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  • Writer's pictureMadeleine Lee

My Journey with Endometriosis and through Hysterectomy

madeleine lee hysterectomy endometriosis antique dolls rocking chair ewa i walla

I’m going to talk about a chapter of my life that happened a long time ago, but I feel it’s an important & current topic.

In my mid-forties I suffered from severe Endometriosis. The pain was excruciating and no pain killers could ease it!

Sometimes I would almost pass out with the pain, collapsing to the floor & be unable to move.

Endometriosis comes with a whole array of other nasty symptoms; sickness, diarrhoea, chronic pelvic pain, lower back pain, & fatigue.

It didn’t marry well with my Chronic Fatigue/Lyme Disease either and may well have been interconnected.

I suffered with it two weeks out of every month.

I didn’t need key hole surgery to know something was seriously wrong and after suffering from it for six years I decided to have a full Hysterectomy.

I hadn’t been able to have children and luckily for me, I was more of a career girl than a deeply maternal one. But that didn’t stop the emotional pain when it became clear that I no longer had the choice.

It’s one thing making your own decision not to have children, and another having it made for you.

Although, realistically, it was too late; still, I did grieve for a while.

I remember the night before the operation. I was out in a restaurant and saw a mother and her young daughter giggling in the corner. The reality of never having children hit me. I disappeared downstairs to the privacy of the washroom and cried my eyes out.

But as I cried, a feeling of clarity washed over me.

I thought of all the love I could continue to spread through my writing, my family & friendships. To all the people I had yet to meet, even if it was only for a fleeting second.

I had seen how much energy my friends had given to motherhood, often loosing part of themselves in the process – although I also knew that the rewards were great so that none of that mattered in comparison.

So here I was, with this big old heart bursting with love that I could share with the world.

I was living in a new era too. One where there was no longer a stigma with having a hysterectomy.

Luckily I had worked with a great healer and didn’t see myself so much as just a body, but also as spirit. I certainly didn’t need a womb to be all woman. Far from it.

So I decided to embrace the hysterectomy.

I was blessed to have a good doctor and private room, which my husband and father decorated with every flower from the local flower shop and every magazine that was available in the newsagents.

They both paced the room nervously, but for me, this was to be a new chapter! A wonderful beginning with no more pain.

When my surgeon, the lovely Mr Fish, came to me pre-op, I told him merrily : ‘Whip it out Mr Fish!’.  So with my father and husband waving me off, he wheeled me into surgery.


The rest is history.

I am aware that I was lucky not to have that deep need to have children, so my heart goes out to all you mothers that did, and were unable to bear them.

But I do want to say this.

This world is a crowded place and too many of us go without adequate love and support.

So if you have that unfulfilled love inside you – please find a way to turn it round.

We need your love – we need all the love we can get – so spread that maternal goodness as wide as you can.

Celebrate that you are all woman with a beautiful heart.

I had even thought of taking a picture of myself cradling the remains of my womb in my arms, with a big smile on my face.  Sending a message to say I am so much more than this.

So many women have worked hard to be in a world where we are free to make these decisions and feel good about ourselves. We live in a different world to our parents, where you were expected to have a husband, home and children.

Now we live in a world where spreading our love in all shapes and forms is more important that ever!

So if you are in pain with Endometriosis and in two minds whether to have the operation or not … unless you are young and have years of child bearing years ahead of you, I say embrace the operation with love and hope.

Be free from all the restrictions this horrible disease brings you and remember you don’t have to be a traditional mother to be a mother to all.

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Kat Newman
Kat Newman
Mar 30, 2020

I had this too and it was so painful. I had a tumour which was taken out years ago. The did not do a hysterectomy at the time I guess because the tumour was not cancerous. My mother used to say that it goes away once you have a kid. I don`t know how true that is. She wanted a grandchild but that time has passed for me now.


Sheila Shedd
Sheila Shedd
Nov 20, 2019

This photo! How perfectly it describes our cultural and biological expectations and what those pressures translate to in our real lives. You really are a mother to us, Madeleine; one of the most nurturing people I've ever met.


Ra Martin
Ra Martin
Nov 20, 2019

This piece brought tears to my eyes. The way you took such a negative and sorrowful passage & turned it into a "loving" opportunity, and I know first hand that you live the

words you wrote and bring love and hope to everything and everyone you touch each day. ra

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