Five months after her second pregnancy, Samantha Caracci, a 26-year-old teacher’s assistant from Aronzia, US, began having unbearable pain in her abdomen.
This is her story.
“Since having my second and last child my body has been a mess. I've been getting ovarian cysts every 2 – 3 weeks and doctors can't tell me why.
It was February 2015, almost five months after my last son was born, when I started experiencing the pain.
I have always a wanted to know what was causing the overgrowth of cysts but doctors have not given me a reason for the cysts and masses. They tell me "some women just have them." Talking to my biological sisters it seemed like it may be something genetic since they have problems with the same thing.
After a lot of pain and discomfort, the doctor told me that I would have to have surgery to remove my left ovary and Fallopian tubes, thinking that it would slow down the production of the cysts. I also had to have gallbladder removed because it crapped out on me because of all the birth control I've tried. I was so desperate at the time and in so much pain. Yet nothing has slowed them down.
Now, I'm left with one ovary and trying to preserve that one. My body makes cysts faster than I can even keep up with – but it doesn’t end there.
A few weeks ago I found out I have a huge ovarian mass on my right ovary. I went to see a specialist about it and how to proceed with treatment. This was devastating, but we thought that everything would be okay until one night my darling husband Rob and I were supposed to have a date night – but I ended up in the ER in so much pain and spotting. They said the mass was still there and I really needed to see a specialist.
I felt like I was ugly, scarred, and completely broken, I felt like my body had failed me. This was when Rob said: "Come here babe, let me take your picture so I can show you the things I think are beautiful about your body."
That night we sat and he proceeded to tell me all the wonderful things about my body.
This act of love gave me the strength I needed to go on.
I had surgery almost three weeks ago to remove the mass. While they were in there they actually found a fallopian tube growing back. Yes, they can grow back if all the cells aren't completely scrapped away. Just like tonsils and ovaries can as well, but my biggest fear has to be the chance of getting ovarian cancer.
My saving grace through all the pain has to be my husband. He's truly a blessing. He holds me when I cry, picks me up off the floors when I get sick from the pain, makes me laugh uncontrollably when he knows I need to cheer up. After every surgery he takes care of me and never complains. Without his support and love I'd be lost. Every single lady deserves a partner like this. I never question if he'll be here for me. He's my rock.
My advice to women who are going through the same fight and their cries go unheard and their questions unanswered is this: Always listen to your body. No one knows your body better than you. Listen to it and stick to your guns when doctors turn you away. The pain, discomfort, bloating, nauseous, vomiting, weight gain, fatigue, it's not in your head.
I can't tell you how many times I had doctors tell me to stop being "dramatic" or "suck it up." Don't listen to them. I also want you to know you're not alone. Many woman suffer from these problems. Many women won't be able to have children because of these problems. Don't be ashamed, so many of us are in this fight with you. You're not alone.”
This story was submitted to YOU and has been minimally edited. Do you have a story you want to share? E-mail it to Pam.Magwaza@you.co.za.