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Upcoming hysterectomy 9/24: To tell or not to tell Upcoming hysterectomy 9/24: To tell or not to tell

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Unread 08-07-2020, 02:35 PM
Upcoming hysterectomy 9/24: To tell or not to tell

So I have an upcoming laparoscopic hysterectomy in September. I am struggling with the thought of having to tell my in-laws and other people. I am a very private person when it comes to my health. To me this is a major life event but a very very personal one. I will definitely need the prayers but I really don’t want to have tons of visitors afterward. It’s a big loss to lose a very important part of being a woman. I don’t want their pity or secret talks of poor “her”. I guess I felt I would be able to bare a child of my own and now that that will not be possible, I don’t want the “let me down” looks. We have tried for years. And I have always felt that I have let people down by not having kids. And have felt like a failure to myself. Now the finality of the hysterectomy, something I’ve expected for years is getting ready to happen. I’ve been in the grieving process for years. So now I have to decide who to tell. And I don’t trust the people I need to tell, to not tell anyone. They have a tendency to tell everything to everyone about the most secret things of themselves that no one wants to know. Sorry I don’t need to know if you or your spouse pooped on themselves. I don’t know if I can trust them not to tell people I don’t want to know. If I want them to know “I or my husband” will tell whoever we want to know. It’s my body and my husband’s. I don’t need everyone to know. But I know that my mother in law will be mad if I don’t tell her. But I don’t want her to tell people I don’t want to know. It’s it strange to feel like not telling people. That it’s a secret that I don’t want to share. I do think that my husband will need the emotional support of his family. But I’m ashamed and don’t know why. I’m having it removed because they found pre cancerous cells. Still I just feel ashamed. Any thoughts are appreciated thanks in advance.
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Unread 08-07-2020, 04:45 PM
Re: To tell or not to tell

Im so sorry you feel ashamed! I am proud of my hyerectomy. I always felt like a weirdo for not wanting kids but now i have an excuse for not having kids. I cant! I tell everyone about my surgery. I just told my dentist yesterday. All of my friends, family and inlaws all know. They dont think any less of me. Its actually a positive thing for me because I can brag that I dont have periods any longer! People were worried for me because its surgery but no more worried than any other major surgery. Nobody wants to have surgery but in this case I am so happy I had it and i am proud to have been brave enough to have had it!

Think of it as you are so brave to have this done, you will be even more of a woman!

I told my dentist that I had a hysterectomy and didnt take any pain meds and he said “wow! I dont know how you women do it” like he was amazed at how strong I am.

Feel empowered, feel brave and tell the world that you are amazing and you had a hysterectomy!

Unread 08-07-2020, 05:24 PM
Re: To tell or not to tell

My surgery is on the 14th of this month. I have told my parents and my sisters about having the procedure done. I have not told my future mother-in-law, just because I know how overwhelming she can be, and I do not want that after my surgery. Although I do have two children, ages 19 and 12, my body was ready for the hysterectomy years ago. I am very happy to be going through with the procedure. As for being ashamed, I have had multiple surgeries on my cervix due to abnormalities and one was due to pre-cancerous cells on it. Now my cervix is horribly misshapen and needs to be vacated, because I know there is a strong chance I could end up with cervical cancer in the future. I really do not share my health issues with others, but I wanted those closest to me to know. For me, I have mentioned the hysterectomy as a procedure that is much needed for my future health. To be quite honest, if I would have known prior to children, that I would require a hysterectomy to safe my life, I would have done it, regardless of what anyone else thought.
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Unread 08-07-2020, 06:11 PM
Re: To tell or not to tell

If you feel you can't trust your MIL, don't tell her. If she gets upset, tell her it's because she's violated your confidence before. All she needs to know is you're having surgery for your cancer and it means you won't be able to have children. You're not a failure. It's not your fault your body couldn't produce children.
Unread 08-07-2020, 07:04 PM
Re: To tell or not to tell

I'm so sorry you feel ashamed. You have absolutely no reason to be! You are doing what is necessary and best for your health. But I do understand the feelings of not wanting people talking about and pitying you in secret. I told family and close friends, and I know there is some of that "poor her" talk going on between my parents and in-laws and their friends (as well as "poor us--now we won't have grandchildren!"). My mom also tends to share everything with everybody she knows, and because of that I did get some unsolicited opinions about my fertility, etc. from people I hardly know, which was frustrating. I'm 100% glad that I had the hysterectomy, though, so it doesn't bother me too much. You have to go with whatever you're comfortable with. To people I'm not as close to but who needed to know that I would be out of commission for a while, I simply said that I was having surgery--most generally aren't rude enough to ask for the details.
Unread 08-07-2020, 07:44 PM
Re: To tell or not to tell

Hi Prncssrncld to HysterSisters!

I am so glad you found this site.

I am sorry you feel ashamed. You should not - you have done nothing wrong. You are not a failure by any stretch of the imagination. Your body would just not cooperate such that you could have children. And now, due to precancerous cells, you need this surgery to save your life. That is what is important.

And it is so hard to lose your uterus, something that has made its presence known to you for decades. Something that could have housed your babies. And now it is being taken from you by force. So of course you are upset. I mourned the loss of my uterus (and cervix, tubes, and ovaries) for a long time. I felt less feminine and empty inside. The intensity of these feelings diminished with time, but can still return from time to time. It is okay to mourn this loss, because that is what it is. We do have a special forum just for mourning called Aching Hearts where you are welcome to post.

Now regarding whom you tell. This is a very personal decision and is 100% your choice. Some women tell everyone, some like to keep this very personal and tell not one person. Keep in mind that this is MAJOR SURGERY, and you will be out of circulation for quite some time until you recover. Think weeks, not days. And for 100% recovery, think multiple months and not weeks. This is not the easiest surgery to hide when you are in the midst of recovery. Having said that, though, if you do not want some family members to know, then do not tell them. If that means you tell no one on the in-law side because of the discussions between members, then that is what it means. I know there is much to ponder on how to balance this.

Take a deep breath and know that you are not alone in this. Many women have gone down this path before you, and many will follow you. We will be by your side throughout this process. We will support the decision you make.

Unread 08-07-2020, 08:05 PM
Upcoming hysterectomy 9/24: To tell or not to tell

I thank you all for the support and each one of your comments. I am so thankful I found this site. It is so awesome to know that you can post what you are feeling and no one judges you. These are conversations that need to be spoken. My mom passed away last November. So that even makes it a struggle too. I do have an awesome support team though. Just being able to say what I need to and get it off my chest to people who know how the struggle is. That and I don’t have to worry about making someone mad. It makes it so much easier. Thank you all so much for the encouragement I’m so glad you all have taken the time to respond. Thank you all so much. I greatly appreciate it.
Unread 08-07-2020, 08:53 PM
Re: To tell or not to tell

It comes down to the expectations you have from telling people; compassion, help, privacy, etc.

At the end, it is your decision and what will make you most comfortable
Unread 08-08-2020, 11:13 AM
Re: Upcoming September hysterectomy: To tell or not to tell

I debated telling or not telling for a bit. But, I remembered how it felt over the years when a few women I knew "would be off work for 6 weeks" and would not say why. Over the years, these same women had no problem talking about their other major medical issues and surgeries with me. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that they most likely had a hysterectomy.

For me, I told everyone and gave them all the gory details if they asked.

We have to quit being embarrassed or ashamed of our bodies

Unread 08-09-2020, 04:17 AM
Re: Upcoming September hysterectomy: To tell or not to tell

I'm sorry for the loss of your mother. I remember when my mother passed away in 2013, I told a friend and swimming teammate of mine, and was planning to make an announcement to the rest of the team; if I had recognized that she and her husband would see nothing wrong with blabbing it to our coach, I would have not told her - when I found out what they had done, I felt betrayed. When I had my surgery, I didn't tell her, because I didn't want the same thing happening, but I did tell another friend of mine, because I knew that she would support me without being intrusive or blabbing it to others. Always remember that your primary responsibilities are to your health and your privacy, not to how other people choose to react to your decisions. If your MIL is upset because you won't disclose information she thinks she's entitled to know, or because you won't be giving her a grandchild, those are her issues to deal with, not yours. Just focus on your own health, and lean on us for support, and you'll get through this just fine. Wishing you all the best for a successful surgery and a smooth recovery!

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