• rmh's Avatar

    I'm having a hysterectomy this week

    Asked by rmh on Sunday, March 24, 2013

    I'm having a hysterectomy this week

    need some support, this is my first operation in my life, i'm a bit scared not sure what to expect and what if it spread - family is so shocked they are dealing with their own fears. I am not married and taking care of an 83 year old mother at home, there are so many things on my mind

    21 Answers from the Community

    21 answers
    • lchapman2000's Avatar
      lchapman2000

      When I had my hysterectomy,iIt was m~~y first operation. I, too, was scared. However, I knew that I wanted the cancer out of my body. I wanted to move to the process of fighting the disease that had invaded my body. With the help of a great team of doctors and staff, I am now in remission. Talk openly with your family and friends about your fears. Write down any and all questions you have for the doctor because you will forget them when you see the doctor. I didn't remember anything from the surgery. It was painful afterwards but that is why they give you pain meds and if you stay ahead of the pain it isn't so bad. Just follow the orders and don't do anything you aren't suppose to do. Just know that you aren't alone and that we are all here for you. The biggest thing to conquer is the fear itself. For me the biggest fear was that of the unknown. I never quite knew what to expect. Once you do, it becomes so much easier. I hope this helps and I wish you nothing but the best.

      ~Lisa

      over 4 years ago
    • SpunkyS's Avatar
      SpunkyS

      I agree with the advice that ichapman gives.
      Be patient with yourself. Enlist the rest of your family to pitch in right now. Give them specific tasks which will help them deal and be productive.
      I too was frightened by surgery - - and I am a nurse! Will keep you in prayer.

      over 4 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      I had ankle surgery in 2006. I had my hysterectomy this past July. I was all prepared for a lot of post op pain, but I thought my ortho surgery was much worse than after the hysterectomy. I hope all goes well w/your surgery. Think good thoughts in your direction.

      over 4 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar
      gwendolyn

      The anesthesia will keep you completely unaware of the whole thing. When you wake up you won't believe it's over because you won't be aware of the passage of time. (I didn't believe the nurses in recovery - I made them show me their watches!)

      The surgeon will send you home with a list of limitations. It's important to follow these orders. Arrange for assistance now to help you around the house post-op. You won't feel like doing much for a while.

      over 4 years ago
    • c25862's Avatar
      c25862

      You will do fine in surgery. You are going to need to have help after surgery though and if you take care of someone else you will need help with that for awhile as well for you won't be able to lift for about 6 weeks. Good luck and you will be in my prayers

      over 4 years ago
    • elf's Avatar
      elf

      You did not say if you were having laprocropic or regular- I had both during my diagnosis process. The laproscopic was truly a piece of cake. The hardest part was not over excerting because you can cause a lot of damage. The diagnositc hysterectomy was harder, but I agree my ankle surgery was worse. You will not be able to lift no matter which kind. they sent me home with drain things that kind of grossed me out, but didnt hurt. If you have more questions {hugs} on your journey, and there are a lot of us surviviors out here so just reach out no questions is too silly or too weird

      over 4 years ago
    • Ivy's Avatar
      Ivy

      I had a total hysterectomy through robotic surgery a year ago and went home from the hospital the next day. You will feel OK as others said, taking the pain medications as recommended. As I remember it, I had difficulty going up and down the stairs to our bedrooms for several days. I could do it, very slowly, with help--meaning that my husband walked with me and made sure I was safe on the steps. During those days, I made as few trips up and down the stairs as possible. Also getting up from a chair or from the bed is hard to do without using the muscles that are affected in the lower abdomen. So if you need to navigate stairs, you might consider having help for a few days for more than just meal preparation. All that said, recovery was fairly swift.

      You didn't say what kind of care you're providing for your mother, but you might consider asking a trusted relative to stay at your home, or hiring some assistance, for a few days. You'll recover well, but try not to overdo it. I wasn't able to bend over to empty the washer or dryer...some general housekeeping tasks should either be left undone or handled by others for awhile after surgery.

      The pain is manageable, so try not to worry about that. (And I'm a chicken for pain.)

      Good luck with both your surgery and your recovery.

      over 4 years ago
    • Ivy's Avatar
      Ivy

      I forgot to add that you should stock up on groceries before the surgery. Grocery bags can be heavy, and you might not be able to lift them. The same goes for baskets of dirty clothes, etc. We all forget how many times per day or per week that we handle heavy items.

      over 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      Hugs and prayers. Wishing you the best of luck with your operation. It is natural to think of every worse case scenario, and you need to acknowledge your fears so you can move forward.

      Find 2-3 people in your family who are willing to coordinate your and your mother's care in the next few months. This means making sure there are easy to heat and eat meals on hand, managing the flow of visitors and disseminating information on your progress. You will be emotionally and physically exhausted, and the last thing you want to do is cook, deal with a room or house full of visitors and/or make dozens of calls letting everyone know that you came through your operation in great shape.

      Since your mom is 83 she qualifies for a host of programs such as meals on wheels and senior van service. have someone check this out, and find out what services you qualify for from your treatment center - your oncology/surgery team and/or a social worker can help you navigate the system.

      over 4 years ago
    • hogfan03's Avatar
      hogfan03

      Tomorrow I will be 4 weeks post-op from my radical hysterectomy using the Da Vinci laparoscopic method. It was my first hospital stay, I had laparoscopic surgery as an outpatient for my gall bladder about 8 years ago. I stayed overnight at the hospital. Make sure to have someone stay with you at he hospital, drive you home and stay with you to help you and your mother out. Believe me, you will need the help because you will not feel like doing anything but walk short distances the first week. You will be given a catheter but they will put it in after you are under under and mine was taken out 12 hours later with no problem. The nurses will get you up and have you walking that afternoon or evening. I was given a strong pain med in my IV and it caused me to be nauseas so I made one short trip down the hall. However the next morning my dr came and said everything looked good and I could go home that morning. During the night do not expect to get any or very little sleep because of the nurses checking vitals, my nurse was worried because my blood pressure kept dropping but my dr said that was normal for someone that is healthy after surgery (nice to hear I was healthy after cancer dx) and they came and got blood at 4 am. I work from home and travel for my job, and I was able to work from my computer at home after one week from surgery but I did take lots of beaks and took an afternoon nap. Remember no heavy lifting! I was worried about reaching in my cabinets for a coffe cup and my dr told me at my post-op follow-up if I have to think about it don't do it to be on the safe side.

      This is a great site with lots of great advice and support. Another good website I found for what to expect for a hysterectomy is called hystersisters. They have a lot of good advice about what to do before and after the surgery and what to expect. Also your dr's office is a good resource. I have called my dr office every week about some concern (incisions) or problem (UTI). The nurses I talk to are great! If you have any more questions ask away, we are here for you. Lots of hugs and prayers for you.

      over 4 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar
      BoiseB

      I have just returned home from a hysterectomy. (It was a little more complicated that yours as the diagnosis was not Uterine Cancer but metastisized Esophageal Cancer) Compared to the operation I had 2 1/2 years ago for esophageal (9hours), the hysterectomy (3 hours) was a piece of cake. As for the cancer spreading, you will have follow-up treatment (possibly Radiation and/or Chemo) and follow-up CT-scans. Then you will have periodic check-ups for at least 5 years. As for your mother, one of the first things,I was asked when I began treatment was " are you a caretaker?" You will be suprised at the services that are available

      over 4 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar
      Ydnar2xer

      RMH--I have had over 23 surgeries in my life...and counting...and can say honestly to you that it's nothing to be afraid of. You DO need to realize you'll be out of it for a while and will have to depend on others to help you with certain things for a while. But the drugs they have now for surgery are soooo much better than they were 25 years ago! Versed (compared to the "date rape" drug) will put you completely out and they will give you that, probably before you even get to the operating room. Also, you could ask for something to relax you from the nurses when you first arrive at the hospital, or maybe even ask your doc for something like Lorazapam that you can take that morning before you leave for the hospital.

      As for pain meds, I think it's hard to beat Percocet. It always makes me so HAPPY after surgery! Honestly, the mood boost it gives me makes the surgery's impact so much less!

      I know I sound like a total druggie in this email to you, but believe me, I know about surgery, having had ankle, knee, appendectomy, gall bladder, thyroidectomy, 2 C-sections, a myomectomy (fibroid removal) and many, many more. You will do GREAT! And we'll all be pulling for you! :-)

      over 4 years ago
    • Vjp2012's Avatar
      Vjp2012

      Hi! I had a hysterectomy 12/17/12. I was scared too. Try and focus on the benefit of the surgery - getting the "hitch hiker" out of your body. Then, focus on taking care of yourself, healing and getting healthy. You will be uncomfortable, but let the nurses know so they can help you. For me, the gas pains were the worst. Take a small pillow with you to hug when you cough and sneeze. As soon as you are able, walk, walk and walk around the nurses station. But, don't overdo it. Walking really does help the pain. I also found that a heating pad alternating with an ice pack was super helpful. You will get through this, just believe in yourself and that you are strong enough to do what you need to do for you! Best wishes.

      over 4 years ago
    • Joachima's Avatar
      Joachima

      My hysterectomy was my first surgery, except for 3 c-sections. I found the process to be the easiest to deal with along my cancer journey. We have a similar diagnosis, except I was estimated to be at stage III. I had 2 tumors, one inside the wall of the uterus, and one on the outside. Praise God! At my last exam & scan, I am "cancer-free." It has been 11 months since my last chemo and 8 months since radiation. We all have concerns about spreading, but I am learning to live in the moment. I am back to my "normal" life and enjoying every minute of it. I'm not sure of the level of care you are giving for your mom, but you may need some help for a couple of weeks after surgery. I do understand what it is like to care for an elderly mother. My prayers are with you.

      over 4 years ago
    • Cheryl2's Avatar
      Cheryl2

      I was right where you are when I got my last July. Scared to death, never been in the hospital before. I received much support from my family, friends, and church. You will find your true supporters will rally round and lift you up. I'll be praying that you have a successful surgery, no complications and a speedy recovery.

      over 4 years ago
    • BENDINTHEROAD's Avatar
      BENDINTHEROAD

      The hysterectomy is not so bad. Use the pain medication - that is what it is there for. Get help before hand and don't even think about shopping or lifting or housework. This is the the time to let others do for you. It took about 6 weeks to feel like myself. My only oddness was food. Couldn't eat chicken for 6 months - hated the taste and feel in my mouth. But anything with cinnamon was just the best!

      over 4 years ago
    • BENDINTHEROAD's Avatar
      BENDINTHEROAD

      The hysterectomy is not so bad. Use the pain medication - that is what it is there for. Get help before hand and don't even think about shopping or lifting or housework. This is the the time to let others do for you. It took about 6 weeks to feel like myself. My only oddness was food. Couldn't eat chicken for 6 months - hated the taste and feel in my mouth. But anything with cinnamon was just the best!

      over 4 years ago
    • BENDINTHEROAD's Avatar
      BENDINTHEROAD

      The hysterectomy is not so bad. Use the pain medication - that is what it is there for. Get help before hand and don't even think about shopping or lifting or housework. This is the the time to let others do for you. It took about 6 weeks to feel like myself. My only oddness was food. Couldn't eat chicken for 6 months - hated the taste and feel in my mouth. But anything with cinnamon was just the best!

      over 4 years ago
    • chaffinch's Avatar
      chaffinch

      How are you doing now? Are you in chemotherapy? If so, I'd like to discuss my chemo experience with you.

      over 4 years ago
    • Angelsmom's Avatar
      Angelsmom

      I had a total hysterectomy 2 years ago. I was lucky it was stage 1, contained in the uterus. No lymphnodes needed to be checked and I required no treatments of any kind. You will be very sore for a week or so, once the staples are removed you will feel much better. I agree with whoever said going up and down stairs and getting up and down from a chair is painful, I found it very hard to lay down in bed, I piled 4 pillows behind me and kinda sat for a few nights to sleep. You will have , more than likely, a morphine pump right after surgery for a day or so to self medicate when the pain hits. It is more psycalogical than anything, when you push the button you begin to feel better, in reality no matter how many times you push the button the meds are only released once evry 4 hours but just pushing the button and "thinking" you are getting the meds helps..our minds are very powerful. I do wish you all the best, prayers your way. Try not to worry, its never as bad as you think its gonna be.

      about 4 years ago
    • priscilla's Avatar
      priscilla

      Am scare i have 17 tumors this is my first surgery the doctor said she gonna try and remove. Them though my vagina am so scare will i feel anything. During. Surgery

      almost 3 years ago

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