I am writing this blog on an iPhone. I have been experiencing a surprising health crisis. I thought that I was doing everything right. I am nearing 40, I watch my diet, and I am active– I lift, I run, I bike, and swim. I didn’t think I needed to go to the doctor, because a. I was in tuned to my body, b. I enjoyed being blissfully unaware of my own mortality, and c. I would KNOW if I was sick. Turns out me being active was nearly my undoing. It could still be my undoing (please pray).
My story started about a year ago, I was experiencing some discomfort in my back. I had gone into the doctor, and was told it was a back injury. I went through the physical therapy program, was declared not injured and went about my life.
A few months later, I experienced some dull aching pain in my back. I mentioned it a few times that I needed to do something about my back. I would do sit-ups, squats, and lunges. I mentioned the back ache a few times to my husband, but he shrugged it off.
I went on with my life. The pain ebbed and flowed with my cycle. Since it was regular monthly visitor, I assumed it was cramps, or ovulation. This month, I decided that I needed to go in, and get some piece of mind regarding my body. I am nearing 40, youth is fleeting. I thought running made me immune.
I was wrong. In 2002, I was in a train accident which affected my upper respiratory system. I had switched insurances, and made my first appointment in almost six years. The doctor being diligent ordered a chest x-Ray. They found something.
I had a pleural effusion, or liquid on the lungs. I was sent to the ER. Three CT scans later, I was transported to the region medical center. My kidney is being cut off by a large mass in my pelvis. Near my cervix.
The first thought, cervical cancer– with fluid on the lungs– I was probably stage 3 or 4. This plunged me into the cardiac ward where I rode a roller coaster.
First, my lungs were drained and then the fluid was sent off to be tested. Then a revolving door of doctors and specialists came to see me: I had cancer, I didn’t have cancer, there is a mass, there is no mass, I need a stent, I don’t need a stent.
I am now day five into this whole thing, and this is the best guess: my kidney was blocked by something in my pelvis. The something is either a cancerous ovarian tumor, fibroid tumor, or endometriosis. My guess- endometriosis (my history points towards it). I had a stent installed and biopsy on the mass. I am waiting on the final word. Then I face chemo, radiation, and/or hysterectomy. I am facing this with humor and positivity- I am young, healthy, and have a great support.
The biggest thing that I came away with is a few life lessons:
- Make peace with those you wronged. Don’t go out with regrets.
- Be an advocate for yourself.
- Don’t think that you are doing everything “right” that you are immune.
- Don’t put off, or skip annual exams.
- Be thankful for what you have.
- Don’t share medical diagnosis until you have the final word.
- Stay or get healthy– my activity and diet probably saved my life.
- If you do end up in my situation up your data plan.