One week from today I will be having a complete hysterectomy. That’s hard to believe since I’m only 33. But life throws surprises at you. I know I shouldn’t complain. I have 3 beautiful kids and I’m trying to be grateful. But I’m also scared. It’s unexpected. Even after 2 years of being diagnosed BRCA-1 positive, it still hasn’t sunk in. But I don’t want it to take a cancer diagnosis for me to accept reality. Sometimes you have to go on faith. I really do have this condition. I really do have a higher cancer risk, for one of the deadliest types of cancer. I really do need to move forward with what I’ve prayed about and received answers for.
But why is it so hard then?
I know it’s the right decision, but it still hurts so bad.
All I can think of is that cheezy line at the end of the trilogy movies for The Hobbit. When the elf girl, Tauriel, sees her crush is killed, she cries, “Why does it hurt so much?”
Then the elf king, Thranduil, says, “Because it was real.” As melodramatic as that part is, it captures what I’m feeling tonight.
My love for motherhood is real. I’ve gained a passion for it that I didn’t have at the start. At the beginning of motherhood, I was scared, panicked, even intimidated by my own expectations. I didn’t know how to handle most of motherhood. My husband took the majority of the midnight feedings because my anxiety was crippling. We didn’t introduce solid foods until they were much older because I couldn’t handle the inevitable messes very well. There’s so much I wish I could do over, as the new, healthier me. I’ve changed so much for the better. I love the messes now! They show me my kids are active and alive! I feel privileged to be up late with my kids when they’re sick. Even though I’m exhausted, I can handle it. I can handle it. Not only that, I feel blessed to do nurture them.
So, it’s bittersweet to be losing the opportunity to have more kids. I keep thinking “One week left.” It doesn’t seem fair to be ending this season of creating, now that I’m finally a fierce mother. I love being a mom! I can finally say that! I hate thinking that I won’t get to have those fresh feelings of being a new mom again in this life.
But I can go forward in faith because I know God has bigger plans for me than I can see, than I can understand. I don’t have the big picture, but He does. Sometimes I wish I could see more of it, but it would probably terrify me. The person I was five years ago could not have handled the preventative cancer surgeries I’m having this year. So its with a father’s mercy that He only shows us a little of our life at a time and lets us bite off just what we can chew. One step at a time is all I need to focus on.
Tonight as I fall asleep, faith is my focus. Faith in God’s love for me. Faith in my family and in making the best choices for us all. Faith in myself and my abilities and purpose. I’m no less of a mother for having this procedure. I will still be the same mom to my children. It’s just more likely that I will actually be alive to be mother them.
This next week is CRAZY. Thursday night my kids are in a community play. My pre-op appointments are Friday morning. Friday night and the next day my kids have 3 more theater performances. Immediately after closing the play Saturday night, like at 10 P.M., we will drive all night for a family reunion in Colorado. We get back Tuesday night, hopefully by midnight. Then Wednesday is THE surgery and Thursday is my 34th birthday. Yeah. It’s a busy week, even by my standards. Needless to say, I’ve been stressed.
But I’m trying to be stronger than my stress. I’m trying to replace the greed for my own desires with gratitude. I’m trying to see the good. Because the aunt who clued my family into the fact that this gene runs in my family, who inspired my mom, sisters, and me to get tested, didn’t get to enjoy any birthdays after her 34th. That was her last. Due to the massive cancer, she left behind a husband and two sweet kids. I miss her smile, jokes, friendship, and support. Her death has possibly saved my own life. I would not have been tested for this gene without her diagnosis.
So even though I don’t love having (or paying for) the preventative surgeries I’m getting, I’m grateful to have them. I’m grateful God has whispered comfort and confirmation to me. I’m grateful He’s helped me feel like I’m ENOUGH no matter what physical parts I lack. If I submit my will to His and am one with Him, then really, I don’t lack anything.
I close with inspired words from Elder D. Todd Chistofferson. This quote touched me deeply as I shared them while I was visiting teaching today.
“Jesus achieved perfect unity with the Father by submitting Himself, both flesh and spirit, to the will of the Father… Surely we will not be one with God and Christ until we make Their will and interest our greatest desire. Such submissiveness is not reached in a day, but through the Holy Spirit, the Lord will tutor us if we are willing until, in process of time, it may accurately be said that He is in us as the Father is in Him…as we endeavor day by day and week by week to follow the path of Christ, our spirit asserts its preeminence, the battle within subsides, and temptations cease to trouble.”
The battle within has subsided. There is still some hurt. I would be lying if I said it was completely gone. But I know it will pass. Until it does, I have the best distractions in the world to keep me busy, my three kids, my amazing husband, and my own joy for still being here to enjoy them. Life is good. Motherhood is beautiful. God is great. Truly.