Could Be Ovarian Cancer

This is a difficult one to tell but I’ll try. I’m sorry I won’t be able to get exact dates, but hopefully I can put the events in some sort of order.

So maybe about 6-7 months ago, I noticed swelling in my legs down to ankles when I’d eat certain things. After doing some research, I came to the conclusion that it was probably a histamine intolerance and took some action to clear that up.

I stopped eating the foods I’d react to that way and I took some supplements.  I gave it some time and then try the food again. Much of the time, if I gave it enough time, I was able to eat the food again.

The scariest reaction was when I could feel what felt like my brain swelling after eating  an orange one day. But even those I introduced back around Christmas time and I was okay.

One food I came to depend highly on for months, was local raw milk. And then I started to mix it with kefir. Kefir was one of the foods that made my legs swell for a time, but when I introduced it back, in small portions I was okay.  I started making a raw milk/kefir drink in the mornings because it was quick and easy.

Maybe about two months ago, I noticed reflux at night and finally figured out it was the starchy carbs, I had been eating quite a bit of rice at that point. I used Betaine HCl for when I got the reflux, but also worried about effects it might have long term. So I stopped taking it so regularly and also stopped the starches.

So at that point, including the raw milk and kefir, I was down to eating just animal foods. And I was digesting them all just fine. I went through a period where eggs seemed to be a problem and again cut them out.

Then I noticed the milk becoming a problem and then the kefir and cut that drink out completely. I have no plans of going back to that and worry that that was a major culprit here.

I started to get mid-back pain that radiated around from the discomfort of the left front side too.

I finally called the doctor. When I saw her she pushed a little on my stomach and it was exactly where it was tender. I explained the symptoms and even the mid-back pain. I know that back pain like that combined with the other symptoms could be a sign of different cancers.

I thought, stomach cancer and then I thought pancreatic cancer since my father died from that. I also thought about pancreatitis and H. Pylori.

I first had blood work done, the usual CBC and an A1C. The CBC results were all fine. The A1C shows me as pre-diabetic. No surprise there, with my awful eating habits, especially up to the point of having these severe digestive issues.

I also got a complete abdominal ultra-sound. All was fine there. No inflammation of the organs showed up. Of course it can’t see into the stomach though.

I was then tested for H. Pylori and got what is called a FIT test in lieu of a colonoscopy. Both came back negative.

I have the capability of communicating with the doctor online through something called MyChart and we have been going back and forth on that since I’ve seen her.

The next thing I asked about was getting a blood test for pancreatic enzyme levels and mentioned that I was also concerned about the possibility of an ulcer despite H.Pylori being negative.

She was fine with testing for the enzymes even though she doesn’t think that’s the problem, although she did say that chronic pancreatitis is possible given my old drinking habits.  She also suggested testing for celiac.

Although I have not eaten much in the way of wheat or gluten containing foods in quite some time, I doubt that’s the issue. I did tell her what I had been eating when I saw her, but it’s pretty apparent that she’s not taking a lot of what I tell her, in.

She does seem open to tests, and is not dismissing my symptoms though, which is probably the most important thing, since I don’t expect sound nutrition advice from a DO.

But then she suggested another test that caused a feeling of dread to wash over me and stop me completely in my tracks.   She said that I should get screened for ovarian cancer.

It’s a blood test. There’s a particular marker that is high if you have this cancer. But when I looked it up, it’s also a marker that can be high in someone who has uterine fibroids. And I have those. So I don’t want that test first.
I want a trans-vaginal ultrasound.

The message about this from her came to me on Friday afternoon. It felt like my world came crashing down and I already made the decision that that must be what’s wrong.  I mean, it got to the point where I wasn’t digesting anything at all.

I looked up symptoms of ovarian cancer and sure enough, digestive problems is one of them.

I’m devastated. I don’t know if I can withstand surgery, chemo and radiation.  The possibility of this makes me scared and sad. I never really got a chance to live.

I got so sick of not being able to digest anything, I started to fast. I haven’t eaten since Friday afternoon. It’s Sunday afternoon as I write this.

I’m not a person who likes to see the doctor or indulge in tests. I’m afraid of hospitals and to think about being out of commission for 6 weeks out of surgery, is a devastating feeling since there is no one to care for me.

I think about texting my mother and letting her know about it, but then I feel so devastated that my life would come to such a tragic situation that I would need to rely on someone who betrayed me so horribly.

I know, I don’t even know for sure yet, but the more time goes by, the more it makes sense. I’m scared…no I’m terrified.

(Sorry for any typos or confusion in the story. I can’t bring myself to proof read right now.)

 

So I Had This Dream This Morning

Sometime before 4 am I had a dream about seeing my mother. Now all these hours later it’s a bit fuzzy but I’ll do my best.

I pulled up to house on some (unfamiliar street in real life) and parked my car in a small hilly driveway. I got out and walked up the hill, around the back of my car toward a house that was offset from the road. It had a large front yard and wood porch with concrete steps.

I walked up to the door and inside. It was my mother’s house and she was expecting me. My sister was there too, although she was kind of an incidental presence and we didn’t talk to each other at all.

My mother and I started to talk and I was telling her something. This is what I can’t remember at all. I don’t know what I was telling her but I was trying to get her to understand something. And she was basically gas lighting me. Again, I don’t remember what she was saying either.

It was something along the lines of me telling her that she can’t say one thing one minute and change it up the next. Both can’t be right or true.  But she insisted on.

During this back and forth with my mother is when I noticed my sister there and she was just kind of a floating presence. She was saying nothing.

I finally had had enough of my mother’s game and said angrily, “Fine mom, GOODBYE!”
And I gathered my stuff and went for the door.

My mother said something else but I don’t know what it was and I again replied, “No! GOODBYE!”
And left, flew down the steps and across the large yard in front.

-End of dream-


So when I woke at 4 am to this I was like, “Whoa! That was pretty wild.”

I have a couple interpretations of it.

One: Since today was the anniversary of my father’s death, I transferred my goodbye to my father, who died six years ago today, to my mother, even though she is still alive. This sort of thing made its way into a dream because I was fully aware of the approaching anniversary as I went to sleep last night. It was actually pretty heavy on my mind. Thoughts of my father have cycled back into my mind again.  His ashes came to my attention recently and I made a mission to finally get myself to the grave site of his parents and other family so I could put the ashes there and say a (sort of) final goodbye to him. The idea of doing something with them has been hanging over my head for a very long time. I was single minded and focused on Friday. And it is done.

The other: I noticed that I only said Goodbye, when in the dream I remember distinctly wanting to tell her that I never want to see her again. But I refrained. I was hoping that the word ‘Goodbye’ would get the message across but I would absolutely not make it completely clear with no room for doubt. I’ve done the same thing in real life. Just the simple fact that she’s my mother, it makes sense that I’m ambivalent.

But there is much more to it. There’s the codependent aspect where I’m more worried about her feelings than my own. But not long ago in a therapy session, I figured out the reason I won’t finalize things with her and tell her I don’t want her in my life at all anymore.

It’s because I’m afraid that I will need her. And apparently I carry that into my dreams too.

 

Anniversary of My Father’s Death

I started to write the whole freaking story about my father in hospice, the abuse I dealt with in reference to it, his terminal agitation and my doubts that he should’ve been in there when he first went in.

I was going to talk about how we ‘celebrated’ Easter that year (2013) at the hospice, while my father lay unconscious in the hospice bed.  (I want to throw up just thinking about that right now.)

As I wrote though, I could feel all the anger coming up. My body tighten up all over, my head hurts and I feel a rage that I cannot direct anywhere.  So although anger can be good, I question how productive it is when it’s something from the past and I cannot stand up to what is making me angry, because it’s just a phantom at this point.

Of course I should be angry. But now I feel I’d be better off finding ways to make sure I’m never treated that way again, by anyone. Or at least learn to have the ability to stand up for myself when someone attempts it.  It is better that I allow my body to digest my food that I’ve just eaten, because the anger and stress I feel as I relive these events gives me reflux right.

Besides, I have written about this in the past right here on this blog, and all I seem to be accomplishing is getting myself agitated.  I will probably have terminal agitation myself at the time of my death if I don’t figure out a way to come to terms with everything.  Mostly accept that what happened, happened. Forgive myself for not standing up for myself and be okay with never forgiving them. No matter what the rhetoric is.

They don’t deserve my forgiveness. They aren’t sorry, so it’s not okay. Well, even if they were sorry, it would not be okay.

I was feeling ashamed about suspecting that my father was being manipulative by going into hospice when he did, given that he was fully conscious and at times seemed lucid. Everyone else in a bed in that place, laid silent and sleeping.

Knowing and understanding what I know now, seeing his terminal agitation, I no longer believe it was manipulation on his part.

But my suspicions didn’t exist in a vacuum and come out of nowhere.  There were reasons behind them. I tend to be harder on myself than I am now on my father. Feeling brainwashed into believing that whatever he did was okay because he was old, he was dying, he is now dead.

Truth is, my parents, my family, psychologically abused me. They inflicted the type of abuse I now believe to be the hardest kind to heal from.  I have been figuratively crippled by my past and that IS NOT OKAY. So if I suspected manipulation up to the end, then there must be good damn reason.  It doesn’t make me an awful person. There are plenty of other things that I’ve said and done that could give me that label.  Suspecting someone who manipulated his children into caring for him round the clock while he was dying, instead of hiring a nurse or home health aid, and allowing for us to visit on our own terms, isn’t so far fetched. Suspecting manipulation from a man who crossed boundaries throughout my childhood and adulthood, isn’t so ridiculous of an idea.

Today, April 1 (Fools Day of all days) is the anniversary of my father’s death.   It really couldn’t get more ironic than that James.

6 years he’s gone. I hope he’s resting in peace because his family is not at peace. His family is no more.


Just to mention: I made it to the cemetery/grave site of my father’s family. I left his ashes there and the handwritten lyrics of the song, “Say Something” and a little “Pocket Smile” he’d given me years ago.

I also have a photo of the grave stone and the ashes that I’d like to post here too, but it’s on my phone and I don’t have an adapter cable to get it from phone to computer. I’ll have to ask B about that and see if he can help me with that.