The first time I had to have surgery was when I was 14 years old. It started as debilitating lower abdomen pain that felt like knives stabbing me. It was inconsistent but persistent over a few months. I was a freshmen in High School so my mom at first thought it was nerves about school or feelings of anxiety. As a parent myself now, i totally understand why she would think that. But after three Gyno visits it was confirmed that I had tumors on my ovaries and they'd need to be removed. Kinda shocking given that I'd barely had a period for a year at this point. (Sorry guys reading. That will be the last time I talk about my period in this post. Maybe.)
Mostly what I remember from that surgery was recovering on the second level of our home in the guest bedroom my parents set up for me ... missing my first High School Homecoming & my dad joking about my IV pole being my date ... me getting mad at him for making me laugh because LAUGHING HURTS ... flowers, balloons, cards, visits from friends ... and Marc Brookings making me a cassette tape copy of his newest favorite band, Millie Vanilli. :) I guess I should really blame it on the rain, yeah yeah?
I don't have much recollection of the recovery but obviously I did just fine and moved about my life just fine. Then, the tumors (benign Dermoid tumors) returned when I was 25 and I had yet another surgery. This time I fell into the hands of the sweetest and kindest D.O. on the planet. He really took good care of me during this surgery and cleaned up some of the "mess" of the first surgery. The Doctor for the first surgery at 14 was unkind and rough on my insides, not thinking about preserving my organs for the future. The Doctor at 25 had a lot of repair work to do and took great care in "giving me a fighting chance." He also looked my then boyfriend in the eye and said "Um, not sure what you are thinking but this girl needs to have babies FAST!" Pregnancy is a "cure" for endometriosis which I had and we just weren't certain how child bearing would work with the "mess" in there.
My boyfriend soon became my husband and we entered into then YEARS of infertility which I talk about on my old blog deeply and openly. Was the infertility a result of the first botched surgery? Perhaps but our plan is written long before us so I know that I was truly living God's calling for me. During our infertility battles I had yet another surgery to remove a large polyp that had taken up my entire uterus. We had hoped that would free space for a baby to implant and grow but ultimately that led us to adopt Bella & Luke.
So if you are counting, I'm up to THREE surgeries since I was 14 years old on the same are of my body. Somehow, some way (Um, thank you Jesus!) I got pregnant. Again, if you followed my blog I enjoyed every single minute of that gift of pregnancy. It wasn't lost on me what an amazing profound gift that was to either of us and we are eternally grateful.
Ultimately, that pregnancy came with #noahpants being breech, making an early arrival and yeah ANOTHER abdominal surgery! While on the table having a baby my doctor literally said "I do not know how you got pregnant, it's a mess in here." GOD. We believe in miracles, as we already had two such miracles before Noah - each in their own special miraculous way.
Four. Fours surgeries over 20 years. My insides quite possibly are a mess and quite honestly have continued to cause me problems - hormonal, cyclical and most recently pain. The tumors have returned. SIGH.
I don't want to do this again. I don't want the tumors to come back. I don't want to worry about it one day being cancerous. (not that I can ever fully prevent that!). I discussed options with my doctor and decided a full hysterectomy would be the right path for me right now. When I asked her "do I have a case for my insurance to pay for this?" She laughed so hard! "Have you READ your file??" ;) I guess my long history makes a case of its own.
While there is NO GOOD TIME to have a hysterectomy, tomorrow will be mine. It is a "routine" surgery and I will spend one night in the hospital then take it easy at home for a couple of weeks. I have arranged for my family to come and generous friends have kindly helped in ways of food, childcare and more. The stars have actually aligned for this timing to be quite right and I am grateful.
I won't turn away your prayers and I humbly accept them. However, if Marc Brookings doesn't burn me another Milli Vanilli cassette tape this time I'm going to be super pissed. Girl, you know its true. ;)