This London story is so much longer than I originally intended. The more I write the more I seem to remember. It’s like the memories were stuffed in a brain wardrobe out of sight and now everything is spilling into my consciousness. I’m pretty sure that’s called ‘avoidance’ or numbing the emotions when things are simply too difficult for you to process so you just don’t.
A lot of things that I write here might not be remarkable in any way to other people, but via these blogs I hope to let go of the trauma I felt from all of this. Yes worse things happen in life but to me, this turned my life upside down and gave it a good shake. It made me view life differently and re-evaluate what I wanted out of it. This is my final piece to recovery and upon which I will close this chapter.
So what was actually wrong with you???? I know if you have been reading this for some time you must be getting impatient with my cliff hangers so all will be revealed.
After my relationship-changing scan I was back on the ward. The chronological order of events is quite blurry on this day to be honest. I had another scan but I can’t remember if it came before or after the consultant came to visit me or if it was even on the same day. I think it could have been because they would say the consultant would come to see me and it didn’t happen for a few days.
Finally, I heard my curtain scratch and get pulled around, an indication someone was coming to speak to me about something important. It rather amused me though, these curtains weren’t soundproof but they were treated as such. My consultant was accompanied by two other colleagues whos faces I can’t really remember. He was a tall man with dark grey hair, glasses and an accent which I still can’t place- Polish maybe? He had a surname that reminded me of a Tennis player. I can’t believe I can’t even remember his name now, it used to be imprinted in my brain.
He introduced himself and explained that he was a Gynaecology Consultant. My memory of what he would say next is also blurry. The way he uttered them is stored in my memory like a slow motion film with no sound until the sentence ‘we have found a rather large mass on your ovary’. He explained that it was 10 x13cm in length and it was sitting on top of my right ovary. I’m not really sure what I was thinking but I still hadn’t quite absorbed the seriousness of this. He then explained that since it was so large that meant they couldn’t remove it via keyhole surgery. This was all like German to me I was like hmmm ok ok. Realising my blank face he added:
‘you will have to have open surgery and since the blood supply to your right ovary has been cut off due to the mass you will have to have it removed along with the right ovary and fallopian tube’
I blinked. I felt Cameron reach over and take my hand.
‘due to the size of the mass we are unsure whether this is a large cyst or a borderline tumour’
I blinked again, staring at him. Hearing the words he was saying but not understanding.
‘we will remove it and then test it, there is also a possibility that during removal we may have to remove part of your bowel depending on the texture of the mass’
Tumour. Cyst. Removing my Ovary.
‘Do you have any questions?’
I swallowed, ‘When will the surgery take place?’
‘We have you on our emergency list and we will get you into theatre as soon as we can’
‘How does this affect my fertility?’
‘Well we cannot say at this stage but we are hopeful that this is a cyst and if it is and your ovary is removed, the other ovary will take over the work of the other ovary and it will still be possible to have children’
I nodded. He walked away from my bedside and I stared into space. I started to put Cameron over what he had just said. I didn’t trust my own memory:
“Did he just say that he was taking my ovary out?’’
Cameron nodded and patted my hand.
I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock. I reasoned with myself, at least it won’t affect my fertility. It could be worse. I was in the best place to get this mess sorted out. I was being looked after. Worse things happen to people.
It was almost like my brain was pulling out all the stops to protect my feelings from what I had been told. This news was like a virus unleashed into my consciousness and my little reassurances were the antibodies released to protect my mind from meltdown.
Before I had time to inform anyone else about what was wrong with me my phone rang, it was my sister. I began to tell her about what the consultant said and when I went to state the most crucial part my voice broke
‘I’m going to lose my right ovary’
Then the tears came. I felt bad. I personally wouldn’t know what to do if someone cried down the phone to me. I quickly finished the conversation and got off the phone.
For once in my life I had been shocked into silence.
Even writing about this, years after it happened, makes me uncomfortable. My brain wants to keep the memories in the closet. I know that I need to process them as trauma continues to live in the body until it is healed. But it’s hard. This next part is about to get even harder as the operation approaches and I begin the recovery process. There are still some laughs in between – don’t worry! I suppose my rationale for writing it is that being in hospital and all the things you experience is something that so many people go through but don’t talk about. It’s the feeling of helplessness and awareness of your mortality that changes your perspective forever. This wasn’t something that was life threatening for me but it was life altering. By sharing this story I want to open peoples eyes to what happens when the rug is ripped from under you and you are faced with nothing but your own health and wondering why you never made it a priority. Your life is yours only to live but so many factors like work and other people make you feel like it’s about them instead. I’m here to tell you it isn’t.