Health Magazine

My Ovarian Cyst

By Jaysav1982 @jaysav1982

Hi all.

Here I am going to give you an insight into my Ovarian Cyst which was discovered in November 2008 and what happened in my life during that time. Let me take you back to June 2008.

The excitement in my life had just stepped up a notch as I was in preparation to move into my first flat, just me and my little baby girl. After spending many months buying all necessary ‘bits and bobs’ ready for the big move, I could not wait for the big day when the removals van arrived outside the house I had been sharing with my mum. That day arrived – I was beaming all day but constantly thinking about the nagging pain that was reoccurring in my lower abdomen area. This was a pain that I had been experiencing for some time but I always put the pain down to stress, menstrual cycle, ‘being a woman’. This pain was always more prominent when I was lifting something heavy. As a sufferer of I.B.S, the pains became more painful during a ‘I.B.S Attack’ (as I would call them).

   After settling into our new flat, my daughter was preparing for her first day at big school. I was able to concentrate my mind on ensuring that she had all of her new uniform ready, all the time putting the pains behind me – by the September ’08 I had found that the pains were getting gradually worse. The start of the new school term began and off we went to school, I was also excited as I had just been offered an interview for a perfect job. Things really were looking up.

My daughter settled into school immediately and was turning into a complete book-worm, she loved going to school every day. I was offered the job. The pains were getting worse. I also noticed now that during my monthly cycle, the pains were increasingly worse and my cycle was more and more erratic. In late September I had decided ‘enough was enough’ and made an appointment with my GP to see what they thought, regarding the pains and swelling that had been increasing over time. I had also spoken to my employer regarding my concerns, thankfully they were very understanding.

At the doctors; Sat waiting nervously in the waiting room, I had never felt so nervous in my life but I couldn’t quite understand why. I was called in and every concern I had ever had about the pains seemed to spill out uncontrollably. I was asked to lie on the examination table so the Doctor could examine my stomach – within 20 seconds she had felt enough. Immediately I was advised that I must be sent for an Ultrasound Scan to have a better look into the swelling. An appointment was made immediately but I was unable to get an appointment for another 3 weeks. They were the longest 3 weeks of my life.

I went to the local hospital for the scan, early morning appointment after being ‘nil by mouth’ since the night before I sat in the waiting room nervously waiting for my name to be called. Suddenly a nurse popped her head out of a room, called my name and my heart suddenly sped up. I went in and lay down on the couch, the examiner had a relaxing feel about him. He put the jelly liquid on my stomach, placed the instruments on and began the scan. His first words to me regarding the scan were, “Ahh, you have kept a full bladder for us today”. I was shocked at these words as, since I got up 5 hours before my scan I had had about 3 small sips of water and many trips to the bathroom. How could I have a full bladder???   My face looking shocked, I explained that I had had nothing to eat or drink that day as I was advised to do so. The doctor then took a closer look at the screen with this large mass on and realised that it was not my bladder, but in fact a very large Ovarian Cyst. He explained that the cyst was very large and I had several smaller cysts below it. I was told that I must make appointments with the Gynaecology Department immediately. My eyes welled up and I felt as though the walls were closing in, I left the room and got out of the hospital as quick as I could whilst calling my dad to come and pick me up. The tears came and my dad rushed to get me. I told my dad what had been said and he was able to comfort me and reassure me. He took me straight to my workplace so I could speak to my Line Manager, she was amazing and advised me that I could continue working as long as I wanted to and she would help with as much as she could as an employer.

I went to see my GP a week later to get the full diagnosis, she advised me that I had a very large Ovarian Cyst measuring 16cm by 10cm on my left Ovary. It was the largest cyst she had ever seen – this did not help my nerves. I was advised that I would have to undergo surgery and weekly appointments at the hospital Gynaecology Department to keep an eye on the cysts. I was prescribed a large selection of pain killers as the pains I was getting were now becoming increasingly worse. My life had to continue. I had a 5-year-old daughter to care for, she was my top priority.

Months past and I could now see the cyst when I was lying down, a visible lump appearing. By January 2009, I was now finding it hard to sit properly as the pressure became too much to bear. I could no longer go to work, as a Receptionist and Administrator my role was to sit front of house. Even driving became difficult as I was unable to sit comfortably. What made matters worse was in the time that I was off work and my operation being put back due to my surgeon being off work – my employers had to make some redundancies as times were hard and they had to make cut backs. As I had been off for some time and would be until after my surgery, I got the call from my Line Manager to say that, unfortunately, I was being made redundant. This happened on the same day I finally had a date for my operation. March 19th 2009. It was also on the day we were moving into a much larger detached bungalow with a garden for my daughter.

On the day of my surgery, I dropped my daughter off at school, spoke to her teacher and explained to her that it was the day of my operation. I asked to ensure that my daughter was OK during the day. My mum and dad came with me to the hospital, this was my first time undergoing surgery so my nerves had gone into overdrive. They sat with me on the ward while I awaited my bed, the tears were falling. By mid-day, I had been assigned my place on the ward and I told my parents that I would be fine from then on and they left, preparing to collect my daughter from school and have her stay with my mum until my return.

I was told that I would be the last operation of the day (around 8pm), given my robes and spare pillow and sat waiting. My mobile phone was my blessing now. At 4pm, I was approached by a nurse who then advised me that I would be going down to the operating room next and should prepare. My first thought was to cry – but I had to be strong. Within 10 minutes a very friendly, kind nurse came to me to take me ‘down’, we walked along the never-ending corridors talking all the way – any conversation topic to distract my mind. My daughter was all I thought about. We got to the waiting rooms, tears streaming down my face now and she knew how nervous I was – her reassuring words helped. Suddenly a burly man came from a room, clipboard in hand, heading straight for me – my name being called. He took me into a bright, clean room and helped me onto a (rather uncomfortable) bed. Whilst chatting away, I was aware that the Anaesthetic was being prepared next to me – whilst attempting to put the needles in my hand the needle caught a bone in my hand, at this I cried at the pain (combined with total fear of surgery that had suddenly emerged), I felt something then that soothed me immediately – no, it wasn’t the drugs being pumped into my body. It was the hands of the burly man, He put his hands on my face – to help calm me down and all of a sudden I felt no fear. The last time I saw the clock was 4:18pm, I felt an amazing rush and just wanted to laugh. I was out.

My eyes opened and all I could see was an off white coloured room, the sounds of people walking around. I was in recovery. Straight away a man approached me and was asking how I was, I felt groggy but ok. He told me there and then that the cyst had been removed successfully, but unfortunately, they could not save my left Ovary. I had had my left Ovary and fallopian tube removed during surgery. Small price to pay in my opinion. The operation had been carried out using keyhole surgery AKA Laparoscopy. The doctors came to check over me and ensure that I was ok, then began to wheel me back to the ward. When we got back, I was told once again what happened during surgery and what had been removed. It was all sinking in now. The cyst was gone. I was left to recover, unbeknown to me, that anaesthetic makes me very sick. I called a nurse when the room began to spin, she provided a ‘bowl’ and pumped more anit-sickness drugs into me.

During the night, I managed around 2 hours sleep but began to feel better all the time. I knew now that I had to await the result on the cyst to find out whether there were any cancerous cells. I was supposed to be going home the next day, as long as all was ok. It wasn’t, I was still being sick and was advised that I would be kept in another night to make sure I was ok. My parents brought my daughter to see me that day, as soon as she walked onto the ward I felt 1000% better. She ran to me – arms opened for a cuddle from her mummy, I could not wait to hold her in my arms again. She had bought me a teddy bear with ‘I Love My Mum’ emblazoned onto the front, a tear came to my eye. We sat for a while talking. I did not want my baby to leave, but due to visiting hours they had to go. I sat for the rest of the night, chatting away with the lady in the bay opposite me. Finally the sickness had not reared its head for many hours and I was recovering. That night went past in a blur. I was awaiting the morning rounds from the ward Doctor to discover whether I would be going home. It was now Sunday 22nd March 2009 – Mothers Day. It was also the day that Jade Goody (of Big Brother fame) lost her fight with Cervical Cancer. Finally, the doctors were out on their ’rounds’, he came to me – we had a chat about the surgery, my recovery and how I was feeling after all the sickness. I was allowed to go home. Immediately I called my dad to tell him, he went straight round to pick up my mum and daughter and set off to collect me. I collected my large bag of pain killers and other tablets and was off.

When I got home, my brother was in my kitchen preparing a Mothers Day / Welcome Home meal for the 5 of us. I felt so blessed. About 4 hours after my return, we sat around the table – the meal looked amazing. I wanted to eat everything I saw but due to the discomfort I still felt, could only manage a few delicious tasting mouthfuls.

I was home, surrounded by my family and cyst free. All I had to do now was recover from my surgery. My mum stayed with us for a week after my operation to ensure I was ok and she could take my daughter to school for me. One week after my operation and my wounds were healing well, my stitches had just been removed – I started to feel a little ill. I began vomiting every 10-15 minutes despite still not eating too much. I called NHS Direct and was advised to get to hospital A & E immediately as I had been vomiting for 5 hours constantly, due to the recent surgery it was the best option. When I got to the hospital I was advised that I had a small virus and that I was ok.

6 weeks after my surgery, I attended a post operative appointment at the hospital – It was here I would find out if there were any abnormal cells found in the cyst. I was lucky. It was clear.

From here, my recovery got quicker. My scars were healing, I had 6 small incisions around my abdomen and all were fine. I was now able to drive in comfort again and move on with my life.

It has now been 2 years since my operation. During my illness, my weight had ballooned from a size 12-14 to 18-20, partly due to the size of my waistline and cyst and partly (as I understand now) due to the depression I was having at the time. I am now back down to a 12-14 (due to quitting smoking, my weight increased again) but I am healthy.

Read my other blogs for more insights into my complicated lifes’ trials and tribulations.

Thank you for reading.

Nene. xxxx

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