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Pre-Op Panic! Pre-Op Panic!

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Unread 10-11-2002, 08:10 PM
Pre-Op Panic!

Hi ladies -

My surgery is scheduled for 11/15 subtotal abdominal hyst, ovaries and remaining tube removed, and appendectomy due to severe endo - and now I'm wondering if I'm doing the right thing! I think I have been scaring myself with all of the reading I'm doing - I'm reading everything I can find on the subject! I'm so afraid of the aftereffects of the surgery - will I be the same person I was before? I keep reading about how the drop in estrogen levels can affect your cognitive functioning....memory loss, struggling for words, etc. not to mention the affects on your appearance and sex drive and I'm getting nervous. And the HRT -should I or shouldn't I? Could it lead to breast cancer? Am I going to experience a domino effect of health problems now? My dr. is planning to prescribe a natural estrogen patch for me. I don't have pain with my endo even tho its Stage IV, and my heavy bleeding was stopped when I had an endometrial ablation. My endo has advanced to the point where it is now threatening my ureters. Also the "finality" of it all is upsetting.

Is a little knowledge a dangerous thing in my case? Please help!

Thanks a lot!

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Unread 10-11-2002, 08:38 PM
Pre-Op Panic!

Hi, Terri.
I know how you feel. I've heard so many different stories from different people, and read lots of stuff... sometimes I don't know what to think, what to expect. The one thing that the ladies here have taught me is that we are all different, and although some things are similar for all of us, we will all have different experiences. Horror stories and scary medical info doesn't necessarily condemn us, and as long as you are comforatble with your doc and know yourself, the two of you can make things work out. Keep your chin up, K? Everything happens for a reason, and we'll all be okay somehow. Things have a way of working themselves out. I'll be praying for you.
Unread 10-11-2002, 09:37 PM
Pre-Op Panic!

Too much knowledge can be an upsetting thing. In fact, after this post, I'm turning my pc off.

You want to be educated, but, don't overwhelm yourself. I was told I had to have a TAH BSO last Friday morning. I stressed all day long at work and came home and did nothing but surf the net for info. By 10pm that night, I was sick to my stomach and in the bathroom 1/2 the night. I didn't even look at my personal pc until Wed, I think.

So, take it in doses. I haven't even been able to handle researching the HRT yet...still too freaked out about the "possible" effects my overactive imagination keeps throwing my way. I'll probably start researching that soon though.

Good luck and Peace of Mind
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Unread 10-12-2002, 10:00 AM
Pre-Op Panic!

Hi, Terri! While there are women who do have complications after a hyst and struggle with hormonal balance, I think the majority of us feel much better and healthier after a hyst. I know I feel great 15 months after mine, and just as feminine. I'm one of the lucky ones who does great on a little Estrace (bio-identical estradiol), and I really like how I look and feel now! Here is a link to a very positive thread about how some women feel after a hyst

The HRT question is a confusing one right now, but since we don't have a uterus after a hyst, it's a little easier. We don't have to take progesterone (progestin is the "bad" kind that made them stop that study) to prevent uterine cancer. The study on "plain" estrogen replacement for women without a uterus is still on-going, since it didn't appear to have the same risks as Prempro. (Some women do use a natural progesterone if they need it to feel more like themselves, but it's not the same as progestin.) My feeling is that breast cancer is genetic, and that HRT may make it pop up sooner, but we will be on the lookout for it and catch it sooner, which would be a good thing. Just make sure you do breast exams and mammograms.

That's great you aren't in a lot of pain from your endo, but I guess it makes you feel that maybe surgery isn't immediately necessary--though intellectually you know it is. Also, it is a very personal surgery, so there are a lot of emotional aspects to this journey. It's normal to feel sad about losing female organs, though they are not what make us a woman! Best wishes on sorting this out and coming to terms with what is best for your body and for living your life.

We'll be here to support you on this journey! s and best wishes!
Unread 10-12-2002, 10:17 AM
Pre-Op Panic!

I agree that you can become overwhelmed with all of the knowledge there is to be obtained *out there*. I also reached a point where it was overload & I quit thinking about it for a few days. I think that is just natural. You need time to assimilate the info that you have gained before you go on.

Because we are different, all of the issues are extremely personal choices. No one can really help you make decisions. You need to listen to your body.

I have been delving into the HRT issue more aggressively now that I have had time to relax. It seems to me that you really need to be armed with all the info you can get so you can help your dr help you. At Surferbabe's suggestion I checked out the website called *Survivors Guide to Surgical Menopause*. There is a lot of good info there. At least for me, it is a good starting point.

I wish you ladies good luck in your quest for *the good life*! I know I am already feeling better (just 2 weeks post) & am anticipating more good things to come.

Take care,

Unread 10-12-2002, 04:58 PM
Pre-Op Panic!

Dear MissMissy, Lulu43, Ivestaffer, Mongie and all the Hyster Sisters!

Thank you all so much for your help. I think I'm ready to move forward with this! What would I have done without all the help of my Hyster Sisters? This site really helped to ease all the grief and confusion that comes with having to go through such a life-altering operation. You sisters rule!!!

s and good luck to you all -

Unread 10-13-2002, 06:13 AM
Pre-Op Panic!

Well, I'm one who HAS to KNOW "EVERYTHING". So it can get scarier than the devil when you start realizing all the complications that "can" happen. Been there, done that bit!

Still I HAVE to know. So, what I did that put everything in perspective was do a google search and always included "risks" in the search. Whew! But what I concentrated on were the PER CENTAGES of risk.

For instance, I've lived with urinary frequency and urinary urgency most of my life since "tipping" my pelvis in a sledding accident as a pre-schooler. The only relief I've had thru the years was a bladder suspension done during a tubal ligation and that was somewhat short lived altho the urgency has been much less and very livable since. I've also had one open abdominal surgery for a small bowel resection due to Crohn's disease. Its been in remission for 20 + years except for one flare a couple of years ago that is now in remission. However, I have a partial obstruction at the resection and thus am at increased risk.

You can guess what my greatest fears of gyn surgery and/or hysterectomy are! The risk to the bowel and to the bladder and/or ureters. HA! Risk to the bowel is something like 1%-2%. I've even forgotten the risk factor for the bladder/ureters.

You have to keep in mind too that most who have successful surgery get on with their lives and feel no need to return to these forums once their recovery is over.

Keeping these in mind has gone a long way to easing my jitters. What's left is the normal "panic" prior to any surgery much less major surgery. So, yeah, I"m still worried but the waiting is eased somewhat by all who post here who are experiencing the same worries and frustrations. Lets just get it over with!! This is the RIGHT thing to do. For us. For me.

Good luck and God bless.

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