Your comments about My Story yesterday caught me completely off guard and overwhelmed me. Thank you so much for sharing your stories. I won’t lie – it’s a bit of an emotional struggle writing about all of this, even though it was more than 30 years ago. Or maybe it’s just the full moon tomorrow, ha ha. Whichever, you’ve inspired me to continue on with the story today.
Dr. Bargman said no, the tumor was probably not cancerous, but benign.
After drinking the prescribed 200 gallons of water I was ready for the ultrasound. I slowly crawled up on the table only to be told to go to the bathroom “pee for the count of 12 and then stop”.
Are you serious?!?
I didn’t actually say that. I don’t have much of a ‘voice’ now and had even less at age 21, especially in my panicked state, but I did manage to squeak out “Can my husband come in?” The tech nodded and before I was back up on the cold table, Dr. Bargman poked his head through the door. I had just met this man less than two hours ago and he’d already seen my nekked body and was about to see my insides too.
The slight pressure from the cold goopy wand on my tummy caused incredible pain. Dr. B held my hand with one of his and with the other, stroked my forehead.
The Husband all the while stood back against the wall, close by the door, ready to make a quick getaway just in case my insides exploded. Indeed, they felt like they might just do that.
“See that?” Dr. Bargman pointed to the white mass(es) that nearly filled the ultrasound screen. “Those aren’t supposed to be there.”
I might’ve flunked Biology in school but I knew what had to be done. Surgery? What’s the big deal. They have pain medication, right?
Six or seven hours later I knew what the big deal was. There wasn’t enough Demerol in the entire hospital to combat the pain coursing thru my body. I was so groggy the rest of that evening I just peeped an eye open to see my husband in the bedside chair watching the episode of “Dallas” that I had told him I absolutely couldn’t miss, surgery or not. (You had to be around in the early ’80’s to understand the significance.)
I didn’t care about J.R. or Bobby. I didn’t care about the white whatever-it-was in my abdomen and whether it was still there or not. I didn’t care about having babies.
I just wanted the pain to stop. And the vomiting. Ah, yes. As if the pain from the surgery wasn’t enough, each time I wretched it felt like a white-hot spear was ripping thru my insides.
The next morning, Dr. B swept into my room, declaring “Boy, we hit you with a Mack truck!” He wasn’t kidding, either. Three hours of your insides being cut open and moved to and fro makes one feel like you’ve been hit by a semi.
He quickly informed me, “The tumors were not dermoid. They weren’t tumors at all. They were cysts. ‘Chocolate’ cysts.”
That’s what entrometriosis cysts are called because they were filled with chocolate-looking fluid. Just the image should’ve sworn me off chocolate for the rest of my life, which I was hoping would only be a few more hours. Anything to stop the pain.
“If you were any older, I would’ve cleaned you out (read: hysterectomy), but I left everything in so you have every possible chance to conceive.”
You know those stories about women falling in love with their doctors? This incredibly caring infertility specialist was now the object of my affections. If anyone could get me pregnant, Dr. Bargman could.
You know what I mean.
He went on to say that because the chocolate cysts were the size of two honeydew melons they had pressed against my back, causing the severe pain. In fact, he said, they had pressed against everything inside of me and then he called me ‘stoic’, a word I had to look up in the dictionary later.
At the time I only had one concern – Okay, okay, I’m a ‘stoic’. Will I be able to get pregnant now?
Dr. B raised his eyebrows, took a deep breath and slowly let it out.