Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cuts like a knife...and it don't feel right

I have a mass on my left ovary. I'm having surgery tomorrow to find out what it is. Ironically, according to the ultrasound report my right ovary is completely normal. But nothing feels normal anymore. I have never felt so alone in my life.

It all started back in September when I started having a searing pain in my pelvis. It was like there was a red hot jawbreaker trapped in the crook of my thigh. A trip to the urgent care provided medicine for a yeast infection. A trip to the ob/gyn provided medicine for a bladder infection. My pain subsided -- but then came back with a fury after I had worked an eighteen hour shift on Election Day. I felt like I had a gunshot wound and spent two days in bed. I went back to urgent care. The nice doctor told me he thought it was a cyst and ordered an ultrasound. He told me to follow up with my ob/gyn. That's when I learned about the mass.

"It's just a cyst," I said positively.

"It's solid. Cysts are fluid-filled. It's not normal," said Dr. Kittur (which sounds like couture.) "It has to come out."

"But I feel much better now," I pleaded. "Can I just keep it?"

"Sure. We can wait. Do another ultrasound...and then we'll do the surgery in two months."

Getting out of the surgery was not an option...nor was getting out of spending the night in the hospital. I begged, cried and pleaded.

"I've never been in the hospital!"

"Yes, you have," Dr. Kittur responded. "Unless you were born at home, you just don't remember it."

Just my luck, I've managed to find the only doctor in the Santa Clarita Valley with a wicked, dry sense of humor. Just the kind of sense of humor that I usually find irresistible in men. Yessiree, I've met my match in Dr. Kittur, who, by the sound of it should look like Project Runway's Tim Gunn, but instead actually looks like combination of Statler and Waldorf -- the two muppets who used to argue in the balcony during The Muppet Show.

My age and health history make me a high risk candidate for ovarian cancer. In case you didn't know, ovarian cancer patients rarely have a good prognosis. I pointed this out to Dr. Kittur.

"Well, you're at high risk for uterine cancer too," he responded.

Ah yes! Wicked, wicked dry.

My closest friends and family seem overwhelmed with the news. They don't know what to do for me. The handsomest man alive has shouldered the burden of having to spend time with me in the days before the surgery. I've had my moments. He's been as solid as a rock. What else would you expect from the handsomest man alive?

I've also been given a big assist from the Xanax that was given to me by Dr. Kittur. It has helped. A lot. As I was leaving the office with the golden prescription in my hand that day, I heard him dictating his notes in his office.

"Patient has an anxious personality..." he said. I know I should've been insulted, instead all I could think was how that was THE understatement of the year.

I debated about whether or not to blog about my left ovary. It isn't what this blog was supposed to be about -- I was hoping to celebrate middle age. But life is what happens to you while you're making other plans. And so as much as I can, with as much bravery as I can muster -- I will try to continue to share here.

Here's what you can do. I really need to know that there are people reading this blog. I need comments and well-wishes to feel less alone. Of course, I need your prayers, but I'd also love it if someone could call me on the phone and discuss last night's episode of The Big Bang Theory.
And please keep telling me that it's going to be okay, even if it's not going to be okay, because my definition of okay may never be the same again.


Mindy said...

Sarah, it's going to be ok! I have been wondering what has been going on with your health, thanks for sharing it so now we know. Your blog is awesome and so are you!

susan siegel crotty said...


Good luck to you - better to know early and take care of whatever it is than to have no choices when you find out too late. Will be thinking of you and am glad you are in good care.

You will be in my thoughts!

Susan Siegel Crotty

MomForThree said...

My prayers are with you tonight and tomorrow. I know how frustrating it is to wait. I had a little something in my breast a couple years ago. Turned out to be nothing, but you go through all the crazy thoughts regardless of what "it" is. We are all here for you!

Angspar said...


You've been my hero, muse and friend for longer than either of us care to admit. Take your cape off for a day or so and take time to heal.

You have my support, my faith and most of all my love.

I love you,
Sam Parschu - your good little pumpkin

Kimberly Stanphill said...

Hey Sarah-

You are going to be absolutely fine. My humor, love, light and prayers are absolutely with you right now and always, but please be absolute in your resolve that you are going to be wonderful and fine and achieve and master many things in the near and distant future ... and I believe in you ... ABSOLUTELY!!!

Love you,
Kim Stanphill

Ridge said...


As a veteran of difficult hospital stays (what stay wouldn't be difficult?) I always found a way to suss out the positive part of this was generally not the food except at those times when I had been several days deprived of it. The staff, the artwork in the halls, the garden, the view, the visitors, the gifts and cards, the droll wit of of the surgeon -- you can find ways to amuse and be amused. There are always surprises, good ones, to come along. You'll be skating along the beach with the handsomest man in the world in no time.


Judith said...

Hi Sarah,

I was sent here through T.Jay's email to the Coronet Writer's group. I used to go, and I think you were there once when I was, but I believe you attended for awhile before I showed up.

Anyway, we don't really know each other, but it doesn't matter. I just want to send my good wishes and tell you that everything's going to be alright.

Much love,

GD said...

I'm sending lots of positive thoughts your way! I think you just have to accept the fact that, while the situation sucks, you've identified the problem and the solution and that's a very positive thing! Maybe finding a more sympathetic doctor would ease your mind...

Janet said...

I've had a lump removed from my breast years ago, yours seems just as scary. You've got a lot of people on your side and my family will certainly be praying for you and we will pass your request on at church.
God Bless
Janet (McWethy) Schleh