This doctor, that I was putting my future motherhood in the hands of, had lied to me. I was floored. I was disappointed. I was back at square one.
With JT by my side, I decided if I wasn’t going to freeze my eggs, I needed a hysterectomy immediately. I didn’t want to live another day with any potential of cancer reoccurrence active in my body. I scheduled a follow-up with my oncologist a week later and set a date for the hysterectomy — May 17, 2018.
Leading up to the hysterectomy, I sought out therapy. I knew what this change meant for me, and I knew I needed someone else to help me make sense of all of my emotions. After being let down by two doctors, I needed to strengthen my medical team — even for my mind and my heart.
I promptly set up my first session. She was welcoming, she specialized in trauma, she had a wonderful smile, and she was Black. I immediately felt at home while we pushed though each session uncovering all of the layers of why motherhood was so important to me and all of the traumas I’ve endured just to get here. She cried with me, laughed with me, and helped prepare me for the grief that could come after the surgery. She knew I would mourn a child that I never even conceived. I already had, and it was nice to know that concept wasn’t as crazy as I had been feeling.
On surgery day, I arrived with my mother and JT. I checked in and got my IV started while trying not to let my nerves get the best of me. To be honest, I just wanted it all to be over. A surgery that was supposed to be about four hours – became seven. The four scars I had from the first surgery – became 10. I remember waking up sore and disoriented, as I had expected, with my mom and JT filling me in on how long everything took. My doctor soon came in to say, “I’m so glad you followed your instincts. The remaining ovary had another borderline tumor – even bigger than your original one, but it’s okay because we got it all. You had a lot of scar tissue so it took a while and a lot of incisions, but it’s all gone now.”
I will never be able to describe what this feeling was like. Despite my pain, the 3-day hospital stay, and being poked and prodded — I felt free. I was relieved. The biggest decision I had made to date ended up being the right decision. I had so much fear that maybe I was rushing the hysterectomy, maybe I should get more opinions, maybe I should just wait, and all of that was put to rest. A tumor that never showed up on any of the tests that year had found a hiding place and continued to grow. Only God knows when I would have felt it or when it would have caused an issue, and by then, maybe it would have been too late. “Thank God I followed that nagging, impatient feeling within me to just move forward with the surgery.” is all I kept thinking to myself.