Ultra-sounding Change

It’s 4:30 in the morning and I am finally feeling like myself again.

Overcoming a string of exhausting days, I wasn’t rolling out of bed until after sunrise, barely feeling like I was keeping up.  Mandatory school meetings, laundry, oil changes, an ultrasound…

Right, the ultrasound.  The third one in the last nine months, monitoring this ever-mysterious growth on my one remaining ovary.  This amalgamation of cells that three months ago the doctor suggested be surgically removed.  After already having two similar surgeries, I asked that we hold off another three months, get another ultrasound, and then decide what to do based on whether the growth had, indeed, grown.

For those following the Archives, you’ll know the process of discovering the growth and my experience in accepting its existence has been threaded throughout posts over the last nine months.  One approach I’ve experimented with has been the ‘zero energy return’ strategy, in which I’ve opted to take periods of time not thinking or writing about it at all.

Other times, I’ve given my situation my focused attention, going so far as to call a truce and fully accept its presence in my life.  This was an interesting endeavor that inspired a few posts, one of which was called “No Enemy“.  The concept was prompted by a sticker on my car – a peaceful logo message from a clothing line based in Santa Cruz, CA.  No Enemy founder, Paul Cheatham, actually stumbled across the post and gave me the affirmative thumbs up (or would that be a peaceable knuckles?) on the thread that I was weaving.  Great to have the man, himself, tell me I’d grasped the concept of his creation.  (Check out his fantastic art in his Love Journal here).

So I may have stopped making the growth the enemy, but I still was demonizing potential surgery.  Every time I thought of going under anesthesia and re-opening old scars, my body would cringe.  That idea I could just not accept.  I was in complete resistance.

Then something changed. Nothing special happened, exactly.  I left that last ultrasound appointment.  The technician was mum, as usual.  I stepped into the sunlight of the hospital parking lot.  I walked to my car, fishing out a grocery list for my next errand in town.  Somewhere between the hospital exit and my car door, I made peace with the potential of surgery.  It was a surrendering like a sigh.  Ok.  If I need to do it, I’m willing.

courtesy of Paul Cheatham of No Enemy

It would be days before I would hear the results of the ultrasound report.  Over that time I settled more and more into the possibility of an operation.  Yesterday, I finally spoke to the doctor, completely prepared for him to, again, suggest that I have the growth surgically removed.  Instead, he told me that the report stated that the growth was “not as prominent” as it had been in the last ultrasound.  In fact, it was not even definitively being referred to as a dermoid cyst anymore.

So prepared for surgery, I pressed the doctor.  “Well, would it be a good idea to just have the surgery and remove this growth, once and for all?”

But he replied, “There is nothing in this report that would merit me scheduling a surgery.”

“Wow.  Well, last time we spoke that was your recommendation.  So, it’s changed?”

“Yes, based on this report, there has been a change.  Nothing shown here warrants surgery or the risk it would put to your ovary if we operated.”

“So should we just have another ultrasound in three months?”

“I’d say six.  There’s nothing in this report that would justify an ultrasound in three months, either.  Six months is fine.”

To be honest, I think I’m still digesting this.  But what I gather so far, is that two ultrasounds showed a growth on my ovary, determined to most likely be a dermoid cyst.  I was told that these kind of cysts will continue to grow slowly and the only way to address them is through surgical removal.  In the past, I have done just that.  Twice.

But now, this growth is not as prominent or definitive.  No surgery is needed at this time.  No ultrasounds required in the near future.  It appears as though the plot has taken a turn.  This doesn’t seem to be the same storyline from my past.  This growth has changed like some elusive shape-shifter.

Did my acceptance lead to a rewrite of an old script?  Was this growth never a dermoid cyst to begin with?  Has this entire scenario been a mere illusion?  Is it possible that this whole chapter has been written as an opportunity to learn?  Perhaps to complete something, once and for all, without a surgical knife.

The story isn’t over yet.  I’m still following this thread.  But I’m inspired by the power of surrender and the seeming change that it can bring.

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