This is a very personal story as it is not common for women to talk about. But I decided to post about it because as I have been searching for insight and information, and have found that not too much is available to us woman on this particular topic – or at least not personal accounts. If I can help at least one woman by putting my story out there and making them feel less alone and more informed than I, then it will be worth any type of embarrassment or weirdness I might feel about putting this information out there. Not only that, but it’s important to hear other’s stories with how they dealt and are dealing with the same issues we are. It makes us feel like we can get through those things if we know others have too.
About a year ago, I found out I had two foreign objects growing in my body – a decent size fibroid and a small polyp. The fibroid was the size of a small orange, subserosal (outside of the uterus), pedunculated (on a stalk) behind the uterus. The polyp is inside the uterus. While fibroids are very common in women, I found it intrusive that something this big had been growing inside of me (for possibly years unbeknownst to me), and causing issues I might have not even known about. Issues that maybe I blamed myself for in the past, or issues that I might have associated with other possible causes.
At the time, the symptoms included tenderness and sharp jabbing pains in my lower left abdomen (basically where my left ovary was located). Not only that, but I was feeling a bit of pressure and bloating. At that point, it wasn’t enough to really make me think about surgery or anything of the sort. It was more of an annoyance. I wasn’t experiencing the heavy bleading normally associated with fibroids, although I did often get blood clots and strong cramping. Odly, and unusually, my cycle had gotten shorter in length (which I’m hoping won’t change in the future). It went from being about 5 days to 3-4 days long.
Recently, I finally decided to go back to the doctor and get it checked out again. It had grown – the size now being of a medium size orange – actually larger than my own uterus. I have been feeling super bloated all the time. I eat and feel full very quickly and have gotten a bit of reflux . I’ve gained weight. I still get the tenderness, stabbing pains, and on top of that I have felt a lump in my lower abdomen right beneath my belly button. At times, when I have had that lump (which is every so often), and have rolled onto my stomach, it actually feels like I am laying on a baseball. I feel pressure and cramping at times (even while I don’t have my period). I get back pain, and at times I’ve had to use the restroom more frequently then I used to. I’ve gotten stomach issues more frequently as well. Fibroids can also affect your sex life, either by causing discomfort or pain. I too have felt those symptoms. They polyp as small as it might be, might even be contributing to some of those feelings and symptoms.
So because of all of this, and the fact that I don’t want the fibroid to either increase in size making it more difficult to remove by small incisions, degenerate by itself (which can be extremely painful), or get tangled on itself (which can also be painful), I have decided to get it removed through a procedure called laparoscopic myomectomy. After seeing two gynecologists (which I strongly recommend you do if you are unsure of your doctor), I decided that it was the best decision for me. Laparoscopic myomectomy is a procedure where they make smaller incisions, insert instruments and a camera through those incisions to remove the fibroid. No morcellation would be done, as it has been shown to spread cancer, should the fibroid be cancerous. So that would mean that they will have to bring the fibroid up to the larger incision and remove it little by little, piece by piece. The polyp on the other hand would be scraped off the lining of the uterus – similar to what is done when women have miscarriages (D&C).
My surgery is scheduled for next week, and while it scares me as this would be my very first surgery, and I am not looking forward to pain, cuts on my stomach, and all the hassles and discomforts associated with having to go into a hospital as well as recovery – it is the decision I need to stick with. I’ve already done my pre-admission testing which was just really blood work and answering a bunch of questions, as well as getting information. In just a few days, I will go “under the knife” sort of speak. I’m hoping all goes well and that I can tolerate the discomfort and outright pain. But the thing that keeps me motivated is the hope that these symptoms I am feeling will be alleviated and that my body will have a new normal.
I hope to write a bit more about my experience so that anyone reading this who is also going through the same thing, or is considering surgery, will get a glimpse into my experience. I know that as I go into my surgery (fears and all), I will come out of it stronger than ever. Wish me good thoughts and a speedy recovery!