- Women's Health
Hysterectomy Easy, Why Was I So Afraid?
A New Beginning
Please forgive my flippant title for my writing, It is in no way reflecting how horrendous cancer can be.
Ten weeks ago I was sitting in a hospital bed having written my will, organised my own funeral and left my last letters to all my loved ones. I felt so alone, although the ward was bustling with activity, bed after bed being taken to the operating theatre and back to the ward to start the long road to recovery. I asked the question 'how fragile is life'? I didn't know what the outcome of my surgery would be. Would I see my beautiful family again, walk in the park with the smell of the bluebell wood in the air, or take my dog to the beach for a swim. All things I had taken for granted. The feeling of warm sunlight on my face, or the crispness of the frost underneath my feet. Would I feel the security of loving arms around me or hear the cries of the newborns, ever again, all these things are so precious and yet ignored every day.
I had known for some time that I hadn't been well, getting up in the morning was such a task knowing I would spend much of the day in pain, but I had to cope. Our finances were low, and I had to be loyal to Gordon and help him pay our bills. So many split shifts at work where spent sleeping in-between times in a bid to have more energy and less pain. Every day I threw myself into work, painted on the smiles and tried to keep my thoughts in check. Trying to be positive when I was wanting to scream for help, an answer, was almost impossible.
Postponing the surgery for twelve months did not help, but I thought I was doing the bravest thing staying at work to help save my home. I thought I could work miracles and turn my back on life as I knew it, after all wasn't I strong, wasn't I my mothers daughter who had suffered with cancer for seven years before passing away, still in pain. Had all my loyalty been misplaced, no one cared that I spent every day popping pills to help me cope, popping pills for depression and all the time only wanting a gentle word of encouragement to face what I had to face.
Eventually my doctor told me as it was, you have to have this surgery now. Your blood tumor level has risen again and it may be too late. Every ounce of my courage was taken up with the prospect of surgery, but I knew if I wanted to cuddle my son and hold his fiancee in my arms again I had to be brave. If I wanted to continue sharing my life with Gordon and looking after my dog and horse I had to be strong. So there I was sitting in my hospital bed 'nil by mouth', knowing tomorrow was the day.
The nurses were lovely, the porter made me laugh, he was wearing a red bandanna around his head "Well Mrs see ya when you come out the other side" he laughed as he walked away, on to the next trembling wreck.
My friends and family know I am the worlds most pathetic worrier, they all know how OTT I can be, but this was real. Oh my God this was real. I was even wearing those very sexy white stockings that are compulsory for surgery now.
I don't remember waking in the recovery room, Gordon was told I was sleeping when he came to the ward to visit, and to be honest I think I slept through until the following day.
The nurses got me out of bed and down to the bathroom to take a shower. I thought I would be bent double, but although slow, I could walk tall with very little discomfort. I had been given pain relief when first out of surgery and left with a morphine self medicating drip to use if I needed it. I used it twice in 24 hours and was very surprised to find I had little in the way of real pain.
During the next four days I was observed very closely, poked and prodded by all manor of people, and encouraged to walk around as much as I could. Great no stopping me. As each day went by I felt so much better. My doctor visited on the day after my surgery and explained I had had a radical hysterectomy, everything taken away and biopsies taken for further investigation, but she was very positive and explained that nothing had looked sinister. "You are a very lucky girl, the fibroid which filled your womb was the size of a small melon, how have you coped for so long?" she asked.
Ten weeks have gone by, the results of the biopsies came back, no cancer found. I no longer have any pain, I am not tired, but due to the loss of hormones I still get depressed but the happy pills are working. I can clean the house, muck the horse out and walk the dog with ease. I am even looking forward to going back to work to see all my lovely people that I have missed, and I am so happy to be able to share my life with my family again.
I still have the letters I wrote to my family upstairs in my bedroom drawer, I have no need of them now, but will keep them as a reminder of my brush with cancer. All those brave woman who went before me who were not so lucky, I now have the greatest understanding and utmost respect for and every day I wake up I intend to live life to the fullest.