How Not To Fall Apart

I really didn’t want to write this. I wasn’t going to even attempt a post about this, but my week and my waistline have both seem to get away from me, and I needed some control in both departments. Okay fine. It’s totally vanity-based. I’m writing this in hopes I will stop eating my feelings. But more on that later.




There are some numbers in my life this week that are on my mind:


That’s the number of weeks it’s been since I had the first ultrasound. 


That’s the number of ovarian cysts Judy the nurse told me I had on Thursday, the day after my follow-up ultrasound scan. It’s two more than I knew I had at the first one, but only one more than they knew I had last time.


That’s the number of centimeters long my biggest cyst has become. Since the last time I went in, it has grown over a centimeter. This is after my doctor put me on The Pill in hopes of “calming” my ovaries down. It seemed to have the opposite effect.


That’s the number of centimeters long the most questionable of the cysts is. While two are considered simple cysts (large, scary-looking, and annoying, but “simple”) this smaller buddy is growing off one of the big ones and is cloudy; it’s considered a complex cyst.


The number of people I have told this to since yesterday, including my husband, father, and brother.


The number of times I’ve had to reassure people that I’m feeling okay and really am not dying.

Here’s the thing about me: I’m fine. Really. I am. I’m like a cat–I might look like I can’t get down off the rain gutter, but I always manage to hop off and land on my feet. There have been other health issues in my life, but I don’t really pay much attention to them. I have people in my life that seem to be calmed by medical facts and treatments; in fact, I seem to attract them. I tend to rebel against this, and not particularly notice or care when I do have something going on. It took 10 years for me to be diagnosed with Lupus, because I just lived with what was going on most of the time. Even now, my friend is always asking how I am feeling and doing, because my Lupus concerns her way more than it concerns me. She is one of those people that finds comfort in things that can be treated. Answers, if you will.

I saw the cysts on the screen this week. Maybe I shouldn’t have. Hearing you have something weird, but most likely benign, growing inside you is one thing. Seeing it for yourself is quite another. I saw the two-fer…the big 6.3 by 4-point-something by 5-point-something, with the baby cyst coming off of that one. Once the tech explained to me that “see this little blob over here…that’s your uterus. And this big thing here [that was 3 times the size] is the simple cyst.” The big dude, which I think I need to name, was clear. It looked like a balloon. A big fucking balloon inside my now huge ovary, but a balloon all the same. And then, the smaller cloudy dude was pointed out. It was definitely not clear. It was definitely not a balloon. It was like the sea anemone Nemo lived in.

I went home. Well, that’s not exactly true. I went to the grocery store and bought just about every bad thing I could find: donuts, candy, chips, two things of sushi, pop, more candy, and some cookies. When I got home, I ate myself into a good mood.

Remember that rebelling thing I mentioned? Well, the long and short of it is that I have been nauseous for some time–maybe two weeks–and didn’t pay much attention to it. Just like I never paid any attention to the weird muscle-y aches on either side of my torso, and how sometimes when I sneezed, I would have a weird pulled-muscle reaction on one side or another. And how my hormones made me a raging bitch with PMS, so much so that I was taking Prozac to try and counter-act that. After I ate myself into a better mood, I went online and played doctor-by-google.

And then I puked.

It could be nerves. I think it was. I didn’t hear from the doctor until the next day, so all of this was just seeing what I did on the sonographer’s screen. Complete with measurements she probably didn’t know I saw. I told Jesse of my day. That’s when he started freaking out. And if he freaks out, I need to stay calm.

Yesterday, after I heard from the doctor (and words like “Gynecological Oncologist”), I rolled my eyes and texted two friends. They flipped at that O word. I assured them it was not a big deal. I let my brother know what was going on, hoping he would roll his eyes with me…and he also had a hard time with that O word. I have not told Jesse this word yet because I just don’t want to worry him with vocabulary. I know seeing this doctor is a precaution. I know I’m going to be fine. I find the whole thing to be dumb.

There are two camps in my mind–say nothing and have it be dramatic later, or say something and try to control the drama now. I chose Option 2 and I called my dad. He was very Dad-like, and that freaked me out. He is generally the one that jumps on board the “walk it off, you’re fine” way of thinking. But he didn’t do that this time. He said he was glad I told him, and I should let my mom know. (Which I will, just not yet.) And he wants me to not even mess around with doctors up here, to go straight to Madison.

I told another friend last night, and one this morning, all with that, “This isn’t a big deal, don’t worry, I just wanted you to know” sort of mindset. When my friend this morning said supportive and kind things, I responded with “I’m fine. This is all just annoying bullshit.”

His response sent me to the grocery store: “It doesn’t sound like bullshit.”

The more I try to reassure those who are reassuring me, the more I stuff my face. Maybe I need to freak out a little. I don’t know. I don’t like to freak out. I don’t like to throw the pity party and wave ribbons around and make big sweeping FaceBook status updates, calling for support. Don’t get me wrong, I like attention, but I don’t like this sort of attention. I have a friend on FaceBook going through her third cancer issue. This one is brain cancer, and she’s great with posting how she’s doing and what’s going on. I do not have brain cancer. I don’t have any cancer. I have three crazy cysts that have like a 1% chance of developing into cancer.

But I also have a bag of Jolly Rancher Minis and an $8 strawberry kringle on my counter, so maybe I need to re-evaluate how I’m handling all of this.

I know enough about life that if you don’t deal with something, it’s gong to come out in other ways. For me, those other ways usually involve a grocery cart. I don’t want to make a big deal of anything, but I also want to stop eating my subconscious feelings. I need my jeans to fit when I go to my new specialist.

So here it is. This is happening. This is what’s going through my mind, as much as I’m trying to have it not. I’m a strong person who finds it hard asking for people to be there for her. I roll my eyes at nice gestures and feel like I have to constantly make those around me feel better, even when they are trying to make me feel better. I do not want to be a social obligation to anyone. I can handle things myself.

Most of the time.

Here’s to scary potential things and not eating my way through situations.

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