Wow the past few months have been a bit crazy for me. I was diagnosed with a tumour.
The good news is, it’s not cancer. I am so greateful for this. My tumour is large, about the size of a small eggplant. It’s an endometrioma, caused from uterine tissue escaping during my C-section.
I’ve had pains since a couple weeks after my daughter was born. As the years have progressed the pain has intesified. My daughter is five now and when the pain comes I can barely move. My pain is cyclic and lasts about a week or two each month. The rest of time I can do what I like within reason. If I push my body too far the tumour pain comes.
I am a weightlifter and even through the pain and the fear that this has brought me, lifting weights helps me keep my mind in the right place. On one of my lowest days I did a 405 pound yolk walk. (If you’re not sure what that is, you can Google the Strong Man event.) Lifting more than 400 pounds reminded me how strong I am and rid myself of the doubt I was feeling.
At the beginning of this journey I was told I had cancer by my family doctor. I was told to prepare for chemotherapy and surgery. I was told I would be getting a chest X-ray to ensure my cancer hadn’t spread.
These were terrifying words. My world stopped and all I could think about was my daughter. The little girl who looks to me for everything. I think any mother would feel the same way. I am a single mother and I felt this made my situation worse. Not only was I faced with my own mortality, but now thinking about what would my daughter do without me?
Worst feeling ever.
I got the “cancer diagnoses” in the morning on a work day. I cried, went to an alternative health clinic for support from friends, and then went back to work.
I decided I would be the tough girl who could take what ever life would throw at me. I’d rather go back to work than sit home alone and wallow.
My friend, Danielle, was by side the whole day reminded me how strong I was and that I could dead lift 275 pounds. She was talking about how I could look forward to hitting a 300 pound dead lift for a new PR (personal record). Still haven’t hit that mark.
Later that day I was in a cancer surgeon’s office who felt my tumour and told me she didn’t think it was cancer. She thought it was a desmoid tumour. (That’s a Sarcoma that doesn’t spread.) It’s better than cancer, but still a pretty rough surgery and is treated with chemotherapy and radiation.
It took three months, two ultra sounds, a CT Scan, two biopsies and lots of sleepless nights before I was given the correct diagnoses of a benign Endometrioma.
Through this experience I feel stronger than I’ve ever been, it’s made me a better mother and friend and I have more appreciation, compassion and empathy for those who have been given scarier diagnoses than myself.