My Hysterectomy: A Renewed Sense of Power

It has been three days since I had a hysterectomy and benign tumor removal. The surgeon took out my fallopian tubes, my uterus, my cervix and one ovary. I am currently resting as much as possible and healing up, but I figured three days have given me a sense of my emotional reaction to the surgery.

It’s not uncommon for women to experience sadness and a sense of loss after a surgery such as mine. I can no longer have kids. There’s a possibility that I will now hit menopause earlier than I would have. I am missing parts of my body now. A feeling of incompleteness often accompanies such a radical surgery.

In my case, however, I knew the surgery needed to be done. The tumor I had was a kind that grows very large. It affected one entire ovary. That ovary, the doctor said after surgery, was “big and gnarly.”

Because I had diseased parts of my body inside me, I knew they needed to be taken out. Removing them, then, does not feel like a loss to me. It feels rather like getting rid of dead weight. And the loss of my fertility feels necessary for my overall health.

Many women feel a sense that they have lost a part of their feminity after a surgery like mine. On the contrary, I feel my feminity has been distilled into the one healthy ovary I have left. That ovary feels as though it burns bright inside my body, emenating a large does of feminity.

What is it to have diseased parts, after all, that cannot function and affect the rest of your health? What good is a “big, gnarly” ovary?

I place my hopes into the one healthy ovary I have left. It functions well enough to regulate the female hormones in my body for now.

I cannot say enough about the quality care I received at the hospital. I know my doctor cares and saved the healthy parts of my body so I may flourish. I know, from the feeling I’ve had since I got home from the hospital, that the diseased portions of my body were wearing me down.

I am hoping for a smooth and uneventful recovery. But, for now, I am not grieving for the parts of my body that were removed. Instead, I am joyous for the remaining parts that are healthy.

When I Was 8

Back when I was about 8 years old, I lived in Paris, Texas. I had a teacher. I don’t recall her name. But I do recall a lesson she taught the class. She looked around the room and told us how we should be nice to one another. She told us we shouldn’t be mean. She told us we should treat everyone the same and that they should be treated well.

I had a pretty foggy childhood. I don’t remember much that I was taught. I don’t remember specific lessons. I don’t remember various teachers. But I do remember this: I eagerly looked around the classroom as if to say, “Did you hear that?!” I wanted everyone–everyone–to pay attention to that lesson. My teacher varified what I had thought all along. I thought it was the most important lesson I learned in school.

I have had many teachers and professors since then. There was never another time when my eyes lit up for a lesson like they did that day.

Teachers are important. It may be true that not everyone in my class took this lesson to heart, but it does go to show that, even in little Paris, Texas, a teacher has the potential to make a difference.