The year was 2010 and the month, I am not quite sure of. All I remember is that I was sitting in the doctor’s office and the options were 1) have surgery now…yes RIGHT now or 2) wait until I graduate from graduate school, then have surgery. My decision was to walk across the stage to first receive my degree, then to place the fate of my uterus and my ability to have kids in my doctor’s hands.
In May 2010, I received an abdominal myomectomy. The doctor removed 15 fibroids when the Ultrasound (abdominal and vaginal) clearly revealed only 4. After surgery, my stomach was flatter, my periods were smoother and I thought my fight with fibroids was OVER…caput. A couple of key things happened or I should say didn’t happen… 1) I didn’t start exercising, 2) I didn’t make any dietary changes, 3) I didn’t decrease stressors in my life, 4) I didn’t seek out alternative treatments, and the biggest player in the game, 5) I didn’t find the source of my fibroid growth…WHAT CAUSED MY FIBROIDS TO GROW IN THE FIRST PLACE?
Because of the changes I didn’t make and wasn’t even aware that I needed to make… I found myself laying on an examination table being told that I had fibroids yet again in 2012. Two years after my first surgery, I ended up in the same predicament… but this time surgery was not an option. My quest to heal naturally started, but not many resources were available, only a lot of meds or “ miracle drugs” that claimed to shrink fibroids. I joined several social groups, read blogs/books, and discovered the true meaning of “ trial and error”. I started exercising to decrease cortisol levels in my body as well as to decrease body fat. Body fat is notorious for storing estrogen…. So sweat to the Oldies and just move it. I changed my diet and was pescatarian for 2 years. During this time I only ate wild caught fish and organic products. Currently, I eat organic meat (excluding pork), wild caught seafood products and organic products that appear on the clean 15 and dirty dozen list. Stressors vary in life, so it’s sometimes very difficult to manage stress. Although hard, you can chose to remove people from my life, change jobs, or even meditate; and I did just that.
Alternative methods to treat my fibroids include, but not limited to changing the type of sanitary napkins I use, avoid tampons (personal preference) , acupuncture to decreased fibroid symptoms, and lastly taking herbal supplements and tonics. As mentioned in a previous post, my cycle has changed with the use of organic pads because the absorption of chemicals has decreased. As far as acupuncture, my hormone levels seem to be more balanced with less fibroid associated symptoms. Most importantly, my fibroids have decreased in size since beginning acupuncture. In conjunction with acupuncture, I take herbs to assist in excreting excessive estrogen and to assist in maintaining “ harmony” in the body. Lastly the cause of my fibroids is mostly due to estrogen dominance and that was determined by blood tests run by my OBGYN that looked at my ratio of good vs bad estrogens.
F is the frustration in fibroids because this journey started when my fibroids returned in 2012. And over the last 5 years, several theories have been tried and tested in an effort to shrink my tumors. In my case, I don’t always feel like eating healthy, exercising, cleansing, or going to the acupuncturist, but one thing is for sure; if you find something that works JUST DO IT. And don’t feel guilty if you’re not perfect, what works for me, may not work for you, and what works for another woman, may not work for either of us. Keep the faith and keep trying different approaches to decrease the frustration in your FIBROID situation.