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How your life has changed How your life has changed

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Unread 12-27-2004, 10:07 AM
How your life has changed

Tab's topic about pain, and an earlier topic about why you were happy about the hysterectomy has me thinking about how my life's changed. I'm thinking more along the lines of unexpected changes, or changes in your outlook on life, or things like that.

I was pretty active before the surgery. So I've been humbled by my inability to do physical activities at the level I was previously accustomed. That darned swelly belly!

I could be quite competitive with myself, pushing to the head of the line on Sierra Club hikes and riding my bike at top speed to work. Now I volunteer to be the "sweep" on hikes (that's the one in the back) and I ride at a slower pace to work.

I could feel bummed out about this, but instead I really enjoy myself more because I'm not pushing so hard. I meet more people, see more things, and feel more grateful for the beauty of where I live. I seem to have more energy, too, because I'm not burning myself out.

Another change is around work. I used to turn cartwheels to try to accomodate wild requests to customize things. Now my attitude is that if it didn't come out of the box that way, any requested customizations that aren't easy to do will not be accomodated. Limits are a good thing! Burnout is a bad thing!

So, you never know what you will gain by what you may lose. My life has had to change because of the surgery in ways I didn't expect. I've had to accept limitations in myself I didn't have before, but I transform the benefits gained from that to other areas of my life.

I'm curious what others have changed in their lives after going through this and getting back to "normal" life again.
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Unread 12-27-2004, 10:34 AM
How your life has changed

Hi Soini,

At 9 weeks post op ( my surgery was the same date as yours...and i live in SB too!), my life has changed greatly. I have always been one to run at a high speed. I've learned to listen to my body - not perfectly - but much better than I used to. On Christmas day I knew when I was ready to go home and I did. Life feels like a gift. I had a cancer scare with this and I really believe I have been given a big pass on this one and its my job to slow down and smell the flowers.

I go back to work on Jan 3rd and that will be the true test. In the past I went in early and left late. My job now is to be of love and service to my company and my employees/boss, etc but - within 8 hours a day. I owe this to myself and my family. I really believe deep down if I don't learn this lesson to slow down now, I may not get a second chance.

Love you all,

Unread 12-27-2004, 03:01 PM
How your life has changed

Thanks for sharing, it's inspirational.
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Unread 12-27-2004, 03:19 PM
How your life has changed

I guess at 5 weeks its still too early to determine exactly how this has changed my life in a real sense because I dont yet feel like I have my real life back yet.

The changes so far have been going from miss frenzied activity, i.e single mum, full time employment, active at gym, go out a lot socially - to, miss sloth!

I think the biggest change has been allowing myself to be dependent on other people for EVERYTHING, cooking , cleaning, shopping etc. When independence is your greatest assest and something I have been very proud of achieving after a co-dependent marriage (ending in divorce), this has not been easy.

Graciously accepting people's generosity has been a humbling learning curve. People have been so supportive, I am on leave without pay, and raising two teenagers with no income over christmas and holidays is no easy thing. But people have come and given me cash, shopping, assistance. Hard to take, but necessary!!!!

Of course I am less dependent on people now. Have some freedom back, as in driving, can go to the shops, cook and do some household chores....but I guess it is good to 'walk' a mile in a different pair of shoes and change your outlook on life.
Unread 12-27-2004, 03:21 PM
How your life has changed

this is an interesting topic.

My surgery was 18 months ago due to endometrial cancer and I am now totally 'clean'.

I used to spend an amazing amout of energy on pleasing everyone, letting people run over me, and trying to be all things to all people. My lesson was to learn to be "selfish". The biggest outward outcome is that I have figured out I wasted so much time and energy and so much of myslef on trying to be friends with people who just sucked the positive energy right out of me. There are some people that can smile and on the surface they seem to know just exactly what to do to be a friend, but there is always an underlying current of negativity. Whenever we went to lunch or did a project together I'd end up emotionaly drained and exhausted. My husband had pointed out how negative I was after a lunch with them, and after careful consideration I realized it was true. So I have become more selective about time spent wiht them, I did not leave the friendship completely because I feel if this person is so unhappy inside they need friends, but I no longer go at the drop of a hat and I make a real effort to steer the conversations toward more positive topics.

I try hard, in turn, to be a positive influence for others as well, my family and friends and the people I come into contact with each day. If I can make someone smile with a compliment or even a funny story, maybe they will feel better and be nicer to the next person.
Unread 12-28-2004, 06:31 AM
How your life has changed

Well I guess I'll be the first to throw the wet blanket on the great recovery.

For 3 months and 21 days since my hyst my life has been a constant nightmare of pain, medicines, dr's visits, and tests. I want to believe that someone will figure out what is causing all this pain and help me to find a way to deal with it.

Finally got to the second Urologist, (first one's office staff failed to report a diagnosis so all tests were cancelled) he did urine tests and cultures, did a cystoscopy in the office, which I was sure I wouldn't live through, hurt like the dickens, then sent me for an IVP. Went back to him yesterday and he said that he could not give a Clinical name to my pain, that I had no infection, my bladder looked good in the cysto, but it did have a spasm with the catheter in there. He said that the IVP showed that I was empyting my bladder, and the he said "That's not true." He then said that he had just came fom the hospital to look at the films personally because he didn't agree with the 2 Radiologist findings. He said that what they said they found couldn't cause pain like I say I have.

It says - Osteitis Pubis and Osteitis Condensans ilii on left side with sclerotic changes. These type of changes are usually secondary to chronic stress on these portions of the bones.

I did a google and this can be caused from abdominal surgery, HMMMM!!!!

I asked him what am I supposed to do. Just keep taking pain medications and Xanax and see if it goes away. He said that if it didn't then I should go to the Cleveland Clinic and get a second opinion. I told him that I can not live my life like this any longer and that I didn't want to get addicted to pain pills or XanaX. He said that there was nothing more he could do for me and to just give it a little while.

I go back to the original gyn on Jan 3 for my 8th visist with him since surgery. Since he is the one who referred me to this Urologist I am not holding out much hope for what he will have to say. I'm sure he will check to see if the Flagyl helped with the bacterial problem and I think it did but I don't think it is all gone because I still have the itching.

My DH said to me yesterday that he realizes that I have no quality of life left and wished that he could make it better for me. He has been a jewel, put his own business on hold to take me to all my appts.

I have to believe that someone can help me find out what is wrong. Guess I will just wait a little longer and see if it improves.
Unread 12-28-2004, 06:43 AM
How your life has changed

Hi Soini,
Its amazing for me. Before I was even able to go back to work, I lost my job. I would have completely and totally lost it before the surgery, and would have killed myself to find work, and panicked when I was not working. I lost my job before the antidepressants, and felt ok, although terribly hurt. It is a good thing!! Now I can spend 4 months, sitting on Unemployment and I can maybe find my house!! I have big plans for my 4 months, and then going back to school. Hopefully brain fog has gone away by then.

I am more at peace with myself, and happier. I was never an active person, but now in my inactivity, I can appreciate life! I do feel more like going out and doing things, and being more active, but havent found the gumption to do so yet!! I have chronic couchpotatoitis....

Unread 12-28-2004, 07:35 AM
How your life has changed

Ok, I have to add my here. I must say, before surgery, I worked overtime, golfed 3 times a week, before the pain got too bad and I was bedridden for two weeks before surgery, I was one of those go go go types, got home from working overtime and went downstairs to my sewing room and worked for another 2 hours or so. Now, I realize, how much I was missing, not spending time with my DH, who is the most wonderful , caring, compassionate,loving husband on earth, and spending time with my 78 yr old Mom, who is still on the go, and, for the first time in my life, (I am 49), I have genuinely learned to relax. (and learned how to work the tv remote) . Now, mind you, when I can, I will golf again, work again, but, I will also take more time for my DH, and my Mom,
Love to all of you

Unread 12-28-2004, 07:55 AM
How your life has changed

Originally posted by harley_kat
have chronic couchpotatoitis....

is there a cure for this? I am sure I have this as well
Kat, you slay me girl!

Anyway, I have replied to many who complain about being bored during recovery about this very same thing.
I consider it a waste of valuable time if nothing in your life changed for the better due to this surgery. You have the time to take stock on your life and the lives of those around you. There has to be something that can be fixed. You will probably and hopefully never have this time again to just sit and think about things. I know my life has changed and for the better. Things are slowerk, I make time for special things and make special things happen.
Even though my DH says that I am still cranky, hey, don't I have the right to be?....our lives are still so much better in the long run.
Unread 12-28-2004, 08:32 AM
How your life has changed

I have to agree with the other sisters, Take stock, and make the nessesary changes.
I too have had an eye opening experience. People say that cancer changes who you are, and I believe they are right. I used to work my a** off at work, and go in early and stay late, well I am no longer employed by that company, it took me 14 years to figure out that I was not important to them, just my work ethic. I ditched them 6 weeks into recovery. I now take the time to see things clearly, I dont push myself anymore, If I need to rest, I do, I go outside often, and just marvel at the beauty of it all. I take time to listen to my kids, really listen, and spend time with those important to me. I think reflection, and inner peace, are 2 of the things I have found on this journey, and I am thankful I found them!

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