My Hysterectomy Story

Hi, my name is Marit and my hysterectomy story began in May 2006, when the results of a pap smear showed that I had dysplasia (precancerous cells) of the cervix. The doctor advised me to have a colposcopy and HPV DNA test. After so many years of normal pap tests, this was what I least expected.

In June, I had the colposcopy and a biopsy was taken. It confirmed that there was high risk HPV that had caused dysplasia of the cervix. In July, I had a loop electro surgical excision procedure (LEEP) to cut out the abnormal cervical tissue. It all went well, but the fear for cancer remained.

Pap smears were taken every three months, and there were no abnormalities found. In October 2007, at my checkup the doctor found a large cyst on one of the ovaries. He gave me a hormone therapy for three months to resolve the cyst. I went for a second opinion, and was told that the cyst did not contain fluid but other material that would never resolve with hormone therapy. The only solution was an operation as these large cysts may cause serious complications.

In November 2007, I had the operation, and a large cyst, like a big orange, was removed together with one of my ovaries.

A year later, at my checkup, I had another colposcopy. Even I could see on the monitor that it did not look that good. A biopsy was taken, and the doctor told me that I needed a hysterectomy. In December 2008, age 45, I had a total abdominal hysterectomy. I asked my surgeon if he could leave my one ovary as I had not entered menopause yet. But during surgery they found several small cysts on my other ovary, and decided they better remove it.

After the operation, I recovered soon and felt great, no menopausal symptoms and hardly any pain. I had to force myself to take it easy and not to lift anything heavy.

And then at about six weeks after the operation it suddenly started. Night sweats, not being able to sleep, joint pain and all the horrible symptoms of sudden menopause.

When I asked my doctor if could have hormone replacement therapy, he said that he could not recommend it, with my family history of cancer. Both my parents and grandparents had all died of cancer.

My joint pain became worse. I was hardly able to move when I would come out of bed. Everybody was telling me that I had to exercise as I was putting on weight. But I was in pain, and exercising was the last I could do. So I put on weight, and I thought; oh I will lose this when I feel better. Then I will go on a diet and soon be my old self again.

Was I wrong, no diet seemed to work for me anymore.  It was as if the pounds were glued to my body. One look in the mirror would make me feel terribly depressed. How can you not get depressed if, all of a sudden you feel like you are eighty years old. Sometimes it would take me five minutes to get out of a chair, straighten my back, and starting to walk. People were laughing, thinking I was either joking or exaggerating.

When I asked other women, how long those symptoms would last, some said they can last up to 10 to 15 years. Well fortunately this is partly true. After two years, the worst was over. The hot flushes were less frequent and intense, I was sleeping a lot better, and my joint pain miraculously disappeared. Now after four and a half years, I rarely have hot flushes any more, as I have learned what to avoid and what triggers them most.

Only, my problem with my weight gain remains. I try to eat as healthy as possible. I walk about an hour each day, and in the morning I do a cardio work out of about ten minutes.

I feel fantastic, I can move mountains again. I am just grateful now that I am alive. If I had not had the hysterectomy, this may have not been the case. I still have to go for a pap smear every two years, and that brings back some of the stress. But so far, so good.

Why am I telling you my hysterectomy story? Because I hope, that by reading this, other women waiting for their hysterectomy, or women having a hard time recovering from their hysterectomy, find new hope and courage that there is indeed a life after hysterectomy. I made this website so you can find answers to questions about the hysterectomy procedure itself, common hysterectomy side effects and how to deal with menopause symptoms naturally.

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Comments

  1. Nancy DeMello says

    Thank you! Thank you! I had a radical hysterectomy a year ago in May due to uterine cancer, and by September my shoulder hurt so bad, I had a steroid shot, by March I could hardly walk with hip and knee pain, and had another shot in my hip, in April, every time I sat down for more than a few minutes, getting up was this slow embarrassing process, and now (June – 13 months post surgery) my wrists hurt, my hip, knees, shoulder, and now I feel so tired all the time, just walking is almost unmanagable and although I never do anything physical anymore, my muscles hurt, and I’m exhausted from doing NOTHING. I’m not even going to get into the hot flash issues. Also, I think I am “depressed”, which sucks because I am sometimes a motivational speaker. I seriously thought I might have bone cancer, or Fibromialgia, or Chronic Fatigue or something. I think now, it’s just from the hysterectomy. I asked my cancer doc at my one year visit, and he sent me to a rheumatologist, they are doing what they can, but it would have been so much better, if they would have just said, this is NORMAL or COMMON. Thank you! Because of all the combined symptoms, I actually was thinking, maybe I’m dying, and they just haven’t diagnosed me yet. Now I have more hope, and am going to look into ways to treat the symptoms, rather than trying to figure out what is wrong with me, and thinking I’m crazy. Also encouraged that you saw improvement after a couple of years. I was afraid my life was essentially over. If there is hope, there is a reason to keep trying to get to a new place, and regain my life, even if it is a “different” life.

    • Patricia Lewis says

      I had my hyst surgery Jan 15 2015 all but one ovary was taken and I to feel different than before, I have always been thin and still am, lost so much weight I looked sick just now almost 6 months am able to put it back on, I was always strong for my size as well more than most would think and I am just now starting to get some of my strength back, aches pains tired dizzy, sick hot flashes night sweats anxiety all thanks to sudden menopause and no one to share any of this with but my husband who really cannot get it. Doctors want to prescribe meds and only cover up the real issue and I am not a pill taker why should a surgery turn me into one now, I had multiple fibroids and was anemic but even with super bad bleeding every month I felt more like me than I do now, almost like a fog that won’t go away. I am holding off from any hormones until I give my own body a chance to see what it will do. Why are doctors allowed to be so dishonest, mine said this surgery would give me my life back, REALLY SO FAR I AM NOT HAPPY. I am 47 years old and feel like I have aged 10 years with all of the crap I am going thru mentally. It would be so nice to have friends to share this with.

  2. says

    Thank you for sharing. I had a partial hyst with left ovary removal at age 33 from endometriosis. Although I have one ovary I experience menopause symptoms. Sometimes I regret the surgery, I get depressed, angry, and other times I have to remember the pain I was in prior. I have nerve damage and have other issues from the surgery so that also makes it difficult. I felt like there wasn’t a life afterwards, thanks for sharing it gives me some hope.

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