Pondering My Diagnosis, Kelly’s Journey
This story is one part of an ongoing series where NJ101.5 news reporter and anchorwoman Kelly Waldron chronicles her experiences after being diagnosed with Endometriosis. Follow "Kelly's Journey."
When you're 40 years old and you hear from your doctor that a partial hysterectomy is necessary, it takes a while to digest and sink in.
When I got the phone call, it was not only hard to process, but certain things weren't making sense to me. So, I kept asking myself, what do I know for sure? I know that I have two ovaries that are infested with hemorrhagic cysts. I know the doctor told me I need to have them removed. But, what I wasn't getting was why only remove a section of the uterus? So, I decided to call my doctor for clarification. It turns out, I didn't process what he was saying on that first day when he called and I didn't hear him correctly. So, he clarified everything for me.
So, this is what he said. First, both ovaries have the cysts. Being that I already had surgery to remove a "baseball-sized" cyst from my right ovary three years ago and it's moved to my other ovary now too, he believes that a partial hysterectomy is the best option for me. Endometriosis is very aggressive. There is no cure. I can take medicines and continue to have procedures, but inevitably, I'm going to eventually have to have this procedure. So, what that means is the entire uterus comes out along with the ovaries. Why? Because once you remove both ovaries, if you take estrogen and leave the uterus in tact, then you will be subject to irregular bleeding. Being that both ovaries will be gone, who needs to deal with that? The cervix is going to stay in tact.
My next question. I thought endometriosis could not be diagnosed with an MRI and the only way to know for sure is through a laparoscopic procedure, so how do you know this is exactly what it is? To which he responded, "You are correct, but the MRI did show that you have hemorrhagic cysts on both ovaries. This is indicative of endometriosis. I can guarantee you that when the surgeon goes in, there will be no surprises." My doctor has been around a long time and he has never steered me in the wrong direction. I have always trusted him. Plus, I will be going to see the surgeon who also will provide me with her take on it and I will continue to gather more information.
It's funny though how once you get a diagnosis, your body seems to start feeling it more. I don't know if it's just because I'm just back at that point again where the cysts are large and beginning to bother me or if it's a psychosomatic thing where I received a diagnosis, so it's just in my head now. Regardless, I have been extremely uncomfortable ever since. My abdominal area is constantly bloated, I can literally feel discomfort, mostly in my right side, but now it's in my left as well. It's just gotten to the point where I'm actually looking forward to meeting with the surgeon because I am just so tired of dealing with all of this.
So then, the next phase of my journey began. I have always been a person who needs to talk when something is on my mind. I wear my heart on my sleeve and what you see is what you get. There are no skeletons and I don't really keep much in. Talking is therapy for me as is writing. When I wrote my first blog about my diagnosis, I cannot tell you the number of people who reached out to me, not only to share their heartfelt thoughts, prayers and well-wishes, but to share their stories. I heard from so many women, friends and people my age who have gone through this or are struggling with similar conditions. It felt so good to know that I'm not alone in this. It was at that point that I decided, this is an important topic that needs to be discussed. So, I decided to share my story.
My plan is to continue blogging before surgery, during recovery and after. I want to share as much as I can, not only because it helps me to write about it and talk about it. But, also because I hope that by sharing my story, I can help others in the same or similar situations. So please, keep sharing with me and I will do the same.
Previously in "Kelly's Journey":