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Unread 05-19-2006, 08:58 PM

I haven't even scheduled hysterectomy yet and I'm terrified. Have appointment with gyn/oncologist on 5/26 and am positive he will say I need to have a TAH. I've had postmenopausal bleeding problem since Dec. '04, had unsuccessful endo biopsy, D&C, MRI and all results inconclusive because of huge fibroid being in the way. Gyn/onc. said from what he COULD tell, bleeding was from strain on fibroid. My last bleeding episode until March '06 was in April '05. In the last few weeks, I've had a few more. Two incidents happened after bowel movement, one after I had severe urinary pressure, and once when I felt an ache in the area where fibroid is.
What terrifies me most is the fear that I won't survive the surgery. And then there's the fear that after the pathology results come back, it will turn out I have endometrial cancer. I know I can deal with the pain that accompanies a hysterectomy and the long recovery time. I'm retired so it's not like I'll be counting weeks until I have to return to work.
How do I get over the fear of dying on the table??
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Unread 05-19-2006, 09:23 PM

I've had several surgeries in the past few years, all with general anesthesia, and all went well. I usually get my "happy juice" in the prep/holding room. That's just something that calms you and makes you a bit drowsey. Then they wheel you into the OR and put more drugs into your IV, and the next thing you know, you're in recovery.

I think the thing to remember is that even if you've never had surgery before, the doctors do it all the time and there are many people in the OR that are monitoring you. They know how to respond to any situations that may come up.

I'm having my surgery knowing I have precancerous cells in my uterus. I know the feeling of "what if" that you're going through. But I also I know that I need the surgery and I am staying positive about having caught this early enough.

Try to stay positive and read all the success stories here. I think it'll help to see all the sisters that have already gone through the surgery without any problems on the table.

Good luck to you.
Unread 05-19-2006, 09:38 PM

Right now you are dealing with a lot of concerns, and as a group they probably seem pretty daunting. I got through this by dealing with one thing at a time. I had a TAH, and I came through just great. Hysterectomy is one of the most common surgeries performed. Some people say that too many are done, but you can't prove that by me, I would do it over again in a heartbeat. Your surgery is not yet scheduled, you don't know at this moment exactly what will be done. This will have to be decided by you and your surgeon. If you have any doubts about what you're hearing, don't hesitate to get a second or third opinion. This surgery will be happening to you, and you are the one who has to decide what will happen. I know this seems like a lot to deal with, but you can do this, as so many of us have. This board is a great resource for educating yourself. I think when you will learn a bit more about the whole process, you will feel better about it, just give yourself some time here.
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Unread 05-19-2006, 09:49 PM

Because you will
Unread 05-20-2006, 07:32 AM

hi noodles...I also am dealing with that fear. I am scheduled for July 5th. I am a single mom with one child still living at home. these ladies here are wondeful; although i can't say I am 100% fearless, the success stories you read here will get you through...keep reading and let us know when you are scheduled to go in. I can't wait for mine to be over so my life can improve. I am SO TIRED of living with my huge uterus.
Unread 05-20-2006, 08:05 AM

(((Sisters))) - Good advice above. 1) Check how many members have had surgery and are on the post-op end, dead sisters don't post. =) 2) It is a major surgery - but it is the simplest of the major surgeries 3) Switch your focus to relief from pain and bleeding - there are a lot of posts here of relief and "wishes" to have done it sooner. 4) It's all going to okay. =)
Pre-Op wise I think is kind of a grieving process anyway because you do think about death, cancer, worse prognosis etc etc - and I think you have to naturally grieve a little bit to prepare for the major change. So hang in there, its going to get better and you are going to okay. Take Care!
tah 04/04/06 adenocarcinoma in cervix, cervix and uterus removed
Unread 05-20-2006, 08:16 AM
Gyn-Onc. Remarks

I know hysterectomies are done all the time with no major complications but when I had a consultation with my gyn-onc. in July '05 about possible hysterectomy, I asked him about risks during surgery. He did say that because of the huge fibroid, the hysterectomy would be more difficult and incision would have to be vertical (from a little above belly button down to vagina). Was told operation would take about 2-1/2 hours. Needless to say, I didn't opt for the operation at that time because he told me "in my heart of hearts I don't believe you have cancer". But now with more postmenopausal bleeding, I'm beginning to wonder.
Unread 05-20-2006, 08:54 AM

noodles (love the name) - you are me - i had TAH & BSO done May 5 and i was scared of the surgery and dying or not coming out of the anesthia, none of that happened, i woke up to my husband, wonderful nurses and a morphine drip (i so recommend it). anyhow, i think you should do this. i suffered for years with bleeding, constant low back pain and a general feeling of yuckiness. i never ever left home w/o a pad or 2 on. haven't had sex for a long time (i must have the most understanding husband). i have an excellent dr who always told me what was going on, had me on several medications, did a D&C in december of '05. i always figured the end result would be a TAH but thought it too drastic to jump into, so did the above. the straw that broke the camels back - so to speak- was the evening i passed clots so large i truly thought i was loosing body parts, went to the er and was put on one last med - went to dr the next day and he asked me what i wanted to do - i said set mme up!!
my cousin told me i'd feel like a new woman - and even with the pain of surgery i felt different - better, so much better.
ask your dr lots of questions, read the messages here, have faith.
remember this, lots and lots of us have gone thru this and i bet we were all plenty scared, it's ok to be scared, but there is a better life out there, a more carefree life (at least in this respect), and you have plenty of "sisters" here to get you thru it.
happy thoughts to you, noodles 8861
Unread 05-20-2006, 11:22 AM

Hi Noodles,
I read a gread book before my surgery. It said, EVERYBODY has a particular unreasonable fear before surgery, and just to tell the surgeon or anesthesiologist about it, they've heard it all before. My particular fear was about being wheeled into the operating room! I was afraid I'd cry and get hysterical once I took that final ride into the OR with the tools and bright lights...my anesthesiologist offered to put something in my IV before the trip down the hallway, and I was peaceful and bubbly...my last memory was in putting a pillow under my head so I would be comfortable, and starting my CD of soothing music. My husband's particular fear during a surgery is of being "put under" where he can't see what's happening...he's had 6 surgeries since our marriage...he dealt with it by studying the drugs they use for anesthesia, and the machines used to keep the drugs in you (he's a mechanic). It was actually soothing for him to know what they were doing to him while he was under. I hope you can find a way to grab that particular fear of yours and pull it's teeth so that it isn't so scary. Writing a "just in case" letter to those you love, updating your will, reading statistics on how few women actually die during a hyster, watching comedy shows until the moment of surgery...whatever works for you, give yourself permission to do it.
Unread 05-20-2006, 01:47 PM

Originally Posted by noodles8861
How do I get over the fear of dying on the table??
When I was told last year I needed a TAH I completely freaked out. And of course, I had the very same fear as you!

It's the fear of the unknown. Apart from a c-section under epidural, I never had a procedure done to me, and I certainly was never anesthetized. It's rare someone dies in the OR if you think about it. A few months ago a saw a very interesting documentary on people receiving a new heart and a new set of lungs. Those people were up and about in a matter of days and... exercising!!!

Fear of the unknown - Ask questions. Learn as much as you can about the procedure and what goes on in the OR. If it's demystified it might be less scary I say!

What has helped me greatly also is this forum. I have read - on and off - many of the posts on both the pre op and post op boards.

The very best to you!

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