I am not ready to talk about my surgery yet, but this is pretty spot on for me, so far
Mumu on, check.
No makeup/lotion/nail polish/perfumes, check.
Jewelry off, check.
They say to expect my tum to be swollen a few sizes larger, from the gas they pump into the torso, after surgery.
I don’t know if I stay overnight or not.
I really know nothing.
I am flying by the seat of my pants on this one.
I am packing now for the hotel. Tomorrow is surgery. I’m dragging my feet.
I am scared to death.
Tomorrow will be a solar eclipse in Cancer, incidentally, my 12th house.
Also, an ode to the Da Vinci robot that will be eviscerating me:
Not only am I creepily naked and sobbing in the above photos, I am also disgustingly smearing my lipstick, so that it symbolizes the last period I will ever have in my life.
A lot of women hate their periods. I really didn’t until the periods became unbearable. Going into the crone phase, even if it is partial, scares the shit out of me.
Pretty emo for someone of a half-century, I will admit. It’s my crotch party and I’ll cry if I want to…
While my first inclination, as always, is to make snarky jokes about the robots coming for my lady parts tomorrow- I can’t stop crying.
Words fail me.
The fact that I’m having essential organs- parts that are meaningless and useless now- that somehow DEFINED THIS MEAT SUIT for me- removed permanently really is messing with my brain right now.
If I leaned more towards the esoteric, I could just say this is all illusory… this body, this gender, this glove we wear.
I can’t fucking do it. I am grieving, mourning- an anxiety ridden mess.
All the worst case scenarios run through my head:
What if I die on the table? What if I am that small percentage that has cancer and it causes it to spread?
Luckily, now very few hospitals combine DaVinci robotic surgery with morcellation:
The entire thing is usually pulled out of the vagina, presumably after the robotic bits sever the organs from their places.
Still, fucking scary.
My friends and family who have gone through this say it’s a piece of cake- I will no longer be in constant pain, I will love it, etc.
As a consolation prize, they will take my fallopian tubes and keep my ovaries- as long as I agree to ultrasounds every 6 months to monitor the cysts. This means I can go into eventual natural menopause and not instant menopause, as I have Factor V Leiden and can never use hormone replacement.
Also, what makes us female? Is it biological, is it physical, is it a dangly bit of spongy flesh in our innards- is it a hardwiring of of hypothalamus? Is it a spiritual choice made prior to incarnating?
WTF IS it?! Do I become some gender fluid, non-pronoun using being after this?
I don’t know why I am so hysterical right now- I just know that I am.
I know I won’t cease to be ME, who or whatever that may be (unless I die, of course).
I surely didn’t freak out like this when they took my gallbladder almost 2 decades ago.
I’m just scared, I guess. Scared shitless.
My stomach is fat, like a woman 4-5 months pregnant- the adenomyosis has me swollen like a tick on a dog.
I feel miserable. This procedure is supposed to make it all better.
I hope it does.
Losing pieces of ourselves, I wonder if zombies feel the same way, if they were real and could think.
“Oh, shit, my whole crotch just fell out… need more brains…”
Yeah, I need more brains.
The idea of having my lady bits ripped out of me by ROBOTS (DaVinci robots) isn’t sitting too well with me at the moment.
Still, the robots ripping out my female parts- not my kind of sci fi.
The last 3 days of my period- my last period of my life- have been the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. I know this has to go, but omg.
I’m in mourning.
I have not been able to walk since my menses started. My uterus is now swollen to the size of a 4 month pregnancy or more. It’s laying on my spine, retroverted, so the back pain is horrific.
I did a part 1 re the health reasons behind it, but haven’t been able to do the part 2 yet. I tried to put it out of my mind, really.
Booked my hotel in the city where my surgery will be done (an hour away from my home). I have to go have all my fake nails ripped off today prior to surgery, not looking forward to this, either.
Endometrial biopsy of my uterine lining came back negative for cancer!
That being said, they still want to go ahead with the hysterectomy, as I have severe adenomyosis- and they still have to actually biopsy the rest of my tubes and uterus as well, once removed.
I am not looking forward to the 2 month recovery time
I should be blogging about my female issues, part 2, but at the moment my innards are weeping the bloodiest of tears. I’ve slept so much this week since the endometrial biopsy- and it jump started my period early. I had no idea that simple uterine biopsies could take so much out of a person. The pain is better, the fatigue is not.
My hysterectomy is scheduled for 12 July.
My endometrial biopsy (the first) should be back early this week, the oncologist says.
My son graduated from high school last weekend, I still need to add this to the blog. I am so proud of him.
Maisie has her 2nd ballet/tap recital of her life tomorrow. I will be herding cats/taking care of the tots back stage, like I did last year. Someone has to do it and I’m evolving into a stage mother at this point.
The other crazy things happening in the periphery are dying down, for now. I’ve had my say and will continue to work through this, as a reminder to myself and others- don’t let people walk all over you. There are some seriously chronically messed up opportunists out there- and yeah, while addiction can account for a lot, that still is not an excuse for what was done to us.
I think about Bourdain and his fragility- and the fragility of those around us. This world will eat you up and spit you out if you don’t stand up for yourself and for what is right. Tony Bourdain stood up against the tides, championed his girlfriend’s #metoo cause against Weinstein- and it still wasn’t enough.
I saw a chilling post Bourdain put up on his Twitter on 22 May. It called out some guy re being found hung (I’m paraphrasing) in a lavatory from auto-erotic asphyxiation. It kind of gave me chills. While I don’t know the circumstances surrounding his death any more than the rest of us (a bathrobe belt, found tied to a door)- suicide or accident- neither is preferable.
He had his child at 50. That alone would make it impossible for me to take my own life, but I don’t live in anyone’s skin but my own.
It’s sad, sad, sad in this mad world.
Death comes to all of us, sooner or later. I think about my own mortality a lot right now. I’d fight tooth and nail against it, just like I fight tooth and nail against any other injustice levied against others and myself.
But life goes on, children grow up and graduate and do their recitals and play with their toys. We grow older. We die.
Over and over, in different bodies and different lives, it is all the same. We all share this common thread- even though we believe we’re unique.
We’re not unique. That is the beauty of it. The sameness, the threads that bind us- that’s the wonderment.
WARNING: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN GRAPHIC AND/OR HILARIOUSLY DISGUSTING DESCRIPTIONS OF DOCTOR’S VISITS, BIOPSIES, RETROVERTED UTERINE ISSUES, AND ADENOMYOSIS/CYSTIC OVARY SYMPTOMS. IF YOU CAN’T BEAR TO READ STUFF LIKE THIS- SPOILER ALERT- GO AWAY NOW.
“Pet Peeve #545:
When ALL your specialists and primary care doctor feel your issues are gynecological, yet your male gyno thinks everyone is wrong and refuses to listen to you OR EVEN TEST YOU until you stick a proverbial foot way up his ass”
This blog started out primarily because of my freakish reproductive system (hint, Maisie).
It is only fitting that I update the trials and tribulations of my nearly 50 year old reproductive organs.
Let me preface this by saying, I am not in menopause and my body doesn’t seem to know it is a-coming. My menstrual cycle is consistently 28-30 days.
I also was born with a retroverted/tilted/ass backwards uterus. Such conditions can worsen over time from childbirth or other uterine issues.
According to Wikipedia, it is defined as:
“A retroverted uterus (tilted uterus, tipped uterus) is a uterus that is tilted posteriorly. This is in contrast to the slightly “anteverted” uterus that most women have, which is tipped forward toward the bladder, with the anterior end slightly concave.”
“Tilted posteriorly” means tilted towards your ASS, ie, posterior. Mine is particularly tilted waaaay back, which makes basic bodily functions more difficult over time- more gross details to follow later.
Oddly, I started having some very strange symptoms that became progressively worse in the years after Maisie was born. I went to specialist after specialist to no avail. Gastro docs, urologists, nephrologists, rheumatologists, gynecologists, pain specialists who simply wanted to get me hooked on pain pills, which I refused- nobody could figure out what the hell was wrong with me.
I had lower back pains and kidney infections that did not start out as urinary tract infections- and I’ve never really had bladder infections prior to this, though I’ve had kidney stones before. They kept coming back, no antibiotic seemed to help. My doctor sent me to every specialist she could think of. My bowels stopped working regularly. I had to take massive stool softeners and even that didn’t always help.
Everything, every test came back normal. I was starting to feel like I was losing my mind, but I KNEW something was wrong.
(for my rant on what I pay for my crazy expensive healthcare insurance, go here)
I KNOW my body and I am pretty much a health nut. I live a Ketogenic lifestyle. I rarely drink and never have been much of a drinker. I don’t ‘party’. I love to cook healthy meals. I work out a lot- I am a FitBit freak and try to get at least 10k-20k steps a day, mostly for the endorphins. The few prescriptions meds I must take, for high blood pressure (another genetic pain in the ass) and GERD, I do religiously. I don’t have depression.
I mean, I HAVE to take care of my health. I had a baby at 45.5 and I want to live to see her grow up. There can be NO room for error at this point. My child needs me to be healthy.
In mid-December 2017, my primary care physician ordered an ultrasound of my pelvic region. The results were complex septated cysts in my left ovary, thickening in my uterus, etc. Complex septated cysts are considered a bit more dangerous than regular ones.
My paternal grandmother died of ovarian cancer at my exact age. Her daughters and one son all carry the BRCA1 mutation. 3 out of the 4 girls had BRCA1 breast cancer. My father was fortunate- he was the only child out of 6 to not have the mutation. Unfortunately, even though I am not a carrier, this still increases my own chances of gynecological cancers.
A MRI was recommended as a follow up. Because we couldn’t get the MRI approved by the insurance company, we had to go with a 6 week follow up ultrasound.
On top of this, I take care of my family- and I mean everyone, including extended family. I am the medical POA for many and the patient advocate for the rest.
I spent months in San Diego this year (and the end of 2017) sleeping in a trauma unit with a family member who was in a catastrophic motorcycle accident- and taking care of them once they were discharged. I only came back to Michigan because of my own health issues.
While in Encinitas, CA, I had my follow up ultrasound at Scripps hospital. It showed no change in the cyst size, but my uterus was getting larger, with new polyps and fibroids and thickening of the uterine walls.
Armed with this info, I sent the ultrasound results to my primary doctor in Michigan. She felt it was urgent that I come home and get this checked out, since my ‘fancy’ insurance didn’t work in the state of California and my pain and symptoms were worsening by the day.
We set up an appointment for March with a gynecologist and I forwarded all of the info from CA to his office a month ahead of time.
I planned for fly back home to MI in March for my scheduled appointments and be back in CA to take care of my family member after the appointments, as they still could not care for themselves.
It didn’t work out this way.
Little did I know, there was going to be a fight on my hands just to get my MRI and to be taken seriously, as his staff did not put the 2nd ultrasound in my chart…
(to be continued in part 2 with the discovery of adenomyosis, cancer biopsies and testing, and my journey towards hysterectomy)
I had a lot of stuff happen since I blogged re the keto.
My son has lost almost 60 lbs since November- he is about 220 from about 280- solely from keto and he does most of his own cooking!
I will post pics of him soon!
I am also finally back to my fighting weight, lost probably 25 lbs since my last update- gained loads of muscle- but I was in Southern CA taking care of a relative who was injured in a motorcycle crash for months. Mostly exercise, fitbit, and keto, IF thrown in.
Unfortunately, am back home now and I will need surgery soon. I see a cancer specialist next week. A MRI diagnosed adenomyosis, which causes a painful and abnormally swollen uterus- lots of bloating and discomfort.
They have to check it for cancer after it is removed. My sister currently has cancer, so I am a bit worried. I am always tired lately.
Below are the newer pics, many after workout. I am so happy with my progress! I will never be thin, but I can be fit and STRONG.