The ultrasound and the fury

I went to the doctor yesterday for my ovarian cyst. Naturally, I was nervous AF, and when I told her all my woes, she got a concerned look that made me nervous AFker.

“I think we should do an ultrasound,” she said, which I was expecting all along and kind of thought would be a given. “We can schedule that for a few days or a week from now.”

“No,” I said. “We need to do it today. I’ve been living like this since October, and I’m sick of being scared and waiting for the next test.”

So we got me in at 3:00 yesterday, which means I had to leave the doctor, work for five hours, and go back in. I was nervous AF all day long.

I got to see everything they were ultrasounding on a big screen in front of me, which I imagine is really there for happy expectant mothers, because some people get excited about being pregnant, whereas I spent my entire fertile years fearing it the way I feared this test.

“Okay!” said the technician. “Go to the room and the doctor will be in in a second.”

It was more like 45 minutes, a time I felt nervous AF, did I mention? I tried doing all my panic attack exercises, and scrolling through my phone to distract self, but I kept Googling pictures of ovary ultrasounds. Did mine look like this? Or like this?

Finally my doctor strolled in. She made light small talk, so I figured this would be good news.

“Well, that big cyst is nothing. It’s completely benign,” she said.

Before I could even feel anything approaching relief, she continued.

“But now you have another cyst, a really small one, on the other side, and it’s got some, I don’t know, stuff in there that’s probably nothing. Your blood tests will assure us of that.”

I’d taken a blood test that I knew was to see if it was ovarian cancer. I knew this because of course I’d Googled it before I walked in there.

“Really,” she said, “I don’t want you to worry. It wasn’t there at your CT scan last month. It’s probably just a normal cyst.”

Before I could convince myself not to worry about that, she continued.

“Also, I want you to take a look at this,” she said, and brought over her laptop.

There’s something odd going on in my insides, and she wants to

BIOPSY

it. “I really am not worried about it,” she said. “I just need to get my ducks in a row, and make sure it’s what I think it is, which is nothing.”

A biopsy.

You know what I am now? I’m fucking furious, that’s what I am now.

STOP FUCKING FINDING THINGS.

First I have a UTI. Oh, you don’t have a UTI, but here, we found some blood in your urine. Better get that checked!

So I get it checked, after much fear and angst.

Oh, you don’t have bladder cancer, but here, we found this giant cyst. Better get that checked!

So I fret about that for ages till I can get it checked.

Oh, the cyst is fine, but here’s another worrisome cyst, and also, let’s biopsy that other weird thing!

I’m so fucking sick of feeling this scared. I’ve been scared for three months straight. I’ve been grinding my teeth and isolating and curling into a ball and I’m so tired of this.

The biopsy

FUCKING BIOPSY

is January 27. After that, as long as my blood test comes back okay today or tomorrow, we will remove my damn ovaries. At this point I just want to remove every organ that can get cancer. I will just be marrow walking around.

Can you get marrow cancer? They’ll probably find that next.

Nervously,
June

72 thoughts on “The ultrasound and the fury

  1. Adding my late hurrahs for your give me the ultrasound NOW.
    Hoping they speed up the process and you’re feeling better soon, Joob.

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  2. You are strong, you have proved that by making it through these months. Go you for advocating. Doctors need to be reminded that there’s an actual human with emotions behind the chart. Just because they have an expensive piece of paper on the wall doesn’t mean they know everything.

    I wish I’d had a fraction of your courage. I was 20, terrified by the paper (Google was developing then so I went to a library) they told me to take to the specialist appointment a month later. Then it took another month to get back to my primary who then started ordering tests. 6 months later, I simply disintegrated into a heap when my primary admitted he had a diagnosis on the first appointment but…. I had full coverage insurance so he had to be *sure*. I’ve never felt rage like that since. I wish I had turned him in to the medical board but I just wanted to move on. I wonder how many others he did the same thing to?

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  3. This will all be over soon and you are going to feel SO GOOD. Try to focus on that. Sorry–advice. Please to forgive.

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  4. Hoping this is over with soon and your surgery date gets moved up.
    I’m here to tell you that you will feel absolutely amazing after surgery. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me! Such a relief.
    Too, sometime we have to remind the doctors we are human and we worry.
    Good for you asserting yourself!

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  5. Sorry to hear about your medical issues. I know how you feel having had THAT phone call. The waiting is the shittiest thing to have to go through. Sending positive thoughts your way.

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  6. Well. Fuckity fuck fuck, fuck that. I will add that these tests are so sensitive now, they often find things that are just anomalies and mean absolutely nothing. Also, too, small is good. There is only one exception to that rule.

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    1. And doctors almost never say they really aren’t worried about something if they are the least bit worried. So cling to that.

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    2. Biopsies suck! I’ve had them at three different places on my body, and the waiting for the result is painstakingly long. But at least you’ll have an answer, and once they rip those dumbass ovaries out for causing you so many problems, you don’t ever have to worry about them again! I hope it’s all good news!

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  7. I’m so sorry you’re going through all of this. I know how that fear is, girl! I had to have a biopsy a couple of years ago. I went back in for a 6 month check up and the stupid thing had come back. “Oh, we don’t know if we didn’t get the right spot last time, or if it re-filled with fluid, or if this is something new, but we’re going to do a different kind of biopsy and it’s the worst kind of biopsy you can go through.” Okay. Thanks. That makes me feel even better. Then during the 2nd biopsy a fire drill was going on which made it all the more fantastic. And my car was broken down so I had to take an Uber there and back since I got no man in my life to drive me to crap like this and give me moral support.

    All of this to say, that I understand what you’re going through and I am sending you ALL of the good thoughts I possibly can. And good for you for demanding they do the right thing and stop making you wait for every dadgum test. It’s infuriating that they put patients through that.

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  8. June, you are so awesome. And I love Poppy’s post and I second her compliment about you.

    I admire you so much for using anxiety techniques for calmness and focus. I am learning that I can trust that using deep breathing or another technique will get me to a place where the “anxious switch” is finally turned off or tuned down where I feel more functional (instead of a ball of nerves or flat emotions). I’ve come to the conclusion this is the way that I’m wired up. The ability to use anxiety techniques make me feel that I have some control over chaos. I’ll be standing in the doorway with the others who send their good thoughts and support for you.

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  9. My 1Mad Girl tag came originally from my password on one of my patient portals. I have gotten old enough that I have started to ask if this is just a look-see or do you really think it is something because I’m so old I’m DONE up to here with the “look-sees just in case”. When they say they want to “check this out just in case” I get fire in my eyes and say “convince me”. If it’s not important enough to do right away, let’s skip it for now.
    Saying this, I have to add I’m not a young woman with my whole life ahead of me, and no children are dependent on my mother’s milk or wages. I really know that this is not the case for everyone, including my sister and niece, but for me, every single one of those biopsies and test and “looks” were benign, nothing after all. Every single one. May it be so for you, June, and for all of us.
    I feel so deeply for you, June.

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  10. While I was reading the comments I saw a great scene for a movie in my head. This woman, oh say like June, is going through the have-a-little-look-see routine that is dragging out for months on end. When she tells her girlfriends they all band together in solidarity and they all go to her doctor’s appointment with her. Picture the mob of 150 women entering the medical building, cramming the elevators and stairwells, creating standing room only in the waiting room, overpowering the whole damn place. Then the woman is called back and all 150 of them, en masse, ignore the protesting staff and storm the inner sanctum and fill the exam room and hallway. When security comes 150 furious woman back security right back down the stairs. Then they demand this woman be seen and taken care of NOW. They are all sick and tired of waiting one week, two weeks for scary test, then two weeks for the results, then 6 weeks for the fix-it appointment. They are sick and tired of not having their fear/terror/anxiety mean a thing.
    We need that movie.

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  11. It’s all going to be okay. IF they suspected anything your surgery would have been moved up asap..so no worries. I hope they’ve discussed post op HRT with you ? Google time girlfriend.

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  12. Everyone is being empathetic and considerate while I keep having this image of the doctor getting her ducks in a row and the ultrasound revealing a grinning rubber duck in June’s abdomen.

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  13. Good for you for ADVOCATING for yourself and getting in for that ultrasound same day!
    Please feel free to air any and all concerns / comments / neuroses here. January 27th is too too far away!
    Shame on the medical system for making you wait!!

    Though, if this helps – I’ve had Medical Things that turned out to be nothing and things that turned out to be Something, and, in my experience, the doctor usually knew from the get go, what to worry about and what not to with accuracy.

    So if she’s repeatedly telling you she’s just covering her ass with the test and it’s probably nothing – there’s a good chance that’s actually the case.
    Here’s hoping the bloodwork can help to calm your nerves!!

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  14. I have the same experience as someone else that commented: if something is very wrong, doctors usually have a pretty good idea of what they are going to find and get you in asap. If is is a “just in case” check, that’s when you wait. Which isn’t awesome for the “just in case” patient but it’s good for those who are in immediate danger.

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  15. Well I thought I posted my comment but I guess I didn’t. Way to go, IT woman.

    Anyway this all sucks and I’m sorry I don’t have anything to make you feel better.

    Hang in there. Stay funny, Coot!

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  16. I had to have a couple of biopsies after visiting the gynecologist and it is no picnic with all the worrying. You have several family members who have had ovarian cysts (me included) and it turned out ok for all of us. I know you will worry and I will too until we get word from the doctor. Aunt Kathy

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  17. Your doctor was acting as if she was trying to get a gold star for every hypothetical situation she could find.
    She should have remembered she was treating a worried patient.
    You’re in my prayers. You will be fine. Yes, you will be fine.

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  18. If I could share one thing I have learned from a decade of dealing with serious health issues with my husband – when it’s something bad they generally have a pretty good idea that it’s potentially bad and get you seen fast. The “let’s rule it out” tests are the ones that they don’t rush. That’s given me some peace over the years.

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  19. Like your other FRs, I am so sorry you are facing delays and worry. No wonder you are sick of being so scared. I like Maryanne’s suggestion so will also hit the diversionary tip jar before I join the others in your crowded doorway.

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  20. Picture this “wall of women” walking with you wherever you go.
    Pi$$ on the doorway , we can build a house in this amount of time. Let’s go girls!
    So glad you demanded a “do it now” test.

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  21. OMG, I have so much to say. I’ve had this open since before 9:00 but work is insane. GOOD FOR YOU FOR BEING DEMANDING. I will try to come back when work calms down and bore you to tears. I see everyone is sending hugs, so I will instead send a NYC subway glare to the entire NC Medical Profession on your behalf.

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  22. What we should all be figuring out is that since we’ve all have had similar situations is that doctors tend to not take women’s complaints seriously. And we have to be persistent and get furious like you did to get action. I’ve decided that the word patient to describe a sick person is wrong. You need to be the opposite of patient to get things done.
    So good on you for forcing them to take you seriously!!

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    1. Lisa Pie….I wonder if part of it is our insurance is so good the more they string it out , the more they collect from insurance.
      Could someone in health insurance let us know about that?

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  23. Sorry for this BS. But well done for preserving and demanding a test ASAP.
    Hang in there. We are all here for you.

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  24. No, marrow cancer ain’t great either. Sending you good thoughts although I am pretty angry on your behalf about you having to wait until the 27th again for the biopsy. My doctor did that to me a few years ago. “Well it could be thyroid cancer, I will schedule a biopsy for three weeks from now” it wasn’t cancer at the end of everything, but that was not a fun three weeks!

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  25. June! So proud of you being a tough and persevering woman! It is so infuriating Hang in there and do not quit. Make them get you the answer. Maybe I will share later the odessy I am going through too.
    Similar journey, different organs, I think but who knows. I am on doctor number 4 – go Monday – since August. Frustrating and disheartening but we must stand up for ourselves.
    Sending you love and hugs and of course, prayers!

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  26. So glad you demanded that ultrasound….and miraculously your two week wait turned into a few hours! Doctors offices are the worst. I can feel your anxiety through this post. Keep demanding quick turnaround. You definitely don’t deserve to be strung along any longer. That is too stressful! Sending you prayers of healing and that all of this is easily eradicated with your surgery. I am sorry you are going through this tough time. Somehow your writing always still manages to brighten my day. It is such a gift you have.

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  27. I’m so sorry you’re going through all this stuff. Keep pushing for them to do what you need to have done. June, you one smart, tough cookie, something I’ve admired about you. In the doorway and holding steady…

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  28. I am so impressed you told them you wanted the ultrasound done right away. Can you come to my dr appts with me, future? Wish I had something more to write than Hang In There but really, all you can do is try to hold it together (or not) and wait. And that is the sucky part of it all. But I’m thinking if the dr keeps saying it’s ok, it will be. So, hang in there Joon.

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  29. Oh, I am SO proud of you for demanding the ultrasound be done ASAP. We’ve recently gone through this ‘two-weeks-here-two-weeks-there’ approach with my brother and it’s not only irritating but terrifying, too. Praying for good test results and for peace and comfort for you. People care about you. Let that wash over your spirit when you get anxious.

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  30. Keep. Insisting. Constantly. They don’t like patients who are annoying and want to be rid of them sooner, be annoying.

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  31. Good grief! I’d be furious too! I’m glad you insisted on getting the ultrasound done right away. They need to have more compassion for what patients go through.
    I am so sorry that you’ve had to deal with this and have been living in a state of fear and worry and being miserable!

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  32. I am so sorry you’re going through this. Sending you good vibes and support, but no hugs. No sirree, no hugs here.

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  33. Thank you for insisting the ultrasound happen. Everything is always a week away, sometime this month, or the dreaded ‘soon’ and you’re strong and courageous in getting your needs met.
    I’m gonna pray. It’s what I do, and I am doing it for you.

    Every thing is going to be OK.

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  34. Good for you! Doctors must think we can just turn off our brains and not worry! It makes me furious. Let’s do an MRI, but we can’t schedule that for three weeks, then it’s another three weeks before we can get the results to you. This is pure torture! I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. Praying you can have peace while waiting and for a good report.
    Tee

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  35. I’m sorry for all the stress and worry! It’s the worst. Doctors suck. Getting older sucks. We are here for you!

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  36. June, I hate this for you. Bravo for insisting on the ultrasound. We are all waiting with you, clinching our collective jaws and scratching our itching hands (What!? Yes that’s a thing).

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  37. Our modern world of medicine is both wonderful and terrifying at the same time. Even though waiting for appointments and tests is so hard mentally, try to think positively as much as you can, and know that you have an army of women praying and supporting you through this.

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  38. I’m so impressed that you insisted on getting an ultrasound right away. And you did get some good news, so maybe you can try to focus on that sometimes? I don’t know what to tell you, I would be a wreck. Hopefully you will find some things that will take your mind off it now and then. Maybe put Lily in the sweater again.

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  39. I had a total hysterectomy right before Thanksgiving. (Guess who had an amazing Thanksgiving?!) Long story short, after being in menopause for 12 years, I went in at 42, I started bleeding again. No one could figure it out but meanwhile I just kept on hemorrhaging. (which is loads of fun) Finally I said to my Dr to just take it out. I don’t need or want all that stuff so just take it out. She agreed on the spot. It wasn’t bad at all and actually I’d highly recommend it. All those pesky organs that can cause trouble are now gone. Good for you for standing up for yourself I love it when I do that!

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  40. I just posted this on Facebook because I am really grateful for you and love who you are.

    BookofJune.com is my favourite blog and the only blog I actually read. (Weird time to say so probably) but I have been reading her since 2016. Her inner voice is similar to mine. Her writing inspired me to free myself from my horrific marriage. Her honesty and high articulation about her feelings were my therapy goals at the time. Her pets omg. I just fucking love her and I try to make sure to check her blog every single day. She gives and gives so much and her posts are one of the things I don’t realize I look forward to until they’re not there.

    Kinda weird to post this when she’s going through hell rn but I just fucking love her for her openness, her authenticity, and how much she pours into her writing.

    That’s all.

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  41. The medical situation that never ends – I’m so sorry. I wish I could send over a basket of puppies to make you feel better.

    But I am SO PROUD OF YOU for telling your doctor you would not wait to get the ultrasound. THAT was amazing!! I think they sometimes forget that they are dealing with real people who have real feelings and sometimes ‘scared’ is the feeling.

    You rock!

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  42. I hate this for you and I hope it can be resolved ASAP.
    I had my D&C, hystoscopy, polyp removed and a biopsy on Tuesday. I am waiting for results. This time was not so bad because I am comparing it to the last one a couple of decades ago plus. That one involved removing an ovary and fallopian tube with a huge cyst. All of my previous D&Cs involved exploratory
    things with laparoscopic procedures, infertility stuff and cysts from fertility drugs. It was all survivable but this one was a cake walk as long as it’s not cancer. I was terrified before it was done and am quite calm now. I wish the same for you. I will pray as well.

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  43. I’m sorry you are going through this.Let’s hope your doctor is being overly cautious and just covering all the bases.

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  44. Ahhhh June… I feel your pain. Been there done that with the “oh it’s this, no it’s that, but surely it’s not… oh why lookie there!” My “cyst” turned out to be a fibroid that was growing on some band that holds the whole works in place so your girl parts don’t fall straight out. So my surgery to “remove” my cyst turned into a photography sesh for my doctor and now my fibroid is in some medical journal and she’s fibroid famous because HUH THAT’S WEIRD. And me, who grew the thing, got bupkus.

    Love you June. Wish I could make it better.

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  45. Oh, June! You have been through the wringer and I hate that for you. So proud that you stood up for yourself and told her how you’re feeling.

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  46. I’m not going to tell you not to worry. I’m not going to tell you that you will be fine. What I am going to do is stand in this doorway, hovering, coming really, really close to hugging you but not because you don’t prefer hugs, and say prayers for you.

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