My Fibroid FriendsIm 26, and I was recently told that I would be lucky to carry a baby to five months because I have fibroids. Specifically, I have three, and I have decided to name them Frick, Frack, and Frank. The largest of the three, Frank, is the size of a softball. His two goon partners are smaller, but not by much. Though I had a 2D trans-aginal sonogram to confirm these buggars, there is a chance that I may have more hiding behind the ones I know about. Studies show, approx. 1 in 2 African-American women have fibroids, and because they are benign tumors, doctors, tend to take a wait and see approach. I knew I had a fibroid before, but I didn't know that being on birth control, smoking, and not exercising regularly could fuel their growth. Symptoms are also relative, most women have none or try to attribute them to something else. For example, I am a natural 36ddd, so when I developed lower back pain in my mid-twenties, I figured it was the wrong bra, and/or stress. I have irregular periods -- sometimes none at all, sometimes spotting in between, and even one time an 18-day period, but I thought it was due to the birth control implant I have in my arm. Birth control gives you extra estrogen, estrogen that fed Frick, Frack, and Frank. I pee more often, but I only drink bottled water, tea, and coffee, and occasionally smoked pot -- all diuretics, but now I know it could be because of the fibroid pressing down on my bladder. I've always had a bit of a stomach, even as a child, so even when I lost weight, I thought, "Oh, I'll just have to do more crunches." A nurse informed me two days ago that my uterus is very stretched out for a non-pregnant woman, and after surgery it should go down. There are a few more symptoms, but not more than the average woman deals with during PMS.
Ya'll I just want to share my story. You have to really take your health into your own hands and read up on everything once the doctor mentions a concern, The doctor told me hysterectomy could be in my future. Do you know how hard I've tried not to be the cliched young, black mother with no education. Well I'm 26 with an MBA I'm not using, and my chance of having kids could be taken away. I hate to rant, but it does make you think, what the hell was I being so snooty about, ya know? Fibroids are mainly benign tumors, but occasionally they are cancerous. They can grow to the size of melons (or an 8-month fetus) and they rarely come alone, ya know. Once they get past a certain size, hysterectomy may be the only way to get rid of them if they are causing symptoms.
We as women tend to write-off little pains and uncomfortableness here and there, but love yourself not to ignore yourself. Since most uterine fibroids are asymptomatic, often times a pelvic exam or an ultrasound performed by a gynocologist will detect them. An interventional radiologist will be the one to perform the surgery to remove them, so just because you know you have them, you may have to see a specialist for a second opinion or follow-up. If you have any words of encouragement or would like to comment this subject, please feel free. I've tried to be as honest as possible, because maybe it will inspire someone else to take the next step and be proactive in protecting their health. Thanks for reading, and I'll keep you posted on my boys.