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We’re all still All Woman – Lisa’s Story

Hi Ladies, Great Site, So nice to hear all your experiences. Well here is mine. I had a total abdominal hysterectomy 28 Jan 2011, aged 45. I was in total shock to hear I needed one in the 1st place, as I was unable to conceive children, miscarried in 1999 and tried IVF which was unsuccessful, and couldn’t afford anymore courses, but still tried naturally. 

In my 20s I had to have my fallopian tubes unblocked which was major surgery & a large incision across my abdomen and was plagued by ovarian cysts on my ovaries. So for many years had them drained and even cut away, but they kept coming back. I suffered with pelvic pain for most of my adult life, then in May 2010 my my cervical smear test was due; I have never missed one in all the years I’ve had them done, only one came back abnormal in 1986 which was I checked for and was told all was clear, but in Nov 2011 I had my regular cervical smear test which came back Abnormal.

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I had a call a week later from my GPs and they booked me in to have a local abdominal scan and a blood test for abnormal cancer cells. The blood test came back clear, I was quite relieved really but they called to say I had a cyst on my ovary again and to book an appointment to see my GP.

I went to see GP and he explained it was only small and may go after my period, I was told to have another cervical test in 6 months time, but I was quite fed up of having these ovarian cysts which caused a lot of swelling & abdominal pain. My GP said he could book me into see a Gynaecologist if I wanted; I’d seen so many different gynecologists over the years and the last one said if I ever had another ovarian cyst they could consider taking my ovary away.

So eight weeks later I had my appointment through & went to see a gynaecologist. I explained to the consultant about the problems I’d been having and how my periods were stopping and starting. I didn’t for one minute think it was bleeding in between periods which I knew could be a bad sign.

She asked if she could do an examination and did a biopsy of my uterus. I went home and three days after I was booked in for a cat scan of my abdomen. A few days later I had a phone call and was told by a Nurse that I needed a total abdominal hysterectomy. I dropped the phone in shock, my husband had to deal with the call.

She shouldn’t have called and told me on the phone like that really, very unprofessional! Anyway I was booked in to see the consultant, who explained there looked like there was something very suspicious on the lining of my womb and she suspected it may be endometrial carcinoma, cancer of the lining of my womb.

She said there was no other treatment on offer and they couldn’t take any chances, I was inconsolable and at first refused to have the hysterectomy, only because I knew that there would never be a chance of us having children and even though I was 45 years old I still lived in hope.

So, in Jan 28th 2011 I went ahead and had the total abdominal hysterectomy, which removed my fallopian tubes, both ovaries & womb. Three months after the surgery I went to see the consultant for the pathology test results; she said I had Grade 1, stage 1, Endometrial Carcinoma, which was successfully removed and I wouldn’t need to have any more follow up appointments.

I felt so relieved I can tell you, and blessed it was found so early, but the consultant did say if I suffer with a swollen abdomen or stomach pains, I’ll need to see them again for a check up.

Eighteen months on, I’m getting stomach pains & swelling of the abdomen again, so last week the GP booked me in for another scan which i’m waiting to have. Since the Hysterectomy i have gained loads of weight, I constantly feel tired, and have constipation and urinary problems, which I have to take laxative liquid for relief.

Before the surgery the consultant did say I may have damage to my bowels and bladder, which they would have to deal with if problems arise, which I suspect have. I don’t regret having the surgery because it had basically saved my life, which I’m eternally grateful for; but hate the problems I’ve suffered with since the operation.

I was also told I would definitely need to have HRT treatment because i hadn’t gone through the menopause, but was at the age nearing to the menopause. I can honestly say I haven’t had one single symptom of the menopause of yet and haven’t needed HRT.

But anyone going through this, or who’s just had a hysterectomy or going to have one, I’d say ‘don’t give up, in time it will get better, we are all strong beautiful women and it doesn’t make us less of a woman because we’ve had a hysterectomy’.

Sending my love to you all, Lisa x

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in my own words book coverNow available on our online store and all other online book store’s. In My Own Words: Women’s Experience of Hysterectomy is full of many other real-life stories from women the world over.

Other people’s stories help women feel less isolated. They show that they aren’t going mad, missing the point or stupid.

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Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Transformational coach and founder of the Hysterectomy Association. Professionally I'm an information scientist who specialises in the adoption and engagement of digital technologies. I am a writer and author of nine books to date, and I've edited a further seven; phew what a lot for a Thursday afternoon :-)

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Lisa thanks for sharing the encouraging story. I’m contenplating having a hysterectomy. My doctor suggested that I have one last week. I went in to have my IUD removed and had to have an ultrasound because my doctor couldn’t find my IUD strings. The ultrasound revealed an eight cm fibroid which is covering the entire left side of my uterus. I’ve always had extremely painful, irregular periods however I never thought at 41 I would have to have a hysterectomy…I need to have my uterus and cervix removed but I get to keep my ovaries (yay)!
    My hesitation comes from feeling like less than a woman once my cervix and uterus is removed. I also worry about menopause. I appreciate your story it has given me encouragement.

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