Recently I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer, or uterine cancer. Until now I have had only cursory knowledge of my insides, and as soon as I had to start telling friends and family members, I was bombarded with questions that I could barely answer. Over the past week I’ve learned so much, and rather than relay that information over and over again to concerned loved ones individually, I thought I’d just publish it here and save myself some phone calls.

What is the diagnosis, exactly?
The doctors tell me I have cancer inside my junk.

Inside your uterus?
Yes. Or, if you don’t like the word “uterus” you could say my vagina has throat cancer.

That’s not much better.
Then let’s just say I have the C-word (Cunt-disease).

How do they know, exactly?

Well, they went in with a camera and took some photos that showed a lot of white noise, some blobs, a shoe, an old tire and some license plates. There’s a lot of nonsense going on in there. They did a biopsy, and found that some of the blobs are tumors (and some of the license plates are Jewish!).

Is the cancer also in your ovaries or cervix?
It’s hard to tell until they get in there, so they’re just going to take it all. One big clearance sale, from the waist down.

So you won’t be able to have babies, then?

I am going to save so much money on abortions.

Did you plan on having kids?
No, I specifically planned on not having them. But apparently not giving birth is one of the causes of uterine cancer.

What?!
Yeah, the uterus has a pretty firm “use it or lose it” policy. You don’t have kids, you could get cancer; you do have kids, you could get kids. I guess you have to pick your poison.

Well, you don’t need it, so I guess it’s not so bad to give it up.
Yeah, except that it’s fucking mine and I wanted it.

Why?

You know when you’re a kid and you have a stupid toy that you never play with, and then some other kid wants to play with it and all of a sudden that is the only toy you want?

Yeah…
So, I don’t want some other kid playing with my uterus. I made it. It’s mine.

But it’s full of cancer.

Yes. Right. So now, I guess I’m done with it.

When do they take it out?
My doctor said to go ahead with my summer plans and he’d get to it after that.

So it’s not urgent…
Not super urgent, no.

So this isn’t that bad, then.

Fuck you.

I mean, it could be worse.

Yes, of course it could be worse. Everything can always be worse. That doesn’t change the fact that I’m going to go through goddamn menopause at age 39.

What does that mean?
It means that on any given day, the imbalance of hormones in my body could cause me to murder the shit out of anyone I see. It means that sweating, which I have purposely avoided my whole life, will just… happen. It means I’ll have to be on the pill, that I’ll have to quit smoking, and that I’ll be legally required to buy mom jeans, get a perm, join a book club and use the word “pocketbook”.

Or I’ll just eat ice cream and cry. I don’t really know, actually.

And will you also have to undergo radiation or chemotherapy?
Probably. They say they won’t know until they operate, but I think they just don’t tell you until it’s over so they don’t overwhelm you. I’m trying to stay positive. Like, maybe it will help with my diet.

Oh yeah, how’s that going?
Fantastic. I’m about to lose about five pounds of organs.

What goes into the space where your uterus used to be?
Styrofoam packing peanuts.

Are you going to get a second opinion before the surgery?
Good idea. I would hate to have my junk removed, only to find out that what I really had was “cankles.”

Have you told your friends and family about what’s going on?
Not all of them. This should just about cover it.

Any words of advice?
Sure. Don’t get cancer. If you do, try to be Caucasian–odds of survival are higher.

Stay healthy, be white. Anything else?
Have good health insurance, build a supportive network of friends, and blog about it. You’ve never been shy about letting people into your genital area before, so why start now?

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Founder and editor of online magazine Kittenpants, producer for stage and screen, former writer for the Comedy Central Insider, quoted in both Maxim and Jane: DARCI RATLIFF can do it all, and does do it all (on or before the third date). Buy her book, If I Did It at kittenpants.com.

39 responses to “FAQs About My Uterus”

  1. SAA says:

    When my liver eventually gives out from all the drinking I hope I can deal with it like this. I feel awful for saying I laughed at this, but I laughed my ass off. I hope you kick cunt-cancer’s ass.

  2. Happy says:

    Darci, God bless you for making me laugh about something so insanely serious!! Keep that attitude rockin’!! Muah!!

  3. Dee says:

    Only Kittenpants could make me laugh about something so un-funny. I do have some old mom jeans I’ll give you (can’t help with the perms & other stuff) so you can save your $$ to buy murder weapons and ice cream. ♥♥♥

  4. dwoz says:

    I just talked with your doctor about the diagnosis and likely outcome.

    The good news is that you have an exactly “zero” chance of getting prostate cancer. So you dodged that bullet.

    Whew.

    on a more serious note…damn. I’ll follow your lead, and won’t cry for your relinquished cervix and uterus, but damn. So sorry. Unfair.

  5. Zara Potts says:

    Dearest Darci,
    All I can say is that cancer sucks. The big one.
    It’s trite, and I wish I had better and badder words for you right now.
    I too, have no uterus (such a suckarse word) and although is missing for reasons other than cancer, I can empathise. It’s a big deal.
    You are a brave and funny and clever and lovely girl and your humour and honesty is refreshing and inspirational.
    Much love,
    Zara xx

  6. Darci says:

    Thanks, y’all. I’m trying to write as many jokes as possible, in case my sense of humor comes from my uterus. I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Xxoo!

  7. Gregory Messina says:

    Darci,

    It takes real talent to write something so funny about something so unfunny. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Irene Zion says:

    Ooph. I think I just felt a punch in the gut, Darci.
    Good job making us laugh about something decidedly un-funny.

  9. Wow, it’s really sad what happened to you. It must have taken a lot of strength to make a funny column about something that painful. I hope I can be strong like you if I ever get prostate cancer or urterine cancer. (Not sure if this post calls for a frowny or a smiley face.)

  10. angela says:

    Darci, I didn’t want to laugh but I did. Best wishes to you.

  11. Erika Rae says:

    Darci – I can’t believe you made me laugh about your bad fortune. Damn you and your funny not-funny uterus. I’m sorry.

    Best title for a post ever.

  12. Dan Burt says:

    Darci, that was seriously funny. Or humorously serious. I’m sending positive thoughts your way for a quick, healthy recovery. I know what’s it’s like to lose a uterus. Actually, it was my wife’s. It crawled out of her vagina in the middle of the night. Took us two weeks to find it. It jumped out from behind the shower curtain while I was bathing. Scared the shit out of me. My wife found me passed out in the shower with her uterus bouncing on my chest (I guess it was trying to perform CPR). Anyway, we told my wife’s OB/GYN about how it was acting and he recommended a hysterectomy.

  13. Betsey says:

    I’m FB-ing you right now, but FYI, I’ve been uterus-free since January and, while I didn’t have the big C, just some pesky benign junk that made me pee a lot, I’m happy to chat ladyparts any old time. XOXOXOXOX,
    Betsey B

    • kittenpants says:

      Betsey, you always know about everything first! You started reading The Hunger Games before me, and you had your guts taken out before me. You are a pioneer. I’m glad you are here to lead the way (but I think it goes without saying, I’m also super glad you don’t have cancer).

      Thanks for the insight.
      xxoo

  14. Darci,

    I love that you put “uterus” in the title. You are my hero. Or heroine. Except that always sounds like drugs, so I’ll just call you my hero. Unless you want to be my drug too. (You can be my heroin!)

    Anyhow. I had my uterus, cervix, left ovary, and left fallopian tube out in March because I had a giant cyst on the ovary that was causing all kinds of bodily un-goodness, and I had been bleeding heavily for 60+ days with no apparent end in sight. And I am so fucking tired of people whispering the word “uterus” around me, as if we can’t talk openly about an organ with which 50% of the population is born. Like there’s something dirty about my surgery simply because it involved my girl junk. So I really appreciate that you’ve written about it so matter-of-factly here.

    Also: uterus, uterus, uterus.

    So there, squeamish, uptight people. Deal with it. (I had to.)

    In the name of positivity, I also want to tell you that I feel better than I’ve felt in years since having the abdominal surgery to remove those parts that shall not be named, and that the 6-8 week recovery your doctor describes may not take as long as it sounds. I was driving a car again at less than 4 weeks post-surgery.

    I’m really sorry you’re having to go through this. I’ll be thinking of you and hoping that after the doctors remove your uterus, you will be completely cancer-free, will not need radiation or chemo, and will be able to quickly put this bad life moment completely behind you.

    • kittenpants says:

      It’s not fair that heroin gets all of heroine’s glory. And I’m sorry people were squeamish about your uterus. It is a funny-sounding word, but so is “skittles” and I don’t see anyone squeamish about Skittles.

      Thanks for the encouragement and glad you’re feeling better.

      xo

  15. Gloria says:

    1. You’re fucking hilarious.

    2. You do not look 39. I’ve been pegging you as in your late 20s this whole time.

    3. I’m really sorry your cunt has throat cancer. I hope this all works itself out in short order and I wish you the most sincere “be well” I’ve ever offered to anyone.

    XO
    Gloria

    • kittenpants says:

      My former Gravatar photo was from about 5 years ago. I’ve updated it to one taken a month ago so you can see, I look a lot less in my 20s than I used to.

      Thanks for the well wishes!
      xx

  16. Erica says:

    You are as much my hero now, Darci, as when you took me and Carol to see Single White Female the first week of college and didn’t tell me whether you thought I’d turn out to be the Bridget Fonda or Jennifer Jason Leigh character.

    Don’t let a homicidal uterus move in, ‘kay?

    • kittenpants says:

      LOL – I forgot what movie we saw. Weird choice for a first outing as new roommates. I am always making appropriate choices.

      Also, I’ve already let one homicidal uterus in. Fool me twice, shame on me, or whatever.

      xxoo

  17. christina says:

    finally! your uterus is so popular it broke the internet! if it wasn’t taking a leave of absence, world domination could be next. but i believe you can still dominate or at least rock the world very very hard without those silly lady parts. hilariously written and a total bummer. cunt disease has nothing on you, babe! i wish you all the very best well wishes.

    ps you totally still look like you’re in your twenties.

    xoxoxoxox

  18. christina says:

    finally! your uterus is so popular it broke the internet! if it wasn’t taking a leave of absence, world domination could be next. but i believe you can still dominate or at least rock the world very very hard without those silly lady parts. hilariously written and a total bummer. cunt disease has nothing on you, babe! i wish you all the very best well wishes.

    ps you totally still look like you’re in your twenties and you will look rad with a perm and a pocketbook.

    xoxoxoxox

  19. christina says:

    your uterus is so popular it broke the internet! if it wasn’t taking a leave of absence, world domination could be next. but i believe you can still dominate or at least rock the world very very hard without those silly lady parts. hilariously written and a total bummer. cunt disease has nothing on you, babe! i wish you all the very best well wishes.

    ps you totally still look like you’re in your twenties and you will look rad with a perm and a pocketbook.

    xoxoxoxox

  20. christina says:

    your uterus is so popular it broke the internet! if it wasn’t taking a leave of absence, world domination could be next. but i believe you can still dominate or at least rock the world very very hard without those silly lady parts. hilariously written and a total bummer. cunt disease has nothing on you, babe! i wish you all the very best well wishes.

    ps you totally still look like you’re in your twenties and you will look rad with a perm and a pocketbook.

    xoxoxoxox

  21. Quenby Moone says:

    I’m extremely sorry that you have junk in your junk. My dad had junk in his junk, and all we could do was make jokes about it too. Not that it’s funny–it’s just that it’s kind of funny, you know?

    Sometimes hilarious, except when it’s not.

    Good luck with the eviction. I wish you the very, very, very best.

  22. Sheila says:

    U are one freakin awesome woman! Keeping stress free and having positive thoughts will help u tremendously thru ur journey. My father was diagnosed with f’in breast cancer of all things a few yrs back,when he went thru chemo and lost all body hair he told everyone now he could fufill his dream of being a nude dancer without having to worry about waxing/shaving any body hair,lol. Keep up the positive attitude!

  23. Jackie Damrau says:

    Darci, Thank you for voicing how I felt 22 years ago when I went through what you are now. It’s honestly not that bad, except that darn sweats, which are a pain. After 22 years of HRT and now off them, life is still a sweaty mess.

    Thanks for saying what many of us who have been through this experience have felt and didn’t know how to voice.

  24. Nora W. Coffey says:

    Darci,

    I love your wicked sense of humor!

    Since there is no rush, maybe there is a little more that needs to be explored before you go into an operating room to have your junk yanked out.

    I’m president of the Hysterectomy Educational Resources and Services (HERS) Foundation. I counsel women by phone about how to verify a diagnosis before considering surgery, and HERS provides medical journal articles about all of the related issues including conservative treatment of early stage uterine cancer. Give me a call at 888.750.HERS or 610.667.7757.

    The question about what takes up the space where the uterus had been? The answer to that and other questions about changes in the body when the uterus is removed in the short video “Female Anatomy: the Functions of the Female Organs” at http://www.hersfoundation.org/anatomy.

    • Lee says:

      Darci,

      Before you go on that “third date” with your GYN…CALL Nora Coffey at the HERS Foundation…This woman should have a red “S” tattooed on her chest…She has, for over 3o years, dedicated herself to educating women on the perils what is certainly humorless surgery… Your kick-ass attitude will serve you well as you validate the necessity of the removal of your ‘junk.” You are much too vibrant a woman to give up your parts without a shit-kicking fight… You can’t have them back once they’re gone…The HERS video should be required viewing for EVERY FREAKING WOMAN ON THE PLANET…
      Lee

  25. Becky Kerber says:

    Darci,
    Thank you for making me laugh. I had a complete hysterectomy for endometrial cancer 6 years ago and Ive been sweating ever since! I found the best item to have is a remote control fan. Sweat, freeze, sweat, freeze.
    I hope all is well in cooterland and your cancer is under control. Thank you for the article!

  26. […] to Penny for telling us about her friend’s awesome and hilarious write-up of her experience with cancer and about this article that sounds eerily like […]

  27. […] terrible. They’re expensive. They smell bad. They will eventually give me cancer and also I JUST FINISHED BEATING CANCER AND IT WAS GROSS AND I DON’T WANT TO DO IT AGAIN. I know there is no reason to keep […]

  28. electricdaisy says:

    “So you won’t be able to have babies, then?
    I am going to save so much money on abortions.”

    Can we be BFFs? This is only the second article of yours I’ve read (came over on the mom/porno one from Tits And Sass) and you are basically my new favorite person. To the batarchives!

  29. I haven’t had a c-section and still have that belly flap that everyone is talking about.

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