When I started this blog, things in my life weren’t really going swimmingly. I had just had my heart broken (crushed? shattered?), and I had also just turned 30, so I was feeling very old and lonely, but still hopeful. I figured 2013 would be the year I turned it all around – started an amazing blog that I would actually keep up with, probably become famous, and of course meet a man, get married, have babies, you know, normal stuff.
But, as you might know if you’ve been hanging in there with me for the last year and a half, it did not go as planned.
This year, I’ve been having a great June. My schedule is packed full with fun events – bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties, concerts, soccer games, and I’m planning an 8 day vacation to South Korea in early August to visit my sister. But as I’m bopping around, having all of this fun, I’m reminded how much things have changed (for the better!) in the last year, and I really can’t be more thankful. Last June, I was being admitted to the hospital for a Myomectomy. Although I wrote about it briefly here as I was recovering, I’ve been thinking more lately about the experience – how scary it was – how it could’ve been so much worse – and mostly, how thankful I am that it’s all over.
The type of tumor I had is pretty common – a uterine fibroid – non-cancerous, and often no big deal, but mine was giant, which complicated things. When I first noticed it, I thought I was just getting fat, but the thing grew so quickly that pretty soon I knew there had to be something wrong. I told my mom that I thought my organs were sticking out of my belly and knowing well my flare for the dramatic, she sighed and told me to stop being silly. Then I sent her a picture of my stomach, and she wrote back right away with just “GO TO THE DOCTOR.”
As the tumor grew, I also got increasingly sick. Although it wasn’t cancerous, it was invading my body and messing everything up. I had horrible cramps pretty much all of the time, I was throwing up, I had trouble sleeping, and I had pretty terrible lower back pain.
I wanted the thing out of course, but I was also really worried about what this would mean for my chances of having kids one day. I’m not a huge kid person, but I have always wanted to start a family, and the possibility that I might not be able to was a little hard for me to wrap my head around. It wasn’t that I was desperate to have children, but I desperately wanted it to remain an option. My first doctor painted a pretty bleak picture. She told me that surgery would most likely damage my uterus so much that kids would not ever be an option. She recommended that I leave the tumor there – although she told me it would continue to grow and make me sick, and that I still might have trouble delivering a baby. She basically suggested that I get working on getting pregnant right away, and then have the tumor removed after I have the baby.
Needless to say, I left that appointment in tears. I was panicking a little – I had gone from not even being completely sure if I wanted to have kids to trying to figure out if I had any friends who could hurry up and inpregnate me. It was ridiculous. After I calmed down a bit, I realized that this had all gotten a little out of hand. I’m lucky enough to have a tremendous family and ridiculously awesome friends who all helped me to think and talk it through. My nurse friend helped me find a very talented surgeon and fertility specialist who assured me that the tumor really did need to come out, and that he would do his best to preserve my uterus. He was kind and gentle and most importantly, very good at his job.
Before and After:
Ultimately, everything went as well as it could have. It’s been a year now since the surgery, and physically, everything is different. I’m healthy. I’m not visiting doctors every week. I retired my heating pad, and I’m sleeping through the night. What I want to be able to tell you is that since the surgery I’ve met a wonderful man, and we’re going to get married, and start a family and everything happens for a reason, blah blah blah.
Some things change. Some things stay the same. I’m still single, and I don’t know if I’ll ever have kids. I’m still fumbling my way through awkward dates, baking and eating my feelings, being a little bitter, and a little optimistic. I’d like to say some inspiring thing about how the tough times make you stronger, and you only get what you can handle, and all that stuff, but I think what I really want to say here, is that things happen. Bad things. Good things. Medium things. And all we can do is try to get through them. Sometimes things seem bleak and horrible and ridiculous and then, before you know it, you’re planning a trip to Korea and training for a half marathon, and you realize that while you’ve been chugging along, things have some how gotten better. And that’s where I am right now. I don’t have an epic, inspiring story to share, but things are better, and I am happy.
Day after surgery last June: