Yesterday was National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day. Bloating, pelvic discomfort, weight gain, the symptoms of the OC are subtle. That’s why it’s often called “the disease that whispers.”
Ironically, this past week, Awareness Week, the disease that whispers has been screaming in my face.
Last Saturday night, Dennis, Heather and I attended a fabulous murder-mystery dinner party, a benefit for Little J’s neighborhood school. I played Steffi Wood, an 18 (!!) year-old flirty, conniving, and over-confident aspiring actress. I wore a little black dress, leopard shrug, vampish long black wig, and the requisite tiara.
The party was a hoot, just the sort of thing I’d been waiting for since J started Kindergarten, a night of revelry with the amazing parents at his school.
Dennis dressed as the dapper Ward Winner, head of the “Academy” and man-with-all-the-power. He was smart, gorgeous, and I got to go home with him. He, Heather, and I stayed in character all night, enjoying our company, the gorgeous venue, and delicious food. For the evening, I was a normal part of the community, on even footing, just a gal out having a carefree, fun night.
Two days later, I went to the ER and have been in the hospital ever since.
My intestinal blockage had come back, this time with an ulcer. The agony of the condition was nothing compared to the tests and procedures that took place over the course of three days, none of which I will describe here. Let’s just say that, if it weren’t for Mari, Dennis, and visits from Little J to keep me laughing, not to mention the drip-drip of the drugs, I would not have made it through to today.
It looks like I may be going home this afternoon. The doctors tell me that something (most likely-scar tissue) has squeezed one section of my large intestine to the width of a pinky finger. The small ulcer, biopsied and very unlikely to be malignant, will heal soon and already feels better.
The plan is for me to be on a restrictive “low-residue” diet to see if I can get by with my delicate pinky-finger digestion. If not, some sort of surgery would be in order, and NOBODY wants that, even if it is simply laparoscopic surgery. Doc G briefed me on the litany of risks involved with surgery, not to mention the fact that I’d have to go off Avastin for 6-8 weeks. Let’s just say that I’d agree to drink Ensure for the long-term rather than risk the surgery.
Having said that, if the pinky-sized purchase I’ve been dealt continues to cause me problems, we may be forced to go the surgical route.
Anyhoo…from where I sit (hospital issue-desk and chair), I’m feeling incredibly lucky to get to go home very soon, lucky to get to squeeze Little J til his cheeks get red, lucky to go home with Ward Winner.
And I plan to take my inner Steffi Winner out for another night of excitement soon. Protein shake in champagne glass, if need be.
Update: Home and snuggling with the fam. Little J and I colored and talked about all the fun he had w ‘Lil Salty. Virgil gave me the cold shoulder for being gone so long. He’ll let me pet him tomorrow. Ahhh…home.