Early 2019, after a cervical cancer screening, I was diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma in situ. Which are cancer cells that would eventually turn into invasive Adenocarcinoma. The only cure or treatment is to either get a hysterectomy or biopsies every 6 months for five or more years. Due to my age and a ton of thinking about fertility, I made the definitive choice to have a hysterectomy. During this time, my diagnosis brought up a lot of trauma, I had to navigate discrimination in the health care system, and thoroughly ask myself what it means to be a life giver. I asked the Universe for help, started smudging daily, went to therapy and what helped me the most was the Sweat Lodge. Praying together with strong women and talking with our ancestors gave me such immense strength in a time of grief, sadness and fear. I not only asked for strength with going through with surgery but for a positive recovery.
Healing from a hysterectomy is 6 weeks, the only exercise you can do is walk. I had a lot of time to think and make, which in turn allowed me to get creative and have a ton of ideas flow. I will always cherish this healing time, I feel so fortunate and to have free health care and short-term disability through my work, which lead me to have a stress-free recovery. During this time, I was able to design and bead this collection titled, The Healing collection. Most of the work refers to the moon symbolizing a farewell to my menstrual cycle (moon time) which also collates with the “Blood of my Ancestor” necklaces. I feel through this collection, I can embrace a new way of thinking of what a life giver is and move forward with my new self.
To people that have a uterus, please make sure you get screened regularly, it truly saves lives.