Birth Health Life


Saturday, 18 January 2014


I saw the gynaecological oncologist and there were no surprises.  Hysterectomy.  Ovaries and tubes and cervix to go.  Heavy on the relish.  Sorry, its just that despite Mr M being incredibly wonderful and supportive, and the gynae chap being very approachable, its still just so surreal to be discussing my interior like this. There's lots to process, but I do feel unbelievably positive about it all, and I feel excited to see the person I will be after this operation.
 I am sorry to lose my womb, and awed that she is sacrificing herself for my well being, having contained the cancer and warned me loud and clear that something was wrong.  She has been the repository for all my feelings of self-loathing and fear, all my unworthiness, resentment and guilt.  She has protected me from myself by containing my worst and most self-destructive forces.
On the down side, I'm utterly shit-scared of the anaesthetic, and the after-effects of it.  I'm also apprehensive of the sudden removal of the organs secreting what hormones I had left...I will be thrust straight into a surgical menopause.  What will that look like?  (On the forums it looks like 23 separate threads all with the word 'meltdown' in the titles)
That's another thing, how will sex be afterwards?  I recall fondly Mr Mac and I, just a month or two ago.  I want to do it one last time with all my bits in place still, but there's pain and tenderness...I don't know.

I'm not too worried.  Things could be a whole load worse, and face it, I'm like a rat in a trap, there's nowhere else to go with this...there's no point in adding worry to the pot.  All will be well.  All is well.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014


It's quiet and cold at home, and I have plenty to be getting on with, but it feels like I'm waiting for something.  I'm up to date with the doctors, and on a new round of pills, and she has confirmed that she can't find a reason for my constant nagging back pain.  I must have just strained it, doing all this laying about.
My biopsy result was 'atypical hyperplasia'.   The GP said she didn't know what that meant, the consultant would explain, and that an appointment should be through soon.  I left it at that.
The dog and I went for a walk across the farmland in brilliant winter sunshine, the air as cold as a steel knife.  We made it a long walk, and as I put my key in the door and picked up the letter I thought of hot tea.  Kettle on, boots off, letter open.  Come and discuss your biopsy results with the gynaecological oncology team.  Oh.  Ok.  I guess I need to Google 'atypical hyperplasia', which must be cancerous or pre-cancerous cells.
I know this sounds mad, but after the initial shock came relief.  My body relaxed, knowing that finally, someone had heard and understood its cries for help.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, 6 January 2014

The Invisible Woman

I am truly in a wilderness, an inhospitable wood, or a barren desert.  I'm lost.  Just outside in my peripheral vision, on line, I can see the folk I know getting on with their lives and activities.
Once I was part of all that stuff.  My work was crazy busy, I met hundreds of people every week.  Then the redundancy, followed by the shame of not being able to bounce back like a person is supposed to.
Everyone else has moved on.  Gradually, over the last year, I have faded from their vision, and from their minds.  Hell, I seem to have faded from my own vision, and my own mind.  In being scared to commit to anyone emotionally (Jesus I even manage to wriggle out of going next door for a cuppa when she asks me, and I really really like her) I seem to have rendered myself invisible, even when I'm right in the middle of the action.
After 15 years of school runs, school plays, school concerts, school friends, school gossip and school everything, suddenly no-one goes to school any more.  I couldn't wait to be free of the place, but in becoming so, I realise that it was an anchor to my life.  As was the presence of my offspring at home...working or at college, they needed feeding at the end of the day.  Now  there's only one left, and one occasional returnee.
I should feel so free.  The group I performed with split, and the new splinter implored me to join.  The group I belonged to before them said 'come back...come to a rehearsal...just come out for fun...any time...' And a fourth group offered, actually approached me and offered.  I was so flattered, but said I was taking a break.  Why?
I went to Church!  ME!  Mrs Irreverent Smoking Drinking Swearing Pagan Wife actually went to my local church and sang hymns and listened to a preacher.  I prayed with my community, and took tea and biscuits among the octogenarian population of my village most of whom were more vital, fit, engaged and involved than I.
I spent a Saturday sobbing in my car in the little car park which served the woodlands next to which was my childhood home.  Over Christmas my forester son came home and we had walked these woods, me telling him of my childhood camps and he identifying wild service trees, and Douglas firs, and Jew's ear fungus.  With my boy gone back to his home, I looked through steamy car windows into my forest and in the absence of my parents or childhood friends, it seemed to contain my essence.
Down the road was the big supermarket where mum and I shopped and drank coffee every Thursday of her final year.  I drove there and got a cup of water for my pills.  I sat there, like a bag lady, alone and invisible to myself whilst the rest of the world buzzed around me.  It would be nice to work here, and I had tried to get a job but failed.  I'll keep on trying.

I need a break,  I need a life, I need to give, and to receive, and probably not take the whole thing so seriously.
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