I had to go to the ob-gyn yesterday after spending the past few days with ovarian pain and GI issues. I've been putting off going for awhile mostly because its gotten difficult, if not impossible, to be able to get to the doctor on my own and the whole process is quite taxing on my body.
The ovarian pain has come and gone ever since getting sick. I had a hemorraghic cyst on the same ovary in 2007, another cyst back in 1998 so I'm no stranger to ovarian cysts.
I didn't tell the doctor until well into the exam that I had ME/CFS. She didn't say anything at first but then a few minutes later did ask me if I'd thought about going on anti-depressants. Maybe the two weren't connected.
Regardless, she was very nice and appropriately concerned. She wasn't able to see my ovary on the in office ultrasound so she referred me for a full pelvic ultrasound to be done on Tuesday. And then I go back to see her on Thursday.
We talked a lot about my mom's history which was surprising. I hadn't had a doctor ask me so much about my mom's medical history before (for anyone who hasn't read my blog for very long my mom died of cancer 44 days after being diagnosed).
I didn't know this, and I think all woman should know this, but ovarian cancer has vague symptoms including gastro-intestinal symptoms (that's the part I didn't know), bloating, bladder problems, ovarian pain, weight loss, etc...I also didn't know that adenocarcinoma (which is the type of cancer my mom died of) can be ovarian cancer. And, that the risk for ovarian cancer increases if one has an immediate family member who has had breast, ovarian, or colon cancer.
I continue to have the ovarian pain as well as GI issues so I'm worried but I'm trying not to live there. I have also lost my appetite which is strange. The ob-gyn coudn't feel any mass on my ovary during the pelvic exam so hopefully there is nothing there and this is all ME/CFS stuff.
The ultrasound might be a tiny bit challenging because I have to drink 32 ounces of water 1 hour prior to the exam and I can't go to the bathroom until after the test. I told the woman over the phone that I wasn't sure if I'd be able to hold it but I'd try. Since getting sick I pee like a racehorse.
I also have to see a dermatologist about a spot that I'm sure is a skin cancer. Both my parents had significant skin cancers so I'm pretty familiar with it. I'm not worried about it though because it will be easily treatable. I had a pre-cancerous spot removed from my arm two years ago with no problems.
I think I've decided against stem cell treatment at this time. It turns out that only 30-40% of Cheney's patients showed improvement although 20% of those are functional cures. It's just not worth the risk for me at this point.
Instead I'm going to focus on getting my hormones into balance, going gluten free, and getting my mood to a good place even if that means going on an anti-depressant.
Since my ME/CFS doctor is moving I need to find a new doctor. I'm considering abandoning the idea of paying out of pocket for medical care for treatments that really don't help anyway. I'm thinking of seeing if I can find a good internist that accepts my insurance. Actually, that's not true I do think the Cheney protocol is helping me and Valcyte helped while I was on it. I think I'm just burned out having spent my entire life savings on out of pocket medical care.
I wonder what it would be like to stop chasing treatments. It might be kind of nice.
I did get into the Stanford study and will go there in September to have my blood drawn. They are testing people (both controls and ME/CFS people) to see what pathogens exist in people with this illness. I think its a great idea. I'll also be tested for xmrv. Again. I think I'll probably get these test results more quickly than the previous xmrv test for a study I was in last fall (still haven't received those results).
I'm grateful to be in the Stanford study because I'll get tested for tons of pathogens and will get the results. If anyone wants contact information leave your email address in the comments section and I'll give them to you. People have to go to Stanford to get tested and you have to have been off anti-virals (or at least Valcyte) for 1 year.
That's it for now. Time for more Advil...