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What I chose to do. What I chose to do.

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  #1  
Unread 12-17-2003, 09:47 AM
What I chose to do.

Hi. I've been lurking here for a couple of months and now that I've seen my OB/GYN it's time to make the big decision. As my OB put it "How attached are you to your uterus?". Here's my info: I'm 52 and still getting my periods every 28 days or so. I had my children at 31 and 42 - don't know if that makes a difference or not. My 2nd child was delivered by a scheduled c-section and at that time my OB/GYN said I had several large fibroids. I have had several vaginal ultrasounds that 4 fairly large fibroids giving me a "14 week uterus". The only problems I'm having are the poochy belly and 1 miserable day a month. For that one day, which happens to be today, I don't go anywhere because I need to be near the bathroom every 45 minutes or I soak thru a super-plus tampon AND a heavy duty pad. The cramping is minimal even tho there are clots. After that day, it's a normal flow that lasts for about 4 more days.
My OB/GYN said that she could do a laprascopic hysterectomy and take uterus, cervix and ovaries. Her reasoning for taking cervix and ovaries are so I don't have problems down the road and end up back in surgery to remove them. After lurking here and reading about the major GYN problems experienced by some of you, I've decided that I can handle one miserable day a month. I'm so afraid of opening a can of worms and having problems worse than I have now - which seem miniscule compared to some stories I've read.
I thank you all for sharing your stories and helping me decide. Guess I'll just wait for natural menopause to come along and shrink my fibroids. I'll also stop pining away for a small belly again.
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  #2  
Unread 12-17-2003, 12:53 PM
What I chose to do.

I'm happy that this website helped you to make a decision. If it happens that your fibroids begin to bother you, or if your periods become worse, you can always rethink the decision you made. You can decide at a later date to have a hyst if you need one, but you can't go back and undo it once it's done.

Congratulations on making the best decision for you.
  #3  
Unread 12-17-2003, 02:14 PM
What I chose to do.

Hi ((BetsyBoo)),
Congrats on making you decision When it comes down to being a quality of life issue...weighing the Pros & Cons of any treatment offered against what you are currently dealing with seems to offer many of us the best insight in our decision making process!
I wanted to ask if you were offered any other treatment options? There are several less invasive options in attempting to remove or shrink the Fibroids...usually those are offered & exhausted first before going to more invasive measures If your interested, & haven't had the opportunity to look into them we have a forum here filled w/excellent info detailing them & all they incur:

Fibroids - Websites

Alternatives to Hysterectomy: Websites

Uterine Fibroid Embolization: A New Way to Treat Fibroids

If you already have these, I apologize If not, I just wanted you to be aware of them & know you do have options!
Good Luck w/everything
Thank you for sharing ...((((hugs))))
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  #4  
Unread 12-17-2003, 05:09 PM
Re: My other options

Thanks for your support Ladies. I'm sure glad you Hyster Sisters aren't like the LaLeche group I was in when my first child was born in 1982. Their motto - nurse even if it kills you - didn't sit well with me. They hassled me about it at my last meeting. Anyway, I digress...
The other options my OB/GYN offered was a low dose bc pill which I tried but it didn't help although it was nice going 4 months without a period. We discussed Lupron but after researching it, I decided the possible side effects were too much of a risk. The other options like (I don't remember the correct names of the procedures) cutting off the blood supply and putting me in total menopause to shrink the fibroids were considered. In the end Dr. said the fibroids could grow back anyway and I'd be back to square one. If I weren't so close to menopause (I hope) I would probably go for taking the uterus only.
  #5  
Unread 12-25-2003, 11:36 PM
What I chose to do.

(((BetsyBoo))) I was so glad to hear that you decided against a hysterectomy. The truth is the shot you decided against due to side effects is just a mere sample of what is to come after surgery. It amazes me that doctors will hesitate to give the shot to someone due to the chance of bone loss, etc., but will jump at the chance to perform a hysterectomy on that same person. Women are not informed of what happens after surgery. They are not informed as to what role hormones play on the very vital functioning of every major process in their body. They aren't told that hormones actually control how they think, how their heart beats, how they feel about sex, what their body temperature is, and how cells depend on them to complete all important processes. They aren't told because the doctors really know very little about those processes. They've not been studied. At this point in time doctors are not even certain of what the pathways are for nerves between the ovaries and the vagina. The research has just not been done. There are more studies underway now and hopefully more to come. This is largely due to the fact that there is a public outcry for them and also, since the drug companies pay for the studies, they are realizing that there is money to be made from women who simply aren't going to take what is handed out without asking questions anymore. This too is largely due to websites like these that raise awareness and encourage people to ask questions and take charge of their own health. People are finding out that hysterectomies do not cure endometriosis or pcos. I am a nurse and cannot believe that I fell for "and while we're in there we might as well take out your ovaries since you're not going to have any more children." My god I wonder what this doctor would have said to a surgeon that wanted to snorfledoodle him just so he wouldn't get cancer while they were in there doing hemorroid surgery. Would any man seriously consider doing such a thing? Is there any reason a woman should? Physicians just don't inform women that no hormone on the market can replace what she has naturally even well into and beyond menopause. The difference is immeasureable. I got my hysterectomy due to the big "C" scare that was totally all in my own mind. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. For many people having a hysterectomy due to cancer is the best option, but many do not know what really lies beyond that first 6 months. That's what this website is great for. It will show what happens when your 4, 6, and 8 months out of surgery. I'm glad that I found this place but I wish I had found it sooner and I wish that I had explored all that was here just to get an idea of what was down the road hormone wise and physically. Most of the problems people have are the norm with of course the few exceptions of extreme difficulties. For example, the hot flashes, weight gain, hair loss, loss of libido, bladder problems, bowel difficulties, etc.. The worst part of these (some might would call) minor hurdles is that they have to dealt with for the rest of your life. The change is permanent and carved in stone. There's no going back. This surgery removes major organs from your body. Doctors should take it more seriously than they do and think about the reasons they are recommending it to someone. I know that this has been a longwinded and one sided opinion letter that noone will particularly want to read but I so want women to realize that they do have a choice and that a hysterectomy will not in any manner cure their problems but in fact may create a bigger monster than they have ever before seen.
  #6  
Unread 12-26-2003, 12:19 AM
What I chose to do.

BetsyBoo,

It is really important to make a decision you are comfortable with and that you can live with: I am glad that you were able to do so. Eleven years ago (at 38 for me) a doctor told me I "needed" a hysterectomy because I had a small fibroid in my uterus. Uh-uhh! I researched, read, and went to other doctors. If I wasn't having problems, I wasn't going to make them! I decided to wait to see if it grew; it wasn't causing problems at the time, and I was thinking of having another child.

Unfortuntately, I had to have a hysterectomy now, eleven years later, because of real problems (giant 20cm cyst not related to the earlier fibroid, ovarian cystadenomas, and other problems, as you can see below). That made it a different story than before, plus I am 49, not 38, and looking towards grandchildren, not children, in my future.

But I want to stress that from my experience of the hysterectomy itself and the post-hysterectomy recovery period is not at all what I had expected. Except for feeling too warm sometimes (and I was heading towards that anyway at 49), I feel great! In fact, because of having my large cyst removed, my bladder feels like it is 20 again! I can go for hours without needing to visit the bathroom.

However, I just want to reinforce to you that you are the owner of your own body, and if you ever decide you need a hysterectomy, make sure it is written, signed, and legal that ONLY your uterus will be removed (SAH) , if that is what you want (get a copy, too). Also have it written and signed that your cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries will not be removed unless they are cancerous or diseased. I had a friend whose doctor removed her ovaries because they weren't "needed anymore and they looked dried up," and took her cervix "just in case." She regrets that decision, because she only had a uterine fibroid and is now on HRT.

Feel comfortable with your decision and take care.
  #7  
Unread 12-26-2003, 07:10 AM
What I chose to do.

Johnna, I appreciate you have strong feelings about hysterectomies.

Please, however, consider that some of us can't tolerate Lupron. With me, the side effects of that drug caused awful joint pain, insomnia, foggy brain, hot flashes you could cook eggs on, and only mildly limited the bleeding I was suffering daily. Lupron was awful for me.

Now that I am in surgical menopause, as opposed to chemical menopause, my hot flashes are milder, I sleep like a log, my head is remarkably clear and I am completely happy that my choice to have the entire surgery was correct for me. I WANT to have sex again - before, I was in too much pain. I am also pleased that I have limited my chances to get cancer - ovarian and uterine, now, both of which run in my family. My doctor still had wanted to keep one of my encysted ovaries, if one could be saved - but they were 'shot' as I had figured. I had been perimenopausal since the summer. They went and are not missed.

So I am afraid I must protest your bigger Monster comment - for some of us a hysterectomy is the best choice. Everyone that comes to this site should know that there can be differing opinions and results, so that they can make their own best decision about what is right for them. Some choose to try other things than the surgery; some choose the surgery.

One of the best decisions I ever made. I have my life back, and every day is a better one, not even 3 weeks out of surgery. No monsters here - just one happy, healing woman.
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