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Six month progress report--it does get better Six month progress report--it does get better

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Unread 12-09-2004, 09:03 PM
Six month progress report--it does get better

Dear sisters,
This has been a very significant week in my recovery. My surgery was 6 months ago and I got my medical records just in time to celebrate. Finally I know what was done to me and the truth has set me free.

This has been a humbling and enlightening experience. I had multiple complications, and spent three weeks in the hospital. The good news is I haven’t felt this good in years. Here’s my progress report:

1. Weight…I lost twenty pounds from lack of appetite before my surgery and another 14 in the hospital. So far I’ve only gained back about 4 pounds. Wearing size 4 pants for the first time in ten years but watching everything I put in my mouth.

2. HRT…not taking anything but plan to discuss when I see my regular gyn next month. My surgeon never brought it up and I never asked him about it. I haven’t had horrible hot flashes but feel like my body temperature is just warmer overall. I’m still wearing short sleeve tee shirts to bed and I’ve always been a flannel pajamas kind of girl. No more. Taking calcium, daily aspirin and multivitamin.

3. Emotionally…still struggling. I don’t have children and thought I had accepted I will never be a Mom. I’ve shed lots of tears. I’m also still angry at the surgeon whose communication skills were so lacking that he never went over anything with me after the surgery. I had to get my records to sort things out.

4. Sex…I experienced major dryness which made things very uncomfortable at first. That seems to be getting better but my husband is still terrified of hurting me. I think he sees my scar and just gets freaked out.

5. Sleep…what is that? Still having horrible insomnia and waking up with mini-migraine headaches. I had horrendous night sweats before my surgery that would wake me up. Thank goodness none of that since surgery.

6. My 7" vertical scar is still red and ugly. Every time I look at my tummy I want to cry. It looks like I have a crack in the front and the back ( sorry ) I’ve been using Vitamin E and Mederma for about two months.

7. My energy level is great. I felt better right after the surgery even with complications and it just kept improving. I’m trying to exercise as much as possible. Jogging is still hard but I’m trying. I do seem to have more joint pain in my ankles, knees and right hip.

8. Still taking stool softeners and having a tough time in the BM dept. I also had colon surgery so my recovery was more complicated here. I’m so happy when I “go” like a normal person.

What have I learned? I think the most important thing is to trust your gut. I played the “watchful waiting “ game for years with my fibroids and break through bleeding. My symptoms were not terrible compared to what other ladies have been through. But when I started having having strange diarrhea and my energy level went to zero--it took five doctors to figure it out something was wrong. I knew time was up and I had to do something. I think my decision saved my life.

Also—make your health a priority. I’m a workaholic and tended to skip doctor’s appointments or put everything else on the front burner. Never again. Nothing is more important than your health.

Finally--make sure you are comfortable with your doctor. I chose a surgeon who came highly recommended and is considered to be one of the best. But there was a disconnect from the first time I met him. I had trouble talking to him but figured it was because he was smarter than me. What a mistake. If I could do one thing over, I should have kept searching for someone who I liked. I was just so tired and beaten down and went on reputation.

I know this post is long but I'm curious how I'm doing compared to others. So congradulations to other 6 monther's--we have survived the first and hardest part of our recovery.

Best wishes to all. The information I've gotten on this site has been a lifesaver.
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Unread 12-10-2004, 12:15 PM
Six month progress report--it does get better

Hi there ! Well done to you ! I'm well over the six month mark now and I'm doing OK . I don't take HRT - my choice .I take various vitamins , calcium and glucosamine . I'm coping with the odd hot flush and joint pain , my right knee keeps locking ! I totally agree with you - make your health your priority . I don't drink so much regular tea and coffee as before , I drink a lot of sage tea and green tea plus gallons of water , no coke or juice .I'm back into my exercise routine and walking . On the whole I'm pleased I had the surgery - everything gone . I feel better than I've done for years ! Good luck to everyone ! Cheers !
Unread 12-17-2004, 12:19 AM
Six month progress report--it does get better

I just hit my 6 month mark this month too! I feel better overall than I did before the surgery. I realize that we are just at the halfway mark to total recovery - but I really feel good!

I have only one wish -- that I could get my libido and response back. Im just not interested in sex and my response is very weak. Before my surgery- sex was GREAT now its....well, just too much work for so little return.

Im on ERT, but want to keep it very low dosage due to risk of breast cancer--I dont have any hot flashes, dryness or insomnia at all, and my moods are even. I just dont want sex and cant respond like I used to respond when I do have sex.

I wish there was Viagra for women!
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Unread 12-17-2004, 07:28 AM
me too..

I am six months out too. I have to say, its the little things that I have noticed most, I am able to bend over and tie my shoes, something I hadn't been able to do for months and months, no more worrying about breakthrough bleeding, never again, the way my pants fit now, the are so loose it is almost scary! the energy is in creasing everyday, I sleep much better now, the hair has stopped falling out in clumps, I have regular BMs now instead of chrinic diarehea(SP) my appetite is finally coming back(just in time for the holidays) which may not be a good thing after all. Emotionally, I have come to terms with the cancer, I have accepted it, not that I am going to allow it to ever live inside of me, I'm not, but I think you must accept it to get past it, through it if you will, I know now that I am a stronger person than I was 6 months ago, and that I can handle, straight on, whatever life throws at me, I know that I will be a better person for handleing the stuggles that life throws at me. I have learned a tremendous amount about myself, and I kinda like what I see. And to all my sisters, GOD BLESS YOU ALL!
Unread 12-17-2004, 08:26 AM
Six month progress report--it does get better

Well, i will be 6 months out tomorrow and if I had it to do over..... I would in a heartbeat. Even knowing that I would have a pelvic abcess at 3 weeks and need to be back in the hospital for 5 days and that it would set my recovery back by 3 weeks. It was all worth it. Still getting the HRT right and I need Lexapro now (but I think I really needed it before surgery too, just refused to admit it). I am learning post-surgery that I don't HAVE to feel bad, I don't have to ACCEPT being in a bad mood and I CAN demand that the Dr's investigate what I think is wrong.

My advice to anyone who is reading this forum Pre-Op is to just take a day before surgery just for yourself. That was probably the best thing I did. I didn't have to do a bowel prep and so the day before surgery I took my 2 daughters out of daycare and we went to the bread store and stocked up on snacks, bread and buns. I took them to my favorite Italian restaurant and bought whatever we wanted (including dessert, something I don't normally do) and then we went to see a movie (with all the trimmings) then we went and got groceries (filled the buggy with things that they could fix themselves and get for me without help). It meant taking a little money out of savings (which DH didn't like) but it saved my sanity the day before and gave that little extra boost of time with my daughters that I really needed. I went into surgery the next morning at peace and very calm knowing I was ready for anything.

Good luck to all.

Unread 12-19-2004, 02:11 PM
Six month progress report--it does get better

I have hit the 6th month mark now also. Feeling great other than "stiffness".

What is this I hear about knee clicking and stiffness? Is joint pain a common effect?

I have always been active, exercising frequently, but ever since my procedure, I am so stiff. My dr never informed me of this possiblilty and I though it was something I am doing incorrectly. I get up from sitting in a chair feeling every muscle,joint in my lower body.

Tell me more.......

Zoe K,
Unread 12-19-2004, 02:27 PM
Six month progress report--it does get better

I am at the 6 month point as well! I feel great! I am using HRT, so the menopause symptoms are minimal. I have much more energy now. I came to terms with the fact that I would never have a baby prior to surgery. I teach in a high school, so seeing teen age girls pregnant still hurts some, but not as bad as when I first went back to work. I have a co-worker who just announced her pregnancy and I am thrilled for her!

I got my first period on Christmas night the year I was twelve. So Christmas has always been, at least in my mind, the anniversary of getting my period. This year, I have a new reason to celebrate!

Merry Christmas to all!

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