Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Too much, too little time...how do I tell you this

So I have a secret, a secret that I have been contemplating over whether or not I was going to share with this blog or if I was going to keep it inside. I don't know sometimes you just go through things and you understand that you have to get it out...especially when stuff if extremely personal in nature.
You know we (I) can talk about any and everything on this thing, love, politics, racism, relationships, education, kids, death, giving back to the community, headlines in your local newspaper...you know all of that stuff...surface type of stuff...but when it comes to revealing something extremely personal about me, am I really brave enough to let the world know? I don't know if I am...but I have to get this off of my chest...so much to say, so little time to say it...

Disclaimer: this is really going on in my life currently. Fellas it may be a bit much for you to take in. Ladies pay attention.

Well here it is
Ok so this has to do with my health...yes my personal health.
Again I keep going back and forth about posting this but the thing is women need to be made aware of these things.

And it has to deal with this:


So over the last week or so I have been experiencing some serve abdominal pain and decided that I needed to go to my gynecologist to have things checked out. We should NEVER ignore any type of pain that has to deal with our bodies ladies and gentleman. So upon my trip to the doctor's the other day, Monday, the doctor finished with this look of concern, which is never any good. Then you know when they call you into their office that is NEVER a good thing...he wanted me to have a sonogram done so that he could determine if I had a cyst or not.
So all kinds of things begin to go through my head.

WHAT? What do you mean a cyst? What does that mean? Will that affect me having kids? Will you have to take EVERYTHING out? What is really going on?

As he is talking I am trying my best to stay calm, to stay focused on what is being said. The lady that does the sonogram had already left for the day so that meant that I would have to wait until the next day...again in my mind...

What? So now I have to wait an entire 24 hours before you can tell me anything? That doesn't make sense? Ok whatever...I mean I guess I have no choice

So I leave the note for the lady and hope and pray that she calls me and let's me know I can come in at the end of the day...which yesterday morning she does do. So I prepare myself. First things first, I need to tell my supervisor and HR, because if it is a cyst with the history of cancer and reproductive problems that I have in my family, this thing MUST come out. So I go in and tell this MAN what the deal is, he tells me not to worry take as much time as I need that he has my back...just tell HR so that there isn't an issue. But he will hold me down. (Man, that's why I love my job, my supervisor is the BOMB...he is getting married so I will have to hook him up fo real...) I go and tell HR she is like just keep her posted...so I get off work and go for the sonogram.

Now this doctor's office is really nice in downtown DC near GW right on K Street...I walk in they know me off the break the girl is like "Hi ...." I always feel like even though they don't say it the people in the office know what's going on with you...which in my case today is a good thing because they are going out of their way to make me feel comfortable you know not so nervous. The sonogram tech says she will be right with me and she is.

I lay on the table deal with the internal sono and look at ME the inside of me. She is explaining it all, but I can't see anything really on that black and white screen it looks like a gray blur to me...but I can feel the pain though...I can feel it...so she shows me what they were looking for, what the doctor was afraid of....

I have currently two cysts, one on each ovary. The one that is on my right ovary is what is called a "clear" cyst, meaning it is the type of cyst that is very common and most women get monthly from their ovulation period. I am like many woman who can actually feel my ovulation. So it wasn't a surprise to see this. But the one on the left ovary isn't...its a for real cyst, there are many kinds but mines in particular can be one of three kinds (I can't remember what she said) that is NOT related to ovulation.


an ovarian cyst that is sitting right on top of my left ovary. Its about 3 cm about an inch and a 1/2. Hurts like hell and is going to HAVE to come out! The good thing is that it will come out via laparoscopy. This type of surgery is done with a lighted instrument called a laparoscope that's like a slender telescope. So there won't be a BIG scar or anything just a little thing.

So this time next month I will be out for the count. I decided to wait a month until after my next cycle to wait until have the procedure done. One I want to see if there is any change and two to see what happens with the other one. The doctor and I both agree that it has to come out and that if I can't deal with the pain that it will come out sooner...but then there is also the fact that I have to deal with fatigue and nausea which is often times side affects of a cyst. But yet another reason that you HAVE to go to the doctors if your body is off...because I have a lot of hormonal symptoms like I am pregnant, but I KNEW that was NOT IT, I ain't done/doing NOTHING to be, but what IF you are sexually active it could throw you completely off, feel me...so that's another issue if I can deal with this for the next month or so.

So why share this? Like I said before it was hard to determine or decide if I should share this or not. But ovarian cysts is extremely common in women and a lot of time ovarian cancer goes undetected, oh yeah they want to take it out to ensure that its NOT cancerous even though from the blood work and sonogram it doesn't seem to be because my CA-125 protein was pretty normal, that is the test that ALL women should ask for when they go to the doctors to detect for if they have signs of cancer.) That in there is why I decided to write this.

Ladies, make sure that you go to the doctors annually. I honestly believe in going every six months. I just think a year is to much time in between visits, especially if you are sexually active, have a history of health issues, or has a family history of health issues.

Make sure that you are getting a clear pap to check for cancerous cells on your cervix, get the CA-125 Test to check for ovarian cancer, make sure you are tested for ALL STDs and HIV, and ask that you are tested for the breast cancer trait if you have a history of it in your family.

It was really hard to share this but I think that if I can just reach one person and let them know that its alright, we all have our struggles we all have something to learn from this...maybe you have never heard of the CA-125 test or the test for your breast cancer trait. Make sure you have a doctor that you trust and who will put your health FIRST!

Brothers encourage the women in your life to pay attention to their bodies, and please pay attention to your bodies as well. Prostate cancer and colon cancer is extremely serious....make sure that you are tested as well, annually.

In love
TC

20 comments:

It is What It Is... said...

Tiffany, (this is long - so you don't have to read it...lol)

I'm glad you shared this information.

Its a good example for others to read and see that you're taking care of yourself and attempting to take the preventive measures to get medical care and treatment for your issue. We need to pay attention to our bodies and take care of them.

I hate to always make this about culture and ethnicity - but it has everything to do with those two things.

African American women are increasingly falling behind when it comes to obtaining preventive care and when it comes to reproductive health and prenatal care. We are at the top of the list and at risk for so many health concerns.

I know so many African American (in my family and circle) young women (educated and not educated & those w/ & without health insurance) that DO NOT take care of themselves. They ignore their reproductive health like the PLAGUE. REALLY.

So many of us won't get PAP's and important screenings. It is not a myth - it is a reality. There are so many free clinics and grant programs that provide free care its ridiculous...so there is no excuse to atleast get the basic check ups

It was important for you to tell your story - and present your testimony and expereince as an example to sisters YOUNG and OLD.

I encourage you to document this difficult time in your life...talk about it...we may not always comment...but people (we) are reading. Trust and believe. You're not alone.


AND I'm sure you'll pull through Tiffany...Thanks for sharing your story on your blog...

Remember - you never KNOW who is reading - a personal testimony and story has the potential to save and change a LIFE...so never stay silent.

T.C. said...

That's why I went ahead and posted it because I am sure that there are plenty of women who need to read this and read what you stated as well...we HAVE to take care of ourselves and pay attention to our bodies! That's the ONLY way to catch things early...
I mean what if I blew this off and just kept going this thing could be the size of an grape fruit by the time I go and do something about it...
We also have a tendancy to be afraid of surgery as well and for what, take care of yourself and do precventive things...
WE need to walk, and exercise, drink water, all of that...but its up to us to make a healthy life style change...
Thanks for the comment

Hassan said...

I'm glad you posted this sister.

A few years ago I took the time to educate myself on the similar situation my ex and I embarked upon.

We made it thru... she also got pregnant, but it wasn't mine, so the laproscopic proceedure works well and you'll bounce back very quickly. I know that from experience.

Keep teaching... One never knows whow they can reach. I'm proud that you're vocal.

Enjoyed my first visit.

T.C. said...

@hassan-thanks for stopping by my brother I will have to check you out...its GREAT to have some insight on the situation...

I will keep learning & teaching just hope folks keep listening...
Much Respect & Peace

A woman on the move said...

I’ll share my story with you. I found out in Jan 06 that I had HPV (not HIV). I was in the clear with every other test including HIV & AIDS, but the HPV gave me a mild response on the test results. Which means, my doctor simply needed to check to make sure no signs of cervical cancer were to be found, and all was good I had a procedure called Leep done.

A leep hpv procedure is performed on the cervical area to remove cervical dysplasia, vaginal wart and any other disorders.

None the less it’s very important to get checked out. If I didn’t get my annual I may have increased my chances of having cancer, not having any children (when I want to) , and who knows...

What is HPV:
is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Human papillomavirus is the name of a group of viruses that includes more than 100 different strains or types. More than 30 of these viruses are sexually transmitted, and they can infect the genital area of men and women including the skin of the penis, vulva (area outside the vagina), or anus, and the linings of the vagina, cervix, or rectum. Most people who become infected with HPV will not have any symptoms and will clear the infection on their own.

How common is it?
Approximately 20 million people are currently infected with HPV. At least 50 percent of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives. By age 50, at least 80 percent of women will have acquired genital HPV infection. About 6.2 million Americans get a new genital HPV infection each year.

A woman on the move said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
j.a.c. said...

T

First I want to wish you well with the procedure and the in between time that you have to wait to get it done. That procedure is going to be the best thing for you, so I thank Jehovah that you found it, AND have the sense and the money (insurance) to get it taken care of.

Secondly, this is EXACTLY where you post issues of this concern. As wide of an audience as blogs tend to have, you end up reaching more people this way than in other cases. I think the occassional serious health related post is well received. Thank you for sharing this and putting a louder bug into my ear.

I love you girl.

J

Robert L. Mack said...

I'm praying that this procedure is successful for you. I'm just glad to hear that it is something that sounds as though you can have a full recovery and live life normally.

BrillD said...

Hey t.c.. Not only are you strong , but
you're truly sweet. A similar situation
occurred with my baby sis a couple of
months ago. I was scared out of my
mind. But I prayed and everything
worked out for her. I've just said a
prayer for you as well. God Bless.

T.C. said...

@awotm-Thank you sis for sharing your experience with us...women need to know that as well...you are right that's why I said we MUST get a "clear pap" because that checks for abnormal cells that can be caused by HPV...HPV is the ONLY STD that is the leading cause of cervical cancer...

@JAC-Thanks babe...I will be alright...TRUST when i say that I am strong and I am holding on...the Jehovah GOD I serve don't make no mistakes and he will bless me and keep me...YES I truly believe in preventative care....thank you for your prayers keep 'em going until...

@Rob-Thanks you brother!

@brilld-Thank you that means a lot to me...I just feel like if I can use what I go through to encourage someone else than I will do that!

Kep said...

You're in my prayers, Tiff. I'm confident that you'll be fine. The Almighty works! :-) This entry is a great example of one of the many reasons I have a great deal of respect for you. You're always willing to put yourself out there if someone else can benefit from it. It's a powerful thing, sis.

Stay up, and stay blessed. :-)

Peace,
Kep.

T.C. said...

Thanks lil bro...that means a lot!

Teej said...

early detection is the key. im so glad that you didnt just ignore the pain and hoped it went away. thankfully you were proactive as opposed to being reactive.

T.C. said...

@Teej-me too! WE all HAVE to be proactive with our health...as a matter a fact I will be contacting my doctor's office today to discuss the next steps for surgery....

G. Mo said...

I applaud your courage in discussing this personal issue. There are so many people who take their health for granted or just aren't educated on things like this. I wish you nothing but the best and pray that all goes well with your prodecure.

----- said...

T.C. ~ first and foremost, thank you for this post! I'm sorry that you're g oing through this, but I (like G.Mo) applaud your courage...cuz I don't know if I'd have the same amount?!

Second ~ thanks so much for coming to hang out at my spot ;)

~Trish

T.C. said...

@gmo & Trish-Thanks! I don't if it was really courage though or more so OK what if someone told me than maybe...I mean I know that I have been proactive, but I know that many sistahs aren't, no let me say many women aren't...we ignore our health...so if it helps someone...than it makes it worth while...no need in crying, just gotta pray about it...

@Trish alone-NO thing I love your blog...so I will be around now...*smile*

chele said...

This is a great post and I'm glad you posted it. For the past few weeks I've been complaining because my dr. sent me for three transvaginal ultrasounds because of ovarian cysts. Mine were larger than normal but I wasn't experiencing any pain. After the third follow-up I received the report that the cysts were gone. I was lucky. I'm sure you'll be fine. You are in my prayers.

T.C. said...

@chele-thanks for the well wishes! I know the one on the right will come and go...that's probably what you had "clear cysts" they are normal...this other joker has been giving me some pain today though...so we shall see what happens....I am glad to know that your situation turned out well!

Anonymous said...

hi,
first time visitor and i'm enjoying your positivity.
i'm sorry to hear about your cysts, but like you've said, it's very common and a shame more people aren't getting the word out.. so kudos to what you've done here.
i initially was reading about 'the brothas' etc. until reading about your this health situation. I'm unsure if you've had your procedure yet, but i'm glad that you are being proactive about your health, esp. to preserve your reproductive organs.
i personally, dealt with uterine fibroids and now endometriosis. i had to have a laparotomy procedure (like a c-section) to remove the fibroids, where they detected the endo. i felt i was getting too old to deal with the pain from horrible menstrual cycles (which the last two before my surgery felt like labor -- no kidding.)
it's a constant battle, but we are strong and with God's help anything is possible. Good luck to you!
visit me on my myspace where i blogged about my experience (before i learned about blogger, lol) username: buttergem