28 February 2012

Coming Clean...

Hi all! So I didn't lie when I said things would be sporadic here for the next little while, but I hope you will all hang in with me as I sort things out.

**Warning...long post no pics.**

Today I thought I would fill you in on what is happening around here, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I think sometimes we get sucked into creating a facade of our lives on our blogs and I want my blog to be honest and authentic to me and who I am. Life is not always a bowl of cherries and things happen that change you either for a few moments or for a lifetime. Perhaps in sharing I can strike a chord with someone else and help them to feel a little less alone, or scared, or sad.

If you have been following along you will know that I am scheduled for surgery at the end of March, however I have not explained what is going on, so I thought I would do that today.

Still with me? Okay...

So last November after working out, I felt a weird sensation in my stomach/belly area. I just figured I had worked out my abs particularly hard and went on about my business. This sensation became present after each workout, but because it was not painful I thought little of it other than 'isn't that weird'.  Fast forward to end of December and one night laying in bed I started feeling around my belly and noticed a rather large lump (I'd say at the time it was about the size of an orange). Now, I had just lost 40lbs so my initial thought was 'maybe this is what one's insides feel like and I just never knew 'cause I had so much fat'. I kept tabs on it for a few days and it didn't go away. Then one night I woke in the middle of the night and it had moved locations...now this was weird, and I thought okay this is not right...time to see the doctor. By this time I would say the lump was about the size of a grapefruit.

As I waited in the doctors office I had a full out anxiety attack...what if I was imagining this? What if it was nothing and I was wasting this busy doctors time?...What if it was something?...What is it, what will happen?...Fear overcame me from both directions and it took everything I had in me not to cry. Enter the doctor. Now my doctor is wonderful, we always say he cares but not too much. He is not an alarmist, if things are fine he's quick to tell you that, and if he is concerned, he is calm and confident and takes appropriate measures. His look was of obvious and immediate concern as he palpated my stomach. Yes there was definitely something there...he palpated a few more minutes trying to get his bearings, and then said he wanted to do a pregnancy test...I joked that if I was pregnant I had some explaining to do as my husband had taken care of things a year ago...not pregnant was the verdict which I knew, so now the real fear set in. What was this? What could it be? What did my future now hold? Well on to the hospital the following week for a CT scan, then back to the doctor immediately following the results...always scary to get that call 'I want to see you right away'. End result I have a cyst the size of a small football and growing. Immediate concern is ovarian cancer, and we will not know until we remove the cyst. On to see the gynaecologist who stems the fear a lot by saying he is fairly certain the cyst is benign...whew! Now we just need to get it out. Thus the surgery. The surgery may result in a complete hysterectomy, but they won't know exactly what they are dealing with until they start...so that is the long and short of things. The details...but what about the emotion of it all...

Well let me tell you the two weeks between seeing my doctor, getting the CT scan and going back to my doctor was hell. I went through every emotion imaginable. An overwhelming fear crept in...what if I was going to die? It seems melodramatic now but at the time the fear was real, palpable, and paralyzing; I have three beautiful girls I need to see them grow up, I need to be there for them. I have a loving husband, I need to love him for a long time. I need to be with him to raise our children, I can't leave him alone to do that. Over those two weeks, I would sing the girls to sleep fighting back the tears. I would then sit in my dark bedroom for a moment to gather myself before returning to my husband. I tried so hard to keep it together, but had moments of losing it, and thankfully have a husband who  handled me in a kind loving way. No one talks about that time in a diagnosis. Nobody talks about when you don't know anything, but fear everything. No one addresses that, but it is real, it is valid and it happens. Whether the prognosis ends up being positive as in my case or not, there is still that period of time when you don't know and have to process the best and the worst case scenario. I'm here to acknowledge that, and to let anyone else who goes into that space know they aren't alone, they aren't overreacting, and they aren't being melodramatic. These are real and justified feelings.

Okay...so now to the present where things are good. I had a little set back a few weeks ago when I was afraid the cyst had ruptured and spent the afternoon in hospital. An unrelated infection it would seem. All looked after now. Pain has surfaced and that has kept me sidelined for a while, but seems to be managable now, so I can return to light exercise...thank goodness. The weight has been creeping back on and that is the last thing I want going into surgery where I will be recovering for a few weeks with no serious exercise. So the next three weeks will be spent getting back on track, being as healthy as can be so that I can minimize my recovery time.

Moments of fear for the worst still surface now and again, but I trust my doctors when they say things look good. I feel good, I feel positive, and am thankful for a loving and supportive husband, family and friends.

Wishing each of you health and happiness!


  1. Not knowing - it is the creeping dread isn't it? Been where you are and have been on the other side for a long time now. Hang in there, best of luck in surgery, healthy and hale recoop :) All will be well.

  2. I just found your blog. Best of luck with everything ...keep breathing and try to laugh every day.

  3. Thanks to each of you for your kind words and best wishes. I am sure everything will be just fine. How can it not when there is all this positive energy coming my way.
    @Cathy, I promise I laugh each and every day...many times a day, I have the best family in the world, and they keep the smile on :o)

  4. Not knowing is so hard, isn't it? Something that helps me through when I am uncertain is trusting that the Lord has a perfect plan for my life, and that there is nothing that comes across my path he doesn't either decree or allow--even if I can't understand why. SO hard to remember--but it calms me. I hope it all turns out okay and that you can move on from this stronger than you were when it all started. I'll be praying for you, Jo!

  5. oh my gosh - I feel for you. I can only imagine the thoughts going through your mind as you are waiting to hear. I think the wait is worse than the actual prognosis sometimes as your mind can go to places that you don't want it to go. Hopefully it won't be as bad as you initially thought and you can recover quickly (and get back to those gorgeous girls of yours!) big hugs xo


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