Hysterectomy Time

Hysterectomy time - sunrise on surgical morning
Waking up to a beautiful sunrise helped put my mind at ease.

Finally, hysterectomy time! I spent the first six months after my initial diagnosis exploring alternative healing options. While many believe in the efficacy of these options, the reality is that there is no guarantee that any of them will work. Of course the same can be said about standard of care options.  Yet when I think about it, removing the uterus and her friends just makes sense.  

Time for the Hysterectomy

When I had my six month appointment with my gynecologist oncologist, we discussed that it was time to go for the hysterectomy.  While he was quite open to my taking the six months to do whatever I was going to do, he seemed quite opposed to continuing down that path.  

One of the strongest reasons I decided to go for the surgery, thinking this was the right option even prior to getting into the appointment, had to do with the worsening of the odor I was now experiencing.  I could make a case for how the cancer was dying within me and that was the smell I experienced or I could equally make the case that the cancer was getting worse.  No way to know for sure which was right other than going for the surgery and reviewing the pathology results.

The hysterectomy was scheduled for six weeks after that appointment, only one week to the day prior to Christmas.  While I wasn’t sure about the timing – I had hoped for it to be scheduled sooner than that – I no longer had any doubts about moving forward.  

Time to Get Ready for My Hysterectomy

The six weeks went quickly enough and it was now time to get ready for surgery.  The standard things – stop vitamins, stop aspirin, and so on.  Wash up the night before and the morning of surgery with anti-bacterial soap.  Sleep in clean clothes on clean sheets.  Stop eating at midnight.  

Hysterectomy time - view of the surgery prep room
Nothing particularly special about the pre surgery room although I do like the artwork hospitals use now.

It’s the morning of surgery and surprisingly I’m not nervous at all.  I’m actually looking forward to getting this over and done with.  At the hospital everything is like a well orchestrated symphony with each professional doing their part.  Of most interest to me is the abdominal block the anesthesiologist administers.  Before you know it I’m being wheeled into the operating room.  

Hysterectomy time - locked container staging pre surgery medications
All or most of the medications to be given prior to surgery are s.taged in this little locked box in the room

Emerging From the Anesthesia

I hear a voice from afar.  It’s as if it is coming from another world.  My name, over and over, being spoken from who knows where.  I realize it is time to wake up.  Surgery must be done.  I’m told all went well.  Wonderful!  I fall back to sleep. Eventually I wake up more fully.  Again, I’m told all went well.    However it did take longer to get through the surgery, about twice as long, because of the many adhesions in my gut.  There I was, in my imagination, on the surgical table with my head below my feet so as to allow my intestines to move out of the way, and nothing moved because they were all stuck to my gut wall!  

I wanted to hear directly from the doctor but he is already working on the next surgery so that conversation will have to wait until my next appointment.  

Going Home

I go home that same day which makes me happy.  I’d rather be home than spend the night in the hospital.  I’m amazed that I feel no pain.  Some discomfort, yes, but no pain.  I think back to the abdominal block and feel grateful I had it.  I slept the afternoon and evening away, awakening sometime around 2am for a while and then falling back to sleep. 

Pathology Results Arrive

The very next day I get the first pathology results from the pelvic washings done during surgery.  I wasn’t really sure what that was so looking it up I learned that prior to closing me up, there is a solution that is washed through the abdomen.  It is then taken and analyzed to see if there are any cancer cells floating free within the abdomen.  Great news!  The pelvic washings were clear!  The cancer evidently was not running rampant through my body!  Whew!

Now to wait for the rest of the pathology report to come in.  I was told it would be around two weeks which seems like forever when you are waiting to find out about life and death situations.  But eventually the results arrived in my portal.

My first thought upon quickly reviewing the pathology report was how long and detailed it was!  I was clueless as to what the majority was saying but what I did see pretty quickly was that the staging was 1a, grade 1.  A bullet had been dodged! I was thrilled.  The rest of the report will wait until tomorrow or whenever I get back to it.

For now, time to rest.

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