"Maybe you're allergic to cheese?"
"Could you be pregnant??"
"Are you constipated?"
These are just a few of the diagnoses I had been receiving from my friends and family as I waddled around with my bloated stomach in discomfort. Thankfully I knew there was no chance of me being pregnant or I would have been seriously stressed out, but then again maybe I would have gotten it seen to quicker. I need to slap myself when I start thinking in hindsight and try my hardest to remember everything happens for a reason, even if the reason is impossible to find sometimes.
At the time I was studying for my Christmas exams. When I began to be too bloated to fit into my jeans, I knew it was not normal. I was adamant that I was not constipated and after four doctor visits I was finally referred to A&E. I got an X-ray and was once again diagnosed with severe constipation! The doctor sent me off with an intensive laxative regime for the weekend. My face was white as I continued to flush my insides out (unnecessarily). This absolutely drained me, on top of being drained from the tumour itself and in pain with all this excess weight I was carrying around, I was in agony! After the weekend I returned to A&E for some answers. This time it was completely different and I received an ultrasound and a CT scan. I was later admitted, being told that there was a large mass on my ovary secreting fluid - which explained the big belly! After a few days in hospital I was told this mass was a tumour and they weren't sure wether it was benign or malignant. I was referred to a more suitable hospital and let out for Christmas with stronger pain killers. It was the worst Christmas ever! I had never been in so much pain and discomfort - all I wanted to do was sleep so I wouldn't be in pain. I was due back to hospital three days after Christmas for a biopsy and to have the dreaded fluid removed. I couldn't eat or sleep and was in so much pain that I was admitted a day earlier. The doctor removed five litres of fluid from my stomach - I couldn't believe there would even be that much there!
I was released with less fluid and some stitches in my belly, still in pain but not nearly as much as before. I was due to meet back with my gynecologist a week later to discuss the results. As the week went on I began to deteriorate, I then returned to my doctor to find out the worst news possible. The tumours had spread, they were now located in my diaphragm too. There were still no answers about the tumour on my ovary, but the doctor wanted me to be admitted back into hospital until I was diagnosed. He told me he would put me onto the best oncologist and I would be in good hands. I was still confused, I wasn't sure if I had cancer or not.
Although, looking back on it now I don't know how I didn't realise.
It hit me two days later, when the doctor visited me in my room. I sat with my mam and my aunty as he explained that they still weren't sure about what type of tumour it was. I then asked: "so do I have cancer??". He replied, "as much as I don't want to say it, yes you do".
I was devastated, my world was shook.
This blog originally appeared on Cocktails 'N' Chemo