Celest’s Hysterectomy Story

Type of Hysterectomy: vaginal with laparascopic assist, uterus, cervix and tubes removed

Age at surgery: 38

I had menstrual issues for years, doctors had always poopooed anything I brought up as not seeming right. If I missed several months it must be “stress” if I bled for two months it might be “stress” I miscarried. Was on bed rest from 22 weeks until 33 when I delivered–was told I probably had an irritable uterus. When I asked what that meant my midwife told me it meant the doctor had no idea what was going on. after my second miscarriage I just kind of gave up. My husband had a vasectomy. and I just dealt with my random cycles and severe cramping and clotting. We moved across country. I was doing a routine breast exam when I found a lump so I went in to get it checked out.

It was found to be a fibroid and nothing serious. In the course of giving my health info to my OBGYN she said she would like to do an ultra sound and see what was up with my periods. Found a large cyst in my uterus. We did a biopsy and it was fine. However to help with my periods and balance my hormones we did a D&C and put in an IUD. she sent everything to be biopsied to be safe. They found abnormal hyperplasia and I was told we could do a D&C every 6 months and monitor or I could do a hysterectomy. I voted to have the hysterectomy since I had to go under completely for the D&C because of a reaction to the topical anesthesia.

I did not get another opinion, I had so many doctors blow me off in the past. This doctor went over all the results with me. Explained the ultra sound, I saw the cyst and I can’t tell you I felt relieved to know I wasn’t just some crazy lady who got all emotional and couldn’t handle my periods. After the hysterectomy they sent my uterus off to be biopsied and found that the tumor had already started to metastasize but had not left the uterus/cervix. I did not have to do chemo or any other treatment. the hysterectomy cured the cancer starting. I feel very lucky.

I don’t remember what anesthesia I had–except that I have to have a nausea med too because my body doesn’t tolerate it well without that. I was in the hospital for 2 days. I had to have bowel movements on my own before they would send me home. I drank and drank and drank to get out of there!!

Recovery is hard. The hardest is remembering to just slow down. I would feel like I was doing better and do more only to have 2 or three days of worse pain when I was reminded I needed to slow down. I was constipated from the opioids and my bowels are still tender several months post op from the surgery. Not sure if its just because they have to shift and find a new way to lay after being moved around during the surgery and not having a uterus to rest on and around. Prune juice is what finally worked for me. It was over 10 days–that’s the most awful part I think about from recovery.

We live in a townhouse. I had to be very careful about planning my day so I was mostly on one floor. For the first 2 months my doctor didn’t want me doing more than two flights of stairs in a day. That was hard but the days I pushed it I regretted it. I’m still not at 100% but I had been sick for a long time before the surgery. I just had my 6 month and my blood work has come back and everything is looking good. And no more pap smears because I don’t have a cervix…I hadn’t even thought about that until the OBGYN told me!

I am doing better as time goes on. My health is better. I am very glad I had the hysterectomy. If not who knows how long until the cancer would have been found? and then what? I know I am very lucky and very blessed. I remind myself on days when I want to be doing better than I am that I am alive. And I’m making progress even if it is slower than I would have liked.

I don’t know if I have advice–be thoughtful and do what is right for you and your body. If you can have someone who is a good caregiver come and stay with you for the first two weeks and just let them take care of you that would be best. I had my husband for a week and a sister for a couple of days after that but honestly if I could have had someone for about 5 or 6 more days after that it would have been a great help. Its hard to ask for help. This is one of those times I think you should.

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  • Jackie M

    Thank you for your story Celest and so glad you’re feeling better. I’ve just had a hysterectomy myself on March 18, 2016, so I’m just 3 days out past surgery date. I had the same type of hysterectomy as yourself, with ovaries, tubes and cervix removed as well, after finally being diagnosed with complex endometrial hyperplasia with atypia, after battling heavy menstrual cycles and blood clots the size of my fist over the years. And you are giving great advice, the need to slow down to let your body recover. I have to remember that too. 🙂 So take care, keep feeling better and take the time you need to recover.