After my post Wake Up, I had an amazing response with lots of words of comfort from people at least attempting to understand. One person in particular, who has been an amazing rock throughout my whole cancer journey knew only too well what I was talking about. For many people she is @HelenW71, to me she is my Geordie Hero and to Lia she is simply Mam.
Ladies and Gents, I give you Helen…
Blog Therapy Part 1 – No going back
I’m very honoured that Fran has allowed me to guest-post on her blog. I’m worried about letting her down – she has a gift for writing which I don’t. Fran knows that I’ve been struggling with some issues lately & following her last post, Wake Up, I texted her, we chatted back & forth and she suggested I guest-post as a kind of therapy. So here goes for part one….
Fran & I have a couple of things in common – we both have 1 child & we both won’t be having any more. We also both know we are extremely lucky to be Mums; we’re very blessed. What we don’t have in common is age (I have almost 15 years on Fran), cheekbones (hers are amazing) and I had no plans to have any more children anyway (I am disabled, I was pushing it to have one).
Ironically it was having a child in the first place that eventually led to my infertility. I had a fibroid that grew so much during pregnancy that it was the size of my daughter Lia’s head when she was born. The fibroid settled & caused no problems for almost 2 years after her birth. Then I randomly woke up early one morning with severe abdominal pain & 18 days later left hospital minus a womb after an emergency hysterectomy.
When I was 1st admitted the doctor asked me how I felt if I ended up with a hysterectomy. “Fine” I said, “Given my age & health we’re lucky to have one child, we have no plans for anymore”. A week later when that possibility was delivered as a reality I had a massive wobble. No more babies. Ever. Never ever. I suddenly felt completely different knowing for certain I would never have another child.
I was surprised at just how upset I was about it all – how upset I still am at times. It’s the finality of it I guess. Planning to have no more children (for whatever reason, even those which you have little or no control over) just does not feel the same as physically not being able to have any more children. Personal circumstances change – health, relationships & finances can all change. Decisions can be reversed, but there’s no reversing the damage from Fran’s radiotherapy or my hysterectomy. There is absolutely, categorically, no going back. And honestly? Having even the tiniest possibility or that element of choice taken out of your hands makes you feel cheated and upset at times.
Here’s an example of something that didn’t bother me prior to the hysterectomy and now does. Every 4 months I have pain-relieving spinal injections done under a continuous x-ray machine. It’s the same hospital I had my hysterectomy at, yet each time I go down to theatre the radiographer asks me to sign a form that I’m not pregnant (the x-ray exposure would pose a risk to a foetus). I explain I’ve had a hysterectomy & they still tell me I need to sign the form anyway due to regulations and because I’m “of childbearing age”. Now I’m in no way the medical expert in that room, but even I know my bloody uterus isn’t going to grow back. But I swallow the lump in my throat, don a stiff upper lip & sign the sodding form.
And don’t get me started on the well meaning comments from strangers – if I had a pound for every time I’ve been asked “Time for another?” I wouldn’t need to buy a lottery ticket. Sometimes it’s really hard not to well up. Thank God I wear contact lenses, they’re a great excuse for watery eyes.
I don’t ever want to be tiptoed around by friends & family – I’m genuinely happy for those welcoming additions to their families, though it will always be a little bittersweet for me that it will never be our turn again. I count my blessings every day that I have Lia, she brings me such happiness & maybe that’s part of the reason it hurts just as much as it does – I know exactly what I’m missing out on too. I worry about her growing up as an only child, that she’ll miss having a sibling. But I’m determined to give her the best quality of life I can, which brings me onto my next post….
If you would like to take part in Blog Therapy, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org x
Photo Credit – Google Image search