“When will you have kids?” they ask.
“Never,” I reply.
I had a hysterectomy at 25. They couldn’t salvage anything. The damage was done—endometriosis and PCOS damaged what could have been a temporary home to my future children. On June 24, 2020, I had a radical hysterectomy, my belly button removed due to umbilical endometriosis, and had endometriosis burned off. Having endometriosis burned off doesn’t cure the endometriosis, but it can help for the time being. When you don’t have access to a specialist that can give an excision surgery, you take what you can get and hope this surgery will be your last.
They don’t tell you about the emotional wounds that come when you have a hysterectomy, especially when you have one at what they say are “childbearing years.” Some days I’m more equipped at dealing with it, and other days the emotions are raw and crushing, like I’m gasping for any air to come into my lungs. I can’t watch a show or movie where a woman is pregnant or is having a baby. My envious side comes out in full swing, asking “Why her and not me?” Watching my family and friends start families hurts. I’m happy for them, don’t get me wrong—it’s a very bittersweet feeling, and sometimes the pain is so excruciating I can feel the tears billow in my chest when there’s a pregnancy announcement or talk about kids.
To all the young hysterectomy survivors out there, I want you to know that you are not alone. You might feel lonely, but you are not alone. I urge you to feel all your emotions that you have and not to hide them away. There are many young hysterectomy survivors out there, and each one of our journeys with healing is completely different. We may share some of the same emotional scars and most likely some of the same physical scars, but healing physically, emotionally, and spiritually is different for all of us. Like our fingerprints, no two journeys will ever be the same, and when we come together and share our stories, we can start to heal and become each other’s allies.
Having a hysterectomy at a young age doesn’t define you even when it feels like it does. These wounds take time to heal, and you should take as much time as you need to heal. This is not an easy thing to go through. This is not an easy thing to process. All we can do is be gentle with ourselves and hope that time really does heal all wounds.