Written by contributing blogger, Daniela Forte.
Want a crash course on life? Here it is. Be a 36-year-old looking to make major changes in life, not entirely happy with the life she has, feeling like something has to change and drop a cantaloupe-sized cyst in her pelvis.
This is literally what happened to me the fall of 2019. Let me tell you though, I did know something was wrong, in fact I knew something was wrong for months. I am a bit of a hypochondriac that way and call my doctor for everything. For months I have been complaining about stomach pains, at times it was so excruciating other times it was dull, sometimes it was stabbing me below my breast bone and sometimes there was no pain at all.
We had ruled out stress, muscle spasms and finally (after some begging) my doctor tested (through an ultrasound) the gallbladder. What we found was my cyst (who I now call demon bitch, because that is what she is). The ultrasound was followed up with a CT Scan and based on those results, my doctor referred me to an oncologist (the C-word doctor). Yep. Want to see a 36-year-old freak out and think she was going to die right there? You should have seen me on Tuesday, October 22nd, I thought my entire life was over.
I met with the oncologist immediately who agreed that we needed to get this cyst out, and with that I would lose an ovary. On November 1st 2019, I lost more than an ovary, I lost my entire reproductive system, an appendix, and a layer of fatty tissue over my abdomen. The doctor was able to get about 80% of the cancer (I have stage 3c ovarian and Fallopian tube cancer by the way) out of my system with 20% remaining. This 20% would be taken care of with a relatively short stint of chemo therapy.
Flash forward to January 2020 (beware the TMI), I have had two rounds of chemo with some complications from blood clots to constant vomiting, extreme fatigue and not able to eat solid foods for over a month because with the cancer came an obstruction of my intestines. I also suffer from general pain over my entire body, being in and out of the hospital for weeks or days on end because of all of this. I still have four more rounds to go that I am hoping are going to get better with little side effects. I’d also like to eat normally again.
Let me tell you the quick life lessons I learned:
How to take things day-by-day: For once I didn’t look back in life and I didn’t look forward. I had no freaking idea what was going to happen. Everyone kept saying, “take it one day at a time.” Do they know who they were talking to? I worry about worrying. For once, I did tackle life one day at a time.
How much I craved my normal life: I have spent months upset about not being where I think I should be or want to be that I forgot where I was is perfectly fine. This past week, I craved going to work and doing my regular work things, I craved my bed at night and my little apartment.
What Really Matters: I have been so stressed out about things I cannot control, or rather things that have no purpose or meaning in my life anymore, that I have neglected myself. I was so concerned looking out that I stopped looking in. I cannot wait to do mundane things this coming weekend.
Patience: Who has patience? I certainly don’t. This has taught me to have patience because I am still waiting on results from blood tests, that everything I am doing to be better will see an end point and that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Patience is key in the darkest of times.
How Many People Care About Me: The outpouring of love that have come from people in my life has been amazing, people near and far have come forward to wish me well. I was shocked by all the kindness people have shown me in a variety of ways these last couple of months. I am truly blessed.
So that’s the story at the moment, I have to end this by saying, please love your life or realize how lucky you are to have a healthy one. Also don’t worry about the other shit that doesn’t matter because when stuff like this happens you realize how much it didn’t. Also, please make sure to advocate for your body, if you feel something say something. Don’t allow others to tell you what it is without proper testing.