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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sometimes I grow things.

Most often, I grow flowers and herbs in the garden area in front of my house. That's good.

Sometimes I grow things inside of me. That's bad. Also, this post is about my body. Just letting you know.

The first time it happened I was 24. All sorts of tumors were sprouting inside my bladder. Some were made of skin cells, some of muscle cells, some of lymph glands. But after a number of tests and surgeries, it was determined that the tumors were not cancerous, they were removed, and I was fine. Except within weeks of their removal, they came back. So I was treated as if they were cancerous and given chemotherapy for about a year. Not in my blood, but directly into my bladder using catheters. I am the catheter queen.

As I'm writing that, I can't help but shudder. It was a terrible time for me. I became a lab rat. I was sent to university hospitals and given experimental treatments for about six months. Then one day I decided I would rather die. So I told my doctor I'd be back if the tumors came back, but if not, he probably wouldn't see me again. Then I radically altered my diet and lifestyle. The tumors didn't come back.

At least, not in my bladder.

A couple of years ago there were more in my uterus. That's a little different. The uterus is meant to grow things. It wants to. There are all sorts of hormones and tissues that encourage growth of foreign objects meant to become humans at some point. I knew something was wrong because I started my monthly cycle, which is usually no big deal, and it didn't stop. A month later I was still cycling, so I went to my doctor who said I had a polyp. One polyp.

So I had surgery to have that polyp removed and everything went fine and life was normal again, at least in regards to my body function.

Except last Tuesday I was visiting with friends and realized I was wet from my ribs down to my knees. I excused myself, ran to the bathroom and realized I was bleeding. A lot. I'll refrain from detailing how I got cleaned up and tried to be human while my body was spewing blood from its vagina because, honestly, I just don't want to think about it.

Suffice it to say, I spent most of the afternoon and evening and all night passing large clots and blood and being alarmed. And getting tired. So tired.

I talked to the nurse at my doctor's office when I called to schedule an appointment. She pulled my chart and said, "Let's see. You had some surgery done two years ago. We removed a sjkdoiufhwn and did a owuy0ak bj]9EHN, and you also had 2w9jgma dvj:KDMMIFmn." I said, "I don't even know what those mean." "Oh," she said. "We removed some polyps and tumors, and you had some fibroids removed, as well. It looks like some of the tissue was pre-cancerous, but follow-up ruled out cancer."

Okay. Good to know. I'm still a little in the dark about what all this means.

The nurse instructed me to go to the ER if I was soaking through a sanitary pad an hour. They could determine if I was becoming anemic, and I would see the doctor a week from Friday.

I didn't go to the ER. If you're anemic, they give you iron. I can give myself iron. I don't need to pay an ER $2000 to give me what I can buy at Walmart.

The bleeding slowed almost completely by Thursday morning. I felt well enough to go for a run. So I did. A short one. And then Friday afternoon, the bleeding was back with a vengeance. Fortunately, I was ready for it this time. After so long, one can tell when clots are lining up, ready to see the world. I spent Friday night, all day Saturday, and Saturday night mostly in the bathroom. Sunday things began to feel calmer. Monday, more blood. Tuesday, more blood. Today things are slowing again. There are more out-of-the bathroom times than in-the-bathroom ones. And I see the doctor in two days.

I was feeling okay until the nurse called to have me do some pre-appointment paperwork for blood tests, ultrasound, and cancer screening. I asked if the cancer screening wouldn't be more appropriate after we found out what was causing the bleeding (i.e. polyps or fibroids, etc.)? She said, based on my history, they actually want to do one first. I don't know what that entails. And I didn't ask. I'm sort of overwhelmed.

And did I mention I'm pushing iron-high foods and supplements? But I'm still tired. I ran again yesterday, but couldn't push past 30 minutes. And eating is hard. And sleeping. And being a person. And after passing lots of blood, my whole body sort of hurts. And my brain doesn't want to work. At all.

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