I felt the same way when I thought that I would have to get a hysterectomy. I cried and mourned too. Thankfully, that did not happen. BUT, might as well have, because the doctors say that I will never have another menstrual cycle nor babies. After all the changes cancer therapy has caused, yes, my body is not the same & it's a bit sad and all. But better that than not being alive. Go ahead and mourn..your feelings are real. It's healthier to let it out. Plus, the more you talk about it, the better you feel. :)
Colorectal (Colon) Cancer Questions
Emotions when having surgery
Asked by CarolLHRN on Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Emotions when having surgery
I will be having surgery next week to remove part of my rectum. I never really thought about it until now, that my body will forever be changed. I feel like I need to grieve for my missing rectum as weird as it sounds and for my body that will forever be changed. Has anyone experienced anything like this?
6 Answers from the Community
Carol - During my surgery I lost my duodenum, half my pancreas, part of my small intestine, and more. The loss of those body parts affected the way I live my life on a daily basis, and I absolutely grieved their loss. As a matter of fact, I still grieve at times, when I'm having particularly difficult issues. After my surgery, my doctor described me as having "new plumbing", and I can't tell you how often I've wished I had my old plumbing back.
The way I deal with this situation is by reminding myself that losing those body parts was critical to losing the cancer in my body, and that usually turns it around for me.
What you're feeling is not weird...go with the feelings.
I have and I adjusted rather well. I have gone through a Esophageal surgery and at times I am amazed that I am still functioning with only half of my Esophagus.
They removed my gall bladder, in the process they removed my stomach and opened the top and bottom spinkters so that food and liquid will pass through freely, and then placed my stomach up in my chest area next to my right lung, pulled my intestines up to attach to my stomach, and then sewn me up and called me good to go :) It took me a few weeks to get used to the fact, but I live a very normal life. I adjusted just fine. Infact, now I feel really good, I can't tell of any difference. That's the weird part :) It wasn't long and I got used to my new way of eating and drinking.
In a little while you'll adjust and you'll be just fine :) I mourned for a little while before the surgery, like you, but I knew that it had to be done, I needed the surgery. Then, I prayed on it and let it go. The anxiety,the fear and the sadness, right before the surgery was the hard part, and I gave all that to God.
although i didn't go through the surgery, my mom had a colectomy and hysterectomy at the same time and i thought about the exact same thing and how i would feel if that happened to me. it made me sad for her, but it was to remove the cancer, and she did obviously have the chance to have children already, so she was fortunate in that sense. it's just going to take some time to get used to, and you might never get used to it, but like stillkickin said, just go with it.
About 7 years ago, I had surgery to remove a malfunctioning (not cancerous)parathyroid gland, and was distressed because I felt my body had betrayed me. Then, 4 1/2 years ago, when I went in for my hysterectomy (which was when a surprise discovery of appendix cancer was made) I was upset at the thought of losing that place where I grew my kids. I had my hysterectomy under a spinal, and was tempted to ask them to show me my uterus, because it was so important to me. I didn't ask, and was sufficiently drugged that I wouldn't have noticed.
Yes, mourning the betrayal by your body, the loss of the norm, is very reasonable. We will never be the same again.
Yet we are constantly changing, and never the same from one minute to the next. However, it is the "unnaturalness" of this forced change (a knife removing what is supposed to be part of us) that is very difficult.
Grieve your loss - it is normal. But know that you will come to accept yourself, and the major grief will pass.
I'm doing great now, despite the loss of several segments of my colon, as well as my uterus, ovaries, omentum (and a parathyroid gland).
You will be fine. We learn to live with loss, and this is another loss.