*Below are pictures of my tumor after my hysterectomy…if you do not want to see it, please do not scroll all the way down. I share this to spread awareness and tell my story as accurately as possible!*
October 2nd will forever be a difficult and emotional day for me. 2 years ago today, on October 2nd, 2015, I had my hysterectomy and lost my ability to conceive and carry a child.
I have mentioned this multiple times and it is also in my “About Me” section, but I had to have a hysterectomy in order to remove the cancerous tumor (Ewing’s Sarcoma) that grew and attached to my uterus. I had to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, removing my uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. I also had pelvic and periaortic lymph node dissection. This left me with a very large scar running from my vaginal area up passed my belly button. This was my only option due to the cancerous tumor being so large and rare. We also had to be extremely cautious removing it because it could have ruptured. I have no choice but to see my scar every day and I am still very self-conscious of it. Scars are reminders of what you have overcome and I am proud of my many scars, but this one is also a reminder of what I lost…what was stolen from me.
What makes this tragedy even worse is that the tumor was misdiagnosed as a pregnancy. The tumor expanded my cervix and created the appearance of a fetus. So in less than a week I started off thinking I was pregnant to learning I would never carry a baby. I felt like I was hit right in the face, how could something so strange like this be happening to me? I was not ready to have a child at 23, but I was ready to make the best of it. I looked at it as a blessing, because I had a chance of fertility struggles to begin with from my first cancer’s treatment. When I found out it was not a baby, but a tumor, I still had the chance of saving my ovaries to freeze my eggs so I can use a surrogate when I was ready. I went under anesthesia hoping for that outcome, but I did not get that. When I started to function a little better after surgery and realize that everything had to be removed with the tumor, I literally remember feeling my heart break. I could not even look down at my stomach, seeing the staples and feeling completely empty inside. For days I felt like I was missing a part of me. My docs told me I could not feel it physically that way, but it was a mix of mentality too that made me feel so empty. I felt terrible physically and emotionally. I felt less of a woman and ugly on the inside and outside. I had to cope with this loss and also wait to find out if I had cancer again.
I honestly don’t know how I did it, but I managed to put this loss in the back of my mind and focus on my cancer battle. Once I got through that, this loss all came crashing back into me. Anything can trigger the emotions: walking passed a baby, seeing baby clothes, or seeing women have children on social media. I will never get to take pictures of a baby bump. I will never get to buy maternity clothes. I will never get to feel a little human inside of me. I lost all of it and it absolutely sucks, but I wanted to live.
There is no recovery time for this kind of loss. Honestly, I do not think I will ever fully get over this. I know I will be a mom some day, but it still hurts my heart to know it will not be the way I always saw it happening. Many of us spend our lives planning to be a mommy one day and to have that dream torn away from you without getting a second to comprehend it is shattering. I question why these things happen, but I know God has a little baby out there for me.
Today I felt pretty numb and just kind of went through the motions of the day. The last few weeks have been tough for me and I noticed I am triggered more frequently. I am being mindful of all of this and working through it. Thank you to the individuals that reached out to me today, it meant a lot to me.
If you are someone who struggles with infertility, PLEASE reach out to me. It is so important to lend support to one another.
I will keep moving forward, just like I always have.
*The cancer-filled tumor that grew on to my uterus