I have to admit for the first time in a long time, I had a bad day yesterday. I don't have bad days often, and I know we all have them, but it just hit me in the gut. The strange part is, that the cause of my somber mood had taken place days earlier. To preface, I have been in steady communication with my OBGYN/Gynecologist ever since I had my son due to the nature of my pregnancy and the episodes of bleeding (in October and November) I experienced post pregnancy. I scheduled an appointment last week to see my gynecologist so I could consult with her regarding a few recent concerns. For one, I have no period all of a sudden. Although I breastfed my son for the first six months of his life, my menstrual cycle returned in December full force. I had a period the next two months, but then March and April, nothing. Ofcourse the cause of the amenorrhea was a concern of mine, but that wasn't the only issue I wanted to discuss. I have known for some time that I want to have my fibroid removed. I know having it removed means another invasive surgery, and another six weeks off work to recover. But I discussed it with my husband and thought about it long and hard after I had Sutton, and came to realize that I wanted to have it removed to improve the quality of my life. What does that mean? It means I no longer want to be scared with each trip to the bathroom, that I am going to find blood in my underwear. It means I want to take a bath again, swim again. So there it was - the discussion I knew I had to have, but have been dreading for months.
My most recent ultrasound was performed in March, and at the time my fibroid tumor was measuring a little bigger than 11cm. That's about the size of a newborn's head. It was originally believed that it would decrease in size after my son was born due to the drop in hormones, which seem to "feed" fibroids. This did not happen. My doctor agrees with me that it needs to come out, but since I am not a candidate for Focused Ultrasound treatment or Fibroid Embolization, it will need to be surgically removed. After a pelvic exam by my doctor and the head gynecologist, a treatment plan was determined. It includes pre-op treatment that will consist of a series of monthly infusions of Lupron Depot, an injection that will hopefully reduce the size of the tumor to a more manageable size (about 8cm). Once the infusion series is complete, I will have the surgery to remove the tumor. But the surgery presents many uncertain scenarios. For one, it is located in the lower left quadrant of my uterus, right above the cervix, slumping back towards the kidneys. This could cause any number of issues with removal because there could be possible damage to the ureters, left kidney or even the bladder. There could also be a chance that after removal there wouldn't be enough of my uterus to stitch back together, and I would have to have a hysterectomy. My doctor said she would do her best to keep as much of my uterus intact as possible, but if she couldn't save my uterus, that she would have to remove my fallopian tubes and ovaries as well. This means all I would have left is my cervix and my vagina. She also said given my history with anemia, I would most likely need a blood transfusion. Again. When she said all this I nodded my head so she knew I understood her, but honestly, all I could actually hear was my heart beating from inside my chest. It was too much to take in. I had to escape. Run. I hailed a taxi and fled the scene.
That brings me to yesterday. I had scheduled an appointment with a fertility specialist that performs these types of surgeries. It was encouraged by my doctor to get a second opinion for my own piece of mind, and I was taking her advice. I guess that's when it hit me. This is real, and I'm petrified. I had to close the door to my office for a moment alone. A moment to reflect, to pray. I cried. I realized why I was so scared: it was because I have so much to lose if this surgery isn't successful. I had to face the possibilities: the demise of having future children with Brad, the feeling of not being a "complete" woman if my uterus is removed, and ultimately, not surviving such a crucial surgery. Did I have it in me?
I have since talked (repeatedly) to my husband, my parents, my sisters, my dearest friends and my supervisor. I couldn't ask for more supportive, compassionate people in my life. I am still scared, but with yesterday behind me I seem a bit more calm, if not confident. I have the summer ahead of me to enjoy, and I promised myself that I would take the summer to celebrate all we had been through as a family, not to mention my one year wedding anniversary with my husband. I will let the warm, salty air of summer work it's magic, and come autumn, I hope I'll be ready. So there it is: no secrets, no agenda. I just wanted to keep a promise I made to myself to be as candid as possible with you - the followers of His Middle Name.