In 1998 I had finally finished researching enough to make a decision. I would have a hysterectomy. I had a few pesky fibroids but nothing that was bothersome to my life. I didn’t even know I had them as I had no symptoms. So why the need for a hysterectomy (removal of uterus)? I needed my ovaries removed. They weren’t diseased either. Shocking. I know.
A prophylactic hysterectomy is surgery that is chosen sometimes based on genetic make-up. Just in case.
My mother was 55 years old when she died of ovarian cancer. She was a first grade school teacher. Loved by hundreds of children and parents within the public schools of Texas. Her cancer was discovered quite accidently on a routine pap smear during her annual GYN visit. Cone biopsy showed no cancer of the cervix. A uterine biopsy proved clear as well. Exploratory surgery found ovarian cancer at a stage that hadn’t provided any symptoms at all to her personal health and yet proved too far along in that decade for much hope of survival.
One and a half years of chemo therapy. She died over Christmas break and our lives were forever changed.
Her mother had died in her early 40’s of what they believe now was related: breast cancer. And so my sister and I were encouraged to have a hysterectomy and oopherectomy by the time we turned 40 when the risk factors increased.
I waited until the summer I would turn 42. I was in excellent health by most standards. My recovery has been ordinary with the usual struggle at times to find a hormone therapy that worked properly.
It was out of this life changing decision that led me to where I am today. The summer I had my surgery was the summer I launched an online website for women. Women to talk to other women. Support. Help. Kindness. Hysterectomy Support by HysterSisters.
I spend my days energized by the simple notion that women desire to help other women. I am encouraged by the day to day kindness demonstrated by the 30+ volunteer moderators that make sure the discussions are helpful and our website remains organized and kind.
My hysterectomy changed my life. I now have the hope of seeing my children marry and to know my grandchildren someday. But it also provided a day to day opportunity I lovingly consider a ministry.
“Therefore if any [wo]man be in Christ, [s]he is a NEW creature: old things are passed away; behold, ALL things are become NEW.” 2 Corinthians 5:17