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A Misstep On My Journey…?

Hi guys.  It’s the night before D&C #3 and all’s well here Chez Smith.  Erin is spending the night with a dear family friend.  My amazing husband made me dinner, and now we’re relaxing and enjoying a quiet and peaceful night in.  No worries about tomorrow’s procedure.  It’s all “old hat” now.  Past history (see here and here) gives me comfort, and I know that everything will be fine tomorrow.  I have to be at the hospital at 5:45 (!!!) for my 7:30 surgery, and I’m hoping we’ll be home around noon or so.  I’d like a few hours to regain my balance and sleep off the remaining anesthesia, because Erin has soccer practice tomorrow and I’d like to go.  We’ll see how I’m feeling, I guess.

Over the last several days, I’ve been wondering if I’ve taken a significant misstep on this hyperplasia journey.  Ever since I learned I was sick, my focus has been to keep my uterus.  Rather, to find a way to keep my uterus without developing endometrial cancer.  Hysterectomy is the treatment of choice for women with either type of atypical endometrial hyperplasia (simple or complex), yet I foughtfoughtfought to do all in my power to prevent myself from having to undergo “The Dreaded ‘H’ Word” (that’s a hysterectomy for those of you who are new to this and/or who aren’t uterine savvy).  I pondered the rationality behind my decision, likening my uterus to my gall bladder (“an unnecessary organ which caused me pain…and that I’d have cut out on my own if I could have!”)  I understood that the loss of my uterus wouldn’t make me less of a woman, and I came to terms with the fact that my femininity was so much more than an organ.  Yet, I just…couldn’t…bear the thought of giving it up.  Had you asked me back then, I would have told you that I was perfectly comfortable taking Megace for the rest of my life and consenting to occasional trips back to the operating room for D&Cs to ensure my condition hadn’t worsened.  In these last few days, I’ve had a tremendous change of heart, and I truly think I’ve made a mistake in my emotional response to my condition. Why did I fight so hard to keep this, now-unnecessary, pre-cancerous organ inside me?  Why was it acceptable in my eyes to spend the rest of my life taking a medication with some pretty unsavory side effects and consenting to annual (and expensive) trips to the operating room?  Each little step on this journey has been about making me well.  Giving me my life back.  Helping me and helping the people who love me to move forward.  Wouldn’t I have been smarter to have had the hysterectomy and called it over?  No more worry.  No more waitingwaitingwaiting to potentiallymaybehopefully heal on my own.  No more feeling like I am trapped in an endometrial cage, unable to move forward with my life and focus only on the blessings around me.  Remove the pre-cancerous organ, and the potential for cancer is gone.  I feel so foolish.  I realize that a hysterectomy is inherently risky, especially for someone who is overweight.  And I realize as well that my doctors wanted me to try medication in the hopes of preventing me from needing a hysterectomy.  But I think I was wrong for being so emotionally invested in keeping my uterus.  I convinced myself that the medication would work, and accepted for myself a life of “half knowings” and “always wonderings.”  I don’t want to do this any longer.  I want the rest of my life to begin…NOW.  Without the worry and without having to spend another second (or keystroke!) on hyperplasia.  Or concern.  Or fear.  Or anything uterus-related.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not jumping for joy at the thought of having a hysterectomy.  In fact, I’m scared to death at the mere idea of it.  But if it will save my life…and give me BACK my life…aren’t I foolish to run from it?  Wouldn’t the discomfort and worry of the procedure be so worth it if I could be here to watch my daughter grow up?  To kiss and laugh with my husband?  To live surrounded by the love and light of my family and my friends?  I feel so incredibly foolish.

Comments

  1. I have been in the same spot. I went over almost 10 years fighting to keep my uterus. I was miserable and living 1/2 a life. In the fall of 2009 I had a D&C and 2 weeks later my OB looked at me and said I wanted you to save your uterus especially since you haven’t had children but now I don’t see any other choice. They had found pre-cancerous cells. I asked to wait 6 month for summer vacation he said NO…and 2 weeks later I was under the knife. Because of my weight they were unable to do the less invasive methods and had to go in from va-jay-jay to belly button. =) That was the worse part. Now I say for all to hear it was the best thing I ever did for me and those who love me. I can’t believe I wasted so much time…knowing long before what the end game was going to be…mine was a hereditary condition.

    The choice and decision is so personal. NEVER feel foolish. It is only a decision you and those you love can make together. You are surrounded by such wonderful supports that whatever comes of it will be what is best for you! You are amazing and know you are loved! Good luck tomorrow! Sending you quick healing healthy vibes!!!

  2. Jennifer,

    Foolish…I don’t know. But one thing I know is that God is in all of this. He is walking through each and every step and tearful moment. We are not called to give up…until it is clear that that is what He wants. So I don’t know that I think you have been foolish. Human…absolutely. Emotional….yes…but truly what woman wouldn’t be in your shoes? I don’t pretend to know what you walk through–because I, gratefully haven’t been through it. But I worry for my teenage daughter–who was recently diagnosed with PCOS. And I guess, as a mother, I would tell her to follow her heart and to pray.

    To be willing to give up her uterus if it is what God wants. To be willing to live on meds if that’s what God wants. To pray not for or against either…if possible…but only that He make His will known and that He give you the strength to follow through. Sometimes it’s not giving something up…but the willingness. And sometimes it is letting go and giving up. God wants us to be at peace….

    And maybe–your feelings this evening are about what God wants…maybe He has given you this point of view so different from what you’ve had…because He is showing you His will for you. I don’t know. But I will be praying…for you tomorrow during your procedure and that He make His will utterly and unquestionably clear for you.

    God’s blessing and peace to you, my childhood friend.
    Vicky

  3. Jen, a mistep, no. This is part of your journey. Do not beat yourself up. Live for today. No more second guessing. This is your present. Hugs!

  4. Nothing is ever foolish or a misstep. You have every right to feel the way you do and make your decisions. You’re human. You’re a woman. With or without your uterus. No matter what your decision is, I know that you will go into it after speaking with your family and your doctor. You’ll be making the best educated decision for YOU. My beautiful sister. We will all support you in whatever decision you make. We are all here for you and we all love you. You are always in my thoughts <3

    Amy

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