Gina Molinari yoga, wellness, travel and coaching
I have a uterine fibroid twice the size of my uterus. It’s a tough, fibrous, non-cancerous tumor sensitive to estrogen and progesterone growing between my uterus and fallopian tube. Fibroids in and of themselves are common among women of childbearing years, but not many have fibroids that grow to the size of a small grapefruit.
I’ve started writing this 7 times, each slightly different. What do I want to say? I’m frustrated with Western medicine. I’m angry that I went to the ER for a diagnosis and they never mentioned what could have caused this enlarged fibroid (though I am grateful for the diagnosis and modern medical imaging). I’m angry that the common “solutions” include hysterectomies, destroying uterine lining, hormone treatment similar to sparking early menopause, and surgeries to kill the fibroid. Western medicine fails to acknowledge that the fibroid isn’t the “problem”, it’s a gracious warning sign that something else is out of balance. It’s my body’s way of alerting me to a deeper issue that needs to be dealt with. Western medicine would have me treat this occurrence only to leave the root issues unresolved and forcing my body to continue sending out its “are you paying attention yet?!” signs.
Physiologically, the cause is a hormone imbalance. My body is processing too much estrogen, either because it’s producing too much or I am taking in too much through my diet. The true solution is to find balance here. Simply getting rid of the fibroid would be like removing the “collapsed road” signs and continuing to drive along. I can do it for awhile, but somewhere down the road I will have to stop. In fact, the imbalance had already manifested in ways like abdominal bloating, water retention, weight gain, and cramps that I’ve shrugged off as minor annoyances. Intense pain was the only way to stop me long enough to actually look at the root of the problem.
Four years ago I read Love, Medicine, & Miracles by Dr. Bernie Siegel. Drawing from a clinical background, Dr. Siegel discusses self-healing and how our physiological illnesses and diseases are actually dis-eases of the soul and the emotional body. We repress something, hate something, or neglect something, and it shows up as a physical manifestation demanding our immediate attention. After reading that book, I had no doubt that I’d one day end up with some medical issue impacting the parts of my body that made me a woman. I grew up absolutely loathing my womaness – periods, the anatomy, wearing a bra, the expectations to not have hair in certain places. When my mom gave me “the talk”, I begged her to make me a boy.
My misunderstanding of the gifts of being a woman and an overall lack of love for my body continued to create unhealthy conditions as I got older. Through my late teens and early 20s I found myself in bad sexual situations, feeling betrayed by both my own body and boys I had trusted. I felt powerless and continued to hate my female anatomy for the trouble it seemed to bring me. I wanted my vagina to be lined with teeth, my uterus to disappear. Is it any surprise that after hating being a girl for half my life, my body reacted? My self-loathing attacked my uterus, the part of my body that is undeniably female.
It was only after my recent trip abroad that I made conscious efforts to embrace it – to be proud of being a woman, a creator, a Goddess in all the ways the divine feminine wanted me to embrace. I’ve experimented with allowance for tenderness, sensuality, sweetness, and confidence. Maybe the fibroid, essentially a muscle mass, is actually my feminine flexing super hard after being repressed for so many years?
Life isn’t always gentle with its messages, but sometimes that’s because the whispers went unheard and I need a blaring siren to alert me that something is askew. As I’m learning, this is another necessary lesson. It’s time to mean it when I say I am going to LOVE and care for myself, especially the parts I’ve historically disrespected. It’s time to accept a bloated belly and weight gain and love my body just the same. It’s time to find balance in being a woman. It’s time to focus on the cause of the issue, to understand it’s emotional and physiological roots, and heal those places rather than accepting a band-aid to make the outside temporarily feel better.
I’m going to heal this, but I’m starting at the root of it. I know you want to know what I’m going to DO, so to ease your worried minds: 1) 100% whole food plant-based diet (vegan) 2) acupuncture 3) DIM estrogen balancing supplement 4) emotional healing work for some old wounds 5) spending time with everyday Goddesses who are examples of embracing the feminine 6) loving my body even when it seems to be hurting me
What I need from you: 1) share your concern, but then talk to me about something other than how I’m feeling 2) don’t try to convince me that my fertility should be a priority, trust me when I say I do not intend to have children, ever 3) share your personal fibroid stories and solutions 4) have patience with making plans as some days are good and some are rough
In love and eternal healing for all,
9/2/2017 06:08:00 pm
Sorry to hear what you are going through but I am glad you are also embracing it and taking it as a sign to love your body. I hope that your self care helps your body to heal.
9/2/2017 06:10:03 pm
Fibroid sufferer here, who later developed an estrogen-fed cancer. I'm going to tell you something you may not want to hear, but it comes from my experience, so I hope you'll take it in that spirit. Stay away from soy. I found that if you get 25 grams of protein from soy in a day, that's basically one dose of an estrogen treatment. I used to eat a lot of soy-based products. Soy cheese, tofu, etc. Once I had my diagnosis, that all stopped. I'm not saying that the soy caused my problems-trust, me I don't think it did-but I wanted to eliminate any contributing factor that could lead to a relapse. You can be vegan without soy, please consider it.
9/3/2017 06:17:12 pm
Thanks for sharing! It's nice to hear first hand accounts, and especially about soy. The internet has information saying it screws things up and other sites saying phytoestrogens are nothing like mammalian estrogen. That said, I trust the personal experiences of people I know. I looked in my fridge and realised there is more soy than I thought, so I'll be cutting that out or down.
9/3/2017 06:12:50 pm
I've done some work with kambo and San Pedro and they were both very revealing. Not surprisingly, these issues were foreshadowed to me in both experiences. I have a lot of trust in Mother Earth to offer guidance :)
9/3/2017 12:04:20 am
Gina, I'm glad you eased my "worried mind," and, not being a Goddess, I won't be hanging with you. But, I can say, though I'm no G-d either, I do find, as a a man, that it's resourceful and healing to embrace MY feminine. I have no doubt that will empower YOU and facilitate your healing, too.
9/3/2017 09:15:16 pm
9/4/2017 09:19:26 am
May you find hope and healing on your journey!
2/8/2018 07:17:36 pm
My very health conscious and evolved friend got fibroids, as did I.
5/10/2018 02:01:40 pm
5/10/2018 02:30:48 pm
Hi Yeni. I did not reach out to that Dr. I've been handling my fibroid naturally and holistically. Acupuncture helped, as did healing some damaging thought patterns around my body and femininity. Finally, the biggest thing to help is a supplement called DIM, which comes from cruciferous veggies and carrots. It's helped to balance my estrogen levels and I can tell the difference when I forget to take it for a few days.
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