8/27/2009

JORDAN ALMONDS

You know jordan almonds, right? They're the traditional wedding candy favor given. It's an almond in a candy shell. It's traditional for weddings because it's a symbol of marriage and life, you will have to take the bitter with the sweet. Almond being the bitter, and sugar coating being the sweet.

In life, sometimes you're handed one of life's jordan almonds - a situation that is both exciting/happy and anxious/nervewracking. Good and bad, sweet & sour.

Well, this pregnancy is one of life's jordan almonds. The news of me being pregnant is very exciting and we're both really happy. I scheduled an appointment with my OB and had an ultrasound on my first visit (8 weeks).

In addition to a happy heartbeat, they discovered a cyst on my ovary. A fairly large one that deemed attention. It freaked us out because surgery and cancer were already being discussed.

I hadn't known about the cyst and had no symptoms of it. Apparently, many women find out about their ovarian cysts after becoming pregnant and they start looking with the ultrasounds.

The discovery has led me on this alternate path where I not only have to worry about the baby's well being, but also a potentially life-threatening growth within me. I was scheduled for a more detailed ultrasound at a larger hospital the next day. And then I saw a gynecological oncologist - a cancer doctor specializing in female matters.

The visit with the oncologist went well. The second ultrasound showed that I actually have cysts on both ovaries. She was of the opinion, however, that they are most likely not cancerous (whew!) and that surgery would not be the best course of action to take. Surgery during pregnancy is not an unheard of thing and there's a small window of time where it's deemed the safest - around 18 weeks. She wanted to keep monitoring the cysts during the course of my pregnancy.

Last week, I had an MRI on my ovaries to get a better look and to see if they have changed. The MRI was not a good experience. The scanning part wasn't so bad, but I had to drink this stuff - the contrast fluid - that was thick, kinda lumpy, and fake sweet orange-y tasting. I had to drink 24 ounces of the stuff. In comparison, non-preggy people would have their contrast fluid done through an IV. After the lovely drink, I had to wait an hour and a half for it to digest. Then I got to do the MRI, which in itself wasn't so bad. It was a lot louder than I expected, but pretty much what I expected. After that, I started to feel sick as the undigested contrast fluid wanted out. And I pretty much felt sick for the rest of the day and most of the next day. This was an experience that I didn't want to repeat. But! They called me later in the day to schedule another appointment because some of the scans did not come in very well. This made me very unhappy, but I scheduled the appointment.

In the meantime, I visited my OB for my 16 week check. We heard the baby's heartbeat and discussed the MRI results. Turns out the cysts have not grown or changed, which is a very good sign. They confirmed their idea on what the cysts actually are, which are dermoid cysts - consisting of liquid and solid matter. They are usually benign. She had to consult with the oncologist, but it appears that the scans were good enough. I told her what happened and she seemed receptive. I have since cancelled the MRI appointment.

So, for the time being we're on a holding pattern. We're going to "wait and see". If something happens in the meantime, we'll deal with it. They are most concerned about torsion, when the cyst starts to twist on the ovary. This would be very painful for me and would force action to be taken. But the good news, is that as my baby grows, the chances for torsion to occur drop as there will be less room for the ovary to actually move.

Ideally, I would deliver the baby, heal, and then return for surgery. And hopefully, that's exactly what will happen.

8 comments:

deanna said...

Aww that's a lot of worrisome stuff! I'll keep you and baby in my thoughts!

marisol said...

I hope that everything goes ok.

I had an ovarian cyst removed about 7 years ago. I have PCOS so I have to worry about cysts coming back. Sucky!

A Little Pink... said...

Michelle, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care!

Auburn Kat said...

First of all, congrats on the pregnancy.

Sorry you have been going through so many problems, I hope everything works out for you! hang in there...

rachel johnson said...

Oh, Michelle, it sounds very scary... but I am glad that it seems the cysts will hold out until your sweet baby is born! It will all be worth it in the end! I am thinking about you. xoxo

Grace Matthews said...

Sorry to hear that. I had cysts on my ovaries years ago, but I was not pregnant at the time. I can't imagine what you are going through.

Little Fish said...

Oh yuck! Well I am sending lots of hugs and positive thoughts your way, but it really sounds like you are going to be fine and have a happy healthy baby and be a happy healthy mommy soon!

emigre said...

Yay for no second MRI, fingers crossed for you and the baby. Get enough rest and don't worry about posting so often.