Friday, May 8, 2015

A "Periodic" Announcement

This post comes with a TMI warning. I will be sharing way "too much information" here, so guys (and maybe some gals?), you have been forewarned :-)

This blog has always been a bit of mental therapy for me, and I don't hold a lot back. So I confess that I've been pretty stressed out for the past three weeks. It started with my doctor finding a pelvic mass during a routine physical. Though she felt that it "might" be confined to the uterus, I had to have a full abdomen and pelvis CT scan, and then after that, an MRI -  to make sure that there was nothing else involved. And by "nothing else", I mean cancer. Yeah - the scary word.  I may have mentioned before how much of a control freak I am, so as you might imagine, all of that waiting and uncertainly has been immensely stressful for me. Thankfully, there doesn't seem to be any of that "anything else", but just a big a grapefruit-sized "fibroid" tumor. At least we are hoping that's all it is, but won't know for absolutely positive until it comes out.

So, I need a hysterectomy. And not the little laparoscopic, doing better in 2 weeks kind.  This will be the whole enchilada. A minimum of 4 weeks off work, maybe 6, and who knows how much longer before a gun belt full of lead feels "good" around my hips.

I'm waiting to hear from the surgery scheduling lady to get an exact date - probably in  June - but meanwhile, unfortunately, I'm going to be pulling out of the big matches I had scheduled for this summer. I'm pretty disappointed, as you might imagine. But life throws curveballs sometimes, and there's nothing to be done but deal with it. I'm just thankful that thus far it doesn't look cancerous. There's still a small chance though, so that's why we're doing this "soon" and not playing the "watch and wait" game.

The upside is that I won't be cycling monthly anymore. When you are over 50 and have been doing this for almost 40 years, that sounds like a good deal. I think at this point I'd rather have surgically-induced hot flashes and mood swings than change one more tampon in a nasty shooting match porta-pot.

Seriously. I have always been a "suck-it-up" kinda gal. I have dealt with menstruation in Girl Scout camp outhouses, in the weeds along mountain biking trails, during three medical service trips to Guatemala, and one to Honduras, in the deer camp outhouse, the aforementioned nasty match port-a-pots, and even on the side of an extinct cinder cone volcano. But I'm ready to be done.

I'm ready to have sanitary products disappear from my range bag, my work tote, random coat pockets and even my car console. I'm ready to stop entering question marks into my phone calendar as to when I might expect the next one, and I'm ready to stop packing for every eventuality when I leave town. I'm also ready to give my kidney function a break from the 800mg of motrin at a time that I needed to pop in order to keep moving during those times.

Yeah, I'm a little scared. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't. I've had three C-sections, so I know this is gonna suck. At least for a while. But I know I'm not the first or the last to go through it, and I'll be looking forward to having it over and getting on with my life... And think of the extra space in my range bag I'll have! :-D
Thanks for reading. I'll keep ya posted.


  1. I have only just found your blog a few weeks ago nevertheless I wanted to write my thoughts: that sucks! That's a lousy hand to be dealt. You don't seem like the type of person that takes to being laid up easily. It might be the toughest part of the whole process is for someone as active as yourself to be suddenly curtail her activities. However, in time it might afford you the time hone mental skills. There are often things people put off for the more immediate and pressing concerns of day to day or even week to week necessities. As a pediatrician, you possibly have a mountain of journals awaiting your attention. You can catch up on nonmedical reading, trying learning a new skills (knot tying, whittling, oragami, photographing, etc.), catch up on old correspondence, work on dry firing, write an article for Pediatrics News arguing a pro-second amendment stance.
    I cannot imagine how scary this must be for you but you seem to the type of person with enough grit to wring out more positives than no more menstrual periods from this situation. Good luck and us posted.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Anthony. Truth be told, I've got plenty of things to keep me busy and sedentary for a few weeks. Multiple sewing projects have been waiting patiently, I have continuing education to still finish, there's the ever present blog, and I always have dirty guns to be cleaned. I'll have no excuse to be bored :-)