See you Later, Ovulator.....

Helping Homeless and Impoverish Women Benefit from my Hysterectomy


On Monday October 9, 2017 I will undergo a Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy, which just means, I’m going to be gutted. 

Actually, I think its funny that they call my surgery a “bilateral salpingo-oohorectomy” because I only have one puny, little, collapsed fallopian tube and just part of one ovary… I guess the title is long enough without adding the specifics.  Anyway, I am about to say goodbye to a part of me that I have been at constant war with since I was 15, and also, the same part of me that I have blessed by, four times over. 

I am 38 years old, and after 23 years of dealing with ovarian tumors, cysts, infertility, (and then TOO much fertility), uterine growths, and pain, the time has come to take it all out.  


Yesterday I signed my consent to have everything removed, and I cried.


Despite the odds, I was able to create four beautiful children with just a little bit of an ovary, and because of that reason alone, I should be ok letting go.

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The rational side of my brain gets this, the emotional side... not so much.  


So I am hoping to distract myself from what could be a time of (irrational?) grief by making it into a time of excitement.  

I am hoping that by creating this GoFundMe event, I can go into that surgery knowing that I did something that helped someone.  I want to focus on creating something beautiful in these few days I have leading up to this surgery, so I stop focusing on the dread of a 9th surgery, or the fear of aging ungracefully, or all the crazy little places your mind goes when you think about something in its finality (I mean, I NEVER want to be pregnant again… but, I wasn't prepared to do this until I was in my 50s or 60s). 

By the way, half of you reading this either have had, or know someone who has had a hysterectomy.  I understand this isn't anything to worry about, or lament over.  According to The National Women’s Health Network’s website,

                     “Hysterectomy is the second most frequently performed surgical procedure (after cesarean section) for U.S. women who are of reproductive age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2006-2010, 11.7 percent of women between the ages of 40-44 had a hysterectomy. Approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are performed annually in the United States, and approximately 20 million American women have had a hysterectomy. By the age of 60, more than one-third of all women have had a hysterectomy.”

24382282_15070568070_r.jpeg(pssst, Jay see if you can order one of these cakes, but with only half of the equipment drawn!)

So this is a walk in the park- something that will be quick and easy… and I’ll never have to worry about a period again, or scary visits to the UNC GYN Oncology department…. (do you hear the gospel choir singing “Hallelujah”?)..but there are so many other women to whom a period is so much worse than a hysterectomy. 

Homeless and severely impoverished women have a damn hard time each month.  Tampons and pads are expensive, picking between providing your young teenage daughter with a sanitary product or feeding the family is something I hope to never worry about.  But tons of mothers and fathers, do. Feeling disregarded and vulnerable as a homeless woman is already hard enough, but being on the streets during one of the most painful times of the month with stained pants just makes it that much worse.

I thought I’d feel productive and helpful by just gathering my unused collection of tampons from that third drawer in the bathroom- but then I realized.. what’s 30 Regular Tampons really to the local homeless and women’s shelters?… It’s not much. 


So I ask of you, my friends.. As a farewell to it all, help me send my uterus and all her lady-part pals off with a bang!  Help me raise money for some of the women who need a little dignity this month. 


100% (minus the GoFundMe fee) will go to three organizations.  Two Thirds of the money raised will go to buying tampons, pads, and sanitary wipes which will be donated to two local shelters in my area, The Helen Wright Center for Women  and the Dorothy Mae Hall Women's Center  .  Additionally, 1/3 of the funds will go to Medshare  which is an organization actively looking for donations in the form of diapers, baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrushes to help women with small children or babies in Puerto Rico struggling through the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.


Thank you for helping me do something amazing and keeping my spirits up,
                                        Eva (and her soon to be discarded lady parts)



For more perspective on homelessness and periods, check out these links:

https://soapboxie.com/social-issues/Homeless-Periods-Suck

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABch4VYOJZ0

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/14/homeless-women-tampons_n_6465230.html

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/news/a47596/what-its-like-to-get-your-period-when-youre-homeless/


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Organizer

Eva Toba Melamed 
Organizer
Raleigh, NC
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