Girl talk: my fight with uterine fibroids

Its funny how your life can change when you least expect it. I went to the doctor because I was fighting a pretty bad cold and received information that would forever change my life.

“Are you pregnant?” the doctor asked with a slight smile as she pressed on my stomach.

“No,” I answered with as much certainty I could muster. An unplanned pregnancy was the last thing I needed, especially since I was just getting back on my feet. But after suggesting I take a test to be 100% sure since there was definitely a mass in my uterus, I agreed. To my relief, it came back negative, but to my dismay, I was diagnosed with uterine fibroids.

At this point, if you’re as clueless as I was, you’re probably Googling uterine fibroids. To put it as plainly as possible, they’re noncancerous tumors that grow on or within the uterus. Apparently, its a very common disease among women, but black women are more likely than any other race to develop fibroids. They develop during child bearing years. 3 out of 4 women will develop fibroids in their lives and some may even go through their daily lives unaffected by the fibroids presence. But if you’re like me, you’re not so lucky.  My uterus is currently the size it would be if I were 5 months pregnant and some of the other symptoms that I’m personally experiencing are extremely painful cramping and frequent urination due to my uterus pressing down on my bladder.

The medical community has made strides when it comes to fibroid removal and there are more options that will leave the uterus in tact for women who still want to have children. However, a hysterectomy is the only way to guarantee the fibroids don’t grow back.

So, the plan is to have them surgically removed. Yes, I said them because I have multiple tumors. I haven’t set a date yet or picked the type of procedure I’d like to have, but I’ve been told I’m a good candidate for laser removal, and it would leave my uterus in tact.The medical community has made strides when it comes to fibroid removal and there are more options for women who still want to have children. However, a hysterectomy is the only way to guarantee the fibroids don’t grow back.

There are so many things that we don’t talk about in the black community and I don’t want this to be one of them. At first, I was afraid of what this meant for my life. I haven’t been crazy about the idea of sharing my body with another human being for 9 months for quite some time now, but I thought I’d at least have the option to make that decision myself. But here’s the thing, it was never up to me whether or not I’d have children of my own. It’s always been up to God. It’s funny how he lets us believe we’re in control until he’s ready to remind us that we’re not. And after that revelation, I let go and I let God. He started to reveal that people I know personally have dealt with this very thing. He let me know that I’m not in this alone and I wanted to let you all know that as well.

So, in the event you’re ever diagnosed with uterine fibroids or just want to learn more about them, start with those closest to you, because chances are you know someone whose fought this fight and is now living a life less interrupted by no longer having to deal with painful menstrual cycles.

As always, this is from my heart to yours.

~ Ariel

7 thoughts on “Girl talk: my fight with uterine fibroids

  1. Awww Arie! I’m sorry to hear that you’re suffering with fibroids! I think you know I had a huge one too and it takes a BIG toll on your day to day life! You’ll get back to normal after the removal! I’m here if you need me.

    1. Thank you Regina! I thought you were having issues with your thyroid, but now that you mention it, I probably misheard you lol. I do remember you saying you were low on energy though and I now know that’s another symptom.

      1. Uhhh the jury is still out with the thyroid lol! But yes, I had my fibroid removed two years ago and within weeks I began to feel MUCH better! Hang in there! I’ll be praying for you!

    1. And thank you all for the wonderful work you’re doing by giving women affected by this disease a voice!

  2. Thank you for sharing this, Ariel! You’re right: a lot of things go unsaid in our communities, so I commend you for being so personal. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, darling.
    xoxo, Ariel

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