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The Monster Inside Me

The monster inside me Ovarian cancer

I had a monster inside me, but no doctor would believe me.

It’s been fifteen years since my diagnosis and yet I can still remember the fight I had just to get a doctor to listen to me.

I knew there was something wrong, but every symptom brought a “reasonable” explanation from them. Every complaint was easily explained away.
I complained  a long time about digestive issues. They immediately wrote it off as irritable bowel syndrome. I was told to take fiber pills on several occasions.

At one point my legs kept going numb. I was told to do back strengthening exercises.

When I once mentioned that my loose stools got worse during my period, the doctor actually asked in a condescending tone, “And where did you see that?” I was basically made to feel like it was all in my head.

Not once!

Not once did they ever stop and feel my abdomen or run a test!
Until September 2008……

September 2008

In September of 2008 I had gotten extremely sick like a stomach flu during my monthly menses. This time I went to the FEMALE doctor in the practice. She felt my stomach and did an internal check. Because she felt uncomfortable with what she found, she sent me for an ultrasound.

Something Is Wrong

Usually when I go for an ultrasound, I easily engage the technicians in light banter and I ask questions about what we were looking at. This time, she carefully evaded my questions….. and I knew something was wrong.

As it turned out, it wasn’t all in my head as they implied.

I had a large watermelon growing inside of me and the size was putting pressure on my spine making my legs numb.

It was affecting my intestines, squeezing them out causing bowel disturbances. And I found out I had been right all along.

Feeling sicker during your menstrual cycle was not such a far-fetched idea after all. It was an actual symptom.

Now, to their credit, family doctors are not trained in gynecological issues like this. They have a general education in medicine because they have to deal with all kinds of problems, however they should have investigated further.

I had a monster in my abdomen and my monster had a name. It was Ovarian Cancer.
 

Monster Named Cancer

Because they were not familiar with Ovarian Cancer, they misdiagnosed me and because they misdiagnosed me, the cancer was a stage three when it was finally discovered.


The problem with diagnosing Ovarian cancer is that it can mimic so many other diseases.

Be Persistent!

It is important to know both the symptoms and your body and do NOT let a doctor tell you it is all in your head. Be persistent!

Tell them to check just to put your mind at ease and use an imaging test when they do because the marker for Ovarian Cancer, CA 125, does NOT catch every type of Ovarian Cancer. It did not catch my type.

Symptoms

“So what are the symptoms?”, you may ask. They are:

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Back pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Pain during sex
  • Bloating
  • Increased abdominal girth
  • Vague abdominal pain and pelvic discomfort
  • Menstrual Changes
  • Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often.
  • Upset stomach or heartburn.
  • Weight loss or difficulty losing weight.
  • Constipation
  • Gas and/or indigestion that persists over time.

It is best to get a physical check AND an imaging test and remember!

A pap smear CAN NOT detect Ovarian Cancer!

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