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I can, because I'm going to have one.

My gynecologist for this case, Dr. B, is a pleasant and businesslike fellow in his mid-forties. He went over my medical history and medications, and then explained that in cases like mine, where fibroids present in a woman's forties, it's often impossible to tell whether the increased clotting/fresh blood during menstruation is a result of the fibroids or part of the normal aging process. Normally they look at medication as the first option for treatment, but because I'm already on a cocktail of meds for a serious mood disorder he doesn't want to risk interfering with that. So we moved on to surgical options, and the first step in any case is to get a closer look inside my uterus.

That's where the diagnostic hysteroscopy comes in. All kinds of medical info behind the cut )

I'll probably be called in for the hysteroscopy sometime in October. To say that I'm nervous and scared is an understatement, but there really isn't a choice here: I have to know what's going on.

Dr. B also performed an internal exam, which didn't have me climbing the walls the way it normally does. He was very gentle and talked me through each step. Obviously he's had experience dealing with vaginismus in other patients and I was grateful for his considerate attitude. But it was still a rough couple of minutes. It always is.

Off to comfort myself with a couple of two-bite brownies, bought especially for this occasion. Sugar and fat be damned! Full steam ahead!
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Got up at 2 pm. Went out for lunch and then to the bank, and then for sugar-free gelato, and then to the drugstore. Had a piercing headache throughout and my period still hasn't started. Crap.

Good news, though: the teller at the bank gave us the internet transaction exchange rate rather than the teller exchange rate, which meant that we actually made some money (24 cents, wahoo!) instead of losing money on the US cheques I deposited.

We'll be having roast beef for supper. I have to figure out a project completion date on the latest MM. And my head just won't... stop... hurting.

Oh, and last night I found an excellent video on YouTube about fibroids and their treatment:

WARNING: There's footage of excised fibroids, and of fibroids in situ. It didn't bother me but some people might be squeamish about that sort of thing.
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I've just realized that I didn't properly convey the size of that fibroid I mentioned.

It's a little over 7 centimeters across. That's just under 3 inches.

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The ultrasound was enlightening. It revealed that I have a large (2 inch) fibroid sitting right on top of my uterus. I even got to see the ultrasound picture of it -- big, bulgy, and a little bit scary.

That explains the hellish periods I've been having. Fortunately fibroids are usually benign, so cancer isn't a concern at this point. The heavy bleeding is, though, and the ultrasound tech told me that there are two main methods of treatment: cut off the fibroid's blood supply to starve it out, or, given that I'm probably close to menopause anyway, remove my entire uterus.


Not cheerful news. But this thing has probably been slowly growing for about two years, so it's not like I have to make a decision in the next few days.

I also stopped at CancerCare, which is in the same hospital, and dropped off a couple of vinyl bags of oncology supplies that had belonged to my mother (who as you may or may not recall died almost exactly a year ago). One of the nurses at the desk was a chemo nurse who'd been my mother's regular care provider, and we talked a bit about my mom and how she was always so upbeat; the nurse told me that it was an honor and a pleasure to have known her. She gave me a hug before I left, which helped the feelings of sad remembrance that came with entering the cancer treatment centre again.

Then I took a nice walk from the hospital to the bus stop on Portage Avenue, through a beautiful summer afternoon with the sun shining and birds singing. It was just the sort of day that my mother would have really enjoyed.

When I got downtown I had lunch at Soup, Sandwiches & More (chicken salad on brown and a bowl of red lentil soup), and had the pleasure of listening to a street performer who was playing distinctly Parisian melodies on an accordian (certainly worth at least the $2 coin I tossed into her hat). Then down to Safeway for groceries, and then home.

And now at last the final HB pages are hitting the server. To work, to work!
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October 2016

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