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Is this hysterectomy really happening to me – Karen’s story

The start of my story was a particularly bad period back in January this year, resulting in a visit to the Doc and a referral to gyne at local hospital, an ultra sound showed up a polyp which was removed 6 weeks later in day surgery.

Nothing could have prepared me for what happen next! I was asked to attend and emergency MRI scan and Gynaecology consult (4 weeks post polypectomy) to discover that the polyp was cancerous and the MRI was to check that it was contained with in my womb, (this meeting was like having an out of body experience, I am 46 fit and healthy and had had no symptoms to suggest there was any problem apart from heavier periods since hitting through big 40).

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My reaction was one of tears and questioning that they actually had the right person? My consultant was brilliant and reassured me that they have caught everything early and that everything should be straight forward, however the best treatment was to proceed with a total hysterectomy including tubes and ovaries, this would be done laparoscopically and within a month.

The results of the MRI were good and the open was planned as originally discussed for 29/09/2015.

Tuesday 29th arrived as did I to the hospital at 7am (I have never been so scared in all my life). Consultant came to see me Anaesthetist can to see me and the amazing nurses all helped to calm me down.

8.30 I am on my way to theater and by 9am I am asleep, 2 hour’s later and I wake up non the wiser of just what my boy has had done to it NO PAIN is what I can remember the most and just wanting to sleep. By 2pm I was sitting up in bed having my much and a well deserved cup of tea with my mum who had come to visit me and not quite believing what she was seeing (still no pain).

The evening visit by my husband was a highlight to see the relief in this face (trying to hide his worry and provide the support I had needed for the last month had been hard for him). That night I slept well still no pain (but I had a morphine driver to help with this just in case).

But at 4 am I was rudely awoken by the dreaded wind; a nurse, some movement and pain relief and a little embarrassment later this had gone and a good nights sleep was had.

The next morning I woke up still with no pain a little discomfort but nothing that couldn’t be dealt with. My consultant popped up to see me before her clinic to say that everything went really well and that I could go home once I had had my catheter and drips removed, and had been up and moving around. By 9am this had all been achieved, just needed to wee 3 times to check everything was working properly (this created a bit of a giggle in the ward never has a wee been so important and monitored by so many! ). Home time came at 2pm.

Although a little scary to be going home, it was so nice to get home with my own things and own bed. My animals were very happy to have mum back home as was my amazing hubby and equally amazing mum who moved in to help look after me for the 1st 3 days.

Tomorrow it is 1 week since my operation, and it really hasn’t been as bad as I was expecting it to be! I have managed all discomfort by paracetamol, the wind has been very uncomfortable but moving around has helped this, my tummy is a bit bruised but I am able to do all my pelvic floor exercises, doing a BM is not always comfortable but this getting better daily.

I have been out walking and am already up to 30 mins without any side effects. The hardest part is stopping myself from doing all the things that I would normally do in a day, but my body makes it very clear what I can and cannot do! I am making the most of having my meals cooked for me (think I will make the most of this for a few more weeks). I am having flushes but they don’t last for long and cool drinks and fresh air help cool the whole thing down, not sure about HRT and not an option until histology results and follow up with consultant.

I hope I haven’t bored anyone who has read this story. I have been totally truthful and for me this has been a total roller coaster ride. However the operation has been a success and the recovery is so far been easy, big knickers and this group have been a big help all the way.

If you are about to go through this, I hope my story will help you! Try to be as positive as possible, don’t be scarred to ask questions, eat well, drink plenty, get up and move around as much as possible and take your pain relief.

GOOD LUCK XXX

P.S don’t forget the big knickers.

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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 8 Comments
  1. Thank you for sharing your story, which I am reading through tears of joy. I have a submucosal fibroid, which was diagnosed in June, I tried the Mirena coil, which came loose from the threads and is floating around inside somewhere – its been the worst thing for me as it has not worked and It feels like I have an alien trapped in my lower abs. Nearly finished a three month course of Esmya tablets and I need to take transexamic acid daily to reduce the bleeding. I am now anaemic and in a lot of pain – the daily bleeding has been hard to cope with; at times I have physically wanted to rip my womb out. I have a hysterectomy scheduled for the New Year and have been scared to death at the prospect. Your story and the replies have lifted my spirits and given me some hope that I may just get my life back, which doesn’t involve sleeping in the bath.. I am most grateful, thank you. Big pants are on the xmas list xx Dolly

  2. Bit concerned after reading a comment above. I too have been told all cancer has been removed also that no further treatment is necessary. The lady above was told this but in order ‘just to be sure’ then had chemo etc. this I find a little concerning.

  3. thanks for sharing your story:) I have my date for December the 7th for TAH due to fibriod,it makes me feel ok and natural about being scared, this seems a normal part of the process. I am just worried about surviving the operation! I havent had surgery before and my anaesthetist resured me I am healthy and will be fine! Stiries shared like yours really helps, thank you x

  4. Exactly the same thing happened to me! EXACTLY! Except that I had an abdominal hysterectomy and ovary removal and this took a bit longer to recover from. I also left having the operation for 3 weeks to be well enough to attend my daughter’s wedding!

    It is a year since the operation and as I had already gone through the menopause I had no further symptoms.

    I still find I get tummy ache if I do too much lifting. But I am cancer free and have needed no more treatment- I am sure this will be the same for you! Good luck. we were lucky to have got it sorted!

  5. Hi, Thank-you for sharing your story, it’s given me some hope, that recovery might not be quite so bad. I was told June last year i need a hysterectomy, had 1 opp cancelled due to change of consultant & 2 opps cancelled this year due to flare ups of what was thought to be cough(colds) where by i needed steriods & antibiotics but turns out to be asthma & allergy related, so now have been booked in for 6th Nov with a course of steriods a couple of weeks before to reduce the risk of another flare up & another cancelation, but im terrified of the recovery process, i know how i struggled 3yrs ago after my emergency c-section & the pain ive had since. Now i have a very active toddler, im a carer & don’t do sitting still very well & what was once a very high pain threshhold is now not very tolerant at all, i also suffer with IBS so i know im gonna have problems in that area.
    Hope you continue your recovery well.?

  6. So glad you’re doing well and keeping positive. Fingers crossed the histology is as hoped. However believe me it’s possible to move on if things don’t quite go to plan – I had surgery in January and had to start chemo 5 weeks later (not what I was expecting!). Here I am a few months later, completely back to normal, back at work, with a head of hair again – and about to head off on a lovely cruise! The year is definitely ending better than it began! Fingers crossed for you that your journey is a short one and you can draw a line under this very soon!

  7. Hi, glad you are doing so well, I would like to echo the no pain bit, to reassure anyone about to go under the knife. Morphine very quickly made me sick so paracetomol was the limit of my pain relief but much to my surprise it was more than adequate and not needed at all within 10 days.

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