As regular readers will know, I’ve had two ovarian cysts over the last year. The first one was removed August 2012 but within five months a second one had grown on the left ovary again. The cysts are endometriomas, which means that a little bit of uterine lining has made its way into my ovary and started filling a cyst with blood.
I finally had my appointment with my new consultant this week and learnt some new information about my cyst. Apparently the last cyst, which I thought had just been drained, had actually been mostly removed although it burst during the procedure and thus complete removal wasn’t possible. The new cyst hasn’t grown much since the last ultrasound four months ago and is 7.2 x 5.5cm in size. That’s a fair bit smaller than my first cyst, which was 8.0 x 8.5 x 9.5cm in size when diagnosed two months before removal.
The smaller size of the cyst probably explains why it has not given me as much trouble on a day-to-day basis as the first one did. Although it’s sometimes uncomfortable, particularly when I lie on my front or when a cat sits on me with paws in the wrong place, it’s rarely painful. I’m most grateful for that, as it means that I’m not needing the painkillers I required last year which made me so fuzzy-headed.
So my choices are:
- Wait and see. Not really my favourite option.
- Have another cystectomy. The normal risk of recurrence is 10%, but given that I’ve already had one recurrence it seems likely that for me that risk might be higher. Can’t say that I’m overly impressed with this option either.
- Partial oophorectomy. Rather than just remove the cyst they will remove my lefthand ovary as well. This will prevent recurrence. There’s no reason to believe that my righthand ovary will start producing cysts and it should be capable of picking up the slack with regard to hormone production.
So, partial oophorectomy it is, then. I should get an appointment within the next eight weeks and it should again be an outpatient appointment, done and dusted in one day.
I was expecting this outcome, though it was still quite odd when it became clear that this was the best option. For a moment on Wednesday I felt that there was something almost symbolic about it, losing an ovary, that I’ll always know that there’s a tiny almond-sized bit of me missing. But it’s really no more symbolic than losing a wisdom tooth or four, or an appendix or tonsils.
I’m not fussed about fertility. Kevin and I jointly decided years ago that children weren’t our thing and that we’d prefer not to have them. Some people find that an odd decision, but it’s very definitely the right one for us. Indeed, the rightness of that decision was strongly reinforced shortly after we got married when we had bit of a pregnancy scare – when the test came up negative we both heaved a sigh of relief, rather than disappointment.
I’m looking forward to being on the other side of the operation. Although the staff last time were fantastic and I’m not worried about the op, it’ll be nice to have it out of the way. I will, of course, keep the blog updated as things progress.