DETOURS AND ORANGE BARRELS

Last week, during the waning days of Suckuary, I received a phone call from my OB/GYN. While I love Dr. E, whenever she calls me, it’s not always good news.

Very gently, Dr. E started to explain, in detail, the results of my ultrasound.  Turns out my uterus is 5.5. I have no idea what that means, but Dr. E explained that a uterus of 5 is not good so a 5.5 means surgery. She explained I am full of fibroids and then moved on to one of my ovaries and explained it was full of a lot of something, likely cysts.

Dr. E then said the word I have dreaded since I had breast cancer and started taking Tamoxifen – hysterectomy.  

While I’ve known for years now if I ever became a mother this child would likely not have my genes, hearing the word hysterectomy turned the blood in my veins ice cold.  A hysterectomy makes this my-gene-less child a reality. Final. Case noisily and painfully closed.

Let me interject here that I am totally fine with adoption and have had it on my mind for years. My niece and nephew are adopted and I love them and I’m grateful they are part of my family.

Adoption, however, became uber complicated the minute I leapt into my forties, remained unmarried and slammed into a breast cancer diagnosis.  Whenever I’ve contemplated adoption, I have envisioned riding a camel through an eye of a needle or finding a Camel cigarette in a haystack. Either way the journey to motherhood now appears painful, long and tedious.

Dr. E’s insistence that the surgery happen sooner rather than later didn’t help my spirits. I’ve been waiting to be approved for bariatric surgery. I have been waiting since August and have had to file an appeal because my sleep apnea number wasn’t high enough and I was TWO pounds underweight for an automatic approval. This situation illustrates what’s wrong with the insurance industry. 

I am a big believer in timing and that life unfolds as it should, so now, knowing I had to get a hysterectomy, I finally understood why I had to wait for weight loss surgery. Nevertheless, that did not stop me from contacting Vice Presidents and other people high up the food chain at the insurance company and telling them my story and asking them for help with my appeal. (By the way, if I don’t hear from you by Friday, we’re doing it all over again).

I’m having a hysterectomy as soon as next week. Not sure exactly when, but I’ll let you know. An oncologist will be present during surgery and will let Dr. E know whether cancer is present.  She doesn’t think it’s cancer, but with my history and Tamoxifen we have to be sure.  I have to get bloodwork done tomorrow and I’m sure time will fly faster than I want it to pass. Then I will be uterus-less and only have one remaining ovary and I will move on to the next phase of my life.  

My childless life.

While I’m sad that I will never carry a child, or even be granted the official title of Mother, God has reminded me of how many young people I’ve “mothered” and mentored and befriended. The word mother doesn’t include the word uterus and I still have a lot of years left to see how God is going to work everything out in this area of my life.

So many have expressed their sadness over, “no babies.” I appreciate it, but my life is not over because I have no child (and yes, there are moments I have to re-convince myself of this). I try not to think of what I don’t have in my life, I think about what I do have. I have many “children.” I have many friends.  I have a great family.

My life is very, very full, even if my uterus never was.  

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