Tuesday, January 16, 2007


MRI scan on Dec. 28th. (Details here.)
MRI fee: 10689 yen (copayment) (= apx. US$ 89) *In Japan, copayment is 30% of the expense.

At the appointment on Jan. 5th, 2007…
To be perfectly honest, I was kind of excited about seeing the MRI images of my cyst. You know, it’s a rare chance to see inside of my body! When I went in, the first thing the doctor said was, “Yeah, it is dermoid.” He also said that the result of the blood test was good. Then he showed me the MRI images. My now-officially-diagnosed dermoid looked like a slightly squished ball, a part of which looking a lot brighter than the rest (iirc), but I couldn’t see anything like hair or teeth there in the ball. He also showed me the fibroids, and they looked like shadowy dots again.

Looking at those images, I didn’t feel scared…thanks to the doctor’s explanation and, more than anything else, the info. I had gotten from the internet. I was only worried about the doctor suggesting “wait-and-see” until the cyst grows bigger, and treating me like a hypochondriac if I asked for a surgery at my earliest convenience. But he didn’t hesitate to mention a surgery as a reasonable choice, which made me feel so much at ease. Thanks, doc! He said that if removing the cyst alone, a laparoscopic surgery would be applicable, but open surgery would be necessary if tried to remove both the cyst and fibroids. The former requires shorter stay at the hospital. He didn’t think the fibroids needed urgent removal, so I chose laparoscopic sg. because I shouldn’t be away from work for more than 2 weeks.

So surgery was decided just like that. But scheduling the surgery was much harder. I cannot take days off from work at the end and in the beginning of every month. That’s the time I take care of the insurance claim job, which no one else in our small office can do. And my boss had asked me not to have the operation in March or April, because those are the end and beginning of our fiscal year, i.e., the busiest months of the year.

January was already full. The two vacant slots in Feb. were in my busy weeks. Skipping March and April, the earliest possibility was May! Gosh! I have to keep this thing in my body for 4 more months? But maybe I shouldn’t complain… I read on the net about a woman who had to wait half a year for the surgery after diagnosis…

"Obachan looking at MRI image
and doc explaining"

So, this is where I am now.
From now, there won’t be much to write about until May...maybe.

Oh, BTW, have you wondered what “Pinoko” in the title means? It’s a little girl in a Japanese manga,“Black Jack” by Osamu Tezuka. Believe me. Some Japanese women who have dermoids call their cysts “Pinoko.” Even some doctors mention Pinoko when explaining what dermoid is to patients. I’m not kidding. “Black Jack” is a well-known and widely-loved manga story about an unlicensed genius surgeon. Pinoko is a cute little girl who was (no, not who had, but who "was") a teratogenous cystoma, i.e., dermoid cyst. (For more details, see “secondary characters” on this wikipedia page.) So, the minute I decided to write about my dermoid, I knew I was going to name my cyst after that little girl, though my Pinoko doesn’t speak like her. ;)

Does it look pathetic or childish that we, adult Japanese women, including a middle-aged obachan like me, call our hair ba… no, cysts that way? But let me tell you … this is helping me more than I thought, honestly. Living with a cyst is not much fun. Though mine is not very big, still I can’t help thinking about possible ovarian torsion almost all the time. And they say that ovarian torsion caused by a cyst just happens when it happens; you cannot prevent it by avoiding heavy exercise or physical labor. I read somewhere that even a bed-bound old lady could have it while lying in bed. Bummer!

So it is just too distasteful/disgusting to associate an issue like that with a picture of a hair ball that looks like a hair clog in a drain hole. HELL NO! A lovely ex-dermoid girl with pure and kind heart is much, MUCH better to live with. Don’t you think?

So Pinoko, don’t act up until we get you out in May ;)

To be cont’d

画像診断費用:10689 円(保険適用の患者負担分)  也

正 直、MRIの写真を見るのはちょっと楽しみでしたわ。自分の身体の中を見るチャンスなんてめったにないじゃないですか。診察室に入っていったら、先生が最 初に言ったことは、「やっぱりデルモイド。」そして血液検査の結果は問題なしとのこと。それから、MRIの画像を見せてもらったけど、デルモイドはちょっ とつぶれた球形で、その中に一部、他の部分より明るいところがあった(と思う)。でも髪の毛やら歯は見えなかったけど。子宮筋腫は、やっぱり、影のような 点々に見 えました。

腫瘍の画像を見ても、別に怖い気はしませんでした。先生の説明と、何よりインターネットで仕入れてた情報のおかげ か。私の唯 一の心配は、先生がこのまま様子を見ようと言うんじゃないか、ということ。私が都合のつき次第手術をして欲しい、とか言ったら、病的に心配しすぎみたい に扱われるんじゃないか、と。でも先生はすぐに手術を提案してくれて、一気に気が楽になりました。センセありがとう!手術は、嚢腫だけを切除するなら腹腔 鏡手術ですむけど、もし嚢腫と筋腫を両方切除するとなると、開腹手術になる、とのことでした。前者の方が、入院は短期間で済む。筋腫は特に急いで切除の必 要はなさそうとのことで、私は、腹腔鏡手術にしました。仕事、2週間以上休むわけにはいかないので。


1 月は既に満員。2月に2日だけ空きがあったけど、両方とも都合の悪い週。で、3月4月をはずすと、あとは5月!ひえ~あと4ヶ月もこれをお腹に入れてない とアカンの?!でも、診断のあと手術まで半年待たされた人の話もネット上で読んだことあるから、文句言えないか・・・。


と ころで、なんでこのシリーズのタイトルにPinokoが出てくるか、多分わかりますよね。ブラックジャックのピノコです。私も最近まで知らなかったけど、 デルモイドができた女性で、それをピノコと呼ぶ人、結構多いみたいですね。ピノコはもともと畸形嚢腫、つまりデルモイドだったので。私も、自分のをピノコ と名づけました。まあコレは本物のピノコみたいにしゃべりませんが。

い い歳して自分の嚢腫にそんな名前つけるなんて、あきれます?けど、 これ正直、私にとっては思ったより助けになってますよ。嚢腫を持って生活するのって、ありがたい話じゃないですよ。私のなんかそんなに大きいほうじゃない けど、それでも茎捻転のことをしょっちゅう考えずにいられないですもん。しかも捻転は、激しい運動とか肉体労働を避けたら予防できる、とかいうもんじゃ ないらしいし。寝たきりのおばあちゃんにでも起こることがあるとか?ひえ~・・・。そういう心配事が、風呂場の排水口に詰まった髪の毛のカタマリみたいな もんのイ メージに結び ついてたら、ホンマやってられないです。純粋で心やさしい、もと畸形嚢腫のかわいらしい女の子の方が、ずっといいです。



posted by obachan, 1/16/2007 10:26:00 AM


best of luck to you, Obachan.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1/16/2007 11:38 AM  
I was curious about the Pinoco references, so I had looked it up and found the Black Jack article on Wikipedia. It's not pathetic or childish at all, it's really funny! Makes me want to read the manga, what a great storyline.

As unpleasant as it is to have to wait, I hope the time goes by quickly and before you know it we'll be reading your entry on how easy the surgery was. Good luck!
commented by Blogger Donna, 1/16/2007 1:11 PM  
It's good to know that all the tests, waiting and surgery shedule are done. I can understand how anxious you must have been although you sound calm... Hugs~

I wish everything is going to be fine and till April your fans,me included, will be by your side. Please share thoughts whenever you feel overwhelmed and worried. ok? Drinking ume sake or ice wine help me whever I feel down. hee:)

BTW. I am really happy that you liked the new year card:)
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1/16/2007 4:51 PM  
Obachan, I'm sure you're relieved just to have made the decision. I'll be sending warm thoughts your way every day.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1/17/2007 1:07 AM  
If you must, you must. And fibroids are nothing fun.

Obichan, I doubt your cyst would have those particles of matter (hair, teeth, whatnot). Those are from the big ones and many types of cyst could pull that sort of stuff. I guess naming separates it from you emotionally...but Western literature has all sorts of horror stories that feature an alien character growing from a host. Icck, I can't like the little girl idea. Babies are bad enough, thank you.

Take care of yourself, you are surely doing the right thing, may your recovery be swift.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1/17/2007 5:40 AM  
jade park
Thank you. :)

Glad to hear that you read about Black Jack. Actually, lots of unrealistic things happen in the story – of course, it’s manga – but the theme underlying the story is really touching, I think.
Thank you so much for your support. I’m sure I’ll be writing a lot about the surgery (Probably nothing else to do for several days) ;)

Thanks for your concern and warm hugs. Fans? Oh, wow! No, I’m no celebrity and readers of my blog are my friends :)
Yeah, I’ll be sharing thoughts once in a while, because it helps me keep going. Thank you for listening.

Yes, I’m definitely feeling better now. And knowing that my friends are sending me warm thoughts really makes a difference. Thank you.

I guess the hospital staff would show me my cyst after it is removed (if I so request). So if we find an alien in it, I’ll change its name. ;) Kidding!
Thank you for your concern. I feel supported.
commented by Blogger obachan, 1/17/2007 10:11 AM  
::Grins:: I doubt they will. I had a "benign lipocyst" taken off of the the underside of my arm and they not only ignored me about wanting to stay awake but told me they didn't have it when they were done.

They said it was encapsulated but I suppose it burst and it was just a lump of independant fat anyway.

I don't know. I work as a nurse but I remember wanting to see my injuries at times and just screaming in horror as a child. A few scalp cuts, a slice from a sharp knife while doing vegetables, a bad apendectomy.

I doubt they will be willing to let you see it. Hee, good for you if they do. Don't bother feeling bad if they won't
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1/21/2007 5:43 PM  
How annoying. The above was me.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1/21/2007 5:45 PM  
I’ve seen a few blogs by Japanese women who wrote about how their dermoids looked. One even posted a photo of her removed (and cut-opened) dermoid. So I guess the patients' family members took photos of removed dermoids so that the patients can see them afterwards. Also, looks like big hospitals in big cities let patients see, if they so request, their surgery recorded on DVD. But I don’t think it’s possible at the hospital I’m going to be in, and my family members wouldn’t dare to take a shot of my tumor. Mmmm… probably I won’t have a chance to see what my Pinoko would look like. Too bad.
commented by Blogger obachan, 1/21/2007 10:04 PM  
What an ordeal! Thanks for the education on dermoids, I had never heard of them. I'm glad it's benign and a simple procedure to remove it. I hope you don't become too stressed over the next few months, waiting for your surgery to happen. I'll be thinking of you!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1/22/2007 3:35 PM  
Thanks, Amanda.
It's not really a terrible ordeal, actually. But I appreciate your kind thoughts very much.
commented by Blogger obachan, 1/23/2007 10:18 AM  

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