Over the past few years, Samantha Caracci's body has changed. This mom of two started having horrible pains in her stomach as well as down her back and legs that would completely take her breath away.
At first, Samantha thought that she was working out too hard and had pulled some muscles at the gym, but the intense pain continued to come and go over the course of six months. When Samantha finally went to the emergency room after a particularly horrific day of pain, she expected to hear that the doctors had found a kidney stone but was instead shocked to learn that she had cysts on both ovaries as well as her uterus.
"I spent that entire night researching ovarian cysts and kept finding, 'this is very common.' The pain didn't feel very 'common,' it felt like stabbing in my back, stomach, and legs," Samantha told POPSUGAR. "Not to mention the bloating and constipation that came along with it. I didn't understand how this could be 'common.'"
After seeing different obstetricians whose answers ranged from "this is just something you'll have to deal with possibly until menopause" to trying a variety of birth controls intended to prevent the cysts, Samantha's body was still continuously producing them. "I lived in my heating pad, spent countless nights in the emergency room because of countless cysts rupturing," Samantha said. "It was about every two to three weeks to be exact. That's how fast my body was making them."
As her body continued to form the dreaded cysts, Samantha had to have her fallopian tubes, gallbladder, and right ovary removed. However, it wasn't until Samantha found out that she had a mass on her ovary that she felt furious with her body.
As she waited to see a specialist, she and her husband, Rob, decided to go on a date night. However, her body betrayed her again and she ended up in the emergency room due to a new round of debilitating pain. "When we got home from the hospital, I was crying and upset with my body," Samantha said. "I felt like it was ugly, scarred, and completely broken; I felt like it had failed me in many ways."
However, Rob didn't see it that way and asked Samantha if he could take a picture of her body to prove just how beautiful she is. "We sat and he proceeded to tell me all the wonderful things about my body," Samantha said. "Ladies, that's the kind of man you deserve. A man that will pick you up when you're down, comfort you no matter what, endlessly tell you how perfect you are."
Samantha knows that her body has been through quite a journey with many scars left as a reminder and that it's OK to cry or even admit to feeling defeated at times. "I've had many doctors tell me to 'toughen up' and that 'there's nothing we can do to help you,'" Samantha said. "[People] need to understand just how painful this is for the women that deal with this every day. And for the women that will never have a baby due to this, awareness needs to be raised for this medical condition in order to help others."