Disclaimer: I don’t know if I’ll cross the TMI threshold in this post, I’m going to really try not to.
I was that little girl at kindergarten graduation who, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, replied “A mommy.” I had a baby doll who was quite literally loved to death. She’s somewhere in storage now, but if I find her, I’ll snap a photo. She has been sewn up many times and is even missing an eyeball. Someone put nail polish on her head (Rachel!). I never went anywhere without that doll. I “fed” her, burped her, and even would swaddle her and rock her to sleep.
Fast forward to my junior year in high school. I had surgery on my ankle from a volleyball injury. A bone and cartilage graft, two metal pins, and 35 stitches left me out of school for 2 weeks. I was really behind and feeling overwhelmed. I had really bad stomach pain and thought I was getting an ulcer. I told my mom about it, but she told me I just needed to calm down. But finally one morning, I asked her to drive me to the ER. I got there and had to do all sorts of uncomfortable tests. The only thing they found was a tiny cyst on my left ovary, so they sent me home and told me to wait it out to see if it ruptured or not. Cool.
So, I sucked it up and went back to school… but a few days later I was back in the ER. They did an ultrasound to see if the cyst had ruptured… but it hadn’t. It had grown and basically swallowed my left ovary. They told me to follow up with the OB/GYN who had been on-call asap to talk about “options”. I made an appointment for Friday, where I was told I needed to have surgery and they could fit me in on Monday.
I remember arriving at the hospital on Monday morning, freaked out and really thirsty. The doctor was telling me about all the complications (removal of the ovary, total hysterectomy, colostomy bag, all those fun things) and then had my mom sign away on the dotted line. Then I went to sleep.
When I woke up in recovery, I was told that the surgery was a success, they would biopsy the cyst just to make sure it was benign, but they weren’t able to save my ovary like they’d hoped. I remember crying and asking them to just bring my mom back, but they said she couldn’t come back until I was moved somewhere else. I cried alone for an hour before my mom was allowed to come see me, and then we cried some more.
I spent 6 days in the hospital. On Wednesday night they had to move me because of construction in the med-surg floor, so I ended up in the maternity ward. It was kind of funny because I woke up Thursday in the same maternity ward I was born in 17 years before. Yes, I spent my golden birthday in the maternity ward. Ha! But it was also kind of cruel, because I didn’t know if I’d ever be in there again, for a more joyous occasion.
A few months after my surgery, I was diagnosed with PCOS. There are many stupid symptoms that are more inconveniences than anything, but when I read about infertility, the little girl who dreamed of being a mommy died. I read about how many women suffer from it and even if they conceive, there’s no guarantee they’ll make it to full term with a live birth. My heart broke and instead of pressing into God, I pulled away. I didn’t care. I never did anything “bad” but I made a lot of dumb decisions with my life. I stopped caring in school, I was distant with my friends and accused them of using me. I quit trying to play volleyball. My mom noticed how bad it was getting, so she bought me a puppy (a golden retriever for my golden birthday).
It will be seven years ago in November. It hasn’t gotten easier to deal with, I have to always have check-ups to make sure my hormones are normal, and my doctor keeps telling me that I need to “baby that ovary” every time she sees me. Just this past week I had to have yet another biopsy, which if you have read my previous posts, you know was a testing of my faith.
When I was 17, I thought that God was punishing me. I wasn’t a “good” Christian. I liked to sleep in on Sundays and if you asked me about people in the Bible, I might have been able to sing a Sunday school song to remember who they were. This time around, I felt like God was asking too much of me. I kept hearing the Jesus Culture song “You won’t relent until You have it all.” I thought maybe the dream I have always held of being a mom was maybe getting in the way of God’s plans for me. Maybe I was wanting too much… But today when I got the call that my biopsy came back cancer-free, I was so happy. I remembered Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” So maybe I don’t have to give up that dream, maybe I just need to put my priorities in order. 😉
So why am I writing about this? This isn’t about my personal sob story (well, it is, but it’s not the point). This is about having hope.
Even though the doctors can tell me that there is no “cure” or sure treatment for PCOS, I’m still going to ask God to heal me. Even though there will be moments like this past week that will come again, I’m going to have hope. I believe that if God can open Sarah’s barren womb in her 80s, He can certainly work with a much younger one to yield the same result. Now, I don’t want to put the cart before the horse, I mean, I don’t even have a husband yet… But I know who my God is, and I know that I can trust in Him. There’s a book called “Trusting The Shepherd” by Haddon Robinson. It’s based off of Psalm 23, and one of the things that really stuck with me was the imagery of the shepherd breaking the wandering lamb’s leg. He does it so that the lamb has to learn to stay near to the shepherd. Sometimes I feel like that is what is happening when I go through something particularly scary or painful. I like to think that God is just teaching me how to stay close to Him.
I hope this post hasn’t grossed you out or had a little too much info into my life. I hope that this post can renew your hope for whatever battle you’re facing. There’s a lot going on these days, both on a global scale, but also in our own personal lives. But God is always right there, waiting for us to call on Him. Sometimes it’s hard to see that glimmer when our eyes are full of tears and our heads are too heavy to lift up, but I pray that you will never stop searching for it.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
P.S. I was so blessed by my friends on twitter this week who prayed for me and made me smile when I thought my world was about to crumble. #TeamBuckLadies for life! ❤