Being a hypochondriac, I tend to avoid the doctor. Because if I went to the doctor every time I thought something was wrong, I would be there every other day. It amazes me that that, with all the things that could go wrong, more often than not our bodies are well oiled machines.
However, in the spring I kept getting bacterial infections - Strep throat, UTI's. My period, which was always consistent, knocking on my door every 28 days was becoming a very unexpected visitor, coming whenever it wanted and staying for longer than I would like. And being a total B**** while it was here.
So I went to the doctor. We did the whole 9 yards of testing and were relieved to find that the only thing out of whack was my blood sugars. Low enough that I was not diabetic (yet) but high enough to warrant some radical lifestyle changes in order to ensure I would not be diabetic within the next few years.
I started by cutting out sugar. This, for me, was almost as hard as quitting smoking. I love sugar. In everything. I have sweet teeth, not a sweet tooth. Once that was done, I cut out gluten, dairy and red meat. Within weeks, I had lost 8lbs and 2 inches from my stomach (probably from bloating...). I was feeling great. People were noticing a difference. Clothes were fitting looser.
Then I felt it.
I wasn't quite sure what "it" was. It was hard and it was in my abdomen. I knew I had been eating better, so the thought crossed my mind that under the layers of fat that had been shed I had rock hard abs and wouldn't have to worry about doing 100 sit ups every night and every morning. I was also hoping the same phenomena would show itself in my behind and thighs.
I was in the doc's office getting results for something else and this voice in my head kept saying, "Tell her about it. Tell her about it. Tell her about it." So I did. Prefacing it with my, "I know I'm a hypochondriac, but..."
This led to a very awkward moment whereby I had to tell my doctor 3 times I was sure I was not pregnant because I have not had sex in a very long time and I was certain that was a necessary link in the pregnancy chain. My doctor should not play poker because her poker face sucks. She went white and very serious and had me in for a CT scan within days. The next day the result:
I do not have rock hard abs.
I have a rock hard tumor.
In my uterus.
The size of a melon.
Days after that, I had appointments with specialists and biopsies were booked.
Ten days later I was sitting in the specialist's office when she told me it has grown even more and is now sitting just under my rib cage. I look...pregnant... Two minutes into our visit, we had booked a total hysterectomy for the following week. That's this coming Monday.
Monday I will join the hundreds of thousands of women who have gone before me with reproductive "issues" and total hysterectomies. Two of which are my paternal grandmother and aunt.
Monday I will no longer be able to have any more biological children.
I've been trying to figure out how I feel about that. My whole life, I thought for sure I'd have oodles of children running around with my blood running through their veins. When Q's dad and I split, I thought for sure someone else would come along to make that dream happen. And now, here we are...he (whomever *he* is) hasn't shown up yet, and now my uterus is exiting stage left (or abdomen, lower right).
Here's the thing, I think I'm totally okay with it. Like, I've forced myself to try and get really sad over it - but I just can't. Maybe I'm in shock, because from finding the mass to surgery date has been just under a month. But maybe, I'm just okay with it. I would rather choose life, than hope for something that might not ever happen. My life has taken many twists and turns that I certainly have not planned, but every twist has turned out better than I could have ever planned. The truth is, I'm relieved.
I'm relieved I found it.
I'm relieved I listened to that little voice in my head.
I'm relieved the doctors have moved on it so fast.
I'm relieved soon my organs won't be so squished and my lower back won't hurt and my tummy won't feel so bloated and it won't feel like I have to pee every 5 minutes.
I'm relieved technology has come so far that this is considered a *low-risk* operation and that my gynecologist is totally hip and wears Fluvogs. I feel like I can trust some one's judgement in the operating room if I can approve of their fashion choices.
And then let's talk about the blessings:
No more periods. NO more cramps. 4-6 weeks of spa (I mean, recovery...) time. And like 10lbs instant weight loss.
Also, I have been reminded over and over again just how am blessed that I have so many wonderful friends and family around me who have listened while I've processed things out loud, who have been praying for me, and who have been gifting me with awesome things to do with the next six weeks of free time that I have on my hands (adult colouring books and the newly released Humans of New York book). Any my mother, who has dropped everything to nurse me back to health. What would I do without my momma?
I wasn't going to blog about this, because it's my uterus. And that's kind of private and uncomfortable and taboo and gross. But here's the thing...women everywhere are suffering from similar things. A mom on Q's hockey team is going through the same, and a colleague at work, and a dear friend, and so I thought it's a shame for us all to be suffering in silence. Let's talk about it and not be shamed.
Let's talk about it.
Because it's not going away.
Fibroids, tumours, endometriosis, cysts.
They're not going away.
So tell your story. I bet there will be at least 10 women around you, suffering from the same, and wishing there was someone to talk to about it.
Women have to be there for other women. We *get* each other. Every experience should unite us in our womanhood.
I don't know if mine is cancerous. Once it's out, they'll send it to the cancer agency and they'll run tests and also go over the two biopsies I've already had. Chances are very low that it is...so I'm remaining optimistic. But I'll be sure to tell you all about what they find, because I want to know all about it. How much it weighs, what it looks like, does it have teeth (ala steven king....)?!?!?! Right??? Who wouldn't want to know??
This whole event has actually strengthened my faith in God, my faith in the knowledge that whatever happens, I'm in His hands. It's been so comforting, and I am filled with peace. In fact, for the past month, I've had this song in my head that I used to sing as a little girl in church:
I'm in His hands
I'm in His hands
Whatever the future holds
I'm in His hands
The things I cannot see
Have all been planned for me
His way is best, you see
I'm in His hands
So funny I haven't though about that song in probably 20 years and lately I've been humming it every day. I know this isn't something I was expecting and it certainly wouldn't be on my list of life plans, but it's happening and I know that how ever it turns out, I will be okay.
I'll never have another period again.
Which leads me to this thought:
Maybe PMS isn't a thing, and I'm just this way...
I guess we'll find out.
On Monday morning, at about 11:15 if you're not doing anything please say a little prayer for me. Pray that God will guide the hands of the surgeon (and that she picks super cute scrubs for the operation), that He will assist my body with pain management and healing, and that everything will turn out the way He has planned.
And the hospital better throw a rocking party, because it will be the third anniversary of my 35th birthday on Tuesday.