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In Which Gloria Self-Delivers a Tumor
By Gloria Diaz
Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!
Fort Wayne Reader
Those of you regular readers know Iíve been dealing with a fibroid tumor and a procedure to make it shrink, since the doctors informed me removing it would be dangerous. Firstly, because it was growing right in a muscle, and secondly, I would probably lose a lot of blood. Both physicians declared me too young for a hysterectomy, so I chose a less invasive procedure. All seemed wellóat the beginning.
But shortly after, the uterine artery embolization (look it up!) was working, yet not working. My tumor was crumbling like a milk-soaked cookie, but the monthly pains were getting worse, not better. The month-long period I had, plus the three week abdominal cramps made me think that things werenít exactly going right. Calls to both doctors yielded a response of, ďwell, this isnít out of the ordinary.Ē I slogged through work, loading up on Midol, Tylenol, Motrin, and whatever else was legal.
A week before Thanksgiving, I reached my breaking point. I managed to make one delivery that morning and threw up in the customerís parking lot before I left and then making it back to work before begging another co-worker to take the other order up to Rome City (and then clocking out and throwing up in the parking lot at work). I called my gynecologist, insisting they either do something about the pain, or kill me. I made it over to the office, writhing in pain on an examining table. Gritting my teeth, I tried to be civil, explaining that the twice-monthly excruciating abdominal pain, the lack of energy, the lack of appetite, the weight loss (17 pounds in two months) was, in this non-doctorís opinion, an indication that something was WRONG.
A CT scan done a couple weeks before yielded different results, depending who you talked to. The hospital saw a urinary tract infection. The surgeon saw air pockets and another infection. The gynecologist said a hysterectomy was inevitable. By the next day, they had a surgery date set.
That Saturday, due to the huge amount of antibiotics I was taking, I actually had an appetite and fixed a huge fried shrimp dinner. Naturally, I had to go to the bathroom after. While sitting on the can, I felt somethingÖ unusual. Those of you who have worn tampons know the feeling. However, I hadnít worn tampons in months. But I was about to find out why I was in such pain a couple days before. By myself, I delivered a piece of my tumor that was four inches long, two and a half inches wide, six inches around and weighed six and a half ounces. Horrified, I looked at it in my hand and tossed it into the tub, where I stared at it in fascination, as if it were a train wreck or a two-headed baby. The employees at my gynecologistís office were impressed and high fives were given. Iím sure the intern working there that day wonít forget the time the crazy lady brought in part of her frozen tumor. My doctor said the intense pain I felt a couple days before was probably the tumor passing through my cervix. In retrospect, that was probably correct, but I didnít want to make any more deliveries in the bathroom. My reproductive system was a landfill and causing a drain on the rest of my body; it was time to let it go.
And so, itís gone. Iím dealing with the resulting pain and conflicting emotions and the occasional crying jag. For someone whoís used to going, going, going all the time, to be forced to rest for six weeks is a bit of a shock, but maybe I was due for a break. Working three jobs while being sick is a bit much, even in these times.
Iím hoping this takes care of the problems Iíve been experiencing these last four months. Being off work wonít help my financial situation, but whatever happens, happens. Iím too tired to worry about things anymore. I want to get well. And hopefully, I will.