“How do you feel about a hysterectomy?” the Dr asked me.
I blinked quickly a few times, surprised by the question. Sure, I had some severely heavy bleeding during my periods. I knew I had fibroids, and they had just found a polyp. My PMS was getting worse by the month, causing me severe cramping, which I’d never had before, and rage filled mood swings that made me feel unlike myself. I was done having children, as I’m already of “advanced maternal age”, as I had sadly seen written on my last maternity chart. But a hysterectomy? That hadn’t been something that had crossed my mind. I thought maybe they would do a D&C, or take the polyp out. No, they wanted to take the whole kit and kaboodle out too.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. Initially, the Dr said “we’d leave your ovaries, as they will help prevent things like dementia. I nodded. Both of my grandmothers had dementia, and it always frightened me a bit that I might get it too. My memory is pretty awful as it is, never mind when I grow old! Keeping the ovaries might help prevent it. Thumbs up to that!
“Oh, wait,” she said, looking at my chart again, “your family history shows a lot of cancer. Are there really this many people who had cancer?” I nodded. Both parents, three out of 4 grandparents, a semi estranged uncle who mentioned he had a tumor, a great aunt. The odds are working against me. “We may need to take the ovaries too”, she said. “Oh great, so it looks like I will possibly get cancer or forget who I am!” I laughed. I must have looked nervous because she also offered to try to treat the issues I am having with meds for now.
A week in, I hate the meds. They are some sort of birth control/hormone thing that I struggle to remember taking. I feel slightly “off” on them and I don’t think they will be a good fit for me long term. Surgery looks like it may be in the cards. The only issue is, how does a full time working mom of 2 kids with a husband who is self employed working opposite hours take that kind of time off? The Drs have said it could be 2-6 weeks. I think I’ll be on the shorter end of it, as I tend to heal well and have had 2 c-sections before. After the C sections I was walking and cleaning up (yes, CLEANING!) in no time. Even still, I am scared of taking that kind of time off.
Not to too my own horn too much, but I am the scheduler, the planner, and the hub of the family. I manage where everyone needs to be, how they get there, and what they need. I plan the minutia of the day, keeping everyone in the loop, and calling for help from family when I get stuck. With my husband’s schedule, most transportation and execution of tasks falls to me. One of the ways I scare the kids to get stuff done like cleaning their rooms is to tell them I may go on strike. If Mommy goes on strike, they know things will be chaos. Taking myself out of the loop for even 2 weeks is going to be a strain on the family. My husband is awesome and will step up to help. I have also had family offer to help in however they are needed. I am super lucky to have them.
So there it is. First there will be genetic counseling to try to get a handle on my genetic risk for cancer. Based on that, the dr’s will make a recommendation about how much to remove. I guess the nice thing will be no more heavy bleeding, and also I might even lose a pound or so..lol.
More to come.