First, let me start by saying how very wrong my fitbit was this time around. I started cramping on Sunday and still no period. My doctor did a D&C during my procedure due to the polyps and adenomyosis in my uterus which can mess with the timing of my period. But I am oh-so-crampy! The Pac Man feels like he is back, with not as many knives but some that are longer and sharper.
My emotions are a rollercoaster. I am being kind of terrible with communication with friends, family, co-workers. I feel like I don’t have know what to say to them. I want to seem positive, I want to be positive, but Tuesday’s news just knocked me on my ass. I have to be honest about my reality, and I will be honest, but I have an immense amount of guilt around this disease, around all of my surgeries. Guilt that I know so many women face, a shame that makes us quiet about our intense struggles. My ten year step-son looked at me the other day after I was saying how guilty I felt about not being able to do more, to be at work, to help clean, and he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Don’t feel guilty, Mol-Mol. You didn’t ask to have Endometriosis. You did not choose to have Endometriosis.”
I think with any chronic illness it is normal to think What did I do to bring this on? What could I have done differently? Why me? Even though my doctor told me it is an inflammatory, genetic disease, I still have a tough time accepting that this happened to me, not that I brought it on. During therapy I had stated that I know I need to stay positive, and think how lucky I am that I do not have cancer, that it is not life threatening. The therapist stopped me right there, gently telling me that 3 surgeries since 2017 and all my pain is a big deal, and I should be able to let myself be upset about it. But how do I do that without the associated guilt and feeling that I should be able to do more?
I am strong (well, I was strong before this last surgery- all my muscles are gone!), I have been able to walk in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day 9 times, I work 10-12 hour days, I am on my HOA Board, I have been actively involved in my kids’ school. I try my best to be so many things to so many people, to be helpful and supportive, to donate my time and resources as I can. I had my second therapy session yesterday, and the therapist guided me towards that fact that I spread myself very thin, that I am the center to many people, and what do I do for myself? Especially with having a chronic, inflammatory illness that grows due to stress and other environmental factors.
My recovery will be a long road, because not only am I recovering from a pretty intense surgery, I am also on a road to self-discovery, to healing negative thoughts in my brain, to understanding what my body needs and when. Exploring whether or not fertility treatment is even a viable option for my family will be the next hurdle to tackle. But I am ready to face it, especially with my husband, family, doctors, friends, and therapist by my side.