**This post may contain graphic description and representation, if you are a bit iffy with blood or get easily grossed out with anatomy, I suggest you stop reading and think of happy thoughts.
It was a revelation that being young does not mean you are entitled to be healthy. I received the biggest surprise of my health last Nov. 29, 2012. For the past 5 months or so, I have been experiencing irregularities with my menstrual period. My usual 5 days of regular maxi pads extended to 10 days of wearing over-sized pads and even child diapers for sleeping. I was becoming nauseous, not being able to stand up easily from the bed. I found myself banging the dividers whenever I stand up from my office chair. I always looked pale and people would notice it and ask if I was OK.
My husband convinced me to have a check-up with the doctor. I was so sure that the menstrual change maybe attributed to my trying to wean my 3 year old daughter from breastfeeding. I thought, women are always hormonal, it will go away. To give him peace of mind I went in anyway. The doctor asked me to have a routine trans-vaginal ultrasound. A trans-vaginal ultrasound is a type of sonographic procedure where the probe instead of placing over your belly is inserted into the vagina. This provides a more accurate view of the reproductive anatomic structure. I had to wait a couple of days since the ultrasound was only available on a Thursday unless I am willing to have a male to handle the procedure. Sure enough come Thursday I showed up at the doctor’s clinic, they had me propped on the bed and a female sungit looking doctor went in. The whole ordeal was weird. She was making weird faces when she was moving the probe, I was getting uncomfortable already and I think my face showed it and she said “Iha, mahirap kasi madaliin ito, may bukol ka kasi”. Those words struck me like lightning. “Bukol” or mass in Filipino was a vague word, did she mean cyst? polyp?what bukol? She made a depression at the lower left side of my belly and said, “the bukol is distorting the entire shape of your uterus”. I was teary at that point. I was alone, the news was too much for me to take. I was in denial.
I went to the office that same day googled the result of the ultrasound which indicated it as fibroids.
A fibroid growth or myoma uteri is a benign tumor. To shock me further my myoma was not only 1 but two. One was a intramural measuring 5.22 x 4.10 cm while the more troublesome was a submucous component (cause of my heavy bleeding) measuring 4.01 x 2.71 % covering almost 50% of the implantation site of my uterus. To put it plain and simple, the fibroids are damaging my uterus,the place where the baby lives for 9 months. I showed the doctor previous ultrasound records I had underwent prior to the check-up and she remarked, ‘it was disturbing why your myoma would grow this big this fast.’
I went to 3 different doctors and seeked 2 over the phone opinions.
Doctor #1 : Advised me to undergo a 1 year monthly low dose contraceptive therapy. She said this will shrink the myoma with this method but I had to go to her for these injections. The amount of injection would cost 1,500 per shot.
Doctor #2 : Advised me to have a baby NOW. She said that the low dose contraceptive therapy does not work and suggested that if I don’t get pregnant now I will be having a problem with fertility in the future. She was the first doctor that made me cry uncontrollably in her no barrier clinic. She said she is suggesting a hysterectomy of my uterus. She was also the first doctor that said there was a different option in shrinking the myoma first to give way for my getting pregnant. Her final words were well at least you have a kid.
Doctor #3: My personal OB. She was the first doctor that said she can operate only by removing the myoma and not removing the entirety of my womanhood. But we will need to shrink the myoma. This is through a Leuproreline acetate is a synthetic nonapeptide analogue of natural Gonadotrophin Releasing hormone (which cost a whooping P6,700 pesos per shot).
I asked two doctors what their opinions were and they agreed that the best management was indeed the advise of my personal OB-Gyne.
I was having nightmares about going through the therapy. The drug was considered to be an effective medication for Prostate cancers, Endometriosis and Myomas. I even dreamt the night before my first dose that it was a big ass syringe that they will inject my butt cheeks with (feeling baboy in the dream). I was also scared that this was in fact like chemotherapy, no matter how lightly it was relayed to me I know having a tumor inside is such a depressing thought.
Possible symptoms which I am expecting to expereince are menopausal related indications like
- hot flashes,
- anorexia (not entirely bad, i need to shed a few pounds),
- increased sweating, night sweats,
- upset stomach,
- breast changes (reduction and tenderness – NIGHTMARE),
- acne, joint/muscle aches, trouble sleeping , r
- educed sexual interest (SORRY HUN) ,
- vaginal discomfort/dryness,
- vaginal bleeding,
- swelling of the ankles/feet,
- increased urination at night,
I had my first dose yesterday at 5:45 pm after the allergy skin test in one of the non-major hospitals in QC. Yes, I noticed the increased urination, dizziness, tired feeling and headaches. There are other side effects attributed to this drug which are depression and mood swings. I hope i don’t get it, I can live with being tired all the time, but not being depressed and having a crazy personality.
Right now, I am still in denial of all the things happening to me. It seems that this is a bad dream. To be honest we were planning to have another baby this year, but I guess God has a different plan for us. I will always look at the brighter side of what this experience has taught me. A regular check-up is needed not only for women but for everyone. No matter how healthy you are feeling, there maybe underlying illnesses which may affect you. I don’t have unhealthy habits other than eating yummy foods. I even got into running last year. Being sick does not chose an individual based on their lifestyle, it is better to be cautious specially if your family has a background history of a dreaded disease.
I wish to share this experience not to frighten people or to have friends worried about me. It took me quite a while to come into terms in telling people about my ordeal. I am now open about this to raise awareness in women and their reproductive health. Seek medical advice if you have experienced the symptoms I have described above.
I would like to thank my family specially my husband OJ for always supporting me with the challenges I face in my life. My Shumi who is always my bright sunshine who never fails to make me laugh, sorry babe no more dede from Mommy