Joy is seeing your good friend say “yes” to the dress and know how much hope echoes in each of the of yeses that led to the dress. Wedding dress shopping is an American rite of passage for many women and inspired a hit television reality show, “Say Yes to the Dress.”
Another common rite of passage for many American women is the hysterectomy, one out of three, yet I’m not aware of any reality shows dedicated to narrating and documenting this life changing experience. “Say Yes to the Hysterectomy” just doesn’t have the same charm.
In August I said “yes” to the hysterectomy because my oncology gynecologist said it was the best option to make sure there was no cancer. She said they would remove the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. All of it would go. Later, in a panic, I would ask my primary care physician if this was really necessary and she agreed that it was best. There was just too much going on to risk cancer and cancer spreading. The more I discovered about the surgery, I would argue this could be a popular reality show because now these surgeries are done with robots.
I said yes to a robotic hysterectomy. It felt like a big decision and one that deserved applause, a bell ringing, and making a wish. Even a very expensive and pretty dress. But alas, just me in a pair of old jeans and a t-shirt. If you are really curious about how robots do surgeries, you can look for a YouTube video, which digging for awhile, I found. There are five small incisions made across the midsection and that’s where the robot fingers go.
My doctor said they would do a biopsy during the procedure to test for cancer and then if necessary perform staging. Now, this not a dance number with lights and action. But a further testing for cancer of nearby organs. After explaining all of this she said, “You probably want this as soon as possible?” I said “yes!”
All of this unfolded for me in early August, and as I write this now, all is well and all manner of things shall be well. Yet, there’s so much that happened in that period of time, I’m still wrapping my head and heart around them.
When I said “yes” to the hysterectomy, there was no celebratory bell and there were no friends with me to take group selfies. I didn’t feel pretty or in love. I was alone in a depressing medical exam room. Trying to think about what in God’s good name I just said yes to.
Yes to health. Yes to life. Yes to a different kind of love, a deeper love for myself. A yes I didn’t really understand, but trusted was the next right thing. A blessed yes that left me pondering all of these things in my heart.