Diane has wondered what makes her struggle with infertility different from other women on the same emotional rollercoaster. She wondered why her story needed to be told and how her story could give hope and inspire other women on this overly-exhausting journey. She then realized that it must be told because there is another 16-year-old black girl dealing with debilitating pains that continue to go undiagnosed by multiple doctors and specialists. It must be told so that same 16-year-old girl can be aware of her body and know the signs of crippling diseases that rip dreams away from millions of women everyday – dreams of their bodies doing the one thing they are supposed to be made to do.
After two years of suffering, Diane finally received a diagnosis of uterine fibroids at the age of 18. Upon her initial laparoscopic surgery, the doctors found too many fibroids, and they were too large to all be removed at once. Due to this finding, they performed a second surgery, a myomectomy, to remove the rest. After these procedures, her intense pain stopped, the hospital visits ended, and Diane finally felt as though she was on the road to recovery.
A few years later, she was back in the ER. The same pains as before led her back to more doctors and more specialists. She began to research and educate herself on what the pains could be after receiving ultrasounds that showed fibroids too small to cause the kind of pain she was experiencing. It was then she discovered endometriosis.
She thoroughly researched to educate herself and when she followed up with her doctor, she asked if they could check to see if that was what was causing her pain. “You are too young,” she heard. She heard this repeatedly until she finally found a new gynecologist that took the time to listen, and they discovered she did, in fact, have endometriosis.
After this diagnosis, Diane was headed for her third surgery. It was after this surgery that Diane realized her desire to have children may have been stripped from her. After multiple surgeries, excessive scar tissue and endometriosis that would continue to grow, the chances were slim.
Overly optimistic and full of faith, Diane and her husband decided to start trying to build a family. Although they are still currently undergoing fertility treatments, they have not given up hope. Diane encourages all women, especially black women, to educate and advocate for themselves. Early detection of these diseases could make the difference in one’s fertility journey. Diane often wonders if it would have made a difference in hers.
Diane may be barren, but she is not broken. She is sterile, but she still has her strength. Diane hopes her story can change the trajectory for others, giving them their happy ending.
“It’s about the journey–mine and yours–and the lives we can touch, the legacy we can leave, and the world we can change for the better.” -Tony Dungy
Diane C., Kentucky