My story starts in 2008. When I scheduled my annual exam the doctor found a large mass. Turned out to be a 13 cm cyst on my right ovary. I had surgery to remove it. The pathology came back as a borderline tumor. The doctor told me that it is rare to have an reoccurrence and to live my life and not think about it.
Fast forward to April 2011. While on vacation my period started - not only was it early but it was so heavy there were clots. I couldn't go more than 30 minutes before I soaked through a tampon and a pad. That is when the horrible cramping started. I made it through the 2 days it lasted and then felt ok. Called the OBGYN when I got home and she said to wait and see what came next. Every month my period came with horrid cramps and heavy bleeding. I missed at least a day of work each month. Finally got in to see my OBGYN in September. She started talking ablation and decided to do an ultrasound to see what was going on
I had to wait until October to get my ultrasound. A small cyst was noticeable on my ovary. She said it was 1 cm and wanted to wait and see what happened. Had an ultrasound in November and another in December. By December it had grown to 2 cm. She finally decided surgery to remove it was necessary. She didn't want to remove my ovary because it is my only one and I am only 36 so she came up with this idea to have her ONC/GYN come in during surgery, take the cyst off my ovary, and then she would just do a hysterectomy to deal with the bleeding. I was on board with this, sounded like a great plan. Left the clinic very excited. Got a call the next day saying that the ONC they work with was on emergency leave and they were transferring me to his boss- who is at a different hospital.
So I had to wait another 3 weeks to get in to see the ONC/GYN. She had reviewed my file and thought it would be an easy go in pull it out and sew me back up kinda thing. Scheduled my surgery assuming it was another borderline tumor since that is what the ultrasound appeared to be.
Surgery day came, I was so nervous. My husband was with me. I had my preop stuff done right away before hand. So I was in a gown, stuck in a bed while a nurse took all my info and some guy took blood. The anesthesiologist came and started my IV. Then gave me what she called the "I don't care stuff" to relax me. They took my husband away and wheeled me into surgery. I remember moving onto the table and seeing the DaVinci machine. It looked like a great big spider! Ugh. That is all I remember. It was about 7:30 when they took me from preop into the surgery room.
Woke up in recovery feeling ok. I couldn't see because they sent my glasses with my husband so I asked the nurse what time it was. It was 11:30. I asked for ice chips and my husband. They told me that he couldn't be with me since they weren't set up for "visitors". I asked if they would get my glasses then so I could see. No pain, just grogginess. I was in and out for about an hour, eating ice chips because my throat was so sore. The nurse told me I was too easy to take care of and was one of the best patients she had. And since they were still waiting for my room she went and got my husband. He came in and sat with me for an hour waiting for my room.
Finally got wheeled to my room about 3:30. Moved into the bed and asked right away for my catheter to come out. They wouldn't take it out but did let me get up and move around. Doctor came up to see me about 5:00 and told me that she found some "odd" things that she sent for pathology. She said it was a borderline tumor and since she found another tumor on my bladder she took the ovary out. She said none of it had been spreading and she was sure it was nothing to worry about. She said she only happened to see it because she is a cancer doctor and it is second nature to take a look around and see if there is anything out of the ordinary.
I don't know what the nurses' issue was, but she pretty much refused to remove my catheter. She didn't think I should be up going to the bathroom. I told her I needed to get up and move around so I could go home in the morning. She said "I don't think you will be up to that." Little does she know how stubborn I am!!
She left at 6:00 and the new nurse came in. The new nurse was a guy and that freaked me out.
I told him I wanted the catheter out and I would have my husband help me move around. He took it out, gave me some meds, and pretty much stayed out of the room. He came in to give me the shot for blood clots. I told him I wanted to leave so he had the on-call doctor come in at 7:00 a.m. She looked at my little incisions and told me I could go home. The nurse from the night before came back in just after I got dressed and seemed mad that I was leaving! Whatever.
A cranky nursing assistant wheeled me downstairs, hitting every rug and bump she possibly could. Since it was cold out she practically dumped me out of the wheelchair before my husband was even out of the car to help me get up. Came home and lounged around for a few days.
I think I lounged too much because at about 4 days post op my feet started hurting. They had filled with fluid. So I spent days with my feet up in the air, and then I would have to walk on them (ouchie!) to get it out. Took 4 days to get them to stop hurting. I wish I had been up and about more in the days before that.
First week was hard, second week was worse. I don't know where these doctors are getting a 2 week recovery time from. I am just past 2 weeks and still not ready to go back to work!! I take each day as it comes but still take many naps.
Sadly, that little tumor on my bladder turned out to be cancer. Because it was ovarian in nature and on my bladder it has to be categorized as a stage 3. I will have to do 6 rounds of chemo to make sure there isn't anything else. The pathologist and several doctors on a tumor board have come to the conclusion that the tumor I had in 2008 had left behind something called "implants" and those had morphed into the tumor on my bladder. Had I not been transferred to this specialist, this tumor on my bladder may not have been found. It would have most likely killed me before anyone knew I had it.
I had a 7 inch incision in 2008 when my ovary was removed so I have some experience with stomach surgery. The DaVinci was by far much easier. I have not had too many problems moving around and the incisions were easy to care for. I found that at 1 week it didn't hurt anymore when I laughed, at 2 weeks I can finally sneeze without pain and I am sleeping on my stomach. I still have the swelly belly and can't wear my normal clothes and I am exhausted. I only took pain pills the first week.
Now if only I could get rid of these menopause symptoms. The night sweats and hot flashes are horrid! I can't take any HRT until the chemo is done, and that won't be until September. It is going to be a long 5 months.