In past posts I've explained what has gotten me here but I haven't gone into detail about what's actually wrong. So here's where I stand now: I have stage 3 1/2 to 4 endometriosis which is on my appendix, ovaries, bladder and other various places around my abdominal cavity. It looks like black marks, except on my ovaries where it instead is in the form of cysts (not to be gross, but they're called chocolate cysts because they are filled with old blood). The cysts have caused my ovaries to appear several times their normal size and they are completely attached to my abdomen (they should be able to be moved freely with a tool during the laparoscopy). The cysts have also caused me to not release eggs. This was first discovered while having an ultrasound series done last July, and it was confirmed by Dr. Hilgers in August. The good thing, though, is that I am producing eggs. It's just that the cysts are completely in the way and so the eggs just basically shrivel up and die because they can't get out. I also have a web-like thing on my liver that Dr. Hilgers is going to remove during the laparotamy. He doesn't know what it is, which scared me at first. But then I realized that if it was something potentially serious he wouldn't have let me wait five months to have it removed. He is also going to take my appendix out during the surgery.
So all this time I haven't been ovulating. I have taken dozens of pregnancy tests over the last three years and I never had a shot at any of them. Dr. Hilgers said there's no chance, barring a miracle, that I can get pregnant before my surgery. This news was upsetting at first, but it's been kind of relaxing since then knowing that I don't have to worry about what day I'm on, if I've had enough mucus and if we're trying on the right days. It's been a bit of a break. But on the flip side, it's frustrating knowing that I just have to wait. There's no way I will get pregnant any time soon.
Dr. Hilgers also told me that my bloodwork shows I will need some hormone therapy following my surgery. He said the hormone levels that are off are due to stress. I couldn't believe it! Well actually I could. But what really surprised me was that simply de-stressing was not enough to regulate the hormones. I can relax all I want and I still need to take something.
So now there's less than a month to go until my surgery and I'm officially starting to get nervous. I'm not scared of the actual surgery. What makes me nervous is the physical pain immediately following and the emotional pain if I still can't get pregnant in the months following. That's why it is so hard to have hope. I am constantly protecting myself from potential future heartache. Hope really scares me. If anyone happens to read this (and makes it to this point) and has some advice on how to have hope in the face of possible heartbreak, please let me know.
On the bright side, a few months ago I wouldn't have been able to write any of this. I had absolutely no idea what was wrong with me and thought I could potentially never know for sure. So this is a step in the right direction. And I am thankful everyday that I've found the Pope Paul VI Institute. I know I am in the right hands and have the greatest chance for success that I can possibly have.