It’s not Ovarian Cancer!

But wait, it gets better…

Y’all, I could have been on an episode of I Didn’t know I was Pregnant! Just found out Tuesday that I am roughly 20 weeks! TWENTY. WEEKS. Whaaaaaaa? HOW?! I missed half a pregnancy? WTF? My mind is completely blown. 

 “How didn’t you know?” you may be asking. Well, lemme tell you. This is way TMI, but I’m sharing this info anyway.  I have had 3 previous pregnancies and have always known immediately, I am talking within days, of becoming pregnant. Always.

 So, it began in December, when I noticed some bloating on my lower left side. It almost felt like a small baseball-sized pocket of air or something, just in that area. It wasn’t painful at all, but it certainly wasn’t gas. I had recently minorly injured my torso twisting while lifting something, so I thought maaaaybe inflammation or hernia from that.

I am a very lucky woman and start my period in the middle of the night, dead asleep, every friggin time. Thing comes like clockwork, so thankfully I can avoid waking up to what appears to be a murder scene…most months. In January, still bloated, I woke up in the middle of the night & sure enough, Aunt Rosie was over for a visit. Except that visit was very brief, three hours, and was over before I woke up for the day. Ok, that’s strange but nothing to get overly concerned about.

In February the bloated area has gotten larger but is still localized, and as it grows so do my concerns. I start looking around for insurance (I know) & medical providers. It’s not awful- I’m mildly uncomfortable and not at all in pain. Valentine’s Day I start the most disturbing period of my life. Extremely strong cramps, heavy bleeding, passed a HUGE clot, etc.  It was actually pretty scary but didn’t last long, & by the next day everything had returned to normal. I was worried, but I had no fever, didn’t feel weak, and since everything returned to normal pretty quickly I figured maybe it was making up for January.

March- still bloated, and bloating even more. Concern is growing. Husband now notices the bloating. Weird spasm begins on left side, very near where the bloating began. Trying to get comfortable so I can fall asleep at night is beginning to become difficult. Normal period. Notice more facial hair growth (silently, sarcastically thank my mother for that genetic gift).  Am worried, as the symptoms are persistent and unusual for me.

April- Now so bloated I cannot eat comfortably. The bloat is beginning to spread. Extreme discomfort, but no pain. The spasm is constant at night, only in the one area. Starting to feel some kind of movement, tell husband it feels like a baby’s movements. Google suggests it is gas or parasites. Pretty sure it’s neither. Discover that ovarian cancer has similar symptoms, most importantly this weird bloating. Am now incredibly worried. Regular period.

May- Spasm and movement constant at night, takes forever for me to fall asleep. Cannot stand, sit, or lay straight comfortably due to pressure from bloating. Starting to pee more often (another sign of ovarian cancer, apparently). Cannot eat more than a few bites at a time because I feel full (yet another symptom of ovarian cancer). Breathing a bit heavier after walking short distances that normally wouldn’t phase me. Am somewhat tired, but figure it’s from the stress & worry, plus the difficulty falling asleep at night. Begin having frequent headaches. Start considering a trip to ER, as there are no affordable options for insurance (cheapest I found was $400 a month for one 32 year old woman with no prior history of health issues. That is absurd). Am now terrified it’s cancer. Cry a lot, pray even more. Call around and find a place that would schedule an appointment, which I look forward to with great anxiety. No period, which is something I overlook due to worry.

June- still waiting for my appointment. Bloating is insane, feel like my sides will burst. Pregnancy doesn’t occur to me until I was explaining my symptoms over the phone to the Dr’s office, & I realized I hadn’t had a period in May. Pregnancy seems unlikely to me; these symptoms have been going on for months- longer than I could possibly have been pregnant,  cancer can cause menstrual irregularities, I didn’t have any of the symptoms I had experienced with the previous pregnancies, there wasn’t any *ahem* time that my husband & I could think of that would have resulted in a possible pregnancy, & I would’ve just known, yada, yada.  In effort to narrow down possible causes I take the pregnancy test, fully expecting a negative. Notice the bold print on bottom of test insert saying that ovarian cancers may cause false positive. Oh look, test is positive, that’s unexpected. Do not feel better thanks to that big black print telling me cancer can do this. Sit on floor repeating “Oh shit” for 15 minutes before dissolving into tears. Google confirms false positive is possible. Am now convinced it’s cancer. Seriously consider ER, but decide to wait the few more days until my appointment. Start praying constantly that it’s a baby and not cancer.

APPOINTMENT DAY- am extremely anxious. Get to the office and notice beautiful large lavender plants in full bloom, and a big ol’ lizard just chilling beneath one. This, for whatever reason, makes me feel instantly calmer. Go in, do all the paperwork, yada yada. Receptionists are very friendly & helpful. The enviroment is very calming. I don’t wait too long. Nurse takes vitals and asks me to undress & the DR will be with me shortly. There was very little wait after the nurse left before the Dr steps in. Friendly woman, warm. I like her. We go over my symptoms and concerns. From my last period we estimate about 10 weeks, if I were pregnant. From everything I have read, the best thing we could do is get a sonogram to see if it’s a mass or a baby.  Dr agrees that this is a good idea and wheels in an ancient machine. Takes a quick peek and immediately it’s clear there’s a baby. But not a little 10 week baby. No, a large, roughly 20 week baby. What?! I am completely shocked, and huuuugely relieved. And shocked. And relieved. And unable to process this information at all. Dr tells me I can get redressed, and we’ll schedule my first prenatal appointment, exits room. I sit there, mouth agape, naked under my paper robe, completely flabbergasted for 10 minutes. Unable to do anything. Just completely shocked.

I hadn’t really considered pregnancy before the moment of the pregnancy test. I had regular periods all the way through April. Not spotting, full on 3-5 days of bleeding, at regularly. scheduled intervals. According to my cycle, I should only be 10 weeks, not 20. Where were the normal first trimester symptoms? Where was the extreme fatigue, the sensitivity to smell, the food aversion, the aching breasts that I have had with every pregnancy? Wtf. I am still shocked, but overjoyed and excited now. I am praying that the baby is healthy. Still confused over the bleeding during the first half of the pregnancy, and will be discussing that at my appointment next week. I thank God every minute that it’s not cancer, and for our little surprise.




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