A History on Harry
Setting the scene… Winter break, 2008. First year of university and home for Christmas. Sledding at Diefenbaker Park with my highschool friends. It’s night time so it’s dark. I didn’t want to go down the hill because there were all of these jumps you couldn’t see. My best friend peer pressures me into “going down just one time” with her. I concede. Just the two of us on the sled, she’s in front. We start going down the hill. Katie turns her head slightly so I can hear her; she says in a low somber voice: “Meg. I think there’s a jump in front of us.” There’s no time do anything. It’s dark. I can’t see shit. I hold on tight and hope for the best.
Guess what happened. NOT the best. We hit the jump, which was probably made by some 12 year olds. As we are literally (or at least approximately) five feet in the air I am hating those 12 year olds with everything inside me and fearing for my life.
We land on the hard snow. And by land I mean my tailbone is the first to hit the packed snow and I am momentarily paralyzed. Like can not move laying flat on my back, paralyzed. I lay on the cold snow and cannot move and Katie is probably laughing not knowing I am injured, and I’m thinking ‘holy shit I broke something.’ I manage to regain mobility and walk back up the hill and later in the evening walk 15 minutes back to Katie’s house with our group, where her sister makes us hot chocolate. I knew going down that hill was a terrible idea. I felt it in my bones. Get it? In my BONES.
My tailbone hurts for months. Not exaggerating. Sitting through a three hour lecture is physically painful but I don’t want to bring a butt pillow to class and look like a loser. I have to sit leaning forwards so all of the pressure isn’t on my tailbone. I go to a walk in clinic (because my doctor is booked and I don’t feel like waiting) and he says there is no point in doing an x-ray because even if my tailbone IS broken they can’t do anything to fix it. He says if I really want he can order an x-ray; I say I do want to, just to see if it is broken (because I’ve never broken a bone and breaking a bone has always been a morbid dream of mine).
Fast forward a few months. I am laying on the x-ray table. They take the first image. The x-ray tech comes into the room and asks if I have any metal on my underwear. I think to myself ‘uhhhh no bish I ain’t no ho!’ I say “no” and she retreats behind the lead wall and takes a few more images.
My doctor calls me when he has the results. During the appointment he tells me they saw teeth on the x-ray of my pelvis. Yes you read that right, TEETH. In my abdomen. Inside of me. Teeth in my belly. He told me it was common of a dermoid cyst and that it had formed in my right ovary. A dermoid cyst is basically a growth that consists of a bunch of different tissues. He sends me for an ultrasound. During the ultrasound the tech measures the cyst and tells me it is measuring 12cm in diameter. “12mm you mean,” I say. She says “no, 12cm.” To put this into perspective think of the ruler you used in elementary school, it was 30cm (or 12 inches for you American folk). So basically it’s big af. Then my doc sends me to a gynecologist. She examines me (by putting one finger inside my va-jay and the other hand on top of my lower abdomen and applying pressure) and right away says she can feel it. I’m like ‘you can?!’ And she kind of puts pressure on the inner side of both of my hip bones and I can see the outer border of the cyst. It’s so big it basically spans my ¾ of my abdomen. P.S. – I weigh 105 lbs at this point in my life. And no I did not have an eating disorder I was just always naturally very thin and basically ate whatever I wanted and didn’t exercise and never gained weight. #blessed
So in June of 2009, one week after my 19th birthday I had open abdominal surgery. The cyst was 15 cm in diameter when it was removed and weighed 7 lbs. Harry was super rude and ruined my ovary and fallopian tube beyond repair so they were removed as well. No, even though I named my cyst Harry, it was not my twin. Apparently two egg cells get together and start dividing and create a bunch of different tissues like hair, teeth, bone, and fat. This sucker had long brown hair just like me, freaky, but amazingly cool. Check out the pictures and see why I nicknamed my cyst Harry! (The last pic is part of a jaw bone). I hope you think Harry is as cool as I do!!
HEADS UP: These pictures are graphic. They show pictures during the surgical procedure and pictures of the cyst (and it’s contents). If that freaks you out…you have been warned.