I have named my fibroid Francis. I figure I spend a lot of time thinking about her, she should have a name.
Francis is 7 cm. She sits comfortably (for her) on the top of my uterus. My uterus that measures about 7.6 cm in length. She’s really made herself at home, even embedded herself within the lining. Her particular placement makes it so there is pressure on my bladder, so that’s fun to think you have to pee more frequently than you actually do. So not only is she constantly reminding me she’s there with that nonsense but once a month she makes what has been since I was 13 an unpleasant 4-5 days now an acutely painful 7-9 days.
Why yes, Francis’s presence makes my period worse- the cramps, the bleeding, all of it. Oh the bleeding! Day two requires high alert status, armed with a pack of super tampons and a pad, because Francis really amps it up once she gets her groove. So much so that I wake up in the middle of the night in a panic thanks to the heavy flow. Maxi pads come with a certain level of indignity.
On top of that, I keep thinking what’s the point of keeping my uterus when all it does is give me a monthly reminder that it can’t do the one thing it’s meant to do which is to grow a baby. I am planning on talking to my doctor about having a hysterectomy next year, at least the one that takes the uterus but leaves the ovaries. It was recommended by my gyno-oncologist during the cancer summer just to be extra precautious. Even though my paps have all come back negative with no signs of HPV since my last surgery, the monthly hassle of Frances makes me think “why not?”. Maybe it will help me close that chapter completely. No babies coming out of this body. The end.
That still makes me sad. I don’t know if I will ever not be sad about it. I will never not be surrounded by Facebook ultrasound photo announcements and baby bump Instagram pictures and images of adorable children who resemble their parents. My current coping mechanism is to hide those folks on my social media when it gets to be too much and to visit those sites less. Maybe someday that part won’t be so hard? That’s my hope. It gets a little better as time goes by but it’s still a sharp sting. I continue to worry that people will think I’m a bitch for having to hold my boundaries to protect myself but I’m less and less concerned about what they think. Taking care of me doesn’t mean I don’t care about them or am not happy about their baby.
I’ve been thinking about starting up a support network for couples experiencing this particular situation- those that can’t conceive for whatever reason and are grieving the loss. I don’t know of anyone would want to meet up and talk but I know it helped us to do so with another couple recently and it got me thinking. It’s a pretty overwhelming and lonely place to be. Maybe meeting more people like us would give us community and a sense of belonging?
Anyhow, hello from me and from Francis. (That bitch.)
Great writing as always…book title…” Francis and me…a journey”
I always did hate Francis. She IS a bitch. And so needy. She’s awful. I suppose there’s no chance she’d run away and join the circus? I think you are well within your rights to clear the neighborhood and potentially have her drama out of your life. So long Francie – don’t let the door hit you on the butt on your way out!
[The support group sounds amazing but will you find somebody else to facilitate? It could make a difference long run to have running that group on your plate, as opposed to having the group be a source for you to turn to.]
I love that you have given her a name! It provides a bit of levity to a very not funny situation. Wishing you the best!
About a year ago, I too discovered I had a 9 cm fibroid. It was on top and outside of my uterus, and jjuuusssttt ever so slightly invading the lining. My periods were painful, heavy and crazy long! My gyno prescribed me these amazing non-narcotic pills that made my monthly pal so amazingly better! They are called Cyklokapron. I took them the first 3 days of my cycle and it literally cut the bleeding in half!
I chose to get the surgery to take the beast off, and it was worth it for me. The idea of this thing on my lady bits freaked the shit out of me. My periods are now manageable and much less painful.
As for worrying if people think you’re being a bitch for choosing to deal with things your way…..Even though people can be annoying, I think most of them are good and understand and deeply care for your well-being. Those who don’t understand, well, to put it bluntly, fuck em!
Long time listener…first/second time commenter 🙂 It’s wonderful to hear your words and have you back on the Interwebs, Sizzle. You’ve been missed. I think you have the absolutely right idea. You have to take care of you and if that means hiding the baby chronicles on your newsfeed and what not that’s totally fine. You need to heal and feel better and that’s most import. You do you! I think they say that somewhere in Pretty Woman because in my mind, I see cleaned up Julia Roberts saying it. Anyways love and abrazos from the internet.
Oh god that sucks. I’m really sorry, sis. And I gotta say that while I understand the reason for giving it a name, that really weirds me out. I’m now ascribing a face to it. And that’s just disturbing. It’s like a Mucinex commercial with the mucus in Floridian lounge wear.
I’ve always been quite cysty and definitely name my cysts. Either with O names (due to their ovarian residence) or C names, for obvious reasons. Some of my faves: Cyrus, Othello. And overshare, I also recently named a hemorrhoid. Heinrik.
All of that information aside, I’m so sorry that so many hard things are happening/have happened to such a wonderful person. You will, as always, handle things in the best way for you and find a way forward that works. As my friend Max once said, “you do what you need to do and the people who love you will come to the party either way”
Putting what you need first, at the top of your list, is important no matter how it’s perceived as others. I know for a fact your heart is bigger than others and you give so much love, allow yourself the space to do what you need.
Self-care is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. Big love.
“Taking care of me doesn’t mean I don’t care about them or am not happy about their baby.”
Yes. So much yes.
Also, I think it’s amazing if you start up a support group – if you need guidance for that (or want to be associated with them), Resolve is a great place to start. Sending you love. xoxo
There’s something about naming stuff that somehow makes it less awful, isn’t there? One of my nieces had a growth near her tonsil that made her neck bulge and we named it Bertha. It just seemed to be easier to talk about when it had a name.
I love the idea of a support group. I think there are a lot of people out there who would really benefit from it. You should totally start one.
Whatever you do, make sure you get that bitch Francis out. I named mine Fibroid Android (the one I had in my breast). When I told my breast doctor that, she got a chuckle out of it. In any case, Fibroid Android is all gone.
For one, don’t go through physical pain for the rest of your life because of that wench. There’s no need to live in that kind of pain (I know it well, including the excessive bleeding).
Support group actually sounds awesome. Being able to talk to people who understand exactly what you’re going through is such a huge help.
And as for all those baby/kid pics…lady I’m sick of them myself. I skip over them on facebook and instagram now. Can’t stand it anymore for reasons I am unable to share in public.
I don’t think there’s anything bitchy about protecting yourself and your emotional state. If that means, hiding/not visiting certain sites, so be it. I think if people were truly your friends or even empathetic they would understand that it’s just hard to deal with. If I was pregnant I wouldn’t think twice if I just didn’t hear from you. I would know it would be painful and that first and foremost you have to protect your heart. I can’t imagine the pain you are feeling and the grieving that you doing. But you should always do what you need to for your health and everyone should be supportive of that.
I not only had one Francis, I had a whole sorority of them. I had my hysterectomy as a 40th birthday present to myself, and it was the best decision. Ever. My only regret is that I got talked into leaving my ovaries. Turns out they stopped working after the surgery anyway (according to the hot flashes and hormone tests a year later). Now they sit in there like ticking time bombs, and I worry about ovarian cancer. I wish I’d taken them out. I don’t take estrogen replacement because my mom had estrogen-receptive breast cancer, plus one of the risks of the drug is ovarian cancer! So I’m 45 with the hormones of a 65 year old woman, but I’ve never felt better in my life! I even lost 40 pounds, and kept it off. Check out Hystersisters.com for lots of info and support groups….. I found a lot of help there before and after my surgery. Good luck.
I know I’ve mentioned this to you before, but Life Without Baby is a great support site for those of us who haven’t been able to have kids. It’s an international community with resources, forums and a blog. There’s also the UK group, Gateway Women (although it’s more international now, too). Resolve is a good place to start, too.
We non-Moms are legion, Sizzle, and we are becoming more vocal about our experiences.
I think having a group to talk is a great idea! And then you will hear that they are all hiding that stuff they don’t want to see and that there is nothing wrong with that!