I have 52 drafts in my blog. 52 times that I opened my blog and then gave up because I just couldn’t figure out what to say. That seems to be the story of my life. Eager on the start only to fizzle out and quit. Follow through has always been my weakness. Procrastination always gets the better of me and I resign the attempt to the black hole of “later”. I think it would be fair to say that one of my bigger flaws is always thinking there’s going to be more time. There always seems like there is so much time.
Until time runs out.
So here I am. Three years, three months, two weeks and two days from the last time I was able to finish a thought. It’s hard to believe how much has happened in what seems like such a short amount of time. My daughter is almost grown now. I’ve been promoted several times at work. I bought a house. I’ve made some incredible friends. I’ve been able to manage the depression and anxiety without medication. I’ve helped rescue a lot of dogs. That’s not to say that the past three years hasn’t been without its challenges. The kid’s dad stopped paying child support. My mom and I had a huge falling out and we’re just now starting to speak to each other again. And I got sick.
Since 2003 I’ve been treating life like one big “How to be an Adult” check list. I went to school. I got degrees. I started my career. I bought a home. I tried finding a partner, but failed too hard at dating and crossed that off the list. The next thing to address was my health. For years I’ve put my health on the back burner. Circling that black hole of “later”. I was always too busy and too broke to go ask a doctor why certain things were happening. But I was never too busy or broke to google my symptoms and diagnose myself with a hundred different cancers. Have a symptom? WebMD has a cancer for that. I went to a few doctors and got the same prescription to “take birth control pills and lose weight”. I’d start a pack of pills but then the side effects would kick in or the money would run out and I’d give up. My symptoms would get worse, I’d get depressed. I’d gain more weight, get more depressed and give up even harder.
Then my symptoms got worse. Eventually I couldn’t ignore it anymore so I found a new doctor. One very painful endometrial biopsy later and learned I have Complex Atypical Hyperplasia. There’s several different types of hyperplasia. I have the one that’s almost cancer or already cancer. Turns out WebMD wasn’t too off base.
So here I am. Two days from surgery. A total hysterectomy. I just turned 36. I thought there would be more time. I thought I would get my life together enough to meet someone to build a family with. I thought I could have another chance at motherhood. I thought I could give Jessica a sibling to look after her when I’m dead and she’s elderly. I thought if I did the right things and checked off the boxes on my list I’d reach that point where I had enough to offer someone and get a chance at happy ever after.
I thought I’d have more time.
And then time ran out.
I’ll never have a chance to experience a pregnancy that’s met with “congratulations” instead of “what are you going to do?” and “it’s not mine”. I won’t get to feel a life grow inside of me again. It’s easy to convince yourself that you don’t want something when you just think it’s not going to happen. I’ve spent a long time telling myself I didn’t want to have more babies because I was scared to have another kid with Down’s. But when the door actually closes, when the bridge actually burns, suddenly it starts feeling like the only thing in the world that you want. Suddenly everyone is pregnant and there are babies everywhere. People laugh when you say you want another baby. They dismissively say “no you don’t” like they have a clue and it hurts. You stand in front of the mirror pushing your stomach out remembering what it was like to have a baby bump, running your hand over the memory. You pour over your only child’s baby pictures and wonder how the hell 17 years went by so damn fast. Where did all the time go?
I’ve found myself falling deeper into my well of self pity drowning in the sadness of what I’m losing. On the outside I make jokes and laugh and pretend that I’m okay. But inside my house when everyone is asleep I fall apart. I get sad and angry that I have to go through this. It seems cruel and unfair. I get scared thinking about all the things that could go wrong. I panic wondering will happen to my daughter, my dogs and my house if I don’t wake up from this. Then the loneliness kicks in when there’s no one to hold my hand or hug me and tell me that this is all in my head and that everything is going to be okay.
Tonight is the last night I’m allowing myself to be sad, angry and scared. Tonight when everyone is asleep, I’ll lay in bed reminding myself how incredibly blessed I am. Instead of letting my brain think about about what I’m losing or what could go wrong, I’m going to focus on everything that I’m gaining by having this surgery. I’ll no longer be in constant pain. No more periods that send me to the emergency room. I won’t be at risk for endometrial, uterine or ovarian cancer anymore. No more painful biopsies. I wont be as tired all the time and my brain won’t be as foggy. I’ll be on the right mix of hormones so I can better manage my PCOS.
Tonight I’ll wipe away the tears. I’ll take a deep breath. I’ll fall asleep knowing that even though time has run out on me having more children, this surgery is going to make sure that I have more time to spend being a mother to the daughter that I already have.
And at the end of the day, I think that’s a win.