Guest Post by Desiree Bos
Today marks the first day of my last period ever. I’m 33.
I thought I’d go through the change like most women. Well, turns out I’m not most women. Instead of hot flashes and cold sweats, I’m having a hysterectomy.
I went for a routine check-up last year. Knees up. Feet-in-stirrups. Scrape-scrape. Six weeks later I got a call sayin’ I had abnormal cells. What does that mean, I asked. Could be precancerous, your cells have changed, probably nothing, they said.
This is my story.
I had pain for as long as I could recall. Menstrual pain. Ovulation pain. Intercourse pain. My doctor at the time brushed it off as “hormones,” slapped a Rx for The Pill in my hand, and sent me on my way.
Why was I being given hormones for pain?
Next I found myself in the waiting room. Knees up. Feet-in-stirrups. Scrape-scrape. This time there’s a camera. Don’t look, don’t look, don’t look. I look.
I see my cervix up close and personal. It’s an unhappy pink. It adorns red, angry blotches. I fixate.
A split second later the doctor takes two biopsies; no anesthesia, no warning. Cut, cut.
I’m sent home stuffed with a pad the size of a small raft and told to wait. Instead, I google. I can’t help it. I search and see images of cervixes just like mine, so angry and sick. I google cervical cancer. I cry.
10 days later: urgent, doctor, cancer, referral.
They’re going to use something they described like an electric cheese slicer and remove the cancer they see. Then they’re going to D&C my uterus to see if it spread.
I’m 32 and I have cervical cancer. I have cancer. FUCK.
I have to wait again. 14 days and they tell me it didn’t spread, it’s all “cheese sliced” out of me. I’m free. But, I have an option: hysterectomy.
My head says YES. No cramps. No PMS. No tampons. But my heart? Oh my heart. Silly, frail heart. My heart whispers… yes?
I met my husband after I divorced my son’s father. He a divorcee too, had two boys of his own. He had kids young and already had had a vasectomy and we weren’t having any kids of our own because we had already had our own kids and we already had three between the three of us and we didn’t want any more kids — did we?
Parting with my uterus, an ovary, and my fallopian tubes was an act of sealing our fate. I wouldn’t become a Mom again. Forever.
If I don’t, the cancer will come back.
More children? More Mom’ing? Or, cancer again?
I chose cancer-free. My surgery date is now booked. I have three more weeks to go and how does my body respond? I get my period. My last period.
So that is what I shall do. I will move forward, say goodbye to cancer and hello to my health.
Update: Desiree had a successful operation and is now living Cancer Free.
Photo Credit: Oscar Keys