Notes from a bitch – my last period…

Hi y’all!

I’d like to apologize for my recent absence.

I’ve been sick.

Specifically, I’ve experienced some serious complications related to uterine fibroids.

Last month my doctor informed me that she recommends a hysterectomy and, after a lot of tests (ouch!) followed by a second opinion, I came to the conclusion that she’s right.

On November 22nd I’m going to have surgery to remove my uterus.

My condition is serious and I’m damned lucky to have the ability to address it.

There are a lot of treatment options for fibroids and plenty of women are able to control the growth of the tumors and avoid hysterectomy.

I’m not one of them.

That’s just the way it is.

This will be major surgery and I didn’t come to the decision easily…there are risks and I’m taking them seriously.  In my case, the risk of doing nothing outranks the risk of surgery.

So, here I am…trying to prepare my body for major surgery and trying to organize my life for the 4 to 6 weeks of recovery that will follow.

I’ve got to confess that I’m not going to miss the pain or the toll the anemia related to my condition has taken on my body.  I’ve been on a medical roller coaster for damn near a decade and it hasn’t been a smooth ride.

But even though I’m looking forward to feeling better, I am a wee bit nostalgic about my period.

I’m surprised that I am, given the drama my monthly cycle has posed for the last couple of years…14 days on and then waiting for the next 14 days and so forth and so on.

I’m glad that’s going to be over…but I can’t help looking back at how it all began and noting that it is coming to an end.

I remember when I first found out about menstrual cycles.  I didn’t believe such a thing was possible.  At first I was horrified that one day I’d have a period…but then I started to anticipate it and chat with friends and family about it…and eventually I started to look forward to it.

I’ve had a period every month since I was 13 years old.  It’s been a constant companion…

…and when I woke up this morning I realized that I’m now down to the last one.

Something tells me the reality of this isn’t going to really sink in until next month.

Anyhoo, the next couple of weeks will be filled with more tests and frenzied preparation.

But tonight I’m planning to raise a vodka cran to my last period at my Farewell to Aunt Flow happy hour!

Wink.

Join the Conversation

  • http://cabaretic.blogspot.com nazza

    I wish you the best!

  • http://feministing.com/members/gretel/ Gretel

    I’m so sorry you have to have major surgery, but I wish you a speedy recovery!

    Have you every seen the documentary Period: The End of Menstruation??

  • http://feministing.com/members/khayducka/ Kierstyn Hayducka

    Good luck! You’re in my thoughts.

  • http://feministing.com/members/bnilsen/ Barbara Wells

    Hi-
    I’m sorry you have uterine fibroids. I was diagnosed with the same condition a few years ago and found that hysterectomy was my best choice. Its not an easy decision to make, but I can tell you that once I recovered my life changed for the better. I have the same nostalgia for my period but I am now free from pain, extreme blood loss and the cost of buying super absorbent tampax (ugh).

    I wish you the best for a speedy recovery from surgery. Be good to yourself before and after.

  • http://feministing.com/members/samll/ Sam Lindsay-Levine

    Best wishes on your upcoming surgery!

  • http://feministing.com/members/lezprof/ lglg

    I faced the same surgery for the same reasons four years ago, and I’m glad I did it. Turned out that in addition to the fibroids I had a mess of endometriosis that my doctor didn’t know was there until I was in surgery. I highly recommend the website http://www.hystersisters.com/ – a community of women who have had hysterectomies and offer a wealth of resources, support, etc.

  • http://feministing.com/members/lunacydress/ Lucy Sanders

    My cousin also had a hysterectomy due to fibroids, back in February. It was an intense recovery, but I think she’s glad it’s over. The amount they removed was unbelievable- your uterus is supposed to be 60 grams or so…they removed 614 grams of uterus and fibroid tissue. The doctor said it was as though she was 23 weeks pregnant. Luckily, they were still able to do the surgery
    laparoscopically, which made the recovery time less.

    Good luck!

  • http://feministing.com/members/franziakafka/ Franzia Kafka

    Good luck with this. You’re very brave. I was just diagnosed with moderate-to-severe cervical-cell dysplasia from HPV and the thought of having someone scrape cancerous cells out of my cervix, much less remove my entire uterus, freaks me the fuck out. But, as with all trials, you do what you can and leave the rest to the universe. We’ll be thinking of you.

  • http://feministing.com/members/radicalhw/ Shannon Drury

    I wonder if your vodka-cran could be renamed the Menstrual-tini? Would you need to add a twist of cotton, perhaps? I’ll drink one to your fast recovery.

    • nicolechat

      As will I. A round of menstrualtinis for all, on behalf of Sharkfu!

      Best of luck with the operation – major surgery is a frightening experience but remember that hysterectomies are somewhat routine and that you’re doing this so that you can feel better. :) We’ll all be thinking of you!

  • http://feministing.com/members/adamantine/ Adamantine

    Hope everything goes well. :-)

  • cynicaldilettante

    Best of luck with your operation–here’s to hoping for a speedy recovery and that you feel 1,000 times better after!

    I think our relationships with our periods are one of the strangest, and hardest to explain, experiences we can have–for example, mine have temporarily disappeared because of my birth control and while I enjoy not actually getting them, I feel disconnected from my body in some ways. I really appreciate your positive atittude towards your upcoming surgery and that you would take the time to reflect on the more esoteric outcomes from it.

    Keeping you in my thoughts and lifting a drink to you!