A lot of the reason for my new ethos about food and dieting is as a result of what's been happening to me medically in the last year. I alluded in my last post to my brilliant friends who have done so much - this was mostly in the last six months and related to this. So, as I'm in the middle of another batch of testing, I thought I'd share.
About September last year I discovered that I had some pain in my abdomen when lifting D. I presumed it was due to overexertion and so I cut down on lifting him, hoping that it would pass/sort it out.
Around my thirtieth (beginning of October) I discovered a lump. The pain was still there, the lifting wasn't getting any easier.
So, I went to the doctor. As you do with a lump.
Then began two months of tests and all sorts of things to try to work out what was going on. My trip to Florence which I'd been greatly looking forward to was shadowed by worries. There was a lot of puzzlement and many of the options were ruled out. The one that vividly sticks in my head was a haemotoma - basically a big bruise.
Eventually, a diagnosis was reached at. On New Years' Eve. I had a desmoid tumour and it had to come out.
Not a lot is known about desmoid tumours but there are people working on it and making discoveries. I was told that it's better to have found it now than two years ago as there have been moves forward in the way that they deal with them and the information that they know. It's an odd thing - a non-cancerous tumour that can nonetheless be quite aggressive. It's also got a high rate of reoccurrence - although there aren't definitive figures out there for any of this. It's rare. The only stats I can find suggest two to four in a million people are diagnosed with it a year in America. It also has different names - desmoid fibromatosis, desmoid tumour or aggressive fibromatosis. Try Googling it - the results generally are confusing or missing on all of the details.
I had twelve days to try and think about all of this and all of the long-term ramifications and then surgery to remove the tumour. It was a success but a slow recovery and there are still after effects - including a complete lack of sensation around the surgery site and pretty much across the entirety of my stomach. I have also had a large proportion of my abdominal muscles on one side removed in order to get clear margins. This means I'm slightly uneven - although this has lessened over time and the weightloss has actually helped to even things up a little bit. I also couldn't pick D up for about six weeks and found it harder to do so for longer than that. I still have issues with some movements, although these are rare and nowhere near as much of an issue as they were.
There are three potential causes for this tumour - pregnancy (which in my case has been ruled out) Familial Adenomatous Polypsis (highly unlikely but being tested) or just a random genetic thing. This latter could be either aggressive or non-aggressive. This is also currently being tested.
Anyway, it's been six months since the surgery. The three month check up scan revealed that the tumour hadn't returned but that there was a seroma. The hope is that this time, there is no tumour and no seroma. I'm not entirely clear on what will happen if either is there - possibly more surgery. In the next week I've got three different tests going on. Two of the three involve periods of starvation - not something that I'm good at!
I'm hoping to get the all clear mid-August but unsurprisingly, I'm rather nervous about it all at the moment.
Have a cute picture of D - it does me good to see one!