When I heard the news they had to cut away part of my pancreas and all of my spleen, it was a scary thing. I was told "you may become diabetic, the tumor may be cancer, and you are at extreme risk for infection after we take out your spleen." This can't be real, I thought...someone wake me up!
It started about three months earlier. I began having pains just under my ribs, right around the center. It kept
coming and going, and one night, around one a.m... it started again...and it persisted for a pretty long time. My husband took me to an emergency room, and the hospital sent me home saying it was gas.
I kept trying to avoid things that would cause me the same discomfort, until another day came that I felt those familiar pains, but they were more intense. I was at work on 3rd shift, and I could bearly walk. It would grip me, and it would take my breath away. The people I worked with told our supervisor, and he was prepared to call an ambulance, but the pains started to subside, so I braved it out. At 6 am I went home, hoping to just sleep and start another day. I still went to sleep in pain, but I thought maybe it would fade.
As the morning wore on, I remember waking up to the pain. I didn't want to make the mistake of running to the er again if it was gas, but my husband insisted on taking me into the doctor. He worked 2nd shift as a piano teacher, but around 1 pm, he said "that's enough of this. Something is wrong!" My doctor had been off of work, but her assistant was in. She had ordered an xray and found nothing that would cause the pain. She walked into the room and said they were going to do an abdominal ultrasound. It was this test that they found the mass. They took out a tumor about the size of a golf ball. It was connected to the splenetic artery, and it was encapsuled. I had the surgery at a different hospital, and had the greatest surgeon in the world. He and my husband saved my life. It wasn't cancer, but it could have been much worse for me if I had let it go on and on.
If I have anything to tell you all, it's be in tune with your body. If something doesn't feel right don't ignore it. Be your own advocate. Insist on other tests, but love yourself enough to not look the other way.
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