In what has started to feel like a regular occurrence for me, I’m preparing for another surgery this week.
This time, I’m going under the knife for an oophorectomy, which sounds completely made-up but is the medical term for removing the ovaries. My fallopian tubes will be removed, as well.
Because of my BRCA2-positive status, I am at a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. And ovarian cancers often spread and even sometimes start in the tubes. So, they all have to go.
The procedure will be done laparoscopically, which I’m told makes it much easier. My OB/GYN, who will perform the surgery, assures me it’s a very standard procedure.
I have mixed emotions about it. On the one hand, I’m just ready to get it over with. I’m ready to have one less body part to worry about possibly sprouting cancer.
On the other hand, I’m completely freaked out. Not really about the procedure itself, but more of the what-ifs. My greatest fear is waking up to somber faces telling me they found something abnormal. A tumor. Weird cells. More cancer.
I’m also feeling a bit sad about what this procedure means for me. I was done having children, but once this operation is finished, there is no possible way I could ever change my mind on that. There’s a finality to it that hurts a bit.
On top of that, my doctor warned me that I will pretty much go into menopause immediately after the surgery. I’ve been in a chemo-induced sort-of menopause for months now, so I’m hoping the side effects won’t be too bad. Mentally, this is another one I’m having a bit of a hard time with because I shouldn’t have to be dealing with this now. I’m too young. It’s too soon.
Last night I had two dreams about the surgery. There was the standard stress dream of not being in the right place, not being able to dial the numbers to call and let them know, etc. Then I dreamed that I was going in not to just have my ovaries removed, but to have gender reassignment surgery to transition me to becoming a man. I’d already had my breasts shaped into the most incredible set of pecs I’ve ever seen, and I was sporting a short brown hairdo. Hoo-boy, chew on that one, Mr. Freud.
While I have no control over the completely bananas world of my dreaming subconscious, I’m trying to keep the pity parties to a minimum. Yes, all of this is incredibly crappy and unfair. But, I’m also really lucky. I have the chance to possibly prevent another bout of cancer, to possibly save my life. For that, I am truly thankful.