Stephen King would be a good choice to write a novel about my horrid experience battling a uterine fibroid, but a novel is not what I’m looking for. I’d rather that others learn from both my experience and my research.
Despite what you may have read online, uterine fibroids CAN be life-threatening – and deadly serious. Don’t put off seeking appropriate medical attention. Thankfully, 95% of the time, uterine fibroids are benign, meaning that they are most likely NOT cancerous; but uterine fibroids can cause excessive bleeding.
The bleeding itself can be life-threatening – even if the fibroids aren’t. Excessive bleeding from uterine fibroids can lead to serious anemia and require a blood transfusion. I wish I could forget the bleeding from my own fibroid. Well, I’ve always wanted to see Niagara Falls, just not in my own bathroom.
Seven out of every ten women have uterine fibroids. There is no conclusive evidence of what causes uterine fibroids or how they develop or grow. The doctors I saw each offered a different opinion: estrogen, hormones, diet, stress, and genetics. When medical science didn’t provide definitive answers, I sought advice from holistic practitioners. The naturopathic field suggested that uterine fibroids are a physical sign that the mind, body, and spirit are no longer aligned with each other. It was also suggested that my fibroid could be the result of past trauma, severe stress, neglecting my feelings, or suppressing my emotions.
Ultimately, consulting with medical doctors, herbalists, and holistic practitioners did not buy enough time to stall off the flood and the fury of the fibroid. It also did not provide enough time to pursue an opportunity to follow alternative treatments or allow me to explore the newer less-invasive surgeries. My uterine fibroid had a malicious way of expressing its own philosophy – one that was stated much louder and prouder than any doctor or herbal guru.
I was “officially” diagnosed with having a uterine fibroid in an emergency room. The most practical solution – at least to me – was surgery. After I was released from the ER after emergency blood transfusions, two doctors suggested that I get injections of a very powerful hormone called Lupron. The objective was to “shrink” the fibroid so that I could undergo less-invasive methods of surgery because – as one doctor put it – I was “just too young to face the possibility of never being able to bear children.” She just “couldn’t do that” to me.
I researched Lupron and considered it even after reading the nightmarish experiences of women who wrote about it online. The fibroid, however, made the final decision for me with another trip to the emergency room in which the bleeding was so severe that the ER staff was amazed I was still alive. Thankfully, the emergency surgery was a success, and I remain happy with the results.
An important thing I learned from all this: no matter how sick you get, no matter how hard you are knocking on death’s door, do NOT forget to file your income taxes.