Early this summer I had to go in for urgent surgery, a hysterectomy. Here is why it was the best thing for me.
For once, my family history made me a priority when my periods became erratic. I have suffered from endometriosis since I was a teen. It slowed down during my two pregnancies. Last Christmas it picked up speed painfully. It got to the point I wasn’t able to leave the house or be a present mom.
What They Found
After waiting for the best OBGYN in town for months, she sent me for test. Thankfully, I got in quickly. At that time, several fibroid tumors and one polyp was found in my uterus. Surgery was scheduled 5 weeks from the original testing date. There was no time to waste. A partial hysterectomy was scheduled quickly. (Uterus and tubes removed, ovaries were clear.) My body took a turn for the worst fast.
Baby Factory Closed
Due to the endometriosis, I never expected to be pregnant once, let alone twice. Three doctors told me I could not conceive naturally. After meeting my girls and seeing my youngest go through her challenges with autism, my baby factory is closed. I am at peace with that. If I ever feel a baby urge, I can visit one of my friends’ newborns.
No more late-night grocery store trips when I run out of pads. No more impossible-to-handle cramps when my girls need me. No more forgetting to stock my purse every week in case I am out when ‘Aunt Flo’ arrived.
I am here!
Because of my high-cancer risk due to a genetic disorder I have for ovarian and endometrial cancer, having the surgery reduced my risk dramatically. I am older than my mom lived. History has not repeated itself. I won’t let it. Apparently my body agrees.
I turn 40 on October 10th this year. I cannot think of a better birthday gift than being alive for my family and me.
The birds start chirping before I realize that the morning is about to begin. I have no idea how long I have been awake, or if I slept at all. This day has been months, if not years in the making. I do not need to put my glasses on to know it is too early for me to shower. Thank goodness. My heart and head are still trying to process the itinerary for today.
I will be staring at four, pale pastel walls. Either I’ll be having a long nap or waiting to go in the operating room. Right now, I am in limbo to find out if it’s my turn with the cancer card. I’ve avoided it for 39 years now. As I said here in Erica Ehm’s post, I made time for me, so I can be here for my girls. Weeks ago an ultrasound gave concrete proof that my body has been fighting fibroids. More tumours are trying to reside here.
Because of my cancer history the doctors are not waiting to biopsy. My uterus, and possible more parts, has been given their eviction notice. I do see the rational side of the procedure and there will be relief to have it all gone. No more debilitating cycles that has robbed me of time to have fun with my family. I may be 39 years old but, I want my mommy! I want her to tell me all those reassuring ‘mom-isms’. I need her to tell me the magic words, “It will be okay.” I am scared.
I hear the birds starting their morning song. I take a deep from-my-toes cleansing breath, and place my brave face on to kiss my husband good morning. I repeat again and again that everything will be okay as I take my pre-op shower. History will not repeat itself. It cannot.
As I recover from whatever results in today, this site will show a variety of new and archived posts. By the time you read this, .. let’s be real, I will be dreaming of a glass of chardonnay. xo
In August 2005, I walked out of the third specialist I saw to help with my endometriosis. I have had the disease since I was fifteen years old. All three doctors had told me the same thing: I would not get pregnant naturally. I sat on the bus on the way home overwhelmed with emotions that surprised me. While I did not try to get pregnant, but nonetheless I wanted to own that choice, not doctors or ultimately, the disease. I mourned the results and trusted the multiple doctors’ opinions. I would not be a mom.
The next day I traveled through a lot of websites that confirmed that infertility is commonly linked with endometriosis. Many people go through in vitro fertilization treatments, naturopaths and surrogate options to become parents. I decided to accept it and let it go from my mind. I needed to figure out just what I wanted to explore.
Three months later, our beautiful child was conceived. Imagine my surprise at my shocked doctor who delivered me the news. Two years later, our baby girl became a big sister. Both of our children are gifts. I cannot imagine my life without my daughters. What was supposed to be a medical impossible became a medical possible, twice.
Many couples cannot conceive without help. The cost of one round of IVF can be as high as $15,000 with fertility medications included.As a result many couples desperate to conceive, remortgage houses just to pay for the procedure. Many couples will risk maternal health by transferring multiple embryos in an effort to make the most of their investment. This is a risky practice that results often in extremely high health care costs and risky multiple births. While twins and triplets are adorable, they carry greater lifetime health costs and are often born premature. Many groups throughout Canada are strenuously advocating for public health care to cover the cost of IVF where it is the recommended course of treatment. IAAC – the Infertility Awareness Association of Canada recommends that three rounds of IVF be covered through provincial health care funding with single embryo transfer (SET) as the standard.
An IAAC survey recently indicated as many as 73% of British Columbians believe the province should adopt public funding for in vitro fertilization (IVF), similar to the policy in Quebec. In 2010, Quebec became the first province in Canada to provide universal access to IVF through a policy that covers the cost of treatment and mandates single embryo transfer. This policy has led to a reduction in multiple pregnancies from approximately 30 per cent to well under 10 per cent, resulting in better health outcomes for mother and baby, and an estimated cost savings to the health system of $30-$60 million per year since the program’s inception.”
Personally, I believe the parents who want to be parents by any and every means are the best kind. With some provinces and countries world-wide providing public funding for IVF is this the year for BC couples to get public funding for IVF?
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Disclosure: I am a valued member of the #IVF4BC blog team. As such, I received compensation, but my opinion is my own.