Hysterectomy, it changes you

 
I started my period when I was 11 years old, 8 years later I started having pain every other month or so. The pain stayed about the same up until 2003. Before 2003 Tylenol helped a lot.  I would have maybe one day that I needed to take off of work, most of the time I could work through it, as long as I had a good amount of Tylenol running through my system.  At the end of 2003 I had my tubes tied since birth control (the pill at first and then the shot) was not working for me.  I spoke to the doctor about my pain and the heavy bleeding and he said it was normal for some women and that having my tubes tied would help. 
 
It did not.  By the time my youngest was turning 1 year old, I was being changed over from Tylenol to 800 mg Ibuprofen. That worked in the beginning and I was able to go to work during my period every month. Slowly as years pasted the medicine stopped working.  In 2008 my doctor moved me up to Vicodin since for the past year the pain had been getting worse each month, to the point that 1 day during my period I hurt so bad I laid on a heating pad and took sleeping pills to help with the pain.  There was no moving me, there was no getting me to stop crying unless I was asleep.  After a while that 1 day turned into 2 and then 3 and sometimes 4 or 5. 
 
Last year when I told my doctor that the Vicodin was not even touching the pain anymore she approved me to go to a Ob-gyn. She also gave me a depo shot to stop my period until I could get the appointment, it did not stop my period.   I went to see the Ob-gyn and she wanted to run some test to see what was causing the pain. I had to go see her every 2 weeks to have an exam and ultrasound. She said at first that she believe the birth control was making my womb swell. I explained that I had just had the shot last month and told her my history. She wanted to wait till I was on my period again, so then I had an ultrasound and it showed my womb to be 3 times the size of what it should have been and she said my pap test came back with abnormalities. She submitted my test results to the insurance company to see if they would approve my surgery for July.  3 weeks later I had another ultrasound, being off my period. When I went back to her 2 weeks later she said the insurance would approve my surgery and we needed to move it up.  I asked her how did she know they would approve it and she said because it is still the same size and they can now see several tumors in and around my womb. It also seemed that my womb was growing. She let me know that I had cancerous cells and I had endometriosis.  She let me know that because my womb was still growing that I might have to have a C-section.  She sent the paperwork off and got in touch with a surgeon in Vegas.  After a week I got a call from the surgeon.  We drove up to see her and after the exam she said they would need to take my womb, might need to take my tubes, but should not have to take my ovaries, but would not completely know till they got in there. I signed the paperwork and 2 weeks later, on May 3rd 2013, I was in the hospital to have my surgery. 
 
I will start off by saying I loved my surgeon, she was helpful and answered all my questions and even called to check up on me after my surgery. The problem I guess I have is that if you do not ask the right questions then they might forget to tell you some things.  Another problem is not knowing what questions to ask.
 
For example, I did not know that after the surgery my chest would hurt so bad and that I would cough like I had a bad case of the flu. This is because they inflate your stomach with carbon dioxide so they can move around easier during the surgery. After the surgery that gas goes into your lungs to try to come out of your body through your chest and shoulders.  I did not know that I would have staples inside of me that would stay there for life. I did not know that I would have a drain tube/bag to carry around for 2 weeks.  I also did not know that the medicine they would put me on would make it where I could not go to the bathroom for 3 weeks and then hurt so bad for a month afterwards. I wish they had of told me what would happen after the surgery.  It would not of made any difference, but still knowledge is a great thing.
 
As for the surgery, they had to take my womb, tubes, and ovaries.  She said it was so bad in there she was surprised I had lasted so long with the pain. I had tumors in my womb, on the outside of my womb, on my tubes and ovaries, and even on my colon.
 
Two weeks after the surgery I went to have my staples and drain tube/bag removed.  She let me know that with them taking everything that it should stop me from getting the tumors in my breast. She also said that I might need hormone pills. I asked her how would I know and she said that when I thought my DH was an a$$ and he thought I was a b*tch, then I would need them lol.  At my 2nd visit she did an exam and said that I was healing nicely.  I told her that one minute I am crying the next I am so happy.  To be honest what I felt like was like I had stopped taking my depression medicine or like I was pregnant all over again. I was then put on HRT. She did warn me that the HRT could make the pain come back if they missed any of the tumors, but that I would know in a weeks time. If they did miss any, I would have to have surgery again. I was not sure if I wanted to be put on HRT at such a young age because of the risk of having early menopause.  We decided I would try it for a month and make my decision after that.  In the first week I was all over the place emotionally. I took my HRT in the morning and my depression pill before bed.  I made the decision on my own to stop taking my depression pill.  After 2 days it was worst then before. So bad I was starting fights with my husband out of the blue.  Of course 5 minutes into the fight I could not tell you what we were fighting about or what I was upset about in the first place. Of course my DH could not tell you what started it because he just walked in the door.  Poor man!  So after 3 days of hell, I started taking my depression pill again.  It then lead to almost a week of happiness and crying, sometimes at the same time, and then it leveled out.  Around 3 weeks after starting my HRT I could say the I was doing better.  No more crying or fights and can honest say that I feel better then I did before the surgery.  I feel better now then I have in years. 
 
I just wish they would have told me what would happen after the surgery. The pain. The feeling of loss. The empty feeling.  The weird pains in weird spots and even the feelings 6 weeks later.
 
It has been 2 months since my surgery.  Two months without that monthly pain. My DH and daughters all tell me that I seem happier now then they have seen me in years.  Me? I still have that feeling of loss every once in a while.  I still have that feeling of wanting to carry a baby again.  But I also have a sense of release and relief.  
 
I would like to say thank you to Dr. Gould at Women’s Cancer Center of Nevada. Also I would like to say thank you to Dr. Christina at All Women’s Medical Center. Both doctors listened to me and heard what I had to say. That is hard to find in doctors these days lol. I would also like to thank all the ladies at HysterSister for listening to me and answering my questions. 
 
Want some good news?  They got all the tumors and after a DNA test we found out our 2 girls do not carry the cancer gene.  
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About Golden In The Valley

Just a girl married to an English Gentleman with 3 girls, 3 dogs, some fish, and some goats.
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10 Responses to Hysterectomy, it changes you

  1. What a powerful and moving story. Being new to your blog I had no idea you’d had tumors and when I read it my jaw dropped. I can’t even imagine what it might feel like to go through what you did. But it has made life better for your family and yourself, so that can’t be bad, can it? I’m glad you’re on the road to recovery!

  2. Wow…you have really been through an ordeal! I hope things settle down for you now and that you will be feeling better than ever very soon.

  3. Wendi says:

    Just out of my own curiosity and because it seems to be resolved and you’re settled, can you please tell me what your typical food/diet was/is for as far back as you can remember? I have a suspicion and I want to know if my suspicion is correct. Thank you!

    Great post, by the way! It’s moving, emotional, and keeps the reader’s attention.

  4. My goodness…this is crazy! Thank you for sharing the details; many would not have done so, but your honesty is appreciated – especially by those who may have to endure something like this!

    Kristen from The Road to Domestication
    http://www.theroadtodomestication.com

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve also been contemplating getting a hysterectomy ever since being diagnosed with fibroids. I do have very heavy menstrual bleeding as well as severe pain. Having a dad who passed away from Cancer I’ve been more concerned about having cervical after having 2 abnormal paps which miraculously became normal after a repeat. I’m glad that you’re now doing ok and that everything is well.

    • Thank you. Cancer runs in my family and so I have also always been worried. I had my first surgery at 15 yrs old for a cyst in my breast. Then again last year at 34 yrs old. Then to have this surgery. I can not express to you the weight it has taken off of me. It you ever want to talk just let me know.

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