Just when I feel like life is slowing down just a bit, life throws me a football.  What?  not how the saying goes?  read on…it will make sense.

A few years ago I felt like I was getting the hang of my job…them BAM – minister retires and I’m IT for FIVE months, which was actually a good thing.

Then the interim began and I thought I would be able to settle back down…them BAM – interim was very very bad, to put it nicely.

Then the second interim began and I thought I would be able to settle back down…then BAM – Caleb, which was obviously a good thing.

I was feeling that sense of having it together and settling down after the new year began.  Our new minister was about to start, I was feeling rejuvenated after some vacation time.  I was getting the hang of being a mother to two kids (even with Russ on his crazy OB rotation).  Then BAM…I was laying inside a new pop up tent* that Caleb got for Christmas playing with Taylor.  And I had an itch under my bottom left rib.  I scratched it and noticed something felt a little odd.  Then I felt the same spot under my right rib…hmm…squishy leftover baby fat…left rib…knot…right rub….squishy.  So I called Russ into the tent because he is a fancy third year medical student and knows all…at least he has had anatomy and could tell me if I’ve just discovered a body part I didn’t know I had.

That’s the answer I was hoping for anyway.  But instead, he said…hmmm…why don’t you make an appointment to see your doctor tomorrow.  We thought maybe it was the way my insides were healing incorrectly post Caleb.  Then Monday, Russ BBMed me three times and called twice nagging me until I made an appointment.    I did, and the Dr. poked around and wasn’t quite sure what it was…perhaps a hernia.  But rather than jump straight to an expensive test, she referred me to a general surgeon.

I saw the surgeon last week.  He poked around and said, “Cool”  ummm…not quite what you want to hear from a surgeon poking around at your belly.  Then he said, you’ve got a football in there.  WHAT?!  A football…I knew I wasn’t as small as I was pre-Caleb, but I thought it was just taking longer to lose the weight.  Come to find out, I’m carrying around a football sized/shaped mass inside me.  So he schedules me for a CT.

CT was pretty groovy.  Russ requested a CD of it so we could look at it before the follow-up with the surgeon FIVE days later.  And sure enough…FOOTBALL.  What do you think?

View from the front.  If you’re like me and don’t know anatomy, my heart is at the center top between my lungs (black) and my bladder is the gray blob at the bottom – football is the large mass on the right (my left).

view from the top

Cool, huh?  So Russ took the CD to work and let all his fellow med students and a few interns take a look-see.  They all determine it’s as good as it possibly could be because it’s 1) All one mass and 2) it’s uniform.  They decide it’s a benign cyst.  I saw the surgeon today and he 99% concurred (1% chance that it’s not benign – I’ll take those odds).   He also said that this is pretty rare – to have a cyst that not really connected to anything – it’s called a mesenteric cyst – he’s only done 20 of these in his 20 years of practice.  Hence the “cool”  I suppose.

Cool or not, I am so ready to get this foreign football out of me.  My surgery is tentatively scheduled for next Tuesday, but we’re still discussing some options.  I would appreciate some prayers and happy thoughts as I prepare for, undergo, and recover from surgery.  Thanks.

Random Thoughts on my Football

1.)  For all those people who told me I was remarkably huge while pregnant, I was growing a baby AND a humongous cyst.

2.)  My family (mom, dad, sister, brother-in-lay, Russ, me) is doing a biggest loser couples edition challenge to lose weight by Easter.  I win.

3.)  I remember blogging that I wanted a maternity leave encore.  This is not what I had in mind.

4.)  The new pastor JUST started.  Baptism by fire.  I will be out for 4ish weeks….guess he’ll figure everything out on his own, which he totally will, because he’s awesome FYI.

5.)  *DUDE, I realized as I was typing that the pop up tent is also football shaped…oooo…coincidence?

6.)  I got the news this morning that my great Aunt Alice (from whom I got my middle name) died…it is bitter sweet since she was almost 92 and couldn’t remember anyone anymore.  I didn’t cry.  I got the news this afternoon that I was going to have pretty big surgery (3-4 days in the hospital, can’t breastfeed for 3-4 days, large incision, can’t lift more than 20 lbs for 4 weeks; ie – Taylor….when I was hoping for laproscopic), but I didn’t cry.  I went to the bank after my dr. appointment to get a letter notarized getting me out of jury duty in February and they told me that they couldn’t do it…and I LOST. IT.

9 Responses


    i’m freaking out just a little bit….

    ….ok, freak out done….

    they are still gonna biopsy it just to make sure, right? what usually causes this? is there a chance it will reoccur? i’m googling it….

    surgery next tuesday? what time? how long will the surgery last?

    holy crap, dorothy! you have a football inside you!!!

  2. OH MY Dorothy!!!! I hope that everything goes well for you during your surgery and that you recover quickly. This is so crazy! How much do they think it weighs…will it be a Sara cyst? Maybe you’ll lose a good 7 lbs like she did! 🙂 Please let us know as soon as you get out of surgery, we’ll be saying lots of prayers for you!

  3. Wow… lots and lots of prayers for you ALL… tell Russ he better keep us posted when you can’t!

  4. Praying for you! Keep me posted on how things go!

  5. Update: I am seeing a new surgeon on Monday for a second opinion, so will not be having surgery on Tuesday…hoping for a less invasive option. will keep you all posted. thanks for your prayers.

    Leigh Ann – yes, they will still biopsy it. don’t know what caused it or how long it’s been there. there is a slight chance it could recur.

    Jennifer – no idea how much it weighs, but I will definitely have a report after surgery. losing 7 lbs would be nice.

  6. Thinking about you Dorothy. I hope that the second opinion goes well and they can do the procedure less invasively.

  7. Oh Dorothy girl! Pretty stressful and cool at the same time! haha I will be praying for a quick and full recovery for you!!! Hoping you just have lots of laughs at the whole thing when you look back! Just think of all the snuggle time you get with the kiddos and all the meals someone else will have to cook for you!

  8. WOW DOROTHY! That is impressive. Lots of thoughts and prayers for you!

  9. Dorothy, Your mom just emailed us with this incredible news, and we have checked out your blog to see the details of this rare cyst. We knew you were special, but you didn’t have to go this far!
    We had just heard a few days ago that your church has called a new minister and Art had said he wanted to come have lunch with you. Now we will come see you in the hospital and bring a meal or two to your family when it suits and is needed. You are in our thoughts and prayers and we will stay in touch through Robin and Jeff. Love, Betts and Art

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