In late July we went to our first appointment at the fertility clinic. First we met with Dr. M. in his office. We talked about our test results from the tests ordered by my OB, and he recommended a fertility vitamin for my husband, and thought that IUI with clomid was a good place to start for us. Then we went on to the exam. We went into the exam room and I had an ultrasound done. Dr. M started by looking at my uterus, which looked to be normal, then my left ovary, and then…..we got to my right ovary…..and he sort of stopped speaking….for like 3 minutes. It went from being a guided tour of my lady parts to stone cold silence. He started to draw on the screen with his little pen and finally spoke. I had a cyst. Now, cysts are actually really common, but at the time I did not know this. The cyst was on my right ovary and was basically “taking over” reducing my poor little ovary to a slight crescent shape. Dr. M. also couldn’t tell what type of cyst it was, but he thought it was probably a dermoid cyst, or possibly an endometrial cyst. He flipped on the lights and basically said I needed to have it surgically removed, handed me some literature on laparoscopy and hysteroscopy and said someone from his office would call me to schedule, and that was that. Appointment over.
You never really know how you’re going to react to this kind of news, especially when you don’t fully understand it. I think its safe to say, that the first thing I experienced was shock. I will be honest, it was the LAST thing I expected to hear. It never entered my head that surgery could possibly be in my near future when I walked in that building. So my husband and I left, and headed to work. On the way I called my mom and had a very calm conversation about the news. As I parked my car in the lot at work, I think it started to sink in a little more. I got into my office and put my stuff down at my station, and walked up to my boss’s cube. Before I could get one word out something snapped and I started sobbing. SOBBING. In the middle of the office. Poor guy. I have a great relationship with my boss, thank goodness. He swiftly pulled me into a conference room and I absolutely broke down. Hysterical girl crying. How embarrassing! Really how thankful am I that he is such a good guy. Without sharing too many details I told him I had gotten some bad news and I would need to be taking some time off in the near future to have surgery. He was very supportive, and just wanted to make sure I was okay. He suggested I take a little time out and walk to Starbucks. Actually he also offered to let me go home for the day and work remotely for the day. Eventually I took him up on that after realizing I was getting absolutely no work done.
On my walk to Starbucks I finally pulled myself together. How exactly was I going to handle this workwise? Was I going to tell people details? Or just that I was going to be out for medical reasons. Really you can’t say that to someone you work with every day without them asking questions, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to bust out words like Ovary to my male coworkers. Awkward. I decided I would just say I had a cyst in my abdomen (sort of true) and leave it at that, unless i happened to be talking to a female coworker who was a friend. The response I got was interesting. Men asked no other questions. Women, however (those female coworkers who I did not consider a close friend to fully share), were more apt to ask questions. I actually had one colleague directly ask me if my cyst was ovarian and if I had gotten a second opinion because she was scared they were going to perform a full hysterectomy. She suggested I go to a famous cancer center in Boston before proceeding. The C word was never mentioned by Dr. M. so I wasn’t concerned that cancer or a hysterectomy were a possibility. But really, yikes.
The surgery scheduler was hopeful to get everything scheduled for mid-August. Unfortunately the surgery center didn’t have availability in August at all, so it was set for early September. A week later I got a letter with my scheduled time, three pages of labs to get drawn, and instructions. Part of this letter, however, said that the surgery had to be done in the 6-12 day of my cycle. Doing my cycle math, even with an irregular cycle, there is no way that the date scheduled would fall in day 6-12. Absolutely no way. I was frustrated to say the least. Obviously you have to give you cycle history when you go to the first appointment, so they must have the date of my last cycle start. So why on earth would the schedule for early September?? Well the first few conversations I had with the scheduler didn’t give me the warm and fuzzies about her to begin with, so I decided to email Dr. M. directly and copy her. He assured me with the procedure I was going to have it didn’t matter what cycle day I was on. Great news, but why did the letter make such a big deal about it then!? After that email, it was never brought up again, but just the stress of possible changes was stress enough. UGH,