Oh the feels
MAD. ANGRY. SAD. GUILT. RESIGNATION. THANKFUL. HOPE. ADMIRATION. LOVE.
Those are just some of the feelings that ran through my mind today as I sat in a waiting room at a cancer center to see the doctor who would remove my reproductive organs, in order to give me a better life.
MAD. Because I’m thirty six-years-old and I’m forced to make that decision that no woman wants to make. It doesn’t matter whether she’s had children or not. Whether she’s undecided about what her future holds or what she really wants. The idea that I'm allowing someone to take out the the parts of me that make me a woman is hard. Why me? Why should I have to lose my ability to have a child when it’s one of my oldest and dearest dreams?
ANGRY. I’m angry. So angry. Because I have allowed myself and my dreams to get in the way of taking care of my body all these years. I did what I thought was best for me. As it turns out, the choices I made were the wrong ones. Unfortunately, my choice has caused long term damage to my body that I’m now desperately trying to repair. I hate it.
SAD. Sadness is the overwhelming feeling that dictates my every move. I don’t want to talk to people or be around them. I don’t want to tell the people I love that I have to have “something else” done. I don’t want to be that girl who has all the health problems. But I do. I’m sad because at eighteen I decided I would wait until thirty five and re-evaluate my options based on current medical technologies and they haven’t changed much.
GUILT. Today these are the worst feelings of all. Because cancer knows no color, no age, no demographics. It invades our bodies and tries to steal our hopes and our dreams. We strive to find solace and love all while trying to understand how our bodies can betray us at such a cellular level. I sat watching all of these people fight to live. They were filled with hope. And I felt guilt. The guilt was because I was mad, sad, angry and so much more because I didn't have a chance to have a baby, my baby. The reality was harsh. The room was filled with those fighting for their lives and I wasn’t really. Not in the immediate way that they were. And I felt guilty for it.
As I sat in the waiting room, in one of the premier hospitals in Texas, waiting for hours to see the oncology surgeon that would give me a full hysterectomy, my heart beat out of my chest as I became a quiet observer. When I looked around there were so many people sitting there, mostly surrounded by their loved ones. Some had lost their hair. Some had not. Some were in wheelchairs or using walkers. Some had tired eyes. But what I saw the most was the love and support from those sitting by the patients side. I watched the quiet moments. The small laughs, the random conversations with strangers about nothing and everything at the same time. There was a unity I’d not felt before because the other people in the room, they understood the journey each person there would have to take, even when no words were spoken.
RESIGNATION. I’m resigned to what is going to happen. God has a plan and a journey for my life. I believe in my journey so much that I tattooed, “trust the journey” on my foot. (Yep, for those of you keeping count, that’s two)
THANKFUL. After I sat in the waiting room for hours today, I’m especially thankful for what health I do have. I’ve had challenges, but we all do. Overall I’ve got great health. I’m not visiting this physician to fight for my life like some of the others. I’m trying to prevent getting to that stage. Because the reality is, if I don’t do something now, it’s likely I would be a newcomer to this special group of amazing, resilient individuals, that no one really wants to be a part of.
HOPE. You probably know by now, that I relate almost everything to a book I’ve read or am reading, and this is no different. The books I read give me hope. Hope for love, for a better life and that I’m strong enough to overcome anything the world throws at me. In a world full of sadness, meanness and evil, hope is something that we should hold tight too. I’m hopeful that the physician has the skills and knowledge to do what he promises and that when I come around from other side life and my health is going to be pain free and I’ll finally have my energy and my life back.
ADMIRATION. The love, laughter and support in that clinic today reminded me that there are others out there fighting an even harder battle than I am. I admire them for sitting there, with smiles on their faces and not giving up. I didn’t see one person who appeared to be giving up. There were people in pain, and tired, but none who were ready to give up and that inspired me. So thank you to all of the men and women who are fighting. #FUCancer
LOVE. I may be single and in my thirties but I’m surrounded by so much love through my friends and family. When I decided to move back to Texas, it almost felt like a noose around my neck. Was I a failure to come home again? In my mind it felt like it. In reality, it’s part of my journey. My ability to have a support system when the times get rough. To meet new and amazing authors and friends all over the state. To share my love with those who need it and I don’t regret one moment of it.
My friends and I talk about “all the feels” when reading books. The kind of feelings where your heart beats out of your chest and the silent tears run down your face uncontrollably. That’s what today was for me. So many emotions. Such a hard day. Please remember, in the middle of whatever chaos you’re going through, that you are loved and to trust the journey.
For me, I’m trying to have faith that it only gets better from here. I know that my dreams of having a child biologically will be changed, but I hope that it doesn’t mean my dreams of being married and finding the forever kind of love are gone now too. I know adoption is an option and there are so many children in this world who need homes that it’s always been in the back of my mind. I have so much love to give and I want to. I just need a sign. A sign on how to move forward. Because right now, I feel lost.
I want to urge anyone out there who’s suffering or fighting a similar battle not to hide under the darkness or the shadows of infertility. Share with those you love. If we don’t talk about it then it becomes taboo. Not every woman’s body will do the same things. Yes, we’ve heard for years not to discuss a woman’s body. That they are made for having children. Reality check people. We are all different. We have different thoughts, emotions, opinions and so much more. We are all created different. If we don't share what's going on with our bodies then the women who come after us will continue to hide in shame and live with the stigma of infertility. Being a woman is hard enough without hiding what's going on inside of us. Please let's support each other. Hold our hands together and know that talking with someone about our struggles may help both ourselves and someone else to heal.
And if you’re a man reading this, talk to your wives, sisters, friends, and daughters. Don’t let them feel afraid to love or be loved. The end result is nothing but hurt and sadness.
If I can spare one woman the shame, hurt and despair I felt battling this demon, then I believe I’ve done good by sharing my own heartbreaking and personal journey with you.