I have always been astounded by how men can say they have balls and they are tough and women are delicate. Women don’t have the balls to do some things. This is made clear in random conversations and media pressure.
However, women have ovaries. Those are our gonads. So, we are just as tough.
I read a book in college called That Takes Ovaries. It consisted of short narrative memoir pieces about how women overcame certain life issues and claimed their femininity as their power. As a result, a friend of mine and I decided to have a regular night every month to celebrate our ovaries. We were women and we were powerful, in our own ways. Our nights consisted of talking about our issues and validating each other. We also watched movies that frequently made us cry as we identified with the characters and the sanctity of life and our choices.
In 2016, I had one ovary removed. I had dealt with pain for two years and after multiple ultrasounds, my doctor decided to do surgery to remove a large cyst. Unfortunately, the left ovary was completely covered and there was no saving it. Less than a year later, my right ovary was covered in a cyst the size of my uterus. The doctor saved half of my remaining ovary.
Last year, I went through six months of lupron and am still in pain. So, on January 3, 2019, I opted for a hysterectomy. It is being scheduled and I am stuck wondering about menopause.
I have not a period in about 4-5 years. I have given up on having children for a variety of reasons. When I was in my twenties, I dreamed of having children and every time I had a period, I recalled victims of the holocaust, who reveled in their period as it marked their still being a woman. I have oft been told that my chances of having children is slim, but at every period, I thought, “I am still fertile.”
Now, I will never be able to have children. My half of an ovary may be gone for good. The endometriosis and pelvic pain will be remedied. However, my hormonal flux will take a while to end. I’ve already had hot flashes and fear I am being watched by the EPA for the heat waves I am emitting and the possibility that I am contributing to global warming.
I am not sure that I will not continue to alienate people. I am not sure when the crying in the first five minutes of a movie will end. I am not sure when the guilt of saying something out of the ordinary will end. My hormones, right now, remind me of my state of mind in my teens when I obsessed over everything.
I imagine that things will improve with time, but, for now, I am emotional and am ready to think about life without pain. I think, even without gonads, I may still be a strong woman.