Saturday, February 20, 2010

Screw the Baby Belly: I'm Celebrating Over Here.

Six weeks ago, I thought I was dying. I was suffering from a white hot pain so excruciating that I was absolutely convinced my appendix was rupturing. Was, in fact, minutes from exploding and sending me off to meet my maker.

One four hour ER visit and $5000 later, I found out that I couldn't be more wrong. Nope, the source of all that ridiculous pain was just my ovary's new little friend - a tiny little cyst that had claimed squatting rights on its side.

For a moment, I was relieved. After all, a cyst sounds pretty harmless, right?  But then my doctors had to go and ruin it by telling me that my ovary's friend could be cancerous.

Yep, that's right. They put the word cancer out into the universe. They were almost absolutely certain that it was most likely nothing to be worried about - but they were worried, nonetheless.

So they sent me for blood tests. Blood tests to find out if I had cancer. Blood tests that, when they came back, were frighteningly inconclusive. I most likely didn't have cancer, but then again, I might. But, my doctors assured me, I shouldn't be worried. I should just forget I'd ever heard the word cancer, because I probably didn't have it.

Which is, of course, exactly what I did.

I forgot that my body was possibly under attack. That my ovary’s little friend could have invited its entire family to move in. That, depending on what the next round of tests turned up, my life could be turned upside down, filled with surgery and chemo and bone-chilling fear.

Yep. That’s exactly what I did.

I certainly didn't lie awake at night, wondering what it feels like to die. I didn't wonder if it was too late to get religion - and if the powers that be would forgive me for my transgressions.

I didn't worry about what would happen to my family if I died. I didn't think about my baby girl growing up without me, or about Brian having to cope with single parenthood, or about my mom and dad having to bury their youngest child.

Nope, I didn't worry. Not one little bit.

So, because I wasn't the least bit concerned, I didn't get half-drunk on Thursday night, just so I wouldn't have to think about the next day's appointment. I didn't wake up feeling sick to my stomach, or down half a bottle of pepto bismol for breakfast.  I certainly didn't spend my working hours staring vacantly at my computer screen, sending up half-formed prayers.

I didn't hold my breath all through the ultrasound, or almost break down sobbing when the test revealed what I already knew - that my ovary's friend was still there. I didn't almost puke when I was sent back out to the lobby to wait for the doctor's verdict.

And when my doctor told me that it wasn't cancer? That it was just a weird cyst that had to come out - but a decidedly non-malignant one? I didn't make him repeat himself ten times, or have to pinch myself to resist the urge to jump off the table (half naked or no) and hug him.

Nope, that wasn't me. And if you believe all that? I've got some directions to a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow somewhere to the left of sunrise...

I don't have cancer. I do have to have surgery, but I don't have cancer. The idea of surgery, which would normally scare the shit out of me, has never sounded less worrisome than it does right at this moment. Because I don't have cancer. You hear that? I don't have cancer (if I repeat that enough, I'm sure I'll start to believe it).

And because I don't have cancer? I'm not getting anywhere near the scale this week. I. Just. Don't. Care. My body isn't killing me. So it can be just as fat as it wants to.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go hug my baby  (the one I get to see grow up) and kiss my husband (the one I get to see all old and wrinkly) another time or five hundred.

But don't worry. The regularly scheduled weigh-ins will resume next week. After all, my skinny jeans are waiting to celebrate my cancer-free status with me.


  1. So glad everything turned out to be ok. It's never too late to get religion (GOD) and all you have to do is accept the gift of forgiveness. Jesus offers it freely. Hope you have a great week.

  2. glad everything is all right--was terrified for you for a moment...

  3. Wow.. how scary! I'm glad everything turned out OK though.

  4. This is a great and very well written post! I'm so sorry that you had to go through this. I'm glad to hear that it gave you some perspective, though. I was worried for you!!

  5. I'm so glad you don't have cancer. And I also wish I could be so committed to getting rid of my baby belly. I wish you the best!

  6. I hope your surgery goes well and that you have a quick recovery!

  7. i'm so glad to hear you don't have cancer! you certainly don't want to deal with that shit that comes with it and all that other stuff you mentioned. see my blog...been there, done that.
    congrats to being cancer free!

  8. Thanks for the good wishes, everyone! I'm sure it will all go least, I hope it does.

  9. Thanks for sharing. what a scary time Amber. I am so glad you are okay.

  10. I'm so glad to hear that everything is okay...been down your road many of times, and once the friend on my ovary WAS cancerous so I had to have the whole thing taken out...if you ever need to talk, I'd be happy to listen! *hugs*

  11. Whew. I'm so glad that it's not cancer. I'll be thinking of you while you celebrate not being under attack by the big C!

  12. What an awful scare. The waiting and the worrying is excruciating, isn't it?

    Glad that the C word is no longer in your vocabulary of worries. Sorry, still, though that you need surgery.

  13. I got fired from a job once. I asked my boss if he was serious, to which he replied, "As serious as cancer."

    Glad to hear it's not cancer, but yeah, surgery still would be nervewracking. Best wishes!

  14. I am so happy that everything is all right (besides your nerves being shot). What an aweful feeling that you had to go through. Thank goodness the results came in quick!!

    And $5000.00 Holy shit!! So happy that I have Canadian health care! So you don't have cancer..just depression, because you will have to sell all your belongings to pay off your doc trip! Lordy!!


  15. I am so sorry I missed this post... and I am so glad you linked within and I found it.
    I am SO glad you are okay.

  16. I'm so sorry!!! I had no idea you've been dealing with all this. (I am embarrassingly behind on blog reading). I'm glad it wasn't cancer....and that your surgery is over.....


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