Full steam ahead

I know some people don’t believe or like to be told ‘things happen for a reason’. I’m not one of those people. I firmly believe that everything does happen for a reason, and the choices we make lead us somewhere for some particular purpose. Whether the purpose is to learn not to make that choice again, to put you in the right place at the right time, or to prepare you for something else, there’s a reason for it.

Our attitude towards the outcomes of our decisions dictates how we overcome the situations we are in. Notice I did not say ‘what happens to us’! Life is an active thing, lack of a decision is still a decision in my opinion.

With all of this in mind, I believe that my mental health, and my choice to deal with that on my own terms, has given me the strength I need to get through this year. I have stayed mostly positive during the last 6 months of worrying about cancer and mentally preparing myself for the outcome I am now facing – hysterectomy and no longer having the choice to have my own children.

As my operation approaches (more rapidly than I thought possible!), I am scared, a little worried, and hopeful that it all goes smoothly. I’m also still positive! I am not second-guessing my decision at all and all the fear and worry I’m feeling I’m feeding into being prepared. As always, I’m preparing for things to be harder than they probably will be and that’s something that has always helped me.

A lot of anxiety for me is about the unknown, and some of that has been put to ease this morning after speaking to a lady in the ward I’ll be in at the hospital. I know I’ll be well taken care of and I have a little bit more knowledge of what to expect. A lot more of that anxiety will be put to rest next week when I go for my pre-op assessment. I’ll be able to meet some of the people and see where things are, which is always a big help for me!

I’m not worried about the procedure itself. I trust my consultant, he’s been great throughout all of this and done all three of my hysteroscopies so I know I’m in good hands however the operation goes. Worst case they need to do an abdominal hysterectomy instead of laparoscopic, I’m preparing for that.

But what about after? As I mentioned, I believe everything happens for a reason. I never talked about it openly, but my anxiety about having children was pretty intense. Maybe that’s why it was always a bit easier to stay on the fence about really wanting them. The thought of having to deal with other people in a plethora of situations I’d never be comfortable in, if they were healthy or not, dealing with other parents, school stuff, making sure they grew up to be good people, the state of the world today… the list goes on. All of it made me anxious. A small part of me thought I might be able to overcome all of that and it’d make me a stronger, more confident person. Possibly. Or it might have broken me. Now I’ll never know, and honestly? I’ve made my peace with that. All that anxiety about what I’d have to deal with if I had children is gone now.

But I don’t have to have kids to be strong and confident. Everyone keeps telling me I’m strong and brave for going through all of this now. I guess that’s true; I don’t really feel it. I was faced with something and I’m doing whatever I need to to get through it. I think that’s all any of us can ever do. Some days are easier than others and the hard days hurt but I’m still here.

Everyone is strong, we all deal with different things. No one knows what someone else has been through or is going through. We are all strong for dealing with our lives and continuing to make choices that lead us somewhere (hopefully) good.

I take some solace in the fact that I am where I am, because it means I am where I should be and maybe something amazing will be waiting for me on the other side. I just have to wait and see!