I have three surgeries left. They have always been on the ‘To Do” list but obviously they had to take a back seat while I gestated a tiny human. Tomorrow I will undergo a full hysterectomy to get rid of pesky pre-cancerous uterine cells. Here are my thoughts on all this.
- I’m not scared. I probably should be, but routine surgery is well within my comfort zone at this point. While there are some things that could make this surgery more or less complicated, I am not staring down open heart surgery or months of recovery. Many women go through this and are relatively fine. So, I know I’ll be okay.
- I’m not excited. Just because the stakes are relatively low, doesn’t mean this will be a cake walk. It will be uncomfortable and exhausting- which I’m not looking forward to. Which leads to my next point…
- I am OVER exhaustion. I have really enjoyed having my life back these past several weeks. I have been able to exercise, diet, move freely, go places and do things. I have worked, I have played, and it has all been super fun for me. The liberty of a unencumbered body is beyond compare. I cannot express how liberating and life-affirming that freedom is. I will absolutely lament the temporary loss of that hard won joy and I know I will have to battle some depression as the set back sinks in.
- I am not grieving. Despite the physical setback, this will also mark the end of a chapter. Having a hysterectomy will mean no more babies. That’s fine. Shop’s closed. I’ve made three pretty good ones and that is all I need in my life. I can confidently say I am satisfied. Plus, I know Tom and I will always keep a door (and our hearts) open for another child if it is meant to be.
- I am confused. What is a woman who has no breasts or reproductive organs? Still a woman? Sure, I guess. It’s just a little strange to be so deeply stripped of my femininity. After this surgery, in about 18-24 months, I will have breast reconstruction. It will feel AWESOME to have that behind me and to look and feel more like a lady again.
- There’s a definite upside. No longer having a cycle means I will save money and avoid pain. I have suffered a lot through ruptured cysts and endometriosis over the years. It has effected my athletic endeavors, screwed around with my productivity at home and work, and certainly has been inconvenient and costly both medically and intimately. That’s no way to live. I am really looking forward to a healthier, happier, more normal existence.
- I’m optimistic. I am preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. I have a suspicion they may come across some difficulty tomorrow as they deal with decades of lesions and scarring. Still, I trust my team and know I will be safe in their hands. My doctor, Dr. Shelby Haugen, is on the short list of people I like, respect, and want to grab a drink with. She keeps that whole “doctor/patient” act up for now though, but I’m hoping to make a friend out of her yet. Don’t worry, I’ll wear her down. She has no idea how obnoxiously persistent I can be.
I will be recovering for the next few weeks, so if you see Tom, give him a hug or a beer or a meal. I’m sure he’ll be in for it with three kids and a needy wife. And if it hasn’t been said enough, please know that we both really appreciate the support and prayers as we gear up for this. You all make everything manageable.
Give ‘Em Hell