hysterectomy and cancer: a look back 2 years later

Photo: Michelle Zive.
Two years ago at right this very moment, the Big HMO gynecological oncologist was performing a full hysterectomy on me. I was 34 years young, and up until the second I went under, I thought hysterectomies only happened to old(er) women. Surely not to young women, ones who haven't had the chance to bear their own children yet.

A lot has happened in the past two years, and I learned so much about myself, and the life I want to live.

There are a lot of women like me out there going through this, too

But we don't talk about it, because it supposedly only happens to older women. Which is why this site exists and includes guest posts from people going through cancer battles. We absolutely should be talking about these things, and not just cancer, but miscarriages, fertility struggles, and other issues that are historically taboo. By talking about them, whether online or in person, we remove the stigma and create a system of support for each other.

People are capable of giving you the most beautiful gifts

No, I'm not talking about the kind with pretty bows. In my post Hysterectomy: A Look Back 1 Year Later, I teased that we "found our third one in the most unlikely of all places...but that's a story to be told on another day, for it's a gloriously wonderful one." And that's still true: it is a beautiful story.

When my dear college friend offered her womb to us, I was gobsmacked by her generosity. We got pretty far along in the surrogate process...only to find out, at the final physical before we began her medicine regimen, that she had massive fibroids, which potentially needed a partial hysterectomy to fix.

How do you react to that info?

While a small part of me was sad to lose yet another surrogate, that feeling only lasted about 3 seconds as the instinct and empathy for her well being flooded into my heart. She and I agree that had she not offered herself so unselfishly, she may not have found the fibroids until it was too late.

There's still much to be grateful for

And we're not just talking all the free space I have in my bathroom cabinet, a now-empty shelf that used to be occupied by tampons, pads, and other feminine hygiene products. Or the lack of worry around getting a period. (In fact, I love not having a period anymore!) Or the ruining of jeans and underwear when you get blood on them. Or the fact that I skipped menopause. That's right: do not pass Go, do not collect $200. I skipped menopause completely - awesome!

I've since been asked to share my story online, at conferences, and workshops. It makes me happy to talk to people, and show that a positive attitude can -- and does -- make a huge difference when battling this wretched disease.

My personal life has changed, as well, but more to come on that in a future post. For now, I continue to be grateful for the fact that I'm still alive. As I often say, they haven't found a cancer yet that can kill me!

ps: Still paying off medical bills, so if you want to spread the message and support the cause (profits split between a charity and the bills), feel free to buy your "Fuck Cancer" (or Fuzzy Caterpillar G-rated shirt) today. More info.


Lisa said…
I was suspecting Hysterectomy and thanks for the info am safe.

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