This time next week I’ll be on the operating table having my ovaries and womb removed in an effort to reduce my risk of a breast cancer recurrence. While I don’t dispute the need to have this done – it will give me the best chance of being there for my children – I still have reservations and things to come to terms with that I haven’t even started dealing with yet.
At the moment it feels very much like I’m losing a vital part of who I am, as though I’m defined by my ability to reproduce, and without that I’ll be a different person. We all know that the menopause changes women, but this isn’t going to be a natural menopause, and my organs will be removed. I imagine feeling a bit empty inside, both physically and mentally, but the fact is I just don’t know how I’ll feel til next week when I can start properly processing all this. I’m worried I’ll be a different person afterwards, I might not be able to enjoy the things I used to enjoy – like sex – and could end up feeling very differently about things I thought I was sure about.
So I’m trying to think of the potential positives, like NO PERIODS EVER AGAIN, in an effort to stop myself worrying about all the what ifs. Seeing my children grow up. The support I’m getting from family and friends. The potential to reconsider my identity. Osteoporosis. Oh no, hang on, that’s in the negatives file. But there are positives, and I’m trying to dwell on them instead of all the worries, but some days it’s like fighting a losing battle. However, I’ve decided it’s normal to worry, it would probably be more concerning if I wasn’t at all worried about what’s going to happen, and how I might change. When I think of the operation I get a slightly sick feeling of apprehension, so if I didn’t explore the causes of that, I’d be in denial.
It’s not going to be a breeze, but it’s all for the best reasons possible. And maybe a new start is just what I need.