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Real Patient - Ovarian Cysts and Endometriosis


Real Patient
So, my journey started in, I believe, September of 2014 when we arrived here at Nellis Air Force Base. I was in excruciating pain and kind of just chalked it up to, oh it’s that time of the month. Just give me some caffeine and some chocolate, I’ll be good. The following month, that pain was back again. I was doubled over in pain.

Come to find out that I had a pretty large ovarian cyst on my right ovary. And in, I believe, June of ’15 we did a surgery, or tried to have it surgically removed here at Nellis Air Force Base by my OB/GYN and unfortunately it was too vascular. When she tried to remove it, I guess it bled quite a bit. And she even tried to have a colleague take a look at it, see if they could remove it. And they said if we touch this anymore, she’s going to lose an ovary. So, left it at that and I had another surgery in December of that same year. I had the cyst removed.

I had, unfortunately, both tubes removed because that first surgery, came to find out that I had what my doctor classified as stage IV endometriosis. So, both my tubes had scar tissue and they also had what’s called hydrosalpinges. So, at that time of the month everything’s suppose to go down. My body will make everything go back out through the tubes and into the rest of your body and then come back down into the uterine cavity and then that’s when my cycle would be. So, it had actually done quite a bit of damage and basically would make me having a child, or carrying a child to term, almost impossible. So, I had to have, like I said, both tubes removed.

The ovarian cyst did take a little bit of my ovary but I still have quite a bit there. When I came out of surgery with my first laparoscopy, which is where they go in and just kind of take a look and see what’s going on, my doctor had, I guess, not wanted to come out and tell me that, unfortunately, it was worse than she had thought.

My husband was deployed at the time and so my mom was here with me and she came in, with my husband on the phone and my mom in person said, so who’s going to tell her ‘cause I don’t want to. She felt horrible that she even had to come say anything to me about that.

And I think it didn’t click at first when she had said one, I couldn’t get the cyst. I knew that it had caused me pain. I knew it was progressively getting bigger. It wasn’t excessive, but it was still enough that it needed to go. It was starting to, you know, increase the size of my ovary exponentially that it didn’t need to be there. Like, it needed to go. So, to find out, hey, we couldn’t get the, you know, the cyst and oh, by the way, both your tubes are full, you know, full of scar tissue. And if you want to try and have a successful IVF round, they’ve got to go first.

I think the recovery time was about two weeks from that first surgery. And, I can’t tell you the amount of times that I cried. Finding out that they would have to go. You think it’s counterintuitive. You think, you know, no I’m trying to have a baby, why would you want to take my tubes? It’s not an easy thing for some doctor to tell, I think at the time I was 29 or 30, hey you can’t have kids naturally. So, it definitely, it hurt.

We have done one full round of IVF, unfortunately, that did not work. And that was in, I believe, February of 2016. And I am actually in the second or third week of stimulation medication for round two of IVF.

Until you’re actually in, you know, IVF, like I said, you can read as many books and articles and talk to people, that’s not going to, it’s not going to help you. It’s not going to truly help you understand or wrap your mind around what comes with such a big, you know, obstacle in your life.

Unfortunately, a lot of people, you know, that have a religious background say, oh you know, in God’s time, in God’s time. I think if we’re talking about bad advice to give to somebody, I think that and “just relax, it’ll happen when it happens” are some of the worst things that you can say to somebody that is possibly struggling with infertility. Because you’re just going to hurt that person even more. Nobody is going to have the right words for any situation. You could have been in the same situation, but circumstances are always going to be different. So, it’s just, that’s the thing. Is yeah, people don’t know what to say and they think, oh we’re being helpful.