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How did I get here??  (Pregnancy-related issues discussed among other things) How did I get here?? (Pregnancy-related issues discussed among other things)

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  #1  
Unread 09-11-2005, 09:34 AM
How did I get here?? (Pregnancy-related issues discussed among other things)

...I thought at this time I'd be on baby Web sites. Before I got pregnant in 11/04 (after 2 years of trying!) I spent all my time on fertility Web sites. Seems I'm always on a Web site to help with a problem...I just never thought, at 36, I'd be on this site, for this problem.

In 3/05 I was 4 months pregnant. I was diagnosed with early stage cervical cancer. I was told an immediate hysterectomy was the best treatment. My husband and I saw several top doctors in NYC and all said the same thing. I could have taken a chance and waited for the twins to be born but nobody could tell me the cancer wouldn't spread and my life wouldn't be in danger. The most horrible thing I've ever had to do was decide to have that surgery.

The day after the surgery, the nurses tried to get me to stand up. I fell right down, my knees just buckled. They told me that hysterectomy can sometimes cause femoral nerve damage and weakness in the thighs. This is what happened to me. I could not stand up or walk. After the regular hospital I spent 2 weeks in an inpatient physical rehab unit, then months of outpatient physical therapy, in order to stand and walk normally again. I don't need to tell you that after the devastation of losing the twins and the possibility of ever bearing my own children, this additional burden was crushing. The days in the rehab unit were dark days. I had to wear a catheter for 2 weeks after the surgery and was in a wheelchair for about a month. Gradually I moved to a walker, then a cane, then nothing. Now I can go to the gym and do pretty much everything, though I am scared to jog because of what I've read (briefly) about prolapse. None of my doctors have said anything about restricting my activity but my abdominals have never been too strong so I am worried.

During the rehab we went through an IVF procedure and froze 4 embryos. I hope and pray someday that we will have a child. This will necessitate using a surrogate. Not something I ever would have imagined needing in a million years. But we are willing to explore it if that's what it takes.

After that I needed radiation therapy for about 6 weeks. This was considered a precautionary followup to the surgery (they thought they got it all out and there was no lymph node involvement). I had panic attacks sometimes when on the table getting "zapped". It was a horrible feeling knowing this radiation was basicaly destroying cells and killing my ovaries. I knew it was necessary to kill any possible remaining cancer cells but it felt awful. I hated every zap and every trip to city. Thank God my husband was with me every day.

And here I am. The radiation has killed my ovaries and put me into menopause. I get hot flashes. Sexual activity has not gone so well, I get spotting which I'm told is result of top of vagina not being completely healed. I'm told the radiation may have slowed the healing there. I've been told to take calcium supplements to ward off osteoperosis and estrogen cream vaginally to help heal and tone the vagina. I feel completely at a loss with this hysterectomy and menopaouse stuff. I have no idea what I should be doing, looking for, taking, how to live a normal life and safeguard my health.

I'm so glad to have found this site where I can share some of this with others. I wonder if there are others who have frozen embryos out there. As we all know the doctors can't always answer our questions or make us feel better. That's what a community like this is for, I think!

Sorry for that long-winded introduction. I look forward to meeting all of you. God bless and good health to you.
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  #2  
Unread 09-11-2005, 10:42 AM
How did I get here?? (Pregnancy-related issues discussed among other things)

I'm so sorry to hear everything you have been through. I can relate to some of it. I had a hysterectomy Sept 03 for ovarian cancer. I do not have children, and now never will. I am also dealing with the symptoms of menopause.

I have been to counseling and take an anti-depressant.

Two books that have helped me immensely are:

1) After Cancer by Wendy Harpham MD

2) Sudden Menopause by Debbie DeAngelo RN

Good luck!

Best wishes, Stephanie age 37 in Orlando
  #3  
Unread 09-11-2005, 10:51 AM
How did I get here?? (Pregnancy-related issues discussed among other things)

The author of the "Sudden Menopause" book is a nurse in my city.
I'm sorry for all you've gone through. You will get lots of support here, though.
I, too, used to visit baby and pregnancy web sites. I know that this is no longer an option. I'm sure you're still grieving the loss of your twins and fertility. God bless.
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  #4  
Unread 09-11-2005, 11:10 AM
femoral nerve damage

Your story is heartbreaking, but I am glad that you still have options for the future, in spite of the difficulties. I am almost 3 weeks post-op and still struggling with femoral nerve damage, but improving daily. Hearing you say you can go to the gym gives me hope. I've graduated from wheelchair to walker to crutches to cane, and now occasional steps. They are holding off on chemo to have my legs improve. This doesn't happen to that many people, but when it happens to you it's incredibly demoralizing.
Hope things go well for you.

Elise
ovca Stage 1a


  Quote:
Originally Posted by cathycritter
...I thought at this time I'd be on baby Web sites. Before I got pregnant in 11/04 (after 2 years of trying!) I spent all my time on fertility Web sites. Seems I'm always on a Web site to help with a problem...I just never thought, at 36, I'd be on this site, for this problem.

In 3/05 I was 4 months pregnant. I was diagnosed with early stage cervical cancer. I was told an immediate hysterectomy was the best treatment. My husband and I saw several top doctors in NYC and all said the same thing. I could have taken a chance and waited for the twins to be born but nobody could tell me the cancer wouldn't spread and my life wouldn't be in danger. The most horrible thing I've ever had to do was decide to have that surgery.

The day after the surgery, the nurses tried to get me to stand up. I fell right down, my knees just buckled. They told me that hysterectomy can sometimes cause femoral nerve damage and weakness in the thighs. This is what happened to me. I could not stand up or walk. After the regular hospital I spent 2 weeks in an inpatient physical rehab unit, then months of outpatient physical therapy, in order to stand and walk normally again. I don't need to tell you that after the devastation of losing the twins and the possibility of ever bearing my own children, this additional burden was crushing. The days in the rehab unit were dark days. I had to wear a catheter for 2 weeks after the surgery and was in a wheelchair for about a month. Gradually I moved to a walker, then a cane, then nothing. Now I can go to the gym and do pretty much everything, though I am scared to jog because of what I've read (briefly) about prolapse. None of my doctors have said anything about restricting my activity but my abdominals have never been too strong so I am worried.

During the rehab we went through an IVF procedure and froze 4 embryos. I hope and pray someday that we will have a child. This will necessitate using a surrogate. Not something I ever would have imagined needing in a million years. But we are willing to explore it if that's what it takes.

After that I needed radiation therapy for about 6 weeks. This was considered a precautionary followup to the surgery (they thought they got it all out and there was no lymph node involvement). I had panic attacks sometimes when on the table getting "zapped". It was a horrible feeling knowing this radiation was basicaly destroying cells and killing my ovaries. I knew it was necessary to kill any possible remaining cancer cells but it felt awful. I hated every zap and every trip to city. Thank God my husband was with me every day.

And here I am. The radiation has killed my ovaries and put me into menopause. I get hot flashes. Sexual activity has not gone so well, I get spotting which I'm told is result of top of vagina not being completely healed. I'm told the radiation may have slowed the healing there. I've been told to take calcium supplements to ward off osteoperosis and estrogen cream vaginally to help heal and tone the vagina. I feel completely at a loss with this hysterectomy and menopaouse stuff. I have no idea what I should be doing, looking for, taking, how to live a normal life and safeguard my health.

I'm so glad to have found this site where I can share some of this with others. I wonder if there are others who have frozen embryos out there. As we all know the doctors can't always answer our questions or make us feel better. That's what a community like this is for, I think!

Sorry for that long-winded introduction. I look forward to meeting all of you. God bless and good health to you.
  #5  
Unread 09-11-2005, 12:24 PM
How did I get here?? (Pregnancy-related issues discussed among other things)

Awww CathyCritter, I'm so sorry for all you have gone through. I am sure that you have been devasted by the events and I bet you are thinking that can't imagine HOW to pick up the peices and move on.

Somehow, you must. I have been through cancer, chemo, and the fear of recurrance, but not the loss you have faced, so I can't even begin to advise you there.

I hope you find a path to help ease your sorrows and figure out how to get back to living life.

God bless,
K9
  #6  
Unread 09-11-2005, 06:07 PM
How did I get here?? (Pregnancy-related issues discussed among other things)

Hi CathyCritter

Some parts of our stories are similar...I was starting fertility assessment when my ca was dx'ed (I'm 43, no kids). Talk about having to shift focus 180 degrees.

Nothing to what you've been through, I know. What a terrible time you've had...I just wanted to send you my biggest hug and tell you you're not alone. I'm happy you may have the option to pursue surrogacy later. My DH and I are considering adoption, which I am hopeful we'll be able to do.

"How did we get here?" I don't know, and it isn't fair. But now we are here...but we're together, at least! And we're thinking of you. And WE WILL get through it!

  #7  
Unread 09-11-2005, 10:32 PM
How did I get here?? (Pregnancy-related issues discussed among other things)

Cathy, I am so sorry for all you have beeen thru. I just turned 43 this past July and my story is similar in that I spent almost 4 years dealing with fertility treatments as well as other gyn issues and went thru inseminations and IVF but nothing, I barely ever deleveloped eggs. I will never know what it is like to feel the loss of a child or children but I know the loss of what never was, and can never be for me. is devasting. There is hope that you were able to freeze some eggs. Mine never really worked before they caused my cancer and now they along with my uterus, my tubes, my cervix in addition my appendix and omentum are all gone. I am sorry for all the time you spoent in rehab and i am glad to hear you are doing better in regards to that. I like you feel that I have spent so many years visiting websites dealing with my gyn issues in one format or another. Add now I feel empty in so many ways, all that defined me for so lomg is gone. It is a hard thing to deal with. Yet every day i try to look at what changes my cancer diagnosis has brought to my life and some days those are good things and some days thay are bad but I have found that coming here helps me every day. Please know that you are in my heart and my prayers.
  #8  
Unread 09-12-2005, 06:25 PM
How did I get here?? (Pregnancy-related issues discussed among other things)

Cathy I am so sorry for what you had to go through.

It must have been the most difficult decision to make for you to have the hysterectomy whilst pregnant - I admire you that you have lived through such terrible times and survived.

My story cannot compare, but I do feel a little of what you feel. My husband and I were married about five years before I was diagnosed with cervix cancer. I had never had an abnormal pap smear before. My husband wanted us to have children earlier but I was sitting post-graduate exams and wanted to have the best chance of passing them. Three months after passing the exams I was diagnosed with cancer. Our world fell apart - I had been off contraception since the exams in an attempt to fall pregnant, but sadly never had the chance.

I know that you have had such a difficult rehab, and I am sure that the loss of the twins is something you will never forget, but I hope that the despair and pain that you feel now fade a little in the future. I know that I have come a long way since my surgery and although I would never have believed it before, the pain does ease a little.

I have said before that it is so unfair to have a gynae cancer - long after we are not afraid of dying anymore, the grief at having lost the ability to bear children goes on and will forever.

My best wishes to you xxx
  #9  
Unread 09-13-2005, 12:40 PM
How did I get here?? (Pregnancy-related issues discussed among other things)

Cathy,
I'm sorry for everything that you've been through. I'm so glad that you've found this site - it's been an amazing source of comfort, support and knowledge for me. I hope it can be for you too.

Welcome to the site and please let me know if there's anything that I can do for you.
  #10  
Unread 10-02-2005, 09:03 AM
Thank you

I haven't been back in a while to check responses and just now have seen all the encouraging messages you wrote me. Thank you so much.
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