Originally written October 4, 2017:
Mentally I was not ready to accept that I needed another surgery for my endometriosis. I had my last deep excision surgery in 2007 which is just over 10 years ago, but I just kept hoping that the pain I was feeling was something else. I had colonoscopies, went to Urologists, went to my regular OBGGYN and tried all different therapies – conventional and alternative. It wasn’t until my Endometriosis Specialist told me that I needed to face my fears that I forced myself to look in the mirror and take a deep breath and decide to move forward with surgery.
I was going to wait until January or February because that is when it would be slower at my job and so I tried going on the birth control pill as a “band aid” until then. For whatever reason, the pill created more problems but this time having to do with my bladder. I had symptoms of a UTI but all of the cultures were negative. I went to 2 different Urologists and they both felt it was hormonal and had to do with the pill and suggested it was endometriosis on my bladder. I shared this with my specialist who told me that he sees many women with this kind of situation. I didn’t know what to do because the symptoms were really interfering with my life. Everywhere I went I had to make sure I knew right where the bathroom was, when I was driving I would get anxious if I got stuck in traffic because I could only go about 30 minutes and then would need to urinate again.
Unfortunately my mother has been fighting a cancer called Multiple Myeloma for many years and treatments have not been doing their job, so I decided I would ask one of my best girlfriends if she could take me to get my surgery in November rather than waiting until January/February. We worked it out around her schedule and mine with me thinking that at the time we were going to schedule it, my job would be slow enough where it would be OK for me to be out a week. She was going to be able to help me recover and help my husband with the kids if he needed the help.
My mom underwent an intense chemotherapy treatment which did not work enough to give her much downtown and so she is going to go through a trial using immunotherapy (follow Team Janet Strong on FB to learn more about her journey if you’re interested). If all were to go according to plan she would be admitted into the hospital in early November which meant that I had to decide whether or not I was going to cancel my surgery and wait until after my mom went through this trial, or schedule it sooner if there was a date available.
I called my Endometriosis Specialist, Dr. Masahide Kanayama at New York Endometriosis Center and I spoke to the amazing Medical Manager, Sabrina. I let them know my situation and she let me know they had 2 dates in October available. October 5 and October 12. I was told this 6 days prior to October 5 and I wasn’t sure how I was going to make that work. I would need to make sure it was OK with work, figure out childcare and figure out who was going to take me and take care of me for a couple of days afterward.
I texted my cousin and asked her if she could take me to the surgery in October. She immediately said yes. She has always been there for me when I have needed her help. I let my brother and sister-in-law know we would need their help with my parents should they need help – they said “we’re on it and will be wherever we need to be to help”. And then there was my job. I am beyond lucky – BEYOND – to be working for an amazing company where everyone let me know they were there to help in any way I needed.
I’m really lucky to have a family that has been through such ups and downs, but yet always comes together in times of need. My Aunt and cousin in particular were very blunt with me which is what I needed and said “you need this so that you can be out of pain and to be there for your mother. Do it”. If they hadn’t just come out and said it like that I probably would have waited.
My life has been extremely challenging for quite a lot of years with a lot of unexpected “downs”, but all of those “downs” allow me to truly appreciate what is in my life today. I don’t know if my family will ever truly know how thankful I am for their support. I am a better person than I was 10 years ago with so much love and support in my life – I got this and will make sure to document how the surgery goes. I decided to go with December 12. At least it gave me a week to mentally prepare!