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Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board


Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index


I promised myself to get on this board and write of my recent ordeal with a large complex ovarian cyst. It was a very tense time and I read these boards relentlessly for information. So, this is for you ... the one coming after me who is desperate for information, and more importantly - comfort.

This is a summary of my experience:
- Intense pain in lower abdomen - went to ER.
- They did a CT Scan, ultrasound, then a pelvic ultrasound.
- ER Doc said I had a "worrisome mass" and I needed to see a gyn asap.
- Didn't get to see gyn for a week. Meantime, I received my radiology reports and got details of the mass.
- Ovarian mass was described as a multiseptated 9cm complex cystic lesion in the left adnexa. No pathologic volume of ascites. Borderline abnormal thickening of the dual layer.

Between the time I received the report and when I was able to talk to a gyn, I was VERY concerned. First of all, the ER doctor looked at me with pity and concern, which worried me. Then reading radiology report and finding out it was the size of a large navel orange or small grapefruit I was flabbergasted! I was relieved to find out that 96% of ovarian cysts are noncancerous, but then started worrying again when I found out that the percentage goes down with the large cysts and goes down further with complex multiseptated (multiple compartments) cysts. So I was looking at more like 80% chance it was not cancerous. Still good odds, but I'm a mom of a child still in school (I'm 43 years old), so I couldn't help myself - I worried.

Met with gyn who really comforted me, but could not guarantee that it was not cancerous. She referred me to a gyn oncologist for the removal of the cyst. This was very important, and if you have found this thread, you probably have read others about gyn oncologists. The name 'oncologist' is intimidating, but they handle plenty of noncancerous cases. They are the EXPERTS in this area. The way the surgical removal is handled could mean the difference of having a good outcome vs. a not-so-good one.

The gyn oncologist was on vacation after my referral and I had to wait two weeks before I could get in. This was TORTURE time. I made myself sick with all of the what-if's until I truly and finally gave it over to God and had to force it out of my mind. Easier said than done, but it wasn't like there was much of a choice. I had to go through it - and you're likely going through it too.

Met with the gyn oncologist, who was amazing (Shout out to Dr. Ripley in Gainesville). She looked at the radiology images herself without looking at any previous dr. assessments. She said within minutes she didn't think it was cancer. She said that she thought it was a mucinous cystadenoma, and although some mucinous cystadenoma's can be cancerous, she didn't think this one was. She scheduled me for surgery the next day. After 3 weeks, I was deliriously happy about getting this thing out.

I really thought I was going to have to have a laparotomy (the big cut) because of the size (9 cm). However, she did it laparoscopically. She put a bag around the cyst, pulled it to the keyhole opening, drained it while in the bag, then pulled everything out. She also removed my left ovary and fallopian tube. The biospsy was done while I was still under in the operating room to see if it's cancer.

My surgery was 1.5-2 hrs. After surgery she told my husband that it was NOT cancer!!!!! I went home that evening. The only thing I wanted to hear when I woke up was good news - and I tell you the relief was so thick when I received it, I could have cried.

Side note: One thing I was not expecting after surgery was my period. I wasn't due for another 2 weeks. Apparently it is common to shed the lining after losing an ovary, which I didn't know. Bleeding was like a normal period. So don't worry if that happens to you.

I hope this helps someone out there. I can truly say I know what your are going through and I wish I could give you a big hug right now. So many of the boards say "don't worry" because the overwhelming majority of these (even the large complex ones) are benign. Believe it - and try to take some comfort.





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