Sunday, June 5, 2016

I simply cannot win...

I should have known, and it seems that I will keep having the same lesson until I learn...

Long story short, I have been having some health issues, that I have not yet had diagnosed.  They suspected an autoimmune issue, but I have been unconvinced.  In training for my upcoming marathon, I noticed my heart rate has been off, and I struggle to maintain endurance and speed goals that I should be surpassing, but I figured it was whatever was happening, and I now have a follow up appointment in mid June.  I started having dizziness a few weeks ago, and dismissed it as the residual damage from a huge fallopian tube tumor in 2013 that nearly took my life.  I also have had some other similarities to the days leading up to the discovery of this tumor, but I shook it off.

Why?  Because I am obviously stupid.  

So on Sunday May 22 I woke up sick, and it progressed quickly to everything exiting my body in one of two unpleasant routes, sometimes at the same time.  I had 36 hours of pain and vile GI stuff, and by Monday afternoon I was back at work.  Tuesday night I felt pretty good, and Wednesday was a repeat of Sunday, but with a lot of chest, back and lower right abdominal pain.  I finally called the tele nurse, who instructed me to go to the emergency care unit ASAP, she was concerned I might be having a gall bladder attack.  My wonderful friend who brought over groceries on Sunday so I would have the BRAT diet took control and drove me to the hospital.  Long story shorter, I have a small amount of sludge in my gall bladder, but they caught a glimpse of something in the CAT scan.  The ECU doctor thinks it is a softball sized ovarian tumor on my remaining ovary.  The doctor I was to follow up with is trying to determine if it is that, or a bowel tumor or a couple other equally unpleasant options.  Most likely, I will be going under the knife soon.  Very soon.  

My insurance is being a pain, and has slowed things down considerably, along with a couple of mistakes by the doctor I was referred to.  I am hanging in here, but I have good days that are not the best, (weak and a bit of pain) and bad days with nausea and vomiting that come on suddenly, along with passing out.  It is fantastic fun.  

My perspective is, whatever this is, I will deal with it and make the best of it.  Am I pissed that I am most likely now going to miss several goals that I set such as:

  1. Running 1,500 miles in under 12 months
  2. Running a full marathon this year (26.2 miles)
  3. Running an obstacle race in July
  4. Running a Spartan in the fall
I will meet these goals, it just may be next Spring and Summer.  I also know that there is a possibility of malignancy if this is a tumor, and that may require more treatment and surgery.  I will cross that bridge when I come to it.  

I decided after a few days that I would tell my hoarding mother so hopefully she would dial back the crazy for a few days... HAH.  

She immediately responded with "Oh no.  Your dad..." and I cut her off.  I am very aware that I am now 47 and my father died in his late 40's, thank you not so very much...

Her next statement was "Are you in pain?" and I replied that yes, I had pain, and I was given major painkillers but I am not taking them.  She then asked if my 'belly' hurt and if it was 'puffy' and then stated she wondered if that was what was wrong with her... blah blah blah.

I ended the call.  A co-worker called that conversation to the tee... Yikes.  So now, I am traversing the medical diagnosis process and trying to keep work balls in the air, and I have not told many folks much since I know so little.  But I am really ready for this to be over, and to move on.  

I am still running 6-7 days a week, albeit a bit less mileage and speed, and I am working shorter days but doing my level best to keep things moving forward.  I am also spending a lot of time with friends, even if they do not know, as I just do not want to stew in my own juices, I choose to spend time with fun, positive and uplifting people.  

Keep your fingers crossed for me.  No one said life would be fair or easy, but it is worth it.  In my opinion, everything that is worthwhile is sometimes a struggle.  I continue to live life at full volume.  I am now planning a trip to southern Italy with friends in 2017, and I will see friends in Florida in late Summer.  

My life, my terms, no compromises.  I refuse to live life on the 'safe side of the street' or 'look at it as opportunity lost' like my hoarding mother.  And I will learn this lesson.  Before it is too late, I will learn and integrate.

Thank you for reading.  I will post an update when I know more.


  1. Sending healing thoughts and prayers your way.

  2. Thank you so much. My insurance gave the diagnostic center the approval, and they got me in today. I should know more this Wednesday, and hopefully the next step will be deciding a treatment plan and if another surgeon is necessary. Moving ever so slowly forward...

  3. Bless your heart. Hope all turns out well.

  4. Wishing you the very best outcome.

  5. Update on June 12, 2016. I have a primary care physician appointment tomorrow (the constantly rescheduled one due to them bumping me for 3 months to investigate the autoimmune issue discovered in January of this year- I suspect it will be more about the tumor and impending surgery). I plan to ask for additional referrals to a nationally revered teaching hospital that is within my insurance network as a plan B. I have an appointment with the second surgeon that is part of my surgery that will be happening in the next week or two, if I have it done locally, on the 14th, two days from now. I am hoping to know more after that appointment. Thank you for all your kind words and thoughts. My insurance has now decided the additional CAT scans are out-of-network, so I have to fight that mess on top of all of this. I am hanging in there, but I am just so darn tired, and sick of being sick. I want to be on the other side of this, focusing on healing, rather than not knowing. More updates as I can. Again, thank you.

  6. As an Australian, I find the American health system absolutely baffling. Here, if you are sick and in hospital, its at no charge under Medicare. If you have private health (and we are encouraged to have private health insurance) then you might (depending if you are in a private hospital) get a private room or other additional benefits, but the base level of care is the same. If you're in hospital, all tests are covered. Period. Health insurance or not.
    Outside of hospital, the only thing that I've come across that isn't covered by medicare are MRI scans. I believe (and happy to be corrected if Im wrong) that CAT scans would be covered either by medicare or private health.

    All that to say that I'm horrified that you're having to worry about paying for / fighting your insurance when you are unwell. Its the last thing that any unwell person would want to do.

    I'm sure you have some dear friends who would love to help care for you and support you through this time - I hope that you let them. Perhaps that is the lesson that life is sending you - that it is safe and ok to let others look after you. You're never going to get that from your family (based on what you say here), but there do seem to be a lot of people around you who love you. My take on it, anyway.

    You're a tough cookie Lisabeth, and I am thinking positive thoughts for a swift and problem free recovery from this road bump. Best of luck to you in your ongoing treatment.