should visit gyno every 4-5 months. I force her to go and check up.

But after reading this i guess I have to ask my wife to force my mother and her mother also to go and have checks ups. They seem not to go there for years

thanks for this note though, it was helpful
04/16/2007 04:26:42 AM · #15
oh my, this is so scary!
I am glad you are fine!
04/16/2007 04:39:57 AM · #16
First I'm glad you're well !

Those things are very common (but not with the size of yours), my last one was 2" round and a bit painful but no surgery , with hormones it disappeared.
I still remember the first time , many years ago , spanish doctor told me that I needed an urgent surgery , so I went to Paris (France) , they gave me some pills and voilà !

But I totally agree with you that there's no need to wait to see if things go better instead of visiting doctors.

Message edited by author 2007-04-16 04:42:18.
04/16/2007 08:55:18 AM · #17
Firstly, glad to hear that things have been taken care of and by now you're well on your way to full recovery.

Secondly, I have been fortunate not to have suffered this illness but, like many other ladies I hate going for the regular 'downstairs' check-up!

I missed a few years but eventually the system caught up with me - luckily. I had developed some pre-cancerous cells which, if they had been left, would ultimately have developed leading goodness knows where.

I know they're ghastly but we do need to have these tests - I know that, as much as I absolutely abhor them, I will not miss another one!
04/16/2007 08:56:20 AM · #18
My first one's at the end of the year... Im pertrafied >.<
04/16/2007 09:22:12 AM · #19
Originally posted by xXxscarletxXx:

My first one's at the end of the year... Im pertrafied >.<


The girlie appointments are not even remotely bad. All the hype is hype. Frankly, I'd pick that over the dentist.
04/16/2007 09:39:03 AM · #20
yup, it's really not too bad. the most important thing is to keep relaxed - if you tense up, then it does hurt a little. so, deep breathing, and conscious relaxation.
04/16/2007 10:30:14 AM · #21
Thank goodness you are ok. I have suffered with PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome for many years, had to have a hysterectomy about 5 years ago and lost both of my ovaries before I could have children. The cyst, 2 of them were each the size of softballs. I feel great now but wish I would have had done something sooner.

Peace and take care,

g

Message edited by author 2007-04-16 10:31:18.
04/16/2007 10:35:07 AM · #22
Originally posted by CNovack:

Originally posted by Kelli:

My 22 year old cousin currently has one that is 6 pounds!! They are giving her hormonal birth control therapy as well to try and shrink it. The alternative is a complete hysterectomy and she would never be able to have kids.


I hope that they did a CT scan to take a good look at it for if it twists on the ovaries it can cause severe pain and is in danger of erupting.

I do hope that she responds well to the medication and it takes care of the problem. Hopefully she will not have to have a hysterectomy.


Thanks, they finally did do CT scans (had to wait for insurance to kick in believe it or not). Because of the size they are going to have to do surgery, but want to shrink it as much as possible before so that they don't have to remove the ovaries. She also has some much smaller ones to go with the large one. They really are trying to tell her that her prospects for children are very slim at this point though, but she refuses to believe it.
04/16/2007 10:51:05 AM · #23
My mother had one the size of a large orange. They found it when she got a medical before getting married 38 ish years ago. They had to remove her ovary and the docs said it might impede on her ability to have kids ... my brother and i were born 18 months apart so no problem there.

Yep, gotta get checked annually.
04/16/2007 10:59:19 AM · #24
[quote=Buckeye_Fan] Thank goodness you are ok. I have suffered with PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome for many years...quote]

Buckeye - I also have PCOS. PCOS cysts are actually different from the type of cysts that can grow large like your softball-sized ones. PCOS cysts are really just mature eggs that were never released from the ovary and cause your ovaries to look bumpy. PCOS itself generally would not cause you to lose your ovaries (if your doctor told you that I'd consider finding a different doctor - is s/he treating you with Metformin?). There are a lot of peripheral sympoms linked to PCOS, though and I know a lot of women with PCOS get the other type of cysts as well. Actually 5-10% of all women have PCOS and it's the leading cause of infertility in American women so...

DPC Women, while you're in getting checked out as recommended above (or at your regular check ups), you might want to also get checked out for PCOS especially if you have any of these symptoms: have ever had trouble getting pregnant, have had an unexplained miscarriage, started menstruating at a young age, have irregular menses, gain weight easily and lose it with difficulty, are "apple-shaped," have a history of depression, are kind of hairy on your body and/or are losing hair on your head, have adult acne, have high cholesterol, have low thyroid function, or have type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance. Also, if your daughter has any of these symptoms, they can often diagnose it in pre-teens and treat symptoms before they cause problems. You don't have to have all the sympoms... I wasn't diagnosed until I was 24 b/c I don't have a lot of them, and a lot of women aren't diagnosed until even later.

Also, if you have PCOS, go to www.soulcysters.net (I have no connection to the site, just think it's a great resource). Sorry for the digression, but it's related...

edit: grammar

Message edited by author 2007-04-16 11:02:10.
04/16/2007 10:59:40 AM · #25
Glad you are on the mend.
With the new test for HPV it makes the whole thing easier. I had a irregular pap last year but because the HPV came back negative, there was nothing to worry about. Now if we can get every woman to get a yearly mammogram..

Message edited by author 2007-04-16 11:00:18.
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