I Will Still Be Woman After This......

I wanted this year to start off with a bang. I thought in the form of herbal wonders but I was mistaken. I wanted to post once a month at least here. Then the flu happened, the loss of our dogs, hospitalization with pneumonia, severe kidney infection, and sepsis, bouts of SEVERE anxiety, car issues, dental issues, bladder stones, sleep studies, abnormal paps, and the loss of my husbands job. Through all this I have managed to keep it together by always finding the golden lining in everything. Trying to not turn away from the light and fall into the shadows. It has been hard. But I am blessed with a bunch of beautiful friends and an amazing family to support me. THANK YOU  TO ALL OF YOU!!! Seriously, I could not have made it this far without you.

My "I will always be a woman" mimosa

This brings me to what happened on Thursday. I had an abnormal pap a few months ago followed by a biopsy. It came back with severe cervical dysplasia. So the doctor was going to do the LEEP procedure to remove them. (At the time I was very unaware that there was an herbal protocol for such a thing) I have had the LEEP done before when I had my second child and that doctor said they may come back one day. During my 10+ years without insurance the fear of what may be happening to my cervix was never too far from my mind. It always seemed to creep in when things were good and I was happy.

I was particularly nervous on Thursday. Almost like I knew something was going to happen in my subconscious. I went in and undressed. I slapped a grounding pad to my butt cheek and waited. All the while praying very VERY hard for the most benevolent outcome. The doctor came in, said hello, and explained that due to the fact I have had this procedure done before, the severity of the dysplasia, the fact we had finished having babies, and the BIG fact I usually can't afford insurance to keep up with the regular paps that I need I may want to really consider a hysterectomy.

Flashes.....flashes of pictures went through my mind. First ones were of my children. That if I say no to this I may say no to seeing their future. To grandchildren or weddings or graduations. Second was that I am not done here. I want to get in shape. I want to hike the Appalachian Trail. I want to know all the plants. My third thoughts were of the freedom from the fear that has followed me for 10 years.

So I pushed back the tears and said yes. I kept my mind focused on the task of planning what I needed to do and signing papers until I walked out the door. I felt myself crumbling. Filled with thoughts like you can't even do menopause right and will I still be the same women filled with passion. That is the moment I looked up and saw a mimosa tree filled with pink, puffy blooms. It looked so feminine. In that moment I felt the words:
You will still be woman after this 
So I thanked the tree and collected a flower to keep so I would never forget that. I drove home in tears. I felt alone. All I wanted was to talk to my mother and my babies, and my husband. After doing so I made sure to let everyone know I wouldn't be able to keep my commitments for the month of July and I posted about it on facebook. I was truly blown away by the supportive women and even men. Sharing their stories, advice, questions I should ask the doctors, and so much support. I was so grateful. 

There were women who talked about how much better they felt afterwards but I don't feel bad. In fact I have had a wonderful relationship with my uterus. I never had horrible cramps, never had extreme bleeding, and was always very regular unless I was pregnant. I never lost a child and carried three beautiful girls to term and gave birth without too much trouble. I know some women aren't that lucky. My cervix on the other hand has been the issue but even those weren't painful. Just a lot of worry. I am thankful for all my uterus and cervix did for me.

The next day I felt a little better until I realized how close the surgery was to my birthday. I have always had a thing about deaths near birthdays. So then I shifted from grieving about the loss of my uterus to the possible loss of my life. Oh anxiety how I wish we never met! My mind loves rushing into the arms of the WORST POSSIBLE OUTCOME! I tried to remember my dad was in a horrible motorcycle accident on his birthday and he is ok. That I am just not ready and won't let it happen. But there was fear all the same. So I focused on how I can say goodbye to my last period and my beautiful uterus. Then I saw a post by one of my herbal heroes, Stephen Buhner. He was discussing an herbal protocol for cervical dysplasia. Just saying to try this before going to have surgery. Had I seen this post between my abnormal pap and my biopsy I would have been all over it. But I only have insurance until the end of August. So if I were to try it and it didn't work for me there would be no time left for the surgery. I am however grateful for him sharing it because I may be able to help share this with other women I know or even my own daughters to help them not have to make this choice without options.

Yesterday I was a roller coaster. Fear, then guilt, then sadness, then anger, then doubt, and more fear. I think this is the way things are going to be for a while. Trying to plan out meals for after surgery, what to pack, what herbs are safe to take up until that point, rides to and from.... you know logistics. All while rolling through the emotions. It is tough. I feel like if I was a better herbalist this wouldn't be happening. How can I tell people to trust the plants and all their wisdom when I don't when it really counts. That if I truly stuck to my plant guns I would put on my big green panties and try the protocol. But I am not there. I am not strong enough to right now. I have been through the ringer this year and I have done some hard self work. I am tired but determined. I have more work to do. If I had more time things may be different. I am trying to keep my eyes on the golden lining here. See this as a rebirth. Not as a loss. But it still is and I want to share this in case it may help someone else. Someone who may not have a support system. Some other herbalist or natural healer who feels they failed in their mission. I also share this as a therapeutic release of things I want to get off my chest.

If someone you know is going through a hysterectomy or menopause. Listen to their story, offer whatever you can in support, but mainly listen and be there with empathy. Thank you for all those who have been there for me.


Comments

  1. This is such a wonderful post! My heart goes out to you as I read the tumultuous year you have had so far and knowing how hard you are on yourself to be there for everyone else and to be strong for everyone else. This post shows your insight and vulnerability, but it is also inspiring to others who will read this. Those having gone through similar circumstances and those facing them in their futures. You never fail to inspire and give hope with your honesty and sincerity. I am so blessed to have you in my life and I know, while this is another rough speed bump for you, that you will be in my life for a very long long time to come. You are always in my heart and prayers! sending you all my love and strength! Always here for you!

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    1. I am beyond lucky to have you in my life!! You are one of the rocks in my foundation! The thought that you are always with me in spirit helps me find my strength to get through things. Thank you for being in my life! <3

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