14 Feb 2016

This Is Why The Meaning of Valentine’s Day Changed For Me

3 years ago, Valentine’s Day took on a whole new meaning for me. While I normally share advice, today I wanted to share a personal story taken directly from my book (that is still in progress). Hopefully you get to learn more about me and enjoy my sense of humor which you don’t usually get to read here. 

The air was cold and my legs were mounted up in a position that had become all too familiar to me. It was Valentine’s Day 2013 and I went to visit the man who had been getting most of my attention for the last eight months. He was soft spoken and attentive. We developed an amazing bond. We saw each other three days a week, he’d already met my family and we’d shared some of life’s most intimate moments together.

I was more nervous than usual that day. What would he say? What would I do? Will we continue to see each other or was this the end for us?

I took a deep breath as I always did when he inserted into me and said, “Hey doc, I was expecting to get some flowers or at least a card today?! After all you’re the only man who has seen my vagina in months.”

He looked up at me from behind the leg harness, his face turning bright red as the nurse in the room could not stop laughing. You would have thought he was used to my crude jokes by now, but he still wasn’t ready.

That day was my fifth post-operation appointment from a corrective surgery I’d had in December. I’d been cleared of cancer in October but complications during my first operation had to be fixed and prolonged the healing. Post surgery, my stitches wouldn’t heal and I got a bad infection that didn’t seem to want to go away.

Eight weeks of bed rest later, I was hopeful that my eight-month nightmare of constant doctors appointments, hospital visits and sexless days would finally be over.

“It’s a whole new world down there. Please tell me I can start having sex again,” I exclaimed as I tried to hide my fear of the unknown with humor.

I looked over at the nurse again. She had kind eyes and I could tell that she was as anxious as I was to hear the answer.

The doctor continued his procedure, as I grew increasingly aggravated by his silence.

“How are the stitches looking? At least I’ll be ribbed for his pleasure,” I tried to joke again.

I continued to give him my best stand up comedy shtick and he just kept poking and looking into the dark, cob webbed valve that had become the bane of my existence.

“Yes, you can, in fact, have sex again, and you are ribbed so make sure to use lube when you start trying.“

“I like you and all, but I don’t want to see you again for a long time, unless you’re pregnant,” he added while taking off his gloves.

I took another deep breath, this time in relief. Little did he know that I’d been planning for months on how we could meet under better circumstances. Next time it wouldn’t be for something as depressing as cancer or cysts, it would be because I was having a baby and we would spend eight months planning my delivery, rather than healing from old wounds.

Getting the approval to have sex again and leave bed rest was the green light I needed to get started on my plan. I was going to aggressively date, fall in love, find a husband and get pregnant.

This may seem like the thing a lot of women in their thirties think about doing, but for me this wasn’t the norm. I didn’t grow up dreaming of my wedding day or what I would name my kids until the day I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and the first question that my doctor asked was if I wanted to have children.

After years of being single, and not thinking about marriage whatsoever, I set this goal and like every other goal in my life: I was going to be strategic and aggressive in achieving it.

Being strategic and aggressive was the only way I knew how to behave. When I entered my junior year of high school, I decided that school was getting in the way of my aspirations. I wanted to be a singer and a songwriter and school was taking away from my time in the studio and at rehearsal.

My parents didn’t have the money to get me a private tutor, so I decided I would finish two years of school in one year and graduate a year early. I had to take my regular classes, night school, weekend courses, and college courses to get all the necessary credits.

My school schedule was topped off with a part time job on Sundays and some weekdays, and I still managed to graduate with honors. My plan was so aggressive that my own school counselor didn’t think I would make it. She never ordered my diploma and on the day I crossed the graduation stage, I was just handed an empty piece of paper. If I could do that in a year, I could find “the one” in two, right?

So why couldn’t I have started dating before my approval to have sex? I guess if I were a traditional woman, I could have done just that, but at that point I had been single for nine years and didn’t date men with the intention of marrying them. I had “situations” with only the intention to sleep with them and have a good time. Therefore, my thought process put dating and sex together. I needed my doctor’s green light to have sex so that I could start dating.

Those may be the most pathetic words I have ever written (though this is just the start of the story), but that was my reality. And my reality then is nowhere near my reality now.

I walked out of the doctor’s office with a smile on my face for the first time in months. I was greeted with cheers and congrats from the nurses, and I walked down the hall, decorated with flowers, balloons and cards. This was a major change from the sympathy taps and murmurs of “you poor thing” that I was used to receiving from them.

I went on to Twitter and Facebook to share my joy with my social media community and posted:

“Today my doctor gave me the best Valentine’s Day present a girl could ever ask for.”

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