Because I am. As everyone around me is getting pregnant and welcoming new babies into their ever expanding families, I am coming in last. As of Monday, I will be having surgery to remove my now infamous fibroid tumor. I say infamous because not only does its reputation proceed me in most doctor’s offices, but to describe in centimeters how large this tumor has grown would be irresponsible. According to my Gynecologist Oncologist, my tumor has now grown to be about the size of a 25 week pregnancy. In layman’s terms – about the size of my head. After a year of battles with this thing – hemorrhagic episodes , painful swelling and a menstrual cycle that does a disappearing act for months at a time, I thought it was time for it to be ejected from the game. There was also another reason for wanting this fibroid gone. After seeing one specialist, one interventional radiologist, two OBGYNs and three gynecologist oncologists, it was clear that even if we were to get pregnant now, I probably would not be able to carry the pregnancy to full term (yet again). We were also warned that the outcome could be even more damaging to my body, my fertility and result in the loss of the baby. The uncertainties were too haunting and the risks too great. It was settled then. On Monday morning, as the holiday season kicks off and most in this big city rush off to work, I will be put under anesthesia and have a much needed surgery. But what will I wake up to?
This is where it gets a bit tricky. Like a 1970’s game show contestant, I have three doors that could reveal my fate. Door number 1: My gyn-onc goes in to perform a myomectomy to remove my fibroid tumor, and that’s exactly what happens. I recover and in a few months we try for another baby. Door number 2: My gyn-onc goes in to perform a myomectomy, but realizes he can’t due to the possibility of too much blood loss or because the fibroid is too large to remove safely. He then will perform a complete hysterectomy, removing both the uterus and the cervix. Door number 3: My gyn-onc goes in to perform a myomectomy and sees something concerning (like malignancy or necrosis). He then will have to perform a radical hysterectomy, removing my ovaries, fallopian tubes, my uterus and my cervix. This will also possibly result in some pelvic reconstruction as well. One surgery, three possible outcomes. Last week, the day before Thanksgiving, I signed all of my paper work and consented to surgery. There is nothing more I can do – it is in God’s hands now. To relinquish that type of control, when I probably never had it to begin with, is difficult to admit. It takes faith, but that’s something us Lubins are full of.
This week has been an emotional roller coaster to say the least. Brad and I have cried, prayed, worried, pondered possible outcomes and cried some more, but we have never lost our faith in God and our faith in each other. And this past Thanksgiving, we certainly had much to be thankful for. We have a wonderful doctor that is capable and that we trust implicitly. We have a supportive family and circle of friends that are taking care of us through support and empathy. But most of all, we have our Sutton. He truly is our miracle baby, our gift from God. And if Sutton is the only child we ever have, then we are the lucky ones. He has filled our lives with so much joy and taught me so much about love that he has healed me in ways that I don’t even understand. So maybe I'm not so nervous about having surgery or all the possible outcomes or about having future children. Maybe I'm more nervous about possibly not being there for the one I already have.
As a girly girl, I can admit, there wasn’t an episode of Sex and the City that I didn’t miss. One of my favorite episodes shows Charlotte, dressed warmly on a cold winter day, running in Central Park with Carrie’s voice over: “She had won at everything she had ever tried, except the baby race.” I felt a pang deep inside of me. I could relate. I had a wonderful husband that was my best friend, a beautiful and healthy son, a family that loved and supported me unconditionally, friends that fulfilled me, a job that wasn’t a job at all because I loved it so much and a beautiful home. Much like Charlotte’s character in Sex and the City, I am friendly, educated and well traveled. All in all, a beautiful life. So why do I feel like I am losing the baby race?