Woven Blessings
Winter 2006

by Sheri L. VanDuyn


I just woke up from my nap on the Living room couch. It is so cozy and comfortable here, that it is hard to believe that I spent the month of August in this room recovering from surgery! So to tell you my story, I really must start at the beginning and this means the start of this New Year. I will be quite frank about these events of my life.

I turned 40 and it seems I really never had another period. The Doctor called it early menopause and thought that because I had such heavy bleeding and endometriosis with 2 surgeries when I was younger, I was now in the next "stage" of life. I had no hot flashes so seemed to go through the "change" very well; that is until earlier this year. I started bleeding and I wasn’t too alarmed as I was planning my daughter’s wedding and my Mom’s health was declining. Stress can bring this on-so I really did not pay much attention to my body until 2 weeks later when I stated bleeding again. So this time I called the Doctor and went in for an exam. After blood tests and several lab tests, the Doctor recommended a D&C because I had endometriosis with hyperplasia. This procedure would be done as an outpatient on a Thursday with 4 days off from work. The date the Dr. selected was the week of my daughter’s wedding! Since I was going to be busy this week; I reminded him that I was a teacher and summers worked out well for me. I was told that this could not wait and another gal was switched to accommodate me. So I was given hormone pills; went in late March and had 4 days off from school. I went back to school for a few days following surgery moving slowly and really rested more the following weekend while recovering in Florida for Spring Break.

Well my daughter’s wedding was wonderful, but the following day my Mom entered the hospital. Later that week I started to bleed again. Back to the Doctor who advised me to take 2 hormone pills-1 in the morning and 1 at night. I was fine again, but another month went by and I started bleeding again. Back to the Doctor. His advice was to take a 3rd hormone pill. Once the bleeding quit, drop down to 2 pills and then back to one. Well this all sounds logical, but the day I reduced to 2 pills, I would start bleeding again! So I never got off the 3 pills! My emotions were also out of sort-I cried so easily with all these new hormones in me!

School was finally out for the Summer and now I had to dedicate time to figure my body out. So, back to the Dr. and more lab tests. My Dr. referred me to his partner who would perform major surgery which was starting to look like a prospect. My husband, Ralph came with me for this consultation to go over my options. We spoke about an hour going over all my medical background and options from my lab results. Her recommendation was to try another hormone pill; I would gain another 20-40 pounds like I did with the first one. Or, a hysterectomy-but instead of going in vaginally like my Doctor had recommended and talked to me about, the surgery would have to be abdominally! I have cancer in my family and the risk of ovarian cancer with my own medical history was too high. Everything was to be removed-uterus and both ovaries. I started to get a bit teary eyed as I was prepared for what my Doctor had stated and this was a lot to absorb. I preferred my own Doctor’s method of surgery much better. The procedure was less evasive and the recovery time was supposed to be much quicker. The new Doctor stated that until she got in there for surgery, she could not see everything properly unless she went in through the abdominal wall and she would hate to miss out on something by going in the other way. Her recommendation was to think about the 3 options and call her back; do not choose right now. Well, being a teacher, I just asked about the dates, how long recovery took and could she please put me on the schedule tentatively. Already this was the last weekend in June-she teased me that teachers who need this operation want to enjoy their Summer as long as possible and then set up this surgery. I protested stating that testing and lab work for me was just completed. Ralph said that we would be in touch and he was taking me away for the 4th of July Holiday to getaway and discuss our options. We crossed Lake Michigan on a coal steamship called the Badger and headed to tour Door County in Wisconsin. We had been here before on our own boat, so now was the time to sightsee inland what we could not see by walking on foot. Yes, every now and then we would talk about me, my health and what decision we should make. It was so great to be gone from home, but this decision was ever looming over both of us…

See! I will not forget you…
I have carved you in the palm of my hand."

~Isaiah 49:15

This verse was so important to me as a decision had to be prayerfully made which I will share in the next Issue.   

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