As a journalist, you quickly learn that there is an “Awareness” week or month for just about anything and everything. This week I learned it was National Fibroid Awareness Week. I had no idea, I was looking through a Fibroid Support Facebook Group and I saw the post. I had it on my heart for a while to share what’s been going on in my world this year, but I stopped for various reasons. I wanted to wait until it was over. I kept getting a push to write, I kept coming up with excuses. I prayed for clarity. I had a dream that said, “Share Your Truth” across a chalkboard. The next morning, I saw the post in a Facebook group. I got the push again, I thought I will wait and do my research, besides, I am a private person, then I asked who wants to read about my uterus. I heard my theme word that I chose for the year “fearless authenticity” I realized I was hiding.
This year looks very different from what I planned, but as we know God laughs at our plans. This year in February, I was supposed to settle into to my cozy spot in Brooklyn that was offered to me late last year. When I started to plan and set the intention that I was moving back, I received a message from a friend I met when I was there in 2015. She was admitted into Columbia University, and decided to travel the world so her place was available. My thought, everything is falling into place, it is aligned. My living arrangement was set and February 1st I would be a Brooklyn resident.
Meanwhile in Michigan I scheduled my yearly appointments. One was with a new doctor since my insurance changed. I went in for my gyno exam and she wanted to schedule an ultrasound she felt some fibroids. Went for the ultrasound and got the results. Her conversation was unsettling. She said “they are large but most people especially African American women have them so it is normal, if they bother you come back.” I had questions, she was busy.
I got a second opinion, this doctor was quite different, I learned more about my uterus in one hour that I ever knew my whole life. With her in depth explanation, it put a lot into perspective about the back pain, bloating, and numbness in my right leg at times. I have always been anemic and had a few deficiencies, so factored that in too. I was examined and another ultrasound was scheduled. This doctor was so through and specific, I felt comfortable and all of my questions were answered. My appointment was at 1pm I didn’t leave until 4pm.
The results, a Pedunculated Fibroid that is 6.5 cm. This is a fibroid that has grown a stalk outside of the uterus that is the size of an orange. The rest have caused my uterine wall size to look as if it is 5 ½ months pregnant. Due to the possible complications, it could cause in the future I have a Myomectomy scheduled for May 15th.
Being a private person, I would have kept this to my near and dears. Something shifted, I started to share this experience, and what I learned is many women have fibroids and they are suffering in silence. One of the most common responses that I heard, is “its normal, everyone has fibroids.” Although this might be true, everyone is not the same. I think at times we are conditioned to force a norm into something that doesn’t have to be the norm. Another common response, “thank you for sharing because this is a so called normal that many people don’t talk about.”
I am sharing an overview of my story. This is very uncomfortable to share this much detail into my life but this has been on my heart and spirit has been pushing me to write something from my point of view. I wanted to wait, do my research, create a perfect pitch, and sell it to one of my bucket list publications.
My 2017 plans were disrupted, I had to make a lot of life changes, but I can say although there has been a lot of confusion, reflection, and emotional moments connected to this situation I am content. I had to change many things but I know all is aligning itself for the greater good. Things happen for us. Through this process my faith has been stronger than ever.
I am writing this from my bed. I had a D and C yesterday. My doctor couldn’t get a read from the biopsy because a fibroid was blocking the passage. With the pain that I feel as the meds wear off, there is a sense of clarity that has come. I know my habits haven’t been the healthiest the past couple years, and someone who has extensively studied holistic nutrition, raw foods, and healing arts it is embarrassing to say I completely fell off, but I am getting back on track. I will share that journey too.
It is Fibroid Awareness Week. I am not celebrating but I am doing my part to create awareness and share my story. I will continue to do my part as a journalist and health advocate to research and find some answers to questions that many women have.
I will also share updates on my blog as I complete the surgery and get back to healthy. Sometimes situations will force us to sit down and be still. This is one of them, but I will ask for guidance so it will result in a positive outcome for myself and others. I am so thankful for my close friends and family who has been an amazing support system.
It’s been said many times fibroids are common, but why isn’t a conversation. There are so many women suffering in silence. This doesn’t have to happen.