Hysterical

I figure it’s time to come clean about something I’ve avoided making internet information. In my mind, it doesn’t make sense to send up flares before you actually have spotted the danger, so now that danger has been spotted, we gon’ light it up like July 4th, friends!

I’m the kind of person who prefers to hear the last sentence first before going back to get the story of how we are going to arrive at the destination I am now acquainted with. So let’s get the the last sentence out first.

I am having a hysterectomy. I don’t know when. Soon, likely. I have a fairly unequal uterus-to-tumor ratio so it’s wise for all involved to move swiftly. The End.

For those who need a bit more explanation, or who just enjoy my meandering style of storytelling, let’s get into the nitty-grits.

I’ve been “sick” for a while. I say “sick” all in quotes like that because what I now understand should have always been sick has just been Every Fourth Tuesday to me. I’ve been dealing with these symptoms for so long that, until they really ramped up and I got my doctor involved, I just thought I was having spectacularly flamboyant menstruation.

Let’s talk timeline. I called to get an appointment with my doc in September. The soonest she could see me was January. As my doc (who is a glorious human being and I will walk to the ends of the earth to keep her as my main care person) is also my gyno, I just figured this would be a quick poke around, another round of whatever medication that wouldn’t work but would make just enough of a wave that my system would stop acting up, and I’d be good until my next annual swab.

By the time I got in to see her in January, symptoms had gone so absurd that I just told her that I needed a referral to a full-stop gyno because I felt like this might be bigger than a PCP would be comfortable handling and that I’d rather just get that ball rolling ASAP. When I explained what my symptoms were, she agreed, and the referral was swift.

The appointment, however, was not. I couldn’t see my new gyno until March. If you’re wondering how I managed all of this time having these alarming symptoms, I’m going to just say to you that 50% of every month I was living in a Quentin Tarantino movie. I did the best I could without the help of an old priest and a young priest.

The day finally came for me to meet my new gyno, who is just the most fabulous woman. We went ahead with my swab and then did the physical exam, where she had her hand up to her elbow in my virginia and was pushing all of my innards out the same hole with her other hand.

And suddenly, her poker face slipped. She immediately ordered this torture thing called a Saline-Induced Sonogram, which basically meant I was to get an ultrasound whilst also being a human water balloon! She stayed calm but there was an immediate shift that let me know this was not a routine uterine inflation. She said “I felt a mass.”

Thanks to the expediency of American Health Care, I had another month to wait before my SIS. And that, my dear friends, brings me to this past Thursday.

I’m gonna skip the dramatics and just say that what is normally a viable option for D&C on other women, if not some sort of hormone therapy treatment, was enough cause for alarm that I am having my entire uterus and various accoutrements removed. Expeditiously. I’m only pointing out all this time line what-not because I was absolutely not in any danger…until I was.

The result of the SIS was that I am riddled with tumors. If they were just in my uterus, it would be a fairly routine procedure and then we’d check back in a year. But no, if I’m anything in this world, it is an overachiever. Therefore, I have tumors inside, outside, and IN THE MUSCLE of my uterus. Some tumors are the size of my uterus itself, which is, y’know, cool? I guess?

“I felt a mass.” Guuuuurl, and water is wet.

Anyway, the whole thing has to come out. At this point, I’m most comfortable using the term “tumor” because, at best, these are all things called fibroids which LOTS of women get and are benign. The reason I’m not okay using such calming language yet is because, well, there are two things that run in my family: A deep and abiding love for St. Dolly of Parton, and uterine cancer. Yeaaaaaah. Like, the malignant kind. So genetically speaking, it’s more likely these are not just fibroids and considering the various symptoms I have, coupled with my magnificent gyno’s reaction, I’m more likely to be a whole other kind of statistic here.

But hey, listen. I’m okay. I feel like hell almost always, but knowing there is an end in sight and that I wasn’t just a “hysterical woman complaining” helps bring me a lot of peace about this choice. Best case scenario is that they get everything out and it’s all benign and I never have to brave another Texas Chainsaw moon sickness again. Life is good. Next-best case scenario is that they get it all out and pathology says “There was some cancer and we got it all. Life is good.” The least-best case scenario is pathology coming back and saying “There was some cancer and it spread,” but what we are NOT going to do is allow catastrophic thinking to overtake a perfectly rational, challenging phase of my life and turn it into chaos. We deal with information as it comes, not fear.

Because life is good.