To be exact, my doctor said “Ooooo, your tumour baby is getting bigger! It’s time for it to come out“. Out? What does that mean?
Here is my unexpected hysterectomy story and I am trying really hard to not freak out.
I have always known that I have fibroids in my uterus but lately they have been setting off a lot of alarm bells. It all started about 18 months ago, I was having intense bloating in my stomach and it felt like a balloon was about to burst under my skin. What I didn’t know at the time was that my gallbladder was about to make it’s unexpected departure but it was my uterus that stole the show.
Every time my stomach would blow up I would go to a walk-in clinic and they would immediately send me for an ultrasound. While being all slathered up in warmed-up blue ultrasound goo the technicians would say the exact same thing every time “Oh looks like you have a little stone in your gallbladder….um, wait a second….do you know about this in your uterus?” to which I would always nonchalantly reply “oh ya, I have fibroids“. I always treated that information in a “no-big whoop” kinda way but as it turns it out it’s definitely a big whoop, over 10 cm each kinda whoop.
The fiborids always were the start attraction at these appoints and we never discussed to why my stomach was so bloated (ding, ding, ding it was that tiny stone hiding in my gallbladder) but those fibroids did land me in a specialist office pretty damn quick. The first time I saw my doctor he was pretty unfazed by it all and said there was “no point in cutting you up like Swiss cheese just yet“. “Yet” was the word that lingered in my head.
Well let’s fast forward to right now. At the end of November I went to the doctor just for a routine physical, I had no aches and pains, no signs of discomfort, just noticed my lower abdomen was puffy but I just thought I was getting fat(ter). I laid down and with 2 quick pokes of my stomach my doctor proclaimed I would be getting a hysterectomy. You know that thing women whisper “lady surgery“, that thing that sounds completely life changing and terrifying…ya, that thing.
In my situation, my doctor will remove just my uterus and leave my ovaries and fallopian tubes because as he says “I still need them“. I need them to produce hormones and prevent me from being shocked into early menopause, I’m ok with this scenario. I know menopause is a few short years away but I’m not ready just yet.
*Side note: I will still produce eggs so if anyone out there wants to carry baby for us then I’ve got eggs for you!
So just after I got this news I barely had any time to let it all sink in because remember that tiny little stone that nobody seemed to care about…well it started feeling really left out, decided to get infected and I had emergency gallbladder surgery the week before Christmas. The surgery went really well and the hospital staff were incredible. However, it was also during this time it really hit home that I needed this damn uterus out. When they were doing the ultrasound on my gallbladder they did the ol’ uterus swoop and the technician immediately stopped and looked me square in the face and said “You know about this right? You are taking care of this, this needs to go”.
Getting older and being perimenopausal isn’t fun. To be super gross, I’ve never had a super heavy flow but lately it’s been so intense I can barely leave the house. To be clear, I don’t have endometriosis or cancer of any type, just a belly full of delicious fibroids. With this surgery I will still get a version of PMS (yahoo…said no one ever) but I will never get my period again (yahoo said every woman always). In fact, my husband and I celebrated my last period a couple weeks ago but eating red velvet cake and guzzling bright red cocktails.
So there it is. My surgery is January 23rd, I’ve been to a million doctors appointments, I have stocked my freezer with easy to re-heat food, I bought the pre-surgery antibacterial wash and packed my hospital bag. The surgery itself will be like a c-section (an incision my doctor says “will only be detectable by my fella”) and I will be in hospital for a total of 2 days, then off work for 6 weeks recovery which I split up between Saskatoon and Toronto. I am nervous as hell but optimistic that perhaps this is the beginning of some better days ahead.
I am ready to have my tumour baby, wish me luck.