Day 11 after the Da Vinci- Unterine Sarcoma at 34 years old
If you have stumbled upon my story, I hope that it helps. When I found out that I had to have a surprise hysterectomy at 34 years old, I was dimayed to say the least. The first thing I did was google "hysterectomy" and this site was one of the first results. I lurked for a few days, and read story after story.
While my doctor was fairly helpful, you do not really hear about the worrisome aspects about the entire process, and this site answered ALL of my questions. I went into my final appointment with a list of questions and information, and my doctor was fairly surprised at all of the information I had at hand. You woman know your stuff!
I originally started bleeding heavily, to the tune of blowing out two office chairs and a couple of pairs of pants. Literally, would have on a huge grandma pad while wearing the largest tampon on the market and still go right through within an hour. They thought it was a fibroid and went in and did a D&C. They sent off pathology, even though 99.9% of it comes back clean. Well I was the .1% and it came back that I had a unterine sarcoma. It is supposely rare, and only 1,200 women in all of America had this last year.
I have never had children or any health issues, and always had a fairly normal period...even though I have always had some nasty cramps. So one good thing from this site is that I FOUGHT for my ovaries. And I got to keep them. It is easier for them to take it all out at once, and you have to ASK to keep them. I learned that from this site, and I thank all the women here for my hair that will stay thick and for my own hormones. Makes me a happy girl!
I went in Friday, February 15th (the day after Valentine's- LOL) and had the Da Vinci Hysterectomy with removal of the cervix. After the final pathology came back, they told me that there was a 5 centimeter mass (about the size of a plum) in the muscle of the uterus, but it had not spread to the lymph nodes. They did take some of the lymph nodes (and honestly that is the worst pain that I am having). They had to "pluck" them from the femoral artery, which is a total synsory nerve. Yeah, so pretty much my whole lady bits are numb and down through my inner thighs.
I was nervous, but reading all the stories on here told me what to expect, and it made the recovery that much easier. I believe this is the least invasive surgery, and one of the more desirable, but it still HURTS. Going into surgery was fine and they give you drugs and I barely remember anything other than telling the anesthesiologist that my sister thought he had a sexy voice. Then I remember waking up in recovery to one of the nicest nurses I have ever met. You fade in and out a bit, but there was no pain. My mouth felt like there was quick sand in there, and I would have given a million dollars for some chap stick at that moment.
I stayed there for awhile, and then she rolled me up to my room (got my own pad for the night, which was awesome). My whole family and boyfriend were in the waiting area already, so I wheeled right past them. They set me up and the pain started to come then. At first, it hits you pretty hard. They asked me the level, and I never reached over an 8. As soon as I said I had pain at all, they were very good about giving me meds. I have a sensistive stomach, so they gave me a nausea patch behind the ear...and that bad boy was worth its weight in gold. I wanted to try to get food on my stomach right away, so the pain meds would not make it worse.
I tried eating crackers, and the first cracker took me an hour. My mouth was so dry that I think my boyfriend refilled my water pitcher 17 times (he said) overnight. I drank and drank and drank. They had to empty my urine bag repeatedly. It was clear within an hour after surgery. I ate jello, applesauce, crackers, graham crackers, and then I ordered dinner (which I could not eat- the solid stuff was still not easy enough to eat).
I felt good from the meds, and then let the whole crew come in. I talked and chatted and felt fine while they were there for about an hour or so. Then they decided to leave and it was just me and my boyfriend. He had a nice pullout couch and we had a tv with tons of channels. They had a pretty nice snack cabinet and said any of us could eat or drink anything. I had a per diem with food, so it fed us both for free for dinner and breakfast. Overall a GREAT hospital at Chapel Hill.
The next major hurdle was the catheter. I thought I said a "minor" curse word when they took it out, but I was told later that it was a rather major string of curse words when they pulled. It stings and hurts and they kind of yank. It is not pleasant. But it is over fast if they are good. Then it was up to me to pee. I had to pee at least 8 ounces at a time for them to release me. At first it is hard to get the pee out.
Once I started peeing the next morning, they were ready to release me. I asked for more pain meds right before getting in the car and I do NOT remember the drive at all. I got home and got into bed. My mom was there for all 8 days to stay with me, and thank goodness she was. There is NO way you can stay alone, and you need the support and help.
I have a cat named New Kitty, and he likes to walk all over me in the bed. This was not cool, so they found me a tv tray that sits over your stomach (made of wood) and it was a lifesaver. You do not want a pillow touching you, and I would have never slept from worry he would step on me. He has giant cat feet!
Please, for the love of everything holy...TAKE THE STOOL softener!!! I am day 11 and still taking mine. I will not go into details of what constipation feels like when you have just had a hysterectomy...but I wanted to fall through the floor.
My major advice:
1. Research and ASK questions and know the answers before they answer. Ask to keep your ovaries if you can.
2. Prepare your spot and have lots of things to watch on tv. You will not want to read, and on the meds everything was swimmy anyway.
3. DRINK WATER. Drink HOT drinks in the morning while they are still hot (this will help you poo). Eat a hot breakfast. That also helps.
4. The first poo is NOT fun. Period. So take the stool softeners and have some wipes handy. And pray if you do that. Lol.
5. Be prepared to sleep on your back for at least 4 nights. I am a side sleeper, and it took me 8 days to get back to the side sleeping. I also slept propped up.
6. The neck and shoulder pain is worse than the pain in your stomach or vagina! It is referred pain and is also caused by all the air they blow into you. With the Da Vinci, they hang you upside down so that your bowels move away from your uterus. They also blow air into you. This helps them with the surgery. They try to squeeze it out, but they miss some. Boy do they miss some. That was the WORST part for me. My boyfriend massaged my shoulders, and then when I got home I iced and used a heating pad. It took 7 days to go away for me.
7. You will be TIRED. I had surgery last Friday. I took a walk outside the next Wednesday for a few minutes. I went to Sam's Club this past Thursday. Friday, I actually got dressed and went out. Saturday I got a mani pedi and made an appearance at a friend's bday dinner. Sunday I went to church. Today I am at my office at it is almost 5pm. You wake up all energetic and you get a shower and you get cute. Then you realize that you feel like you are 400 pounds and tired. I tried to clean up my house some, and I was so exhausted that I needed a nap.
8. Make sure to have super comfortable pants and a couple of pairs. I went and bought super soft cotton with no waistband and they were my favorites. You have a bloated buddha belly (I still have mine) and it hurts for clothes to sit on it.
9. You will initially put on weight. But it should come right back off. I weighed in at 127 the morning of. The next day when I got home I was 137. So think of all that air they missed when they squeezed you. I am today back to 129 and still dropping.
10. Everyone will want to take care of you. LET THEM. You will not want to cook, clean, or do anything major. I let them take care of me, and sometimes it means as much to them as it will to you.
If you are going in for this procedure, you will hate life the first and second days. Day three is pretty rough too and you will love the drugs. But then you slowly start to heal, and a week later you are feeling like it is all in the past. I am young and cannot have children now, but I am happy that the cancer is gone and I am officially CANCER FREE!!! No chemo, no radiation. It is out of my body. Good luck an God bless!