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22 Days til... 22 Days til...

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Unread 01-16-2012, 04:49 AM
22 Days til...

I posted this in "Introduce Yourself", but figured I'd drop it here too, as I have some questions!

Now that I have a surgery date (Feb 7) for TH and Oophorectomy, I decided to stop lurking and join your site.

I am an American ex-pat living in Belgium and I am 48 years old, stage 1 cervical cancer and have been in peri for almost 6 years. As strange as this may sound, I could not be more thrilled for my up-coming surgery. I've spent the last 20 year of my life living under the threat of HPV - paps every 3 months, cryos, colposcopies, cone biopsies. Due to heavy cancer history on both sides of the family and a niece who is one of the youngest ovarian cancer survivors ever (age 7 at time of diagnosis), I have elected to just get rid of the whole plumbing system and hop on the BIHRT Bus! I see the end of my menses as a whole new wonderful stage of my life!

Um. Am I being realistic? Seriously - As closely as we've watched my stuff, my doctors (3 in the states, 2 here in Belgium) wanted me to wait as long as possible to have it removed. Now that it's made the leap, I think the timing is good for me and I am feeling very positive. But naturally, I have concerns. Will my sex life be normal? Will I be normal? I'm having it done laparoscopically - what's the recovery like? (I had my gall bladder removed lapis. and that was a breeze) (I also had a c-section with my baby and that was a breeze too, in terms of recovery/healing. I was diagnosed 4 years ago as BiPolar II - assuming my meds stay consistant, will there any change? Weight gain? Will I in fact, as my best friend INSISTS, shrivel up and die without my ovaries?

Would love to hear back from some of you who've gone before me and hear how you're doing!

Thanks for being here!
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Unread 01-16-2012, 09:23 PM
Re: 22 Days til...

to HysterSisters. I am sorry you are dealing with so much, but glad you found this site. This site is full of wonderful and supportive women. I have found much healing hear, and now I give back as a hostess.

I can see given your medical history that you would be glad to get rid of the old plumbing. Who wouldn't with that hanging over your head?

Be warned, though, having a hysterectomy is MAJOR SURGERY no matter how it is done. It is my understanding that the only thing more major is open heart surgery. It will throw your system off kilter for a while. The biggest surprise for me was the extreme fatigue. Taking a shower and getting to the couch will be an accomplishment. Just walking around the house will be exhausting. So it is different from other surgeries you have had. Here is some information comparing a hysterectomy and c-section.

Regarding sex afterwards (you will have a six week restriction post-op), everyone is different - some say it is better, some say it is worse, some say it is the same, and everywhere in between. For me, sex is different with my orgasms being not as intense (I miss the muscle contraction), but they happen more frequently - go figure.

Weight gain can happen, as you have a hard time exercising after surgery. But it is not a given. I did not personally gain weight.

You won't shrivel up and die without your ovaries. Talk to your doctor about your options for HRT/ERT. You also need to speak to him or her about your bipolar meds - they would be best to answer.

Hope that answers your questions. Ask if you have more questions, or as you need to express any emotions. We are here to help and support you.

Unread 01-16-2012, 11:43 PM
Re: 22 Days til...

I understand some of your concern. I almost feel guilty about looking forward to my hysterectomy. There are so many ladies that are frightened about it and here I am counting down the days, (mine is 2-8-12).

I'm scared of the sexual side, as well. Don't worry, what you are feeling is normal and even if it's not the "norm", there are others that are feeling the same way.
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Unread 01-17-2012, 12:01 AM
Re: 22 Days til...

darn it - I just posted a whole response and then lost it!! Banana - you and I will be a day apart - hyster-buddies! yay!

Well - thanks to this site, I just had one of my most pressing questions answered - that being: What stops the rest of my innards from leaking out of my vagina? glad to hear they sew it up. Was wondering if I was going to have shove a cork up there or something.

I'm one of those unlucky ones who doesn't experience vaginal orgasms - only clitoral (believe me - I've tried everything) so I'm not as concerned about the intensity as I am about the quality, ie: natural lubrication and over-all libido. oh god the thought of freedom from birth control is enough to send me into orgasmic fit of rapture!!
Unread 01-17-2012, 06:11 AM
Re: 22 Days til...

Grrr. Well, just returned from pre-op meeting with my Dr. and he's decided to do Abdominal rather than Laparo as I had hoped, based on my having had a c-section and a tilted uterus.

That threw a little fly in my ointment as I know my recovery would have been a little easier otherwise.

Good news - he secured a private room for me and I'll be in for 7 days. Better news: Do you know in Belgium they check you in early the day BEFORE surgery to get all your tests and blood work out of the way, then you have the option of having SPA TREATMENTS in your room??!! HAHAHA!! I almost died! He said "would you like for me to schedule a massage for the afternoon for you?" I was like "hellsa-yeah!!" He mumbled something in French into the phone and then asked "Pedicure, too?" I 'bout fell outta my chair.

Unread 01-17-2012, 09:01 PM
Re: 22 Days til...

We will then be TAH sisters. Mine was a TAH (vertical incision) because there was a cancer concern. Everything was benign, thankfully, but if there had been any cancer then they needed to have a good look around.

The recovery can be longer with a TAH, but all hysterectomies have countless internal stitches that still have to heal. I don't want to scare you, but you may also want to visit the post-op section of the web site. It will give you some sense of what happens after surgery.

I do like that Belgium system though: I am picturing: and and !

Unread 01-17-2012, 11:58 PM
Re: 22 Days til...

Heee - those e-cons are hilarious!
Unread 01-18-2012, 10:58 PM
Re: 22 Days til...

I want to have mine done if Belgium too! Not fair! You are going to be one seriously pampered princess!

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