9 months ago I got my life back

A lot can happen in 9 months. Usually if we’re talking about that time frame it has something to do with making a baby and I definitely didn’t do that. 9 months ago I had a hysterectomy. I didn’t realise how quickly the time had passed since my operation until I was flicking through some old photos the other day. Enjoying the benefits of pain killers after surgery I took some selfies with those who visited, holding conversations that probably played out like the ones you see on YouTube of people affected by medication. I even managed to post on social media because, my hysterectomy never happened if I didn’t post about it, right? “…I can’t wait to get back to running, hiking & surfing – all things I had to give up due to Endo & Adeno. I’ve also added kayaking to my list of things to do when I’ve recovered.” It wasn’t just me that was sky high but also my goals for this year.

The goals had come about after a conversation with a friend who LOVES anything outdoorsy and was telling me about a hike they had coming up. I started reminiscing about a hike that I had done not too far from where they were going when they said, “we get it, you like hiking”, poking fun of the fact they’d never actually seen me hike. In the years that I had known this friend they hadn’t seen the life I described I once had so it was no wonder they called me out on it.

Before Endometriosis and Adenomyosis kicked I was incredibly active. From dancing to swimming squad, theatre productions to hiking, Scouting and Guides. The older I got the stabby pain felt more like something hacking me open. It wasn’t until I was living in Canada in 2007 that someone first mentioned Endo to me so I returned home to get diagnosed. Anyone reading this with Endo may laugh because we all know it can take up seven (plus) years to be diagnosed, so I was a little naïve about that process. In January 2010 while undergoing surgery that would later diagnose me with Cervical Cancer, I was also diagnosed with Endometriosis.

Years later I found a new gynaecologist who was highly recommended to me by other suffers. Thankfully I found him when I did otherwise I would have ended up with a colostomy bag. He recognised my daily struggle with not just pain but also life. As much as I love jeggings I was forced to wear them for almost four years because the slight pressure from the zip and button on jeans was too much. I couldn’t wear figure-hugging things as my body would expand and contract daily with flare-ups. No zips. All stretch. Not ideal.

After years of pain – physical and emotional, I took back control of my body. A whole bunch of Doctors signed off on me getting my lady pipes out and I organised a hysterectomy party. If my family and friends have parties to celebrate having babies, I can have one to celebrate the fact that I’m not.

Now we celebrate all the time because I don’t get flare ups from alcohol and pizza. Heck, I’ll celebrate that I am pain free on a Thursday and can enjoy a tipple without blowing up like a Pufferfish. I hike, kayak and I have even started running. Don’t sign me up for any fun runs just yet as I still love a sleep-in on the weekend. I actually love being able to sleep through the night and not wake up in agony. So no, I’m not having a baby. Yes, I am OK. No, I won’t change my mind. Yes, my hysterectomy was the best thing I’ve ever done. Well, second to getting my eyebrows feathered (tattooed) because they look amazing but that’s another story for another time.

(L-R) Husbane Rav, Brother Pete, myself, Sister Jeanette - hiking Joffre Lakes in British Columbia, Canada, July 2017

(L-R) Husbane Rav, Brother Pete, myself, Sister Jeanette – hiking around Joffre Lakes in British Columbia, Canada, July 2017