Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our Story: Part 4, The Tumor Miracle

I closed Part 3 by saying we were done with treatments but promised our specialist we would come in for a final closing visit.  At that appointment in the summer of 2008, he suggested I undergo a procedure that would look more closely for endometriosis than the ultrasounds had before (there was no indication in my ultrasound over a year ago that I had anything to worry about).  This would require anaesthesia, but it would be an outpatient procedure so I could return home that evening.  He said that was the only thing left he could think to try since we'd undergone all the other testing.  I was hesitant, I mean we had already decided we were done, why would I want to take the risk of being under general anesthesia?  Bray and I talked about it, and finally agreed to do this one LAST thing.  I scheduled it for the end of October because I wanted to travel with Bray to Nashville for my 10 year law school reunion first. 

All our families knew was that we had not been successful with fertility treatments and we'd decided to stop them.  I really did not want to tell anyone about the procedure, but at the last minute I told my mom just in case something happened.  On the morning of October 29th, Bray drove me to the hospital for the early morning preparations.  I remember telling him that once they were in there, Dr. C might call him and ask for permission to cut me open if they found something (they were only doing two small laser inserts on either side of my uterus, no cutting).  I told him that he could agree to anything they asked for except removing my uterus - I did not want him holding the weight of that decision should it come to that.  This was very unexpected information for him, he didn't realize the procedure could turn into more, but Dr. C forewarned us that morning "just in case." 

Instead of waking up an hour later, I woke up several hours later in post-op recovery.  Bray and my mom were there.  Apparently, shortly after the procedure began, a nurse came in with a telephone and called Bray's name.  Dr. C was on the other line and informed him they had found a tumor in the wall of my uterus and he needed permission to cut me open so he could cut the tumor out.  Needless to say (from all accounts I hear - obviously I wasn't there), Bray was very upset and called his mom to update her on what was unfolding.  Who wants to hear two years into your marriage that your spouse has a tumor?

So Bray began telling me, in my groggy state, what had happened.  "They found endometriosis, but they also found a tumor.  They had to cut you open to get it out.  The doctor believes it's benign but has sent it off to the lab.  You'll have to stay in the hospital a few days to recover...."  Something along those lines, I still can't remember much of that day. 

In the midst of all the pain as the day wore on, I do remember this.  I remember having the most amazingly supportive loving husband in the room with me, sleeping on the hospital couch next to my bed that night.  And I remember Dr. C walking into my hospital room that afternoon to check on me and give me a full report: (1) The tumor was benign, (2) Had I gotten pregnant with the previous IVF attempts, the tumor would have grown rapidly because of the hormones and would have caused me to miscarry, (3) There was widespread endometriosis, they had been able to remove it all, (4) We're going to do everything we can now to make sure you have a little pumpkin next Halloween. 

I would have lost the baby.  We don't always know why God does what He does, but He knows best.  How much worse would my heartache have been had we gone through all that and then had one or two or more miscarriages?  I have people close to me that have endured that heartache, and I don't know why I was spared, but I do thank God every day that I was.  So I began to heal.  And we began to discuss whether we might try one more time.

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