It has now been a few weeks since I received the results of my biopsy. So much has happened in such a short amount of time. When I received the call that my biopsy results came back showing signs of abnormal cell (precancerous) I was temporarily in shock. As the doctor proceeded to explain to me that I had Complex Atypical Endometrial Hyperplasia and that it would require a hysterectomy, I remained calm and thanked her for the information. The very second I hung up and made eye contact with Don, I instantly broke down into tears. The poor guy had not idea what was going on because I wasn’t able to catch my breath enough through the tears to tell him what the doctor had said. I can only imagine the panic he must have been feeling while he waited for me to calm down enough to form complete sentences and tell him what was happening.
I was instantly put in touch with the oncology department and an appointment was set to meet with the doctor who would perform the surgery. The appointment was just a few days after I received the initial call, but it was enough time to do what you should NEVER do when you find out you have any type of illness or that you need a specific surgery. I did the dreaded internet research. I watched at least 20 YouTube videos about women that had gone through the surgery and their recovery. It was all a little disconcerting. Not that I expected to just have the surgery and be back to my normal self the next week, but watching these videos made me realize that this was a pretty major deal that I was about to go through. This triggered a hundred different questions in my mind, so I decided to write them all down as they came up so that I could ask the doctor during my appointment.
The appointment with the doctor went well and she was more than happy to answer all of my questions and Don’s. We discovered that I would have to have a complete hysterectomy (or what they call “radical”). Which means that they plan on taking out everything. Cervix, Uterus, Fallopian tubes as well as the ovaries. This brought up a whole new world of questions, because when you have your ovaries removed, your body goes into what they call surgical menopause. This can be apparently an aggressive menopause because your body does not have the time needed that it naturally has to go through all the premenopausal stages. I will technically be wheeled into surgery with ovaries and hormones and be wheeled out of surgery without them. The body will go into shock looking for it’s estragon and that could trigger some intense changes both physically and emotionally. I’ve heard menopause can exaggerate preexisting conditions like anxiety. I really worry about this, because my anxiety is already so extreme that if it were to intensify at the same time I am trying to physically recover from the surgery, this could be extremely challenging. So now we are faced with trying to figure out if I should do hormone replacement theory. At least temporarily while my body adjusts to the instant changes.
The surgery has been set for April 1st. I was doing fairly okay the first week. I even had people at work mention to me that they were surprised at my calmness, because if it were them, they would be super stressed out. I managed to hid my stress behind the fact that I now only had 3 weeks to get my workload in order before I would have to leave for 4-6 weeks. I am a one person department, so it’s not like I have someone that I can just hand my work over to and walk out the door. Someone is going to need to be trained (crash course training). I also have to make sure that I take care of all the pending issues and the ongoing projects that I am involved with. To be honest, I didn’t really have time to be stressed about the actual diagnosis or surgery. I was to busy being stressed about work.
Now that we are only two weeks away from surgery, I am starting to not do so well. Is to much information a bad thing? I almost feel like it is, at least for me. As much as I tell myself to stop looking up things or watching these crazy videos, I just am compelled to do it. I have now frightened myself about the surgery, the recover and what life is going to hold over the next few months. I’ve had several surgeries before and this is the fist time that I am actually afraid. Maybe it’s because my last two surgeries I was in such pain that all I wanted them to do was go in and remove the problem (gallbladder and appendix). This is different though. Other then some minor symptoms, I feel fine. I feel no pain or discomfort. I don’t have fibroids or endometriosis, which I know is the cause for many people to have a hysterectomy. Other then those pesky abnormal precancerous cells, I’m actually pretty normal. Which maybe makes the logical side of the brain think, “why are you doing this when you feel fine?”. I understand that if left untreated this will turn into cancer. Which of course I don’t want. So I know the surgery is necessary. I’m just struggling with the fears of everything that is about to transpire. The fear of the unknown is a terrible thing to try and conquer. I am so grateful that I have Don and my wonderful parents to help me through this, but it is not helping the fear and anxiety. I am just downright scared.
I plan to documents my journey in hopes of helping myself (writing my emotions is very therapeutic for me), so here is to the start of this scary journey. Thank you for all of those that will stick through this with me and provide words of encouragement. I have a strange feeling I am going to need an excessive amount of support throughout this process.