My husband Will and I are about to embarking on our first international adventure together. Here is a little about us…
We got married last August in the Logan LDS Temple in Utah. We originally met on Tinder, so judge us as you will. I’m a Tinderella, and I have no shame.
I love my husband. We are so happy. We live in South Provo in a small house with our cat, Ebony. (Who regrettably will not be traveling with us *pout*)
So, now that you know very little about us, here’s the down-low. We will be flying to Vienna, Austria where we will both be starting at new internships and taking classes at the Austro-American Institute in Vienna.
To say I’m a little excited is a gross understatement. This is all I have been thinking about for the last 10 months. We will be living in the heart of Vienna on one of the most famous streets.
On August 30th, one of my tasks as I have been preparing was to go see my lady doctor to get my birth control prescription refilled. (I have what’s called PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome, and have been taking birth control since I was diagnosed back in 2013 to help minimize cyst growth. It is apparently essential to my health)
So, on that fateful Tuesday, I go to visit my favorite Lady Doctor–let’s called him Dr. Frank. (That’s not his real name, but hello–I’m practicing anonymity.) Dr. Frank and I had a great chat, and of course I brought Mama Suiter (my mother) along, because I am petrified of going to the doctor alone. They caught up on things as well, and then he asked me if I wanted an ultrasound to check on the healthiness of my ovaries.
I figured, eh, why not? So, ultrasound he did. Events transpired, and I ended up having to have another, rather invasive ultrasound to get a better look at what he described as a massive tumor (my literal bump in the figurative road) on my left ovary.
Let me just say, the word “tumor” is such a scary word. I mean, honestly, people say “tumor,” you think “cancer,” and then you think “death.” So, of course, I was freaking out, but I trust Dr. Frank. He has been my surgeon and Lady Doctor for 3 years. He saved my life in surgery before (but that’s a story for a different day.) Bottom line, I trusted him when he sent me to get a CT scan and then referred me to a gynecological surgical oncologist.
Now, those are scary titles. Oncologists are cancer doctors. That scared me. A whole freaking lot. Many tears were shed, but you know, I ended up laughing about it. I called a couple of my best friends and family, and we made jokes. One of my friends nicknamed my tumor “Ted the Pot Roast” since the tumor is actually roughly the size of a pot roast. (Isn’t that weird to think about? There is a giant hunk of tumor just chilling in my 5’10” 135 lb frame.)
The major downside of having to go see this oncologist guy was that he couldn’t see me until September 9th. Keep in mind, our flight for Vienna leaves on September 13th. This did not leave us much time to have surgery or anything. I was flipping the proverbial lid.
After much consultation with Will and prayers and guidance from family, I called our wonderful internship director to inform her of our situation and let her know that we might be coming late, or maybe not at all–depending on whether I actually had cancer. She was beyond understanding and offered a few suggestions on how we could head off the situation, and my mind was put at ease.
Finally, Friday came. My parents, Will, and I all drove to Salt Lake to go see the oncologist. I have never had so much anxiety in my life. After an incredibly invasive exam to estimate the exact location and size of my tumor, our oncologist sat me and Will down and went over our options.
He told us that my blood test results, my symptoms, and the scans of my tumor were all completely inconsistent with cancer(!!!!!!) He said there was less than a 1% chance that my tumor was actually cancerous! (HALLE-FREAKING-LUJAH)
He explained to me that the tumor is made up of a clear mucus, and that it’s actually a regrowth of the cyst I had surgically removed by Dr. Frank back in early 2013. In an effort to preserve my ovary, Dr. Frank had chosen to remove only the cyst. (Which I fully appreciate, because I certainly was not ready to lose an ovary at 16 years old.) However, by trying to separate the cyst from the ovary, and not take both out, he didn’t get the whole thing.
Apparently, this is a super common occurrence, and I don’t blame Dr. Frank at all. He did right by me on all accounts. However, because this thing is now progressing and growing even bigger, we needed a different plan.
If you know me, I am a purger of all things unnecessary. The oncologist explained to me that we definitely need to take the tumor out because it is pressing on my stomach, bowels, and bladder (which explains why I don’t eat a ton, and always am going to the bathroom.)
After explaining the risks of leaving the tumor in for another 3 months (which basically consists of “it might get bigger” and “you might experience uncomfortable pressure”), we all agreed that he would remove the tumor and my crap ovary when we get back from Vienna in December. This way, the tumor won’t grow back, and I won’t have to worry about having more uncomfortable, almost-trip-ruining medical exams. We are purging the unnecessary.
So, the bad news is: I have a giant tumor on my ovary that is the size of a pot roast or fairly large nerf football. The good news is: It isn’t cancerous. We can still go on our trip. And, I get to say “I’m eating for two” while we are traveling! (hahahaha)
If you would like to follow Mariah and Wills journey Click here.