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.)