No Need to Fear

I said surgery and some folks got UPSET!.. That’s so sweet, but really  – it’s OK.

The short answer is: I’ll be having abdominal laproscopic surgery on March 24th.

Any prayers and happy thoughts anyone would care to send my way would be muchly appreciated.

And if you’ve got any to spare – my friend Debbi Hampton could use them so much.  Debbi is a former editor of Brilliant Star magazine and a gifted singer and musician well known to the Baha’is in the Southeastern USA.  A devoted believer since the age of 19, Debbi is a talented poetess and author of Slapped Awake: Living with Breast Cancer; a Journey in Poetry and Prose. A fifteen-year struggle with cancer appears to be approaching its end, as her most recent treatments have failed to slow the progress of this terrible illness.  But her family credits her longevity to the prayers ….

The longer, far oogy-er answer (and tennis ball explanation) is under the cut. You’ve been warned 🙂

So for about two and a half years, I’ve had pain off and on in my lower left abdomen.  Sometimes the pain would be sharp, and I chalked it up to mittleschmerz – which I’ve had since I was a girl.  As it persisted, I knew I needed to do something, but….I’d have to go find a new gynecologist, and I wasn’t in any rush;  I can be VERY slow about such things.

I didn’t say anything to my husband because I didn’t want any hassle about it; he can be really good at hassling me about health stuff.  That could be a positive thing, but often I think it just contributes to his sense of superiority – he’s never had to have surgery…blah blah blah.

Then came all the stuff with my heart and I remember thinking, “I’ll deal with it after all the heart stuff.”  As I made it past 6 months valve repair post-op, the pain in my abdomen got worse and more constant.  Now was the time.

To make this a little shorter, during my pelvic exam, the doc found a “mass” in my left abdomen.  Since then I’ve had 2 ultrasounds, a CAT scan, and a particular blood test that looks for ovarian cancer markers called “CA-125”.

I tested positive on the blood test, but just barely.  The doc said (as best I can remember – these numbers may not be exact) that normal for this blood test is a 45 and I got like a 52.  If I really had ovarian cancer, my number would be in the hundreds.

But the mass must come out and so later this month, I will have it done…through my bellybutton.  If he finds something disturbing, then I will get opened up further  and a total hysterectomy and oopharectomy will be done. They will biopsy the tissue in either case, and we’ll know if I’ve got cancer.

And the tennis ball?  That’s about the size of the “mass”.  No wonder it hurts!



  1. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your friend. May you each find the strength and healing that is appropriate for your own special needs.
    (Why is it we fuss over others and not ourselves?)

  2. Ah, jeez! You’ll be in my prayers having your tennis ball removed. And that it is really just a tennis ball. How did you get it in there in the first place? They are a bit fuzzy for swallowing, and gross if the dog had it first. No, really, I’m so glad you finally did something about the pain. I bet your family is ready to bang you on the head for waiting.
    I’m sorry about your friend (I have seen the next post).
    I hate cancer so much, too. It’s a mean disease. We have several cancer journeys going on around here, as well.
    I’ll pass the word on the Barb Q.
    God bless. Keep singing.

  3. I’ll be coming down on Tues., March 23 and returning home on Sunday, March 28. Will talk with you re. time of arrival,etc. on the phone. We’ll have a good time spending time together…but the next time I come to visit, I hope there won’t be any valves, tennis balls or other parephenalia precipitating our getting together!!
    Love, Mom

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