Surgery happens this Friday. Now there is a low hum of nervousness that constantly resonates out of my chest. It started yesterday and is so real that I can damn near touch it and see it. I wish I could make it stop. The thing that I have been […]
Uterine cancer is also called endometrial or womb cancer. People don’t talk about it enough… perhaps because it mostly happens to older women? Perhaps because women are not sharing their grief with this diagnosis? But uterine cancer can also happen to younger, body positive, fearless women like me. […]
Still managing to keep my head in a good place. I have these passing panicked thoughts about surgery and incisions and losing part of my body to cancer. I am getting pretty good at setting them aside.
The mind is a funny thing, you can play honest games with it and get what you need. It helped to create some happy places in the future rather than looking back at happy times and places. For some reason, I felt more pain looking back– like I was mourning for those good times and places. On the contrary, looking forward gives me joy and energy. Whatever works.
I have also been thinking about how this cancer is hereditary. It’s been existing in my family but no one knew. I have heard of people doing genetic testing but I never understood why. I guess poor people don’t do those things? At least not the poverty-based family I come from. The good thing is that at least my siblings and their children have a chance to test early and be prepared to care for themselves.
When I sent my siblings a document they can take to their doctor my sister asked if I learned any other interesting facts from my pathology, like “if I’m part Neanderthal or anything?”
I told her I was 100% fairy.
My brother then said, “Monkey fairy. You’re a hybrid. Or a mutant.”
I agreed that I am, “I am 100% two things.”
So you can see… they take this whole thing very seriously!
Also, did you know there is a national registry for people with cancer? I only found out when my doctor uploaded a document to my online charts stating that I had been added. They use it to map environmental cancer outbreaks and gain statistical information. It’s kind of awesome and creepy at the same time.
Surgery is scheduled for November 17th but could still happen sooner if there is an opening. I go to the hospital tomorrow for pre-surgical testing. (More needles! Bluck!)
I am trying to take it one day at a time. Now I wait. Then I heal. We will all see what comes after that. In the meantime I am eating well, doing yoga and anything else I can to be as strong as possible when I go under.
Having family here and getting love from friends have been a good distraction. Even if I am a bit of a hermit, y’all still find ways to love me. You are amazing. I am so thankful for the people I have in my life.
(Photo: Words written on a wall saying “Its moving kind of slow.” Lower East Side, NYC. Circa 2010.)
I was never scared of natural menopause. I embraced the idea. I trusted my body would do what it needed to do to care for me. I sought out the nuggets of truth that older women would share with me about the experienced. I dismissed the sorry ideas that it was bad or changes a woman’s value.
Now that I face abrupt surgical menopause I feel ripped off. I wish I could experience the slow roll into this life cycle. But it was that or allow my body to die, so I am coming to terms with it. This surgery and experience will be powerful. The changes are a part of my extension of life. It means more for me, not less. And with that, I have begun to write…
The New Menopause Manifesto
Don’t listen to old myths about how the body changes with menopause. I am here to tell you the truth.
The truth is you become more beautiful.
You become stronger. As strong as you wish to be.
You become a better listener.
Your brain actually grows 2.267 inches in diameter. It expands to make room for everything you have learned so far and everything you have yet to learn. (Need proof, menopausal individuals use more lube, that’s just fucking smart for anyone of any age.)
You grow big, golden balls! Nads that make weak individuals fear you and strong individuals desire you.
Fuck hot flashes. The truth is that you get hot. In every way. Sometimes your skin actually sizzles and you resonate warmth to those around you.
Plants and animals grow more fond of you.
Everything you cook tastes better.
Finally, I am not sure I am supposed to share this, but the government issues you a secret license to “dispose of” both pedophiles and those who mistreat animals.
This is what really happens during menopause.
I am a dumb workaholic who tries to do too much every day, hence this note to my future self. I’ll add to this and refer to this to try to keep myself from being an uncontrollable nut after I have my surgery. Wish me […]
My surgeon said no sex for six weeks. I made her qualify that by asking, “No penetrative sex, right?” She said, “Yes, nothing in your vagina.” Ok. I can deal with that.
Y’all know sex is an important part of my life. Affection is equally important in my relationship, so I feel like we can deal with both the short term and long term obstacles that are ahead.
I go a little stir crazy with waiting and speculating. To combat this I plan and prepare so I can be ready for the best possible outcome after surgery. I decided to make sure that all my favorite things, and the things that will support my sexual well being, are ready when I am. Here’s what’s in my kit:
I have my Warm ready. This is a beautiful sex toy warming system. Designed so thoughtfully, you just open one side, slide your toys in, and they are warmed to a very comfortable level. It’s perfect for those of us who have survived medical trauma in the pelvis (like me), the trauma of sexual assault, or anything that inhibits one’s ability to accept penetration with ease. Warm will make your toys soothing and will turn any toy or massage tool into a more sensual experience.
I also added this Inspire Silicone Dilator Set. These penetrative toys have a simple curve that aligns perfectly with the vaginal anatomy. They are smooth, silicone, and easy to clean. They are pliable and not rigid like the other hard plastic or glass dilation sets I have seen.
I tested these toys on my body this week so I can understand the state of my body before surgery and compare it to how well the toys work after surgery. I may also need to use them to expand my ability to receive penetration after surgery. Here’s a video I made of them last year, long before I knew I would need them myself.
I still need to define which lubes I will stock. With my extensive understanding of personal lubricants, now I need to look at them all with fresh eyes an consider what it is to use a lubricant once I have lost my cervix and natural wetness. I think I’ll do a separate, more comprehensive post on that topic.
I am still waiting for my surgery. In the meantime, I do art. I use these beautiful markers that have tips like paint brushes. I have two crochet projects. I catch up on TV show in chunks. Thankfully my husband has a real knack for […]