Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Choices? Or a roll of the dice?

It was brought to my attention that I seem to be preoccupied lately. Honey, you don’t know the half of it.

I’m dealing with the typical, and atypical dramas of being a divorced mom of a pre-teen and a teen. I have an ex-husband who fights doing the minimum for his children and is causing them constant angst. I’m still forced to make COBRA payments to a former employer that are higher than many mortgages monthly as I’m still contracting and not receiving benefits. And, oh yes, I’m still contracting and not working in a full-time, permanent post. 

So, in keeping with my previous candor regarding my situation, I’m faced with an even more perplexing situation: to remove or not remove my ovaries right now. If I choose to, do I opt for a hysterectomy or not? Do I voluntarily put myself into an irreversible menopause, or do I gamble on my chances with ovarian cancer? And do I permanently, without question, kill any chance of carrying children ever again?

Let me make one thing clear. I already have 2 children. Two children that, though I love them with every cell of my being, I had too young (at least, too young for me). I’d had every intention of not having children until I was older, after I’d done much more traveling, established my career, following more dreams, etc. So, the fact that my son is only a couple of years away from graduating high school and with my daughter nipping at his heels, means that I’d have my freedom from parental responsibility that much sooner. The notion of having a baby, and having to delay my second shot at my 20s, isn’t high on my to-do list.

Perhaps it’s the concept of no more conceptions: That I may never experience that surge of adrenaline, fear, nerves and excitement when you see the window on the stick I just peed on change from blank to life-changing, nor will I ever have the joy of playing “poke the baby” with my own stomach and have my stomach poke back. Or, more likely, I’ve already had my breasts carved out, replaced with plastic goo, and the final remaining body parts that define me as female will be butchered.

Ok, so I may be going a little OTT, but I’m kind of not. I already removed one breast for the sake of prevention. Now, I’m venturing south in search of new organs to remove for the sake of prophylaxis.
My oncologist wants me to have my oophorectomy yesterday. My gynecologist says it isn’t an immediate need, but it should happen soon. I know I have a short window of time to make the decision before the alleged time runs out. I can’t figure out why I’m hesitating!
Maybe it’s that word, “menopause.”

I mean, we women all face it. But I’ve barely got my head wrapped around the fact that I won’t be going to anymore proms let alone that menopause is closer to me than my high school graduation naturally. Can you imagine how mind-blowing it is that, something I thought I had another 20 years to dread is knocking on my door now? Will I grow a beard? I don’t want hot flashes! Can you imagine me even more unpredictably moody and bitchy? Holy crap! I WILL turn into my mother!

But seriously, folks, it’s like when I was rock climbing in Colorado and I was faced with having to jump off the cliff to go rapelling – and I opted out, against my protest. I could make sense of the mastectomies. I could make sense of the chemo. I could make sense of losing my hair.

Why can’t I get myself to just have the oophorectomy? Why am I hesitating?!

(And, I gotta say it, why the hell is this procedure given such a ridiculous sounding name? Is that the problem? I can’t take this operation seriously because it sounds like something a cartoon character would blurt out when punched in the gut?)

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