This is happening because I have a fibroid the size of a 4-month-old fetus in my uterus which is really bad enough but… is also causing insanely heavy periods and uterine prolapse – which is all exactly about as much fun as it sounds.
This is also happening because I have two choices: don’t have surgery or have surgery. If I don’t have surgery, the fibroid will likely continue to grow, the prolapse will never reverse itself and the bad periods will continue and likely get worse until menopause. Yay! Go being a lady! If I DO have the surgery, it’s all gone – the fibroid, the prolapse, the periods.
Right now, the fibroid, the prolapse and the periods are seriously (and have been for about a year) interfering with my training. I can’t run comfortably for long distances. I can’t bike without literally pinching my uterus inside of my vagina – how about some of that? You like that idea? Ya, it super sucks. I haven’t tried swimming yet (since the prolapse became seriously noticeable – not to other people, silly! I mean, noticeable to me – inside of me) but I’m going to cross that bridge on Tuesday night. Shouldn’t be too impossible but still not comfortable. And… these days when I’m lifting, it literally feels like my uterus is going to pop out of me. Okay, I just used the word “literally” a lot – but it bears repeating. I’m not just using a figure of speech. It IS literal.
It has been so difficult to be completely out of the training game this year. I had set so many good goals for myself this season and was unable to accomplish any of them. I was really looking forward to doing XMR (Xtreme Muck Ruck) in Copemish which would have been my first obstacle course. I was also psyched to do the Hit & Run 5K in Grand Rapids and the Hot Cocoa Classic near Detroit. Neither happened. All because of this fibroid and all the other problems that it’s been causing.
I could bury my head in the sand and not have this surgery right now. I’m really that terrified of it that I did consider it. The idea of having this surgery super sucks. I am going to be recovering for at least six weeks. They have to do an abdominal incision which is about the most invasive kind of hysterectomy you can get. I will have a terrible scar. I will be risking complications. If everything goes fabulously, it will take me another – at least – eight weeks after my six week recovery period just to work up to a 5K (That’s my goal – a 5K by Halloween). But, I’m not going to avoid all of that and I’m not going to bury my head in the sand because…
training, running, lifting, biking, swimming, dancing, working out, being active with my kids, moving my body as much as my body wants to move (which is a hell of a lot) has become MY lifestyle. And it has taken me forty years to get here and I refuse to give it up now.
So, here’s the plan: a fabulous, complication-free surgery, a fabulous, complication-free and fast recovery (my doctor will be stunned at how well I’m doing!), the C25K program as soon as I’m cleared to start running again – which will be 6 weeks, a 5K by Halloween, back into tri-training by Christmas, participate in Delta College’s indoor tri again in April, be ready for the Hawk-I sprint tri in Lansing by June and the Sanford & Sun sprint tri by August. From there, I will build up to an Olympic aquabike, then eventually a half-marathon, a marathon, a few centuries, a few big swims (I want to do big swims in all of the great lakes by the summer of 2016!) and eventually eventually eventually a half ironman and then eventually eventually eventually, by the time I’m 50, an ironman. That gives me ten years to do it all. I once heard someone say that when you start making plans, the universe just starts laughing. But I believe that sometimes when you start making plans, the universe simply says, “okay… it’s about time” then does whatever the universe can to help you out.
If I don’t have this surgery, the training will have to stop. If the training stops, none of these goals can be achieved and what I’ve been steadily working so hard for so long on will just unravel. The emotional stability and happiness that exercise and good nutrition supply me with will begin to dissipate which would eventually begin to affect my relationships with the people I love. So, I’m having the surgery.
A couple of weeks ago, “Fit & Fierce” wrote a post apologizing for being AWOL for several weeks. She pointed to the complicated connection between mind and body and explained that she was battling a bout of depression. Like all her posts, it was brave and honest. The truth is no one approaches fitness or good nutrition with a blank slate. We all carry everything we’ve been given or taken up our whole lives into the kitchen, onto the table, into the gym. Sometimes all of that shit keeps us lying in bed, unable to move. Sometimes it gets us punching a bag so hard, we’re awed by our own power. But it’s all connected.
What’s been happening to my body over the past several months and what is about to happen to my body has definitely affected my behavior in the kitchen. Once again, I have been neglecting, many days, to cook and eat with love. I haven’t been sleeping well so my workouts are sporadic and sometimes I push through them despite the fact that I feel utterly drained of energy. Those are the bad days. Some days, everything feels right back in place – those are usually days I’m avoiding thinking about the current state of my body or the upcoming surgery, when I’ve had enough sleep and eaten well the day before. But good or bad, it’s always complicated. It’s always about my mind and my body meeting someplace or refusing to meet in another place.
But a commitment to this life is a commitment to those exact ups and downs. It is knowing that some days the connection will be sharp, the road will unwind in front of me like a red carpet and I’ll glide along it. Other days, the road will seem too long to even step foot on. Neither road is wrong. Both contain valuable information about all the other roads ahead.
The road I’m on that’s leading me steadily and quickly to this hysterectomy is scary and lonely but knowing I’m walking it intentionally to get to the other side of healthy where I can once again begin working toward my fitness goals, makes it alright.
And maybe this is the strangest MoJo’s Kitchen post yet but I stand by the fact that EVERYTHING happens in the kitchen – maybe, even especially, intimate conversations about our fears and our va-jay-jays.
May yours (or the one you love’s) be healthy!
& May you cook and eat with love
& NOT with fear.