After I found out that there might be a cyst on my liver, there have been a couple of different medical tests I’ve had to do. I had to do another MRI with contrast and some more blood work (both things involved needles) so that the doctors could figure out what was going on. I knew that there was something wrong (I didn’t believe that the situation could just be one big mistake), but until this week I really didn’t know exactly what was happening. I just knew that something didn’t look normal but nothing looked so horrible that I had to rush to get tests done.
I tried to avoid looking things up online because if there was a cyst there are so many types of cysts that I don’t know what to look for. And if it wasn’t a cyst, I had no clue what it could be so trying to research things was pretty pointless. I figured that when I met with the surgeon I had to meet I could ask him all my questions and try to understand what was going on. I made a decent list of questions to ask him and went to my first consultation with this surgeon this past Monday.
The first thing that I learned was that I don’t have a cyst in my liver. I actually have a benign (non-cancerous) tumor in there. I know that the word tumor sounds bad, but this may actually be better than having a cyst in my liver. The tumor is both inside and on the outside of my liver and it’s pretty large (not as large as they thought, but still close to half the size of my liver). This is not an urgent situation and I’m not in any pain, so there’s no need for me to panic.
This tumor is likely one of two types of tumor. One type doesn’t have to be removed and is a relatively common type of benign liver tumor. The other type is a rare type of liver tumor that is almost only seen in women around my age who take birth control. The tumor is a side effect of the birth control hormones (but a very rare side effect) and it would need to be removed. Because the tumor doesn’t present like how either of those types of tumors look, I have to do some more medical testing. But I did get a good laugh out of the fact that my tumor is not typical since it seems like all my medical issues present as atypical and I’d expect nothing less from this.
The surgeon I met with was really amazing. He was fine answering all my crazy questions I had and let me take pictures of the MRI images so that I could show them to my family. And he was explaining as much as possible about the tumor to me. It’s tough to explain it when he’s not sure what type of tumor it is, but he did his best. I’m really happy that this is the surgeon that I randomly got paired with to work with on this. Some doctors don’t understand my need to understand things as detailed as I do, but he was almost happy to find out that I want to know things and make educated decisions.
While I was hoping that at this appointment I would get a proper diagnosis, plan, and find out if I need surgery; I’m ok with this just being the first step in whatever this journey ends up being. It’s going to either be something to monitor for the rest of my life or be a surgery sometime next year so I’m not in a rush. I want to make sure everything is understood before decisions are made and that’s what’s happening. I’m hoping I’ll have the additional testing (which will be another MRI and possibly one more test) in the next week so that I can have some better answers by Thanksgiving. That way I can discuss things with my parents in person (they help me make all major medical decisions since they worked in that field).
No matter what type of tumor this ends up being, I’m going to be fine. There is no reason anyone should worry about me. I’m not in any pain (my stomach pain had nothing to do with this and was possibly a really severe stomach flu) and there are no restrictions on my lifestyle right now. I can do everything I’ve been doing and I don’t need to worry about this hurting me or causing major issues right now. While it’s not great to have something in your body that isn’t supposed to be there, this isn’t a huge deal and whatever ends up being the plan will be just fine. I promise to keep you all updated as I have more information!