• feeling of emptiness

    Asked by jackie101 on Friday, May 10, 2013

    feeling of emptiness

    how do you cope with missing body parts?

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      I am surprised you feel like your body parts are "missing" as they were internal and you are beyond child-bearing years. I did not feel that way with my hysterectomy.

      But after my bilateral mastectomy, I felt that way very much. I was used to my breasts protruding and the way my upper arms brushed against them all the time.

      I guess the best thing to do is to forgo thinking about the negatives, but to focus on the positives instead--? You are free of cancerous parts! That's important! AND--just as I am MORE than just my breasts, YOU are MORE than your reproductive organs. I'm sure your friends and family are GLAD you are here, even though you no longer have those parts! Give yourself time and it will probably feel better. Good luck, we'll be thinking of you.

      over 4 years ago
    • KateMarie's Avatar

      I guess for me I considered those body parts that are now gone to be the source of a lot of illness I endured, so I am glad to be rid of them. But I can certainly understand how some people could have the feeling that they have lost a piece of themselves. Ydnar2xer has some excellent points. I would just add that perhaps before you can focus on all the positives, you might need to give yourself a period of time to mourn the loss you are feeling, because if you don't if will probably keep popping back up on you (and honestly, sometimes that happens even if you do because, gosh, we are only human.) You can do this in different ways - talk with a friend, counselor/clergyperson about your feelings, write about your feelings, do a project honoring the lost "body parts" (example: if you have kids a photo collage just of your pregnancies and after the births showing what your gynecological "parts" gave you) - these are just a few ways, there are lots of others. Just remember, above all else, that no feeling you have is wrong. You have a right to your feelings and they are valid. Take care of yourself.

      over 4 years ago
    • fastdog's Avatar

      I told someone today that if I swallowed a quarter, it would probably rattle around inside me. I had a complete hysterectomy when they thought I had ovarian cancer. Then, after they found it was appendiceal cancer instead, they opened me up again and took out my gallbladder, spleen, omentum, some intestine, appendix and who knows what. All that stuff was way inside so I didn't feel particularly emotionally attached to it as I would have to, say, an arm or a leg. I would SO rather be without that stuff than my life, so I guess I never really thought about being missing anything.

      over 4 years ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      Just think of them as having been poison. As I prepared for surgery, I just kept saying, "Bugger, be gone." They would have poisoned you to death if they weren't removed.

      over 4 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      I feel like that sometimes. I had a double mastectomy, with reconstruction. It is an amputation. It also looked like I went into early menopause (although I'm spotting now). So at times I feel like my womanhood is gone: breasts, can't have kids, early aging.

      What has brought me to acceptance has been opening my eyes to things around me. My PS shares office space with surgeons that specialize in facial revonstruction in children. I saw a 7 year old post facial sirgery, half his face was really messed up. I thought, I have something that looks more like breasts than this child has a face. Plus, I cam hide the impervections I do have, no one can tell.

      I also have legs and arms that take me everywhere. I recently completed a hiking trip, it was great. I noticed many people recently with missing limbs, with walking issues.

      Focus on what you do have. You have your health back, you're able to dp things. No one can see your issues. I think your disability now is your thinking. If you have depression get help.

      It's what you've gained not what you've lost. No one gets out of this life alive and perfect. Just make the best of it.

      over 4 years ago
    • derbygirl's Avatar

      I understand that you feel a loss but you have a lot more that makes you who you are than reproductive organs. I'm the type of person that doesn't define myself by my body parts. To me it's the content of my character and the compassion in my heart that makes me who I am. When I was told I had to have a hysterectomy, to me it meant getting rid of a diseased body part so I could survive. It will take some time but I guarantee that you will begin to look at things differently. In the meantime take this approach. Just think about the good things that came out of the surgery; no more PMS, no more bloating and cramps, no more spending money on feminine products, no more worrying about accidents. Do what I did and go out a buy a lot of white pants and shorts because I was always afraid of wearing them for fear of accidents. But the best thing that came out of the surgery is that you are alive! Take care.

      over 4 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar

      By all means, mourn their loss, but as with any loss of a loved one, you have to move on eventually. Find a grief counselor (shrink) to talk this through (so much better than clergy as they don't have an ulterior motive) and get the feelings out. You will be able to move on much easier if you are aggressive about dealing with the feelings now. What you are feeling is normal so don't let any guilt get in the way either.

      over 4 years ago
    • GypsyJule's Avatar

      I understand your feeling of loss. I had my hysterectomy in April of last year and I had those emotions, too. After years of infertility, my husband and I adopted two children. Adoption is a wonderful thing and I wouldn't trade my kids for anything, but I wish I could have experienced pregnancy. Even though I knew I was unable to get pregnant, was too old to have children, and really didn't even want any more children, the hysterectomy was the final reality that now, pregnancy was an impossibility. Now, a year later, those thoughts are really gone. I feel better than I've felt since long before my diagnosis, and I know that I'm healthier now. I hope that those feelings go away for you quickly!

      over 4 years ago
    • Vjp2012's Avatar

      I felt real sad at first too, especially cause I am only 44 and wanted another baby. But, the tumor was an uninvited "hitchhiker." And, the tumor had to go as did everything else. But, it was for the best. They were poison and had to go. Now, I envision perfect health in there. At first I physically felt hollow and could swear things sloshed around in there. But, 3 months later that feeling was gone. The bloating will last longer and be there lots with chemo too, but it won't last forever. Things will get better. Hang in there!

      over 4 years ago
    • SpunkyS's Avatar

      Jackie, I did not feel loss based on body parts but more at the change in my life. Hope you find someone who will listen and walk with you through the grieving and all the other things that come with the diagnosis.
      Hugs and prayers going your way.

      over 4 years ago
    • derbygirl's Avatar

      I never gave it much thought. I've never defined myself by my body parts because they don't make me who I am. The person I am is based on the compassion in my heart, my soul, and my spirit. When I had my hysterectomy it was to get rid of something that had a horrible disease. Try to focus on the fact that you are here and you have a lot of life to live. Take care.

      over 4 years ago

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