For those that know me, you know that I named my potentially cancerous left ovary, Left Shark or Sharkey for short. Sharkey has been creating problems for me for years but only in the last 3 has she been a total jerk.
The symptoms were low right abdominal pain that came and went. Then one day, the pain was so sudden and so severe that I instantly paled in color and felt like I needed to vomit or go to the bathroom but everything felt wrong at once. I went in to vomit if it was going to happen and started feeling like I was on fire. I ended up laying on the cold tile until I could call out for help. All I could do was ball up in the fetal position and cry.
John drove me to the ER where they ran a battery of tests to discover my left ovary was enlarged and had very large cysts. One of them must have been close to rupturing or had already ruptured.
There have been 5 trips to the ER over 3 years and there really isn't any way around the excruciating pain or believe me my stubborn ass would tough it out. After the 1st one I sought to have the whole shebang removed. That doctor hemmed and hawed so long that the cysts all ruptured and he didn't want to remove either ovary because I needed both ovaries to stay young... I'm not even joking. Eventually I compromised to have an tubal ligation and a uterine ablation to at least see if removing the hormones from birth control from my system, Sharkey would knock her crap off.
Mid summer, I landed back in the ER. Another multiple cm cyst was in the process of rupturing on Sharkey and Sharkey had apparently been juicing because she has grown significantly since my last ultrasound. The ER doctor that was on my case was thorough and spent a lot of time discussing the doctor he was referring me to and that I need to hold my ground and advocate for myself louder this time around.
I got in as soon as possible with my new surgeon. He immediately put me at ease that they would do what I wanted to minimize any future risk. He did a thorough exam and spent time to talk me through the next steps. He ordered a few tests including a CA-125, which is a test that measures protein associated with ovarian cancer. Which runs in my family. I failed the test with flying colors. Imagine how many complex feelings I have regarding that first doctor...
I got the news last week and was gifted with a trip to an island escape from my sad country song reality that oddly involves shark attacks focused on abdominal cavities.... I'm super grateful that I had the time off and that I didn't have to spend a dime. It was an amazing experience that I really needed. I'm reasonably worried after all. I'm also still reeling about everything that is happening all at once.
Cue Jaws main theme song! I was able to connect with my surgeons scheduling assistant today. My surgery is on the 16th. Of this month. The excision of Sharkey is happening far sooner than I had expected. I had anticipated at least a month to get in, allowing me time to adjust my HSA to collect as well as get more hours at work and hustle more side work. But 11 days? I just can't begin to think it's even possible knowing I will need a couple weeks off after the procedure before I go back to lifting things at work.
I have to pay the hospital $996.15 the day of surgery. I do not have a single penny of disposable income available before then due to all the copays I've had for medical and mental health (I'm also going through therapy for PTSD hence the country song comment earlier). I am asking for enough to cover surgery and the fee that gofundme requires to use their platform and wepay's platform to ensure the funds are available at the time of surgery.
I have many, many more medical bills associated with this that I will probably never be able to pay back, but at this point I just want to proceed with getting Sharkey the heck out so I can move on with my life.
Please consider throwing me a buck or two. If you have questions, I'd love to answer them
- Omayra Ortega
- Shawn Vermillion
- Madelyn Boudreaux
- Gingher Leyendecker
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