I joined this group to get advice about dealing with a recent discovery of a large complex cyst on my ovary. My doctor has advised me to wait and see for 8-12 weeks. She says it would look silly if she refers me and the cyst goes away on it's own. She wants to send me for a follow up ultrasound, and then refer me if it is still a concern. I'm reluctant to wait as I've had worsening symptoms for almost a year. I was busy and ignored symptoms until this past August. Pelvic pain and pressure, urgent/frequent urination, constant lightheaded/dizzy- not vertigo- & everyday feeling that something is wrong.
Initially, were any of you advised to wait and see? If you were diagnosed in early stages, did you have symptoms?
- make a list of all the symptoms you have had over the last year, when they started, when they got worse and how what is happening now
- write down all your questions and concerns so that you can remember them and can present them in a coherent way
- consider taking someone with you to the appointment with the doctor for moral support. You can decide if you want the person to just listen or be more active in the appointment and also ask questions.
- be clear with your doctor that you don't want to wait 8-12 weeks and ask what can be done sooner. The three tests that are available initially if ovarian cancer is suspected is a transvaginal ultrasound, CA125 blood test and a pelvic exam. You may want to ask for a CA 125 blood test and another ultrasound. The CA125 blood test is not reliable by itself but sometimes when used with other test results, it can help in the diagnostic process.
Do you have someone that you could ask to go with you? Do you think that would be helpful?
"If it is persistent, be insistent!"
Thank you @Marilyn for those great suggestions on how to present to a health care provider.
Thanks to one of our members.... A timely and interesting article on the web and social media today:
And thank you @kastoyles, @Jeannie, @tigerlily @CurlyHair for sharing your stories and encouragement. So glad to have this site and hope it helps to reach out to more women.
For anyone impacted by Ovarian Cancer, hope you can share some lesser known symptoms as well.
Then everyday my symptoms are worse, and I am reminded of friends/colleagues who are let down by our health system. And I want to yell to make them wake up. Listen to me. Fix me. Please.
Its amazing how this experience has changed your relationship with husband and family and friends! What prompted you to start a blog? Have you done that before?
I want it out.
Never before have I written a blog, no. Actually this group is what gave me the idea- I’m sharing my personal thoughts/experience with you all, and the support was really positive. I decided to write the blog in order to help others- and have an easier way to share my challenges with my loved ones. Incredibly helpful!! You’re welcome to check it out at www.albertakat.ca
also a very positive environment at Wordpress.... lots of supportive bloggers helping each other. It’s a new world.
as difficult as it was/is to be vulnerable with others, I think it’s the best thing I could’ve done. Thank you for reading.
I’m so distrustful of the medical community- I wish I could just relax and trust that they’ll do the right thing. But they seldom do.
Are you taking someone with you? That might help and also have someone to strategize with you about your reaction based on the different ways the doctor might respond. The doctor may suggest a repeat of the transvaginal ultrasound depending on how long ago you had one and/or a CA125 blood test. You could ask about it if they don't suggest it. This is not a definitive test but used in conjunction with an ultrasound and your symptoms (be clear about these) it may give the doctor more information for a potential diagnosis. Or, you may get the referral to a gyne oncologist.
I think most women find these kind of appointments anxiety producing so you are not alone. It is hard not to know what is going on in your body and to have to wait to find out. Do you have tools that help you calm down and relax? Even taking a few deeps breaths can sometimes help - and talking about it here and with people close to you as you have been doing. You might want to check out the discussion on anxiety to see if there are any tips there that might help.
Hang in there and let us know how it goes...
I still require a second ultrasound before surgery will be considered- he said that NO oncologist would agree to see me without a strong indication of cancer. So no referral to oncologist without proof that the cyst is growing/changing.
So I don’t have any choice but to wait for another month or so, have another ultrasound and hope the cyst goes away on it’s own. Wish me luck.