So you know a while back (ok, I just checked – it was more than a year ago) I mentioned how I was low in iron, and the doctor wanted to do a few tests to find out why. Well, those tests led to a few more tests, and scans, and having cameras inserted in places that cameras should never go… but it was all happening at the glacial pace of public health waiting lists, so I wasn’t particularly worried (it’s when they bump you to the top of the list that you know they think it’s something bad).
Until I got a phone call on Friday asking me to come in to the hospital on Monday to talk to one of the many specialists who’s poked me with things. That was a bit of a worry – I’d never had an appointment booked so rapidly before – but I convinced myself it would just be yet another “we’re not sure exactly what’s going on, so we’ll leave it a few months and see if anything’s changed” discussion. Except it turned out to be a “we’re nearly certain it isn’t cancer, but just in case, we’d better check” talk instead. Which was a bit scary. Because even when a doctor is telling you all the reasons she is convinced it’s not cancer, your brain has a tendency to latch on to the “cancer” bit of the conversation.
Anyway, the upshot is that I probably have endometriosis, but it hadn’t been picked up earlier because I haven’t had any of the pain that’s usually associated with it. So that’s good news, because there are various options for treating it (and presumably, given my age, it will cease to be a problem in a few years anyway). Where the scary C-word comes in is that one of the blood tests I had showed up a marker which can indicate ovarian cancer. That marker also shows up with endometriosis, so that’s probably all it is. But there’s a very very small chance it’s not.
So, in order to remove that small doubt, I have to have surgery so they can take a biopsy (and poke around with some more cameras – I really should ask for a photo album, they’ve taken so many pictures of my insides!). And I’ve been booked in for 18 August. It’s keyhole surgery, so I should be in and out on the same day, but I will be given a general anaesthetic, and the thought of that is a bit scary – there’s something about the idea that they can make me unconscious that I really don’t like.
What I’m not particularly concerned about (apart from the first few moments of panic when the subject first arose) is the spectre of cancer. It just seems so unlikely (and not just in a wishful thinking way – the specialist seemed to think so too), so I can happily put it in the “worry about it if it happens” basket, and concentrate on more immediate worries – like the fact that I’ve been instructed to bring dressing gown and slippers with me for wearing in the day surgery waiting room, and I own neither. I wonder if I can get away with a pair of socks and an old jersey like I wear at home if I need to get up in the night… yeah, probably not. Might need to go shopping.