A Changed Life

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

Houses

I was raised as an Air Force brat, moving every few years. While it doesn’t sound like a grand thing to other people, I look back on this way of life with gratefulness. No, its true, I do not have a “hometown” from my childhood. I even went to three different high schools. And even though we moved every three to five years, I can still remember each and every address with fondness.

Mostly.

A few years ago I traveled with my sister to a high school reunion in California. I had attended middle and one year of high school with these folks and it was such a blast to see faces I hadn’t seen in over 30 something years. Before we left, we managed to talk our way onto the base and found our house which happened to be slated for demolition along with the rest of the houses on Fitzgerald street.

We peeked into the windows to see the hardwood floors and the old kitchen cabinets. We had lived in this house for over 4 years. We had brought our black wienerdog home to this house. I had gone on my first date from this house. This house was full of wonderful memories to me and I stood looking at the old structure and was amazed at the good feelings I had for a house.

When dad was in Vietnam, we had moved off base and into another house. We tried to find that house too but managed to miss the roads as the streets seemed different and the landmarks changed. I think its probably brain fog that kept us from finding our way to that house on San Dimas.

And now, as I sit in my lovely home with air conditioning blasting down around me and my wiener dogs laying next to me, I am again reminded of the specialness of a house. A home. The comfortable place where we dwell. And live.

” In my Father’s house are many homes. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2