Monday, June 27, 2016

Cancer? Maybe. Pregnant? Yep.

Being a woman of a certain age, never having a pregnancy scare (thank you, Baby Jesus) and using birth control for what seems like decades, I was anxious about my ability to conceive. The hubs and I were on no schedule, but I had serious doubts. So, we agreed to lay off the bc and just see what happened. As a planner, I immediately began prenatal vitamins--go Girl Scouts! Wait—Girl Scouts doesn’t prepare you to get pregnant, just to be prepared. Ok, now that’s out of the way…

After a few months of being sans pill, I scheduled an appointment to begin the discussion of fertility at the gyno office. I’d done some “research” on what to expect by asking my friends, co-workers, and the pregnant teen working the HEB check-out. The internet provided more details than I cared about or understood. But ultimately I felt prepared about the way the discussions would go.

“Yes, irregular periods, etc. “

So, when the kind but random nurse practioner asked if I’d ever had these nodules on my throat checked, my stomach dropped.

“What nodules?”

And that’s when she dropped the c-word. Cancer. It could be thyroid cancer, but then she quickly added it was a very “treatable cancer.”


She said words. I have no idea what they were. At some point someone asked if I’d had a pregnancy test, to which I retorted: “Of course not. That’s why I’m here. I can’t get pregnant!” They still poked me and took a blood test. There was talking… I was to see some other doctor about how my body had betrayed me and made cancer. I made another appointment about baby-making, was told that if there were any major issues on my blood test they’d call and then left. Totally mf’ing shocked. This was why I hated going to the doctor. You go in for help, and you leave with cancer.

The next day I went through the teaching routine of kids, jokes, Englishy-stuff, and all the while, I think: I might have cancer, I’m a statistic, I’m going to lose my hair. Shit. And then I get a phone call from the gyno’s office that I should I call and ask to speak to someone “regarding my blood test.” That’s when you know shit ain’t good. Everyone knows that you get bad news from a humanoid, good news from an automated machine or some dashboard of numbers with your name at the top.

Naturally, with only five minutes between classes, I desperately attempted to seclude myself and call, got their voicemail and left a thoughtless message. I somehow made it through the next class and then locked myself in my room to try it again. I flipped through my phone for the office’s number, accidentally called a random relative by mistake, took a deep breath to get my shit together and dialed again.

“Oh, yes, we’re so glad you called. Let me connect you to someone immediately.”


“Yes, looking at your numbers ma’am, you are pregnant. Very pregnant.”

Wait. Whaaaaa...?

At the follow-up appointment the next day, the hubs and I had our first sonogram appointment where we heard a heartbeat. It was fucking amazing. We were also told I was quite far along—as in eleven weeks. I’d been pregnant for eleven weeks totally doubting my ability to even get pregnant. I remembered all my judgment bestowed upon the “Sixteen and Pregnant” girls who didn’t know they had a human life growing inside themselves. What idiots!


Yes, I’d been easily annoyed and unbelievably tired all the time. Huh. But that’s how you often feel as a high school English teacher.  And, yes, actually I had been nauseous in the morning. Huh. But I thought it was because of these spinach and banana shakes I’d been forcing down. And yes, my pants had been a little tighter. Huh.  But I’d also been eating a lot of cheese.

So, that’s the story.

I successfully completed tests concerning the nodules and cysts in my throat, but the annual checks done by my bad-ass endocrinologist confirm they are not a threat. Cancer? Nope.

Oh, and twenty-nine weeks later, I had my healthy and happy baby. Baby? Yep!

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