Yesterday I saw the consultant about my hysterectomy and oophorectomy, and I can expect the complete removal of my reproductive system in 8 or 9 weeks.
I was half expecting her to say ‘don’t be silly, you’re way too young for a hysterectomy’, because, you know, I feel way too young. But it seems the cancer card gets you free access to all the good after parties. Not only do they want to do it, they want to do it relatively quickly and they’ve referred me to the keyhole specialist so the recovery time will be quicker.
Which is good, because her description of the menopause hitting you like a freight train after surgical removal of the ovaries is a bit daunting. As is the ‘very likely prospect’ that I will go full batshit again, what with my previous in this area on zoladex. As there is no way of knowing whether the psychosis was caused by the drug, something in it, or the suppression of my ovaries, she stressed the possible likelihood of further psychosis after the surgery. As she put it, ‘One day you will have ovaries and the next you won’t – your body won’t know what’s happened and will be very confused’. Great.
I don’t really know how I feel about all this. I know it has to be done to reduce my risk of a breast cancer recurrence (and it’s not like I can ever get cancer in my uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes if they’re not there, so added bonus), but I don’t like the prospect of more surgery and being hit by the menopause train so hard that I explode into thousands of little pieces again.
Last week I was with a friend who has a twelve week old baby. She is so tiny compared to Ava it made me broody. I briefly contemplated being stubborn and having the fifth child I’ve always wanted. I could easily cope with birth again, I thought. In fact, I quite like childbirth. My type of cancer is more likely to return between 5 and 10 years, so I’ve still got time to have another baby and then have a hysterectomy. I hate pregnancy, but that’s only 9 months… and then I remembered those 9 months in a sickening wave of terror and I know I could never be pregnant again. I decided I was only thinking about it because it won’t be an option for much longer.
That whole process took about 12 seconds. My uterus has had a good innings, it’s time to say good bye to the baby garden and hello to the road to nowhere. The after effects may be horrible, but I have coped with worse since this whole cancer business started, I’m pretty sure I can get through it again.