Updated: Nov 4, 2019
“It seems like this cyst is pretty persistent get it.. cyst-ent” my dad laughed at his failed attempt to make light of my current circumstance. It was September of 2011 and he and my mom drove up from Maryland to New York to meet me at the hospital due to an ovarian cyst that led me to the ER several times in the span of a few days. After no resolution from the medical staff at the hospital regarding what to do next my parents decided to come get me and head back to Maryland where my OBGYN would preform surgery.
It is hard to forget September 21,2011 as what I thought would be a day that may cross my mind occasionally turned out to be a day that forever changed me. It was that day that I not only got rid of a cyst but also had to let go of a reproductive organ.
That day will forever be engraved in my brain. It was a day that caused a lot of grief, fear, anxiety and pain. The impact it made is something that I am still moving through today as it comes out in different ways. There are moments when I still feel anger towards my body, the cyst, and the situation that occurred. Moments where I often laugh when telling the story of my father’s joke and at the time how not funny I found it. There have been occasions where I connect to all consuming tears and frustration mixed with feelings of isolation. There have also been moments where I need to breathe and give myself compassion and patience. It is in the moments where I sit with the vulnerability around everything that happened to me where I become the most connected to what I need to put me at ease.
It was the longing for some type of relief that pushed me to persist with moving through this traumatic experience even at times when I felt I had nothing left to give it. Since that major surgery my reproductive journey has consisted of medical appointments, hormonal treatments, more procedures when complications occur, and trying to communicate what I am experiencing as I have been yearning to be heard. Also advocating for what I feel I need and deserve in order to feel safe with my body and emotions that occur. This new found space to advocate led me to where I am currently. A licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) who specializes in reproductive health and infertility.
Sitting in that wheelchair on September 21,2011 and hearing my father’s laugh after his reference to my experience I can actually say not only was the cyst persistent but so is the passion it gave me to build the community I am creating with Embrace LIFE in hopes to support, encourage, and inform others of the layers that exist in fertility experiences. I never knew years later I could actually appreciate a cyst being persistent and what it would mean to my understanding of my purpose. I guess my dad was right persistence may not always come easy but it can also be something that leads us exactly where we need to be in my case it was from surgery to advocacy.