Provision, Protection and Peace

Posted by  | Wednesday, July 28, 2010  at 10:10 AM  
As I start to write this post, I have no name for it. Maybe by the time I'm done, I will.

When I originally planned my week on POH, one of my ideas centered around a surgery I was scheduled to have.That surgery happened just over a week ago. I had a cyst removed from my ovary because it grew too large (6cm) and was "complex" in appearance. I wanted to write my story after I was having trouble finding anyone that I knew who'd ever had a cyst removed before. My hope was that I could encourage someone else who was in the same position. I had no idea what to expect about the surgery.

The focus of my post has now shifted from the surgery itself to the diagnosis we received after the surgery. Cancer. Something I never imagined I'd hear!

The past week has been a whirlwind and difficult in many ways. There are still lots of questions to be answered. But we are so thankful for all the ways we see the hand of the Lord protecting us. We have a peace that we know comes from Him. I am a worrier by nature, yet I have worried more about my daughter's ear infection than I have this new diagnosis. To God by the glory for that!

Here's my story:

Back in March, I found myself in the ER for possible complications of Crohn's disease (similar to Leah's Colitis). At the ER, they did a CT scan of my abdomen looking for this complication. Thankfully, the CT for my GI tract was fine. But they did note a 3cm cyst on my left ovary. They discharged me with instructions to follow up with my OB.

At the time of that ER visit, we were literally one week away from getting new health insurance. Our new health insurance is phenomenal and would have covered 100% of the ER visit. I grumbled about having to go to the ER and owe money only a week before we would have owed nothing. Our bill for that visit is $1400. I'm not complaining about it anymore.

My OB reasurred me over the phone that the cyst was probably a "functional cyst" (normally forming with the cycle and will go away on its own) but that he'd see me in 8 weeks just to be sure. I hardly thought about it, other than the fact that we were waiting until that appointment to start trying for a third baby. Just to be sure...

At that visit, the OB immediately saw the cyst on the screen and determined that it had doubled in size from 3.3cm to 6.6cm. In addition to its new larger size, it was "complex" which meant it had multiple parts. He immediately started talking surgery to remove it. I left the appointment disappointed only because this meant we wouldn't be getting pregnant for a while. After a while, I was totally ok with the surgery as I began to realize symptoms I had that were likely due to the cyst. (Although, they hadn't occured to me prior to the appointment.)

The weekend before the surgery, my husband and I attended a conference (related to our future overseas move) and I had to bring "business casual" clothes. I realized that despite the numbers on the scale holding steady (and down at least 16 pounds from last summer - woohoo!)...many pants I owned were simply too tight around the waist. In addition to my middle getting larger, other symptoms included some pain (especially when the doc pushed on my ovary for the ultrasound! Ouch!), lots of peeing, pressure and heavy periods.

The surgery happened on a Monday morning and was to be a laproscopic cystectomy (cyst removal) and explorative (looking for endometriosis and I know now, cancer signs). Estimated time was less than 2 hours, yet it took three and a half! I've never had anesthesia that long and my recovery was rough because of it. It was 3.5 more hours in recovery before my husband could see me! He waited SEVEN hours in the waiting room.

When my OB got in there, he discovered that the cyst was really more tumor like. (A cyst is fluid filled and a tumor is more solid.) When he started removing the tumor, he realized that what was left of my ovary was not normal looking. It was biopsied immediately and determined to be "precancerous" which is what we were told in the hospital.

I am so thankful for a humble doctor that sought additional help when he felt it was necessary. At that point, he phoned a specialist (called a gynecologist oncologist) who advised him to remove the entire ovary and fallopian tube. In addition, he took 8 other biopsies around the abdomen. Even one of those biopsies he wasn't comfortable doing himself and called another surgeon in to help.

We waited all week to get the results of those biopsies (and further biopsy of the cyst and ovary). Finally, my doctor called on Friday. He said its good news, bad news. The bad news is that the ovary and cyst were both cancerous. The good news is that as far as ovarian cancer goes, its best case scenario. It was caught very early and the additional biopsies showed that it had not spread. Praise the Lord!

I've since talked to my doctor again (once the shock wore off) and learned more about it. What I've learned is that this type of tumor is sort of a gray area for doctors. The prognosis is very good, but doctors are unsure of the type of treatment or follow up that is needed. My doctor will be consulting with the same specialist again and I'll get more info at my appointment next week. We're praying for wisdom to know the right questions to ask and whether or not we should see a specialist.

Thanks for reading my story and my hope is that it might encourage someone in some way! We praise God for His provision, protection and peace throughout the last week! And there it title!! :)

"And the peace of God, which passes all understanding,
will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:7


Learning as we Live said...

I will be praying for you and Jacob to have peace and wisdom and for you to have healing. Thanks for sharing!

Jackie said...

Thanks for sharing. I will certainly be praying for you as you walk this road.

Keri said...

Wow Christina,
I dont know you personally but have been following this blog for quite some time so I kind of feel like I know you :). Thank you so much for sharing this with us all. I will be praying for you!

julie said...

I will be praying for you!

ChezDeshotels said...


thank you so much for sharing and yes i have been there with the same surgery and by the grace of God there was no cancer but thank you for your courage in sharing and we will be so praying for you. May God grant you and your family peace and wisdom and may the doctors know what is right in your treatment. God bless

Courtney said...

I am just now catching up on posts after being otu of town. Christina, I am praying for you, your family, and your doctors.

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