February 05, 2013

Feeling Like an Idiot

I had the appointment with the gynecological oncologist today. R came with me for moral support. And that thing I saw on my ovary is...

Nothing, apparently.

I haven't heard from my PCP's office yet, but I told the nurse at the appointment today that I had an ultrasound done on Saturday, and they were able to call the imaging center and get information about it. I don't know if the gyn onc saw the actual ultrasound images or just received the report (I'm guessing the latter), but apparently my ovaries looked normal. Well, normal as far as PCOS ovaries go, anyway.

So she didn't do another ultrasound, but she did do a pelvic exam and a rectal exam (first - and hopefully last! - time I've had one of those). She said everything felt normal.

Overall, the appointment was reassuring. She said the fact that I was on birth control pills for 8 years, have had a pregnancy, and have been breastfeeding for almost a year are all things that help reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. Because of the PCOS, which involves higher levels of estrogen in the body, she is more concerned about the risk of uterine cancer.

Irony of all ironies, to reduce that risk, she recommends that once we are done with fertility treatments for good, I should go back on birth control pills until I'm at least 46 or 47. She is aware of my Factor V Leiden mutation but thinks that a progestin-only pill would be safe. Still, she suggested that once I get to that point, that I meet with a hematologist to discuss the risk. I definitely hadn't envisioned several more years of birth control pills in my future!

She also wants me to lose about 40 pounds, follow an anti-inflammatory diet, and exercise for at least 150 minutes a week. All of which is stuff that I know I need to do, so now I just have to get my butt in gear and actually do it. She wants to meet with me again in 3 months, so I need to have some progress to show at that time.

All of that still leaves the question of what is bugging my right hip, pelvis, and lower back. My PCP may be waiting for the x-ray results before giving me a call, so we'll see if that sheds light on anything. I'm beginning to suspect some of it may have to do with bad posture. My mom has a small desk chair that has a back support pillow strapped to it. I asked her if I could borrow it the other day. When I sit in that chair, my symptoms aren't nearly as bad, other than some minor aching all the way across my lower back, which I suspect is because sitting up straight for long periods of time isn't the kind of posture that area of my back is accustomed to having to support. If the symptoms persist, I'll go back to my PCP to talk about the MRI he had mentioned a couple of appointments ago.

Thank you again for the support. I feel like the girl who cried wolf. I hate it when I don't know what's going on with my body, and that I get so nervous any time I have a symptom of anything.


Patience said...

I am so glad to hear it was nothing- but I totally understand where you are coming from. But don't feel like the boy who cried wolf- we are constantly questioning our bodies. And when you throw in PCOS, we just have lots to wonder about.

Thinking of you my friend and hoping that you get some answers about the hip pain soon!

Reese said...

I end up being the girl who cried wolf every so often too--no judgment here. I'm so glad to hear that you got good news today. For some reason, I always feel like the medical complications that I end up with are the ones it never occurred to me to worry about. There is this part of me that feels like if I worry about it, then I'm "covered" in a way and I won't ever get it. Or at least I won't feel blindsided if I do get it. So...I worry. I hope you are able to feel a bit less worried after your appointment today.

Libby said...

Hey, you never have to feel like an idiot on here! Let's face it, a lot of what we have done to ourselves for the sake of having a baby could eventually have consequences. Just glad you are not having a serious problem right now! (Although let me tell you, people who say back/hip pain are not serious have never really had that kind of pain!) I think I would give in to the MRI if you continue to feel lousy though. Better to know what's for sure going on so it can be treated appropriately. Hope you're feeling better soon :)

Heather said...

Don't worry about feeling like an idiot. At least you have reassurance. Which is priceless. Could your hip pain be from the way you carry your daughter? When my son hit about 18 pounds I started noticing hip/back pain on my left side. I was running at the time too, but it took a couple of months to realize that it was from balancing E on my left hip when I carried him. Once I made a conscious effort not to carry him on my hip it want away a few months later. I also invested in a we mattress which helped as well.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Better to feel like an idiot than to come away with cancer! I'd take the idiot option any time.

I was wondering if you could maybe say more/point me towards more info about the progestin-only pill? I went off hormonal birthcontrol a few years back after developing thrombophlebitis, and while I've never been tested for any of the clotting disorders, my dr. said best to just avoid hormonal birthcontrol altogether. Since then we've been struggling for an appropriate replacement. I'd love to know more about this, and maybe find a new dr. here (we moved a month ago) to talk about options.

MyTwoLines said...

Well, overall good news!
Sorry about the birth control pills. I was told I have a high risk for uterine cancer because of my wonky lining, lack of pregnancies, and fertility treatments...but was told to avoid OCPs (all of them). I wanted an ablation but that was vetoed too. It's all so confusing sometimes!

Your doc sounds really good, would love to hear her anti-inflammatory diet (am assuming it's the no process, high non-starchy vegetables, lean protein, and high in poly and monounsaturated fats)...