Endometriosis, dermoids, and evil twins
“Well, yes, that’s a typical chocolate cyst, yes. I’m measuring it now. 2.5cm. Here. You see?”
I crane over to look. All I can see is a grey screen, just like the one you used to get on the telly when the signal cut out during storms.
“Erhemmm” I say.
The other cyst is not a chocolate cyst. It was thought, during the previous scan, to be a dermoid. She’s checking that out. She continues to poke around.
“Yes, here it is. Yes, it does look like a dermoid cyst.”
After, she hands me tissues and draws the curtain so that I can make myself decent again. Knickers back on, I emerge from behind the screen. I must be looking a bit worried, because she reassures me keenly that “they’re not that uncommon”, “it’s nothing to worry about really”, and I should “google it”.
Back home, I’m on my iPad googling.
A solid cyst? Ok. Doesn’t sound that bad. It’s a what? A teratoma? I google that.
First search returned this: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/cancer-questions/what-is-teratoma-of-the-ovary
The second search sounds equally reassuring and encouraging: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/27/teratoma-tumour-evil-twin-cancer
What did I just read?
With shaking hands, I click on the link to see this warning splattered on all over the page:
“Teratomas: the tumours that can transform into ‘evil twins’.
Look away if you’re squeamish – our bodies are capable of creating macabre structures when our cells go awry, and this lump of bone, hair and teeth is just one of them.”
…on my ovary?
…..but they told me not to worry about it? ….but they told me it’s all right?
I don’t know what I’m mostly worried about right now – having a tumour or being totally grossed out by the idea of having teeth on my ovary.
Teeth. On my ovary. Definitely teeth on my ovary.
Next is the appointment with the consultant. He’s all reassurance. No, it really IS nothing to worry about. He only saw one malignant ovarian teratoma in his career. Very rare. She did what? Asked me to google it? No, she shouldn’t have told me to google it. No, he’s not going to operate. Yes, let’s see how it goes. No, he’s not sure why he didn’t see it during the operations. It happens.
I’m confused. Do I have a tumour or not? What precisely am I not worrying about here?
I take my ovaries – evil twin, teeth, hair and all – home.
I don’t know what will happen next.
I hope that, whatever happens, it’s going to be benign.