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Unread 01-04-2002, 06:52 PM
Questions galore

Hi all...I'm new to this, so bear with me. I'll start by giving you a little background. I have always had heavy periods since they started at age 12. During my 3rd c-section, I had my tubes tied. This was 2 1/2 years ago. My periods have been awful ever since. I have periods that last weeks on end and that soak a Super Plus tampon in 1/2 hour. I have been on various birth control pills, Provera, etc. and had a D&C a year ago October...none of which have worked. Last week, a week after my period ended (finally), I had 2 days worth of amazingly heavy bleeding with huge clots (one was literally the size of my hand). The flow stopped as suddenly as it started. A week later, I had another 2 days of the same kind of bleeding....soaked through an Ultra OB tampon (my personal favorite... ) AND a pad in 10 minutes. I am now taking Provera, which makes me absolutely nuts. Can't stand the stuff. I have had increasing pain with my periods, but following the episode last week of heavy bleeding, I have had a constant pain in my lower abdomen and lower back. Not exatly like cramps, more a pressure with pain. Anyway, my doc, who is a friend, called me to make an appointment to (her words), "talk about a more permanent solution". My appointment is in 2 weeks.'s the question....what questions should I have ready at that appointment?

I found out last week from my birth mother (long story....she "found" me) that she had a hysterectomy at age 35 during which they found ovarian cancer. I will be 34 next month.

Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.
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Unread 01-04-2002, 06:55 PM
Questions galore

I would suggest you go to the pull down menu for "ladies in waiting" for questions to ask.

Also, just keep reading here-the ladies have lots of good advice and suggestions.

I know what you are going through - I had the problems with the extremely heavy bleeding also. I am 15 months post op, and have never felt better.

Best of luck to you.
Unread 01-04-2002, 07:12 PM
Questions galore

Welcome, Judy!

I think the questions will come to you as you discuss this with your friend/DR. But write a list of any questions you have in mind now so you won't forget when you see her.

If we're assuming that the permanent solution your friend is referring to is a hysterectomy, then I would listen first to the DR's explanations. The family history plays a big part in what DRs typically recommend. You might ask for any and all diagnostic means to better understand your condition, if you have not already been through all or many of those.

You might ask exactly what she would recommend - a vaginal hysterectomy(TVH), a lap-assisted vaginal hyst (TAVH), or an abdominal hyst (TAH), and removal of ovaries is (BSO), which I am assuming your DR does have in mind to do, considering your family history. She may give you choices as to which method you prefer; if so, find out which she recommends.

Ask about her approach to your needs following surgical menopause.

You may need more than one consultation; this first one may yield alot of food for thought as she gives you some options. Then after you have had a chance to think about everything and do your own research, you might go back for another discussion to answer further questions you may then have.

Stick around here and read all you can about the experiences of the women on this site; you will find many women are or have been in a similar situation as yours.

I wish you all the best - I hope you find the right solutions for you very soon! We will be here for you along the way!

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Unread 01-04-2002, 08:20 PM
Questions galore

Wow...a lot on your plate!!

I agree with what Toonces and jsturn have said here, and I'd also add that after your meetings with the doctor, you might want to consider a second opinion to see how other doctors would proceed with your situation.

Also, while the 'bombshell' from your birthmother is disturbing, keep in mind that not all ovarian cancers are familial-ly linked, so if you can find out exactly what went on with her, even maybe getting her medical record and operative/pathology reports, you and your doctor will be in a much better position to make decisions on keeping/losing your own ovaries should you decide to go ahead with a hyster.

Keep reading, keep questioning, and we'll be here to help you every step of the way!!

Unread 01-04-2002, 11:14 PM

Hi, Judy! Welcome to HysterSisters! You've come to the right place for support and comfort and info. I also had very heavy periods with large clots off and on for 25 years, not improved for very long with ~20 cycles of Provera or other progesterone and finally Depo Provera (plus 3 pregnancies). Provera was ok for me, but the Depo was awful, and you have to just let it wear off over 3 months. You're probably anemic, too from blood loss every month. If you've had a tubal and are sure you don't want more children, I think your quality of life would be so much better after a hyst. I had fibroids in the lining of the uterus which caused most of my bleeding, plus a fibroid on the outside which caused pressure on my hip nerves. You can ask your dr about doing a vag hyst vs abd hyst, about removing vs leaving the ovaries, and about taking HRT if you have your ovaries removed. I think with your positive family history for ovarian cancer, he will advise removing your ovaries. I was borderline for ovarian cancer risk, and the dr removed mine when he saw they didn't look healthy during surgery. I'm really glad I don't have to worry about that cancer now, and I feel good on HRT. Some women have a difficult time finding the right type and dosage, though, to make them feel good--it can take a lot of "trial and error." So keep reading all you can here at HysterSisters and ask any questions you think of. Take into consideration that you will have a 6-8 week recovery, so that may take some planning. Good luck and best wishes!
Unread 01-05-2002, 06:40 AM

I've been on provera 12 days a month for three years to control the bleeding. Until October it was doing its job for the most part, BUT what it was doing to my emotionas! I referred to it as drug enhanced PMS. As the time went by it got worse and worse. Any little thing would get me crying or raving like a lunatic. For the insurance companies the Dr is supposed to try alternatives to hyst. It got to a point last summer that I asked is homicide preferable to surgery??? Because there were days that if I'd had a weapon I might have killed one of the kids who work for me, or a complaining customer!

Now my uterus has gone from a six week pregnancy size three years ago to a sixteen week size. And a 46 day period with real heavy bleeding and huge clots. I am soooo looking forward to getting this over with!
Unread 01-05-2002, 06:47 PM
Questions galore

I can relate SO well to the emotional problems associated with Provera. I am on it now and today was an emotional roller coaster ride. Crying, ranting, laughing. This stuff messes me up.

I doubt that I'll be able to get any sort of lab report on my birth mother's ovarian cancer. For one thing, she didn't mention the cancer to me when I asked for a medical history, because she didn't want "to worry me". Ugh...what kind of logic is that? She had her hyst done almost 20 years ago and it was during that surgery that the ovarian cancer was detected. It was very early stage and she is fine now.

Thank you all so much....I can tell this is a good place to be.
Unread 01-05-2002, 07:00 PM
Questions galore

Judy, you really have a lot to think about! For one thing, you are very fortunate that your mother shared her history with you. She is very, very lucky. Ovarian cancer can be tough. My sister-in-law is fighting it for the third time. She had a total hysterectomy once they found the cancer during her first bout. With all your problems, and your family history, if your doctor recommends a hysterectomy, I'd seriously consider it. I'm 11 months post-op myself. I was very, very scared going into it last February, but have never felt better. Wish I had done it when my doctor first recommended it a while ago. Hugs to you. Keep us posted. This site is a life-saver!!
Unread 01-06-2002, 05:00 PM
Questions galore

Judy, I know that there is conflicting info on how much it matters that a person's mother had ovarian cancer. I know because my mother died at age 58 just 14 days after finding out she had it! That was the first and foremost reason I let my gynecologist talk me into a total abdominal hysterectomy with both ovaries out, and when she got in there, she found adenomyosis and adhesions and all kinds of problems. So I thank God that I let my doctor talk me into it.

I am currently 26 days post-op and feel fantastic! The surgery was a walk in the park, and even though it of course doesn't guarantee that I'll never get cancer, at least I have fewer places to get it!

Someone on these boards has a saying like, "Listen to your body. Ovarian cancer whispers." I can't remember the exact quote, but it's perfect! If nothing else, I no longer have to worry about ovarian cancer whispering its warning to me.
Unread 01-06-2002, 06:56 PM
pull down menu for "ladies in waiting"??

OK OK I give!!...

""I would suggest you go to the pull down menu for "ladies in waiting" for questions to ask. "" I am not sure where this is??!!! I am new to list am finding out my Date to the castle tomarrow///it is posably 2/7/02 I am probably going for TAH/BSO --- It is really strange ... I am sure the pain has been there whole time ( i am one of those people if I dont actually see my arm cut off (LOL) It would take me a week to know it is cut off!!)but since I went to Hospital for a pap---the kind they have to put you out for... (no I am not a wienie...but she the doc said they were going in and finding that cervex and taking no prinoners!! )I have been really noticing the aches and pains in the pelvic regin and my lower back...I know the back part has been getting worse had no clue it was pelvic related!! I do have high pain tolerence ... And I hate feeling this discomfort!! So where are the Questions I should be asking her tomarrow??!!!!

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