Sometimes answers come to us in places we least expect. For new Memphis resident Cecilia Noel, that happened to her while reading the latest Memphis Health and Fitness Magazine.
Cecilia was first diagnosed in 2006 with uterine fibroids. Over the next few years, the symptoms gradually intensified, causing heavy and inconsistent cycles, cramping, and other discomforts.
In 2016, per her OBGYN’s recommendation, Cecilia underwent a myomectomy — the surgical removal of uterine fibroids near the bikini area — with a general estimation of one-year likelihood before re-growth.
As it was, the fibroids returned within two years, with accelerated symptoms.
“I’m a big fitness person. I work out five times a week and have always had a flat stomach, but with fibroids, I couldn’t achieve what I’d had before my surgery.”
As a former track and field collegiate athlete, who held the triple jump record for 12 years at the University of Lafayette, Cecilia couldn’t understand why her body was changing despite her consistent, healthy lifestyle habits.
So, she started wearing looser clothes to hide extreme bloating.
“I tried everything because I wasn’t ready for a hysterectomy.” Cecilia’s last-resort stint included elimination diets, which included going vegan for six months and completely stripping out sugars, alcohol, and other inflammatory foods, in an effort to shrink her fibroids.
These changes ended up causing Cecilia to lose too much weight and muscle mass, with no luck on the fibroid’s end.
So, while working out one day at Harbor Fitness gym, she picked up a copy of Memphis Health and Fitness and read the article on Rosha Williams. Williams also struggled with fibroids and underwent Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE) — a minimally invasive procedure that cuts off circulation to the fibroids, so they shrink and discharge naturally — at Dr. David Cohen’s office at Vascular Interventional Physicians.
“I thought, oh my gosh, this is my story!”
After calling Dr. Cohen, Cecilia had a consultation and MRI, to which she brought a slew of questions, anxieties, and even doubts about her candidacy for the procedure.
Dr. Cohen alleviated her concerns and encouraged her to contact him if anything else arose.
“I loved Dr. Cohen. He answered all my questions and made me feel very comfortable.”
Nerves assuaged, Cecilia was in and out of surgery in no time and, within one week, had lost an inch from her waistline.
“I want readers to know there are options other than having a hysterectomy. Before I moved to Memphis, I was never given any other options.”
While it takes a few years for fibroids to shrink entirely post-op, the fit enthusiast now gushes about being able to wear more fitted clothes without the insecurities of fibroid bloating.
“I was excited about that. I’m pleased about my decision to have the procedure.”
While Cecilia remains a clean eater with weekly meal prep, she shares, “I don’t cut out anything completely like I used to, and I enjoy indulgences occasionally.”
To stay fit and lean, she incorporates Pilates into her five-day-a-week weight-lifting regimen and thrice weekly, 30-minute cardio sessions.
The health educator, certified personal trainer, and successful sales rep shares a lot of gratitude for the magazine. “It was a very compelling article that got me to do research.”
For more information, visit vipphysiciansmemphis.com or call 901.747.1007.
By Shlomit Ovadia
Photo by D’Angelo Connell