“Manie!” Storm growled.
“Talya has a ruptured ovarian cyst." Manie said skimming over the forms in his hand. Storm stood still, glaring at Manie when the ME remained silent.
"Manie, could you elaborate." Amanda asked, her hand still holding Storm at bay.
Manie looked up and met Storm' expression.
"Oh yes, sorry Jason.” Manie started. “Ovarian cysts are very common and in some cases necessary and good for the body. They are basically fluid filled sacs, that surround the ovary or are found inside the ovary or uterus. They develop during the menstrual cycle as a follicle matures and then rupture releasing the follicle so that fertilization and implantation can take place. Cysts that do not rupture as well as those that do are usually absorbed back into the body without causing any discomfort.”
“Talya was in excruciating pain, Manie.” Storm said.
“Yes, in some cases the cyst can grow rather large, up to 12 inches in fact, and they can be filled with blood or a mass of abnormal cells instead of fluid. When these rupture as is the case with Talya, the pain is equivalent to that of an appendix rupturing.”
“Oh no!” Lebo voiced what everyone was feeling. Storm felt like sending his fist through the wall.
“So the surgery is to remove the cyst, like how try would remove an appendix.” Mike asked. Concern for his partner coloured his words.
“It’s more complicated I’m afraid. The doctor will first have to deal with the internal haemorrhaging. Then the cyst or whatever is left of it will be removed and sent to the laboratory to determine if abnormal cells are present and whether these are malignant or benign.”
“Talya could have cancer?” Matthews gulped in shock.
Storm’ eyes flashed with anger. What could he do to help Talya, to keep her safe? Damn it this is not happening!
“But that’s not the worst of it, is it Manie?” Amanda asked.
“I’m afraid that the ovary may have to be removed and this will greatly affect Talya’s chances of falling pregnant.” Manie said.
“Dr Mahinder Singh is correct.” The Nurse said. “But we need to get her into and operating theatre right now. So Agent Storm, please sign these forms.”
“Is Talya unconscious? Is that why you need Storm to sign?” Amanda asked.
“No, Ms Adams is conscious.” The nurse said. Everyone looked at her expectantly. The nurse sighed, “Ms Adams refuses to sign the forms.”
“The hell she does.” Storm growled, grabbing the forms from Manie’s hand. “Take me to her.” He ordered the nurse.
Of all the stupid, crazy things to go and do when you’re bleeding from the inside out!
Storm couldn’t understand how the rational woman he knew Talya was, could refuse to go ahead with life saving surgery.
Talya bit back a moan. The pain meds they had given her had worked for all of 10 minutes. She had been poked, prodded, x-rayed and scanned. A vaginal swab had been taken and to her utter embarrassment, she’d realized she was bleeding. The nurses had helped her clean up and change into a hospital gown but they didn’t say what they thought was wrong with her.
Then her doctor, a straight nosed, spindly man had sat on the edge of her ER bed.
Young lady, you have a ruptured ovarian cyst. We will be taking you into surgery to remove it and most likely the ovary and fallopian tube on the right as, well if you don’t have the ovary you won’t need that tube now will you.”
“Calm down now. It isn’t all that bad yet. The cyst, or what’s left of it will be analyzed for malignant growths. If these are found, chemo therapy will be scheduled.”
“I could have cancer?”
“Yes, 1 in 8 patients usually have cancerous cells present. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The surgery will take anything from 2 to 4 hours, depending on what we find and how we decide to deal with it.”
“Excuse me? What exactly do you mean?”
“I mean that if we find any other abnormalities, we will remove these.”
“I said no. I want another Doctor.” Talya said.
“I am the doctor on call Ms Adams…”
“I don’t care. Get me another Doctor!”
She’d been left alone after that, her mind spinning in terror.
A ruptured cyst, malignant growths, cancer …
“Oh God, he wants to cut out my ovary... My chance to fall pregnant….My chance to have a baby… No!”
Tears rolled down her cheeks in rapid succession. She’d never thought about marriage, but she had definitely dreamt of becoming a mother one day. Now the choice was being taken from her and she realized just how much…. how very much she did want to fall pregnant.
A sob of pain burst through her lips just as Storm stepped into her cubicle.
Seeing him she gasped, “Storm!”
He paled as he went to her and took her into his arms. She knew that he was shocked by her emotional outburst but she was beyond caring just now.
“Shh Talya.” He whispered worry and something more evident in his voice.
The nurse followed Storm into the cubicle. “Ms Adams, we really have to get you into surgery now,” she said.
“No…” Talya shook her head.
“Talya…” Storm was interrupted by the arrival of a female doctor.
“Ms Adams, I’m Dr Sarah Coleman. I’ve been briefed on your case. If there is even the slightest chance that your ovary can be saved, I will save it. You have my word on that. But we have to move now. You’re haemorrhaging badly and your blood pressure’s already dropping. The pain must be terrible as well but we can’t give you anything else now, as it will interfere with the anaesthetic. Your life’s literally hanging in the balance now.” Dr Coleman said.
Storm pulled away from Talya.
“Talya, sign the consent forms.” Storm ordered.
“Now Talya.” Storm ordered.
Talya shrunk away from him, fear, despair and disappointment clear in her eyes. She took the forms and signed.
“Keep that other doctor away from me.” She warned Dr Coleman.
“Dr Bradley will not be anywhere near the OR. I promise you.” Dr Coleman’s voice said exactly what she thought of Dr Bradley. “Let’s go.”
“Talya …” Storm tried to smooth things with her. There was so much he needed to say to her, express to her, show her. But she didn’t look back at him as she was wheeled away.
I am such a bastard! Storm swore, turned on his heel and headed out of the hospital.
He needed air.
He needed to think…
He needed to pray…
To pray that the woman…
The woman he …
He was falling in love with … would pull through this God-awful ordeal.
In the OR the anaesthetic took effect, pulling Talya under within a matter of second. Dr Coleman worked quickly, making three one centimetre long incisions, one below Talya’s navel, one on the right side of her pelvis and one above her pubic hairline. Various instruments were slipped into these incision sites and the camera attached to one of the probes illuminated Talya’s insides.
“Jane, irrigate the area now.” Dr Coleman ordered the intern. There was a lot of blood in the pelvis cavity. But what worried Sarah was the slimy white pus that snaked like a river within the dark blood. That indicated infection and proliferation that would irritate the surrounding tissue and organs.
“Enough, there it is.” Dr Coleman sighed seeing the ugly, raw edges of the ruptured cyst. Sarah took a few minutes to examine the whole area, noting that the cyst was suck to the ovary and the side of the fallopian tube. In addition she found a second cyst, about three centimetres in diameter also blood filled.
“Scalpel.” She ordered and cut a one-centimetre incision on the opposite side of Talya pelvis.
Slipping more probes inside, she examined Talya’s left ovary and found two cysts, one three centimetres in diameter and the other slightly smaller.
“She has multiple cysts. Let’s get all of them out and then suction all this muck on the right side.” Dr Sarah ordered.
Using a surgical laser, she worked with delicate movements to slice the cysts away.
Storm got coffee and stood at the balcony on the OR floor. He sipped the coffee slowly, his mind occupied by the enigma known as Talya Adams.
Just when and how she had wiggled her way into his heart, he couldn’t tell. But right now the pain she was going through threatened to rip his heart out. He remembered how she’d saved his life by killing his would be kidnapper. When he’d lost his memory in a shootout, she was the one who helped him find his way. When she’d been undercover in a trafficking ring, he’d been glad to come to her rescue.
Sighing he took another sip of his coffee. It was cold out on the balcony and he had left his jacket in the ER waiting room earlier. He didn’t mind the cold. All he felt was numb. Some would argue that Talya was too young for him. Others might say they were too much alike and neither would let the other dominate. But all she needed to do was say, ‘Jason’ … and he would let her dominate.
He never allowed himself to think about her sensually. But now he did. She was beautiful, slim and firm in all the right places, yet, curvy enough, always leaving him in a state of semi arousal. Her hair, gorgeous silky hair, he imagined running his fingers through it as he lowered his lips to hers. The mischievous sparkle in her eyes, the smirk on her lips and the way she would lean into his personal space when trying to make a point, would leave her scent lingering in the air around him.
He awoke many a night aching for her. He never thought to pursue these feelings. But tonight he did. Tonight the way she had looked at him, the hurt in her eyes, and the disappointment in her face that he, the one would should protect her, he was the one forcing her to accept the possibility that she may never know the joy of conception, pregnancy and birth.
He swore under his breath, his heart clenching as he whispered, forgive me Talya, but I can’t lose you!
He heard the door open behind him. Gulping the rest of his coffee, he remained staring out over the bustling Sandton roads.
“Jason, you should come inside.” Manie said coming to stand next to him. He nodded but didn’t move.
“You are shivering and if you get sick you won’t be allowed near Talya for fear of infection.” Manie said wrapping his hand around Storm’ forearm and directing him back inside.
“Is she out?” Storm asked in a strained voice. He was surprised to find his hands trembling.
“Not yet.” Manie said.
“Why would it take so long?” Storm asked.
“These things take time, Jason. In this case I feel the longer it takes, the better the results are likely to be.” Manie said.
Storm turned to him sharply, “what do you mean?”
Manie opened his mouth to answer just as the OR theatre door opened and a moaning Talya was wheeled out.
“Talya.” Storm moved alongside the gurney and took her hand. She squeezed it, her teeth chattering, and her eyes bright with confusion. Manie moved to her other side and walked with them.
“It hurts so much!” She whispered.
Storm looked at Manie feeling helpless.
“Mmm, what did … they do … to me?” Talya moaned.
“Shh, you’re going to be okay.” Storm replied, his hand never leaving hers. He needed to keep her calm and comfortable even as he was dying to know what the doctor had done during the surgery. When they arrived at the ICU, the nurses asked Storm to leave so they could get Talya settled. But as expected, he refused.
“Storm… pain…” Talya moaned. “Do something…”
“We’re hooking her up to a morphine pump now.” The nurse quickly explained.
“The pain should subside in a moment, Talya.” Manie said picking up her chart. Storm looked at him pointedly and Manie nodded that he would answer Storm’ questions shortly. Storm turned back to Talya. She took a deep breath as he caressed her forehead.
Your hair is as silky soft as I imagined it would be, he mused.
“Jason?!?” Talya gasped, her eyes going wide.
“What is it?” he asked in alarm.
“Baby?” she gulped. “Will I … be able to … have a baby?” she asked, grabbing the front of his shirt.
Dr Coleman chose that moment to walk in the room. She looked at Manie and then from Storm to Talya.
“Doctor?” Storm demanded as he gathered Talya in his arms.