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many worries - radical hyster in 3 wks many worries - radical hyster in 3 wks

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Unread 12-27-2011, 01:08 AM
many worries - radical hyster in 3 wks

My surgery is scheduled in 3 weeks, (January 19th). I seem to alternate between being terrified and feeling numb, while constantly feeling overwhelmed by all I need to do to get ready, and hence doing nothing.

It seems almost unreal to me at times, that I can feel completely okay and yet need this MAJOR surgery. I have never had any problems with my lady bits, and menopause six years ago was entirely trouble free. But, after starting to bleed again this summer, then two ultrasounds, then last month a biopsy + D&C found "complex hyperplasia with atypia" and removed several small polyps. Transferred to a gynecologic-oncologist and the recommendation for removing everything: cervix, uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes!

This is not a trip I ever expected or want to take, but I figure that since there may be cancer, I really have no other realistic choice, as this gives me the best chance to resolve the situation, but I am really scared about how this will change my life.

I'm a 57 year old single lady, and live alone. While I have arranged to have someone here for the first week after my surgery, I am starting to worry that will not be enough help for me... I read that many ladies are still pretty incapacitated at that point.

I worry about so much, from the great worry of what if there is cancer inside me right now, to worrying about if I will even want to have sex after, to such seeming trivia as how much bigger panties will I need to buy for my recovery time... I know that there is just a lot of "don't know" that will only be clear as things happen, which is very uncomfortable.

I did have a good long talk with my sweetheart, and he was so good and thoughtful and kind, just held me while I cried and cried, and his comments made me feel a little better. I wish that he lived closer, and that I could see him more than once or twice a month, but at least I feel like he and I will come through this together.

This surgery will also play hob with my finances, for I am self-employed as a housecleaner; I will have months and months with no income, since my work is exactly the kind of strenuous lifting/pushing movement that is prohibited for a long time - I'd rather not compromise my recovery by pushing myself too early, keep telling myself that somehow it will all work out, but I am having a hard time seeing the way...
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Unread 12-27-2011, 02:18 AM
Re: many worries - radical hyster in 3 wks

I'm sending you a big hug. You've come to the right place, we are all here for you and we understand how scary and emotional this all is right now. I'm glad your sweetie is on board and being supportive. That's a huge plus. And it sounds like you're making the best choice for you to live a healthy life. There are a lot of unknowns with this surgery and no standard guaranteed outcome. We need to give up some control, put trust in other people and take one step at a time. I love to plan everything and make lists and have everything clean and organized. But I had no choice but to let that all go for the past 5 months. I let DH take over all the cleaning, shopping and cooking and laundry for weeks. And yes, he splashed little bits of food all over the white kitchen cabinets (which I still haven't finished cleaning off yet) but he made me a lovely homemade chicken soup the day I can home from hospital. Make friends with your dust bunnies. Trust me you won't care that they're there after a while. As for sex, there is no guarantee how that may change post op. it's a leap of faith. The only issue I have is the orgasm isn't as intense and I miss that. The worry and stress you're feeling now is completely normal. The waiting is the most difficult part. It's an emotional time too, I know I cried a great deal. Please visit the site often and ask all your questions. Trust that you can do this and you will be fine. We are all here for you.
Unread 12-27-2011, 09:07 AM
Re: many worries - radical hyster in 3 wks

Indigotiger, since you live by yourself and are used to doing for yourself you should be fine. Although I am married and it's just me and my husband, I am very independent. I had my hysterectomy 1 week ago today and I could have made it so far by myself. Some of the ladies on here seem more ...well... for lack of a better word ...needy and helpless, which is fine for some, just not me. I'm a very independent person - used to doing for and taking care of myself.
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Unread 12-27-2011, 10:22 AM
Re: many worries - radical hyster in 3 wks

Thank you so much for the encouragement, it helps to know that I am not alone with this, or even with feeling these feelings. I am going to call my surgeons office today with some of my questions (the ones that can be answered )

Am trying to get through my work days while I keep needing to just cry, fortunately I work alone most of the time, so I have privacy for that. My sweetie is coming to visit tomorrow, to help me put up shelves for all my fabric (currently in piles all over the bedroom) and we will have a chance for some "special time" (since my doctor has told me it will be three months at least after the surgery before we can have any sexual activity!)
Unread 12-27-2011, 11:24 AM
Re: many worries - radical hyster in 3 wks

I was afraid that I would be dependent for longer than I was. I, too, had the "full meal deal". I was surprised to be up and about on the second day, and I could have stayed by myself, especially since I'd prepared lots of meals which I froze before going to the hospital. I am still sore, and I need lots of rest, but there isn't really anything that I can't do for myself at home, as long as I plan well - I get my husband to carry the laundry and do the vacumming on his way through to do other things.

I was so scared before the surgery, but the reality hasn't been nearly as bad as the anticipation. I hope the same will be true for your.
Unread 12-27-2011, 01:52 PM
Re: many worries - radical hyster in 3 wks

IndigoTiger -

I am sorry you have received a pre-cancer diagnosis. If you ever want or need to check it out we have a wonder Cancer Concerns forum. It is filled with very supportive and knowledgeable members.

On clarification for you regarding your surgery. Unless your Dr. is taking a portion of your vagina (which is most commonly done for cervical cancer) you aren't having a radical hysterectomy.

A total hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus and cervix and it doesn't noticably alter the length of the vagina. The removal of the tubes and ovaries is a separate procecure called a salping (tubes) oopherectomy (ovaries). So if both tubes and ovaries are removed you would have a Bi-Lateral (both sides) salpingo oopherectomy or BSO for short.

as you deal with all of this.
Unread 12-27-2011, 04:26 PM
Re: many worries - radical hyster in 3 wks

I had the same surgery as you - TAH/BSO, which is the cervix, uterus, tubes and ovaries, plus a pelvic wash. I have a long vertical incision. I had the threat of cancer hanging over me, too, but it was a benign growth, thankfully. I am now 4 months post-op.

I am 62 and live alone (with a cat!)
I had my brother, who lives nearby, to help me with some things, take me to and from the hospital, etc and I made a LOT of preparations beforehand, not just food, but supplies of everything from my favourite brand of toilet paper to a ton of cat food.
At the time, I started a thread here asking if I'd be able to cope alone and most said I would need to have someone living with me for a bit.
I never had anyone stay over and coped just fine with the minimal help I got from my brother (e.g. lawnmowing, and later a supermarket trip). I had a former neighbour/friend come and vacuum for me and clean the shower occasionally. I paid her a small sum (she is on a benefit)
My brother phoned me most days to check on me.
I managed the laundry by not having a large load, and I got it out of the machine using a reacher/grabber for the first 3 or so weeks.
After about 6 weeks I started vacuuming myself - carefully - because I have only a small house, and mowed the lawn also (tiny lawn, with a pushmower).
I'm not saying you should vacuum etc so soon, but I felt able.
I was careful about lifting and bending. I walked daily and rested a lot rather than sitting around. I turned a blind eye to a lot of things until I could do them.
It IS major surgery and the recovery is quite long, but just hang in there and you will feel better.
We are here for you! I think you will cope on your own with a lot of preparations. At least you have your sweetie to help!
Personally, I found being on my own more stress-free because I didn't have to fit in with anyone else's needs or expectations, and could rest when I needed, etc

I feel great now and you will too.
Unread 12-27-2011, 08:07 PM
Re: many worries - radical hyster in 3 wks

tauruslady - thank you for clarifying the terms for me; this is all new territory for me, and I'm still trying to sort out what is likely to happen, and what all everything is called. I tried to edit my thread title to be more accurate ("total" rather than "radical"), but couldn't find a way to do that...

Sounds like one of those grabber-thingies will be really helpful, I'll have to ask around and see if any folks I know have one.
Unread 12-27-2011, 09:24 PM
Re: many worries - radical hyster in 3 wks

Originally Posted by indigotiger View Post
Sounds like one of those grabber-thingies will be really helpful, I'll have to ask around and see if any folks I know have one.
You may be able to get one quite easily and cheaply from a hardware store. I did! (But in a different country, so no point in my mentioning store names)

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