Given all the downtime created by lack of energy, aggravation from general symptoms, or just the need to slow down during days of heavy bleeding, a diagnosis of uterine fibroids may leave patients with more potential reading time than she would likely have had otherwise. Even the most avid readers are sometimes fresh out of ideas of which volume to dive into next, so here we present (drumroll, please…) our recommended reading list.

  1. The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga is for those of us in need of a mindset reset. As women, many of us spend an incredible amount of time and effort, often hopelessly in vain, trying to please others. When managing life with chronic illness, there’s just no time or energy for that. Now is the ideal time to switch gears and focus on ourselves — our happiness and our own wellbeing — as a higher priority. These two authors have masterfully put together what Hello Giggles describes as, “…Marie Kondo, but for your brain.”
  2. Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson would be worth it just for the laugh you’ll get from seeing the perfectly-done cover, but the book is really much more than that. Ms. Lawson has been through far more than her own personal quota of health nightmares but has actively chosen to pull herself through intact. While blessedly avoiding preaching sunshine and glitter, this volume is skillfully written with the perfect (really, perfect!) humor-to-storyline combo to help beat down the blues.
  3. Uterine Fibroids: The Complete Guide by Elizabeth A. Stewart, MD is a phenomenal resource for women diagnosed with uterine fibroids. Of course, this recommended reading list must include a book about fibroids, but this is no ho-hum piece of work. While scholarly, (it’s published by Johns Hopkins) it is still readable for the laywoman. Dr. Steward has done us all a favor by taking out as much of the intimidation factor as possible in this professional, fact-based compendium of knowledge that should be accessible to us all.
  4. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed is a story about forging on against the odds, and can’t we all identify with that? Cheryl’s uplifting journey is one of discovery and healing, showcasing the value of delving deeper into ourselves. Her on-the-fly trek through a desert, forests and thousands of kilometers of terrain inspires us to think outside the box, to lift ourselves up through the trials of fibroids and indeed, other messes in our lives, come what may.
  5. Live Well Now: Healthy Habits Journal by Alyssa Brown isn’t written for passive reading. As great as those forget-the-universe writings are, this non-traditional book is written mostly by YOU. While unfortunately no miraculous diets or yoga poses exist that can guarantee instant, or even longer-term freedom from the symptoms of uterine fibroids, a healthier lifestyle can at least help you feel somewhat better. Healthier living isn’t an overnight process. It’s involved, invested and longer-term, covering a broad range of care for both mind and body. Here’s where that starts.
  6. The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine and Motherhood by Belle Boggs is a big, supportive bear hug for women muddling through infertility, which is unfortunately a painful reality for some (but not all) women with fibroids. Above all else, Ms. Boggs’ recounting lets readers know that they aren’t alone in their trials and tears. The author candidly describes her feelings when even, “Jamani, an eleven-year-old female gorilla at the North Carolina Zoo, is expecting, the first gorilla pregnancy there in twenty-two years.” This acclaimed work was named Best Book of 2016 by O, The Oprah Magazine; Publishers Weekly and Buzzfeed.
  7. The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger has nothing — aside from the heroine being female — to do with health, fibroids, or anything else particularly productive. This is part of its charm. Sometimes, losing ourselves in an expertly-woven plot filled with fascinating characters is just what the doctor ordered.

While taking some time off from your regularly scheduled life to manage through heavy bleeding, chronic pain, bloating and other symptoms caused by uterine fibroids can be a downer, we hope these books help lift you up, and that you can feel us holding your hand. Here’s hoping the medical community advances quickly toward discovering a way to make fibroids a short-term, easily solvable issue. In the meantime, happy reading!