365 Day Blog Post Challenge: EPIC FAIL!!

My Epic Fail

20190531_055637I’M BACK

Clearly I have failed my 365 day blog post challenge.  I only managed to make it through day 100.  Then life happened.  As I’ve mentioned, I was diagnosed with Complex Atypical Endometrial Hyperplasia late February 2019.  This resulted in the immediate need to schedule a full hysterectomy with a bilateral salpingectomy and oophorectomy.   Basically, I needed to be gutted like a fish.  Due to the CAEH, I had abnormal precancerous cells and we needed to remove everything as quickly as possible to try and prevent those precancerous cells turning cancerous.  Jump forward 4 weeks from diagnoses and I was in the operating room going through the most extensive and aggressive surgery I have ever had.  That was April 1st, 2019.

I had done a lot of internet research (which is both good and bad) prior to the surgery to try and find out what my recovery was going to be like.  I ran into a lot of conflicting information.  Some people would say that they felt great and were up and about in as little as 2 weeks.  Some people said that it took them 10-12 months before they felt “normal” again.  Being that I have had two other surgeries and I had relatively good recovery for both of them, I thought for sure I was going to fall into that group of people that had surgery…. rested for a few weeks… and then would be up doing normal “life stuff” (with some restrictions of course) rather quickly.  I was actually looking forward to a quick recovery and a little time off work to get some of those things done around the house that I’ve been putting off for ages.  Well… none of that happened.  No quick recovery and no getting things crossed off my “to-do” list.

Even though I thought for sure I would be one of those extraordinary recoveries, I decided I would do a little preparation because I knew that for at least the first few days, I was going to be tired and on pain medication.  So, I went ahead and wrote a few “365 Day Blog Posts” prior to surgery.  I had them set to post over the first few days of recover.  That’s were things went downhill.

Recover has been difficult to say the least.  I’ve had both physical and emotional issues that were extreme enough that prevented me from completing a blog post each day.  For the first 4 weeks, due to internal incision issues and an external incision that had popped, my weight lifting restriction was cut to just the weight of a water bottle.  This prevented me from even lifting my laptop on and off of my lap.  Hence, my 365 day blog post challenge fizzled.

I managed to make it through this challenge for 100 days, which I am proud of.  I enjoyed the experience.  The 365 day blog post challenge required me to write about random things.  Most of which I would never have thought to write about.  It also forced me to confront some questions that brought up a lot of emotions.  Which was tough, but good for me.

I am sad that this health issue arose and I was not able to complete all 365 days.  Maybe I’ll give it a try again next year.  For now.. I will focus on blogging about other aspects of my life.  Life seems so much different to me now after all I’ve been though over the past 2 months and I feel like I have so much to share on my experience.

Life is moving forward.  Slowly, but at least there is movement and that is what is important.  It is time to get back to the things I love doing!

My Story/My Hysterectomy Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 100. Life Can be a Challenge

365 Day Blog Post Challenge

Day 100

 

Instead of doing a random blog topic, I thought I would spend my 100th blog talking about my current situation.

Today is day 10 of my recovery from my complete hysterectomy and bilateral salpinectomy and oopherectomy.  I honestly thought I would be further improved by now.

Although my pain level is at a moderate 3/10, I am having a really tough time with horrible pressure issues. I don’t know how else to describe it other then it feels like my internal parts are trying to fall out of my body. I was told it was because I was overdoing things and putting pressure on the internal stitches but today I did nothing but spend the whole day in bed resting. Yet I still have this horrible feeling. I suppose I will call the doctor tomorrow for advise.

Other areas of difficulty are the onset of surgical menopause. I am having all of the typical menopause symptoms all at once and strong.  Night sweats, hot flashes, insomnia and escalated anxiety.  I am struggling with the options of HRT (hormone replacement therapy). For every good I also find a bad, so it’s hard to make an educated decision.

I think the biggest challenge is that externally after 10 days, I am starting to appear “better”. This makes those around me think that I should be doing more then I currently am. Even though we were told this would be up to a 6-8 week recovery, when you appear better on the outside, people think you are ready to start getting back into a normal routine. This is so not the case and can cause a good deal of tension and stress, not to mention  pressure on me as I feel guilty not doing all the things people are used to me doing.

This has truly been a challenge. I hope things improve over the next week.

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 99. Needing a Break

365 day blog post challenge

Day 99

Hysterectomy Recovery…need a break

 

I am going to take a little break tonight on my blog post challenge,

Although I am rounding up on day 8 post surgery, I have been advised by my doctor that I am overdoing it. This is strange because I have been really good about staying in bed a lot, but clearly my internal incisions can’t handle even the little movement I’ve been doing. I started feeling strange pressure issues in the region of where the surgery was. Per the doctor that is because when I overdo things, the swelling increases, which puts pressure on the incisions. The last thing I want is to prolapse, so I am going to take a break tonight on the blogging and just try and relax and lay flat.

 

 

 

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 94 Feeling Secure

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 94
375. What makes you feel the most secure?

Currently, what brings me the feeling of security is my husband and my parents. This has been a very challenging month. I went from finding out I had complex atypical endometrial hyperplasia to having a complete hysterectomy with a bilateral salpinectomy and oopherectomy. My surgery was Monday and I don’t know how I would have gotten through this month or surgery without them.  These three people have brought me much needed security this week. The surgery day was terrifying and this first few days of recovery has been challenging. My mom has been with me all week sitting here in the house with me while I sleep and heal. Given that I suffer from intense anxiety (it especially surfaces when I feel I have strange things going on within my body), having her here during the day while Don is at work has been a huge form of security. Sometimes (especially when it comes to anxiety) it is tough to be alone. There is a sense of security having someone close to help you if something goes wrong.I

I love these people so much and appreciate all they do (above and beyond) to make me feel that security needed to get through  this difficult time.

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 88 Most Important Thing

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 88
114. Isn’t this moment the most important thing?

Sometimes it takes difficult things to happen in life to make us remember how important it is to appreciate the everyday moments that we often take for granted.

I am down to just 3 days until the big surgery date.  On Monday I will be going in for my complete hysterectomy, bilateral salpingectomy and bilateral oophorectomy.  I have so many fears running through me right now.  So many “what-ifs”.  When I am afraid and am experiencing pretty intense anxiety, I will normally be stuck in my own head and become withdrawn and often times a little snippy towards others.  Yet, at the same time I want the love and support of everyone around me.  Even when I’m not always being the nicest.  I know it seems unfair and I agree with that.  So I am currently trying to practice the idea that THIS moment is important… and then the next moment is important… and all moments of life are important.  Maybe this will pull me out of feeling so focused on my self pity and remember that others around me are trying to live their important life moments and my negativity is probably making it hard for them.

Each moment is important.  I don’t know how we go about continually reminder ourselves of this, but of all things, this is clearly something worth trying for.

This is me… trying to live my best moments even through the face of fear.
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My Hysterectomy Story: Yes I am Scared

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It has now been a few weeks since I received the results of my biopsy.  So much has happened in such a short amount of time.  When I received the call that my biopsy results came back showing signs of abnormal cell (precancerous) I was temporarily in shock.  As the doctor proceeded to explain to me that I had Complex Atypical Endometrial Hyperplasia and that it would require a hysterectomy, I remained calm and thanked her for the information.  The very second I hung up and made eye contact with Don, I instantly broke down into tears.  The poor guy had not idea what was going on because I wasn’t able to catch my breath enough through the tears to tell him what the doctor had said.  I can only imagine the panic he must have been feeling while he waited for me to calm down enough to form complete sentences and tell him what was happening.

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Biopsy Time

I was instantly put in touch with the oncology department and an appointment was set to meet with the doctor who would perform the surgery.  The appointment was just a few days after I received the initial call, but it was enough time to do what you should NEVER do when you find out you have any type of illness or that you need a specific surgery.  I did the dreaded internet research.  I watched at least 20 YouTube videos about women that had gone through the surgery and their recovery.  It was all a little disconcerting.  Not that I expected to just have the surgery and be back to my normal self the next week, but watching these videos made me realize that this was a pretty major deal that I was about to go through.  This triggered a hundred different questions in my mind, so I decided to write them all down as they came up so that I could ask the doctor during my appointment.

The appointment with the doctor went well and she was more than happy to answer all of my questions and Don’s.  We discovered that I would have to have a complete hysterectomy (or what they call “radical”).  Which means that they plan on taking out everything.  Cervix, Uterus, Fallopian tubes as well as the ovaries.  This brought up a whole new world of questions, because when you have your ovaries removed, your body goes into what they call surgical menopause.  This can be apparently an aggressive menopause because your body does not have the time needed that it naturally has to go through all the premenopausal stages.  I will technically be wheeled into surgery with ovaries and hormones and be wheeled out of surgery without them.  The body will go into shock looking for it’s estragon and that could trigger some intense changes both physically and emotionally.  I’ve heard menopause can exaggerate preexisting conditions like anxiety.  I really worry about this, because my anxiety is already so extreme that if it were to intensify at the same time I am trying to physically recover from the surgery, this could be extremely challenging.  So now we are faced with trying to figure out if I should do hormone replacement theory.  At least temporarily while my body adjusts to the instant changes.

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OK… It is what it is.

The surgery has been set for April 1st.  I was doing fairly okay the first week.  I even had people at work mention to me that they were surprised at my calmness, because if it were them, they would be super stressed out.  I managed to hid my stress behind the fact that I now only had 3 weeks to get my workload in order before I would have to leave for 4-6 weeks.  I am a one person department, so it’s not like I have someone that I can just hand my work over to and walk out the door.  Someone is going to need to be trained (crash course training).  I also have to make sure that I take care of all the pending issues and the ongoing projects that I am involved with.  To be honest, I didn’t really have time to be stressed about the actual diagnosis or surgery.  I was to busy being stressed about work.

Now that we are only two weeks away from surgery, I am starting to not do so well.  Is to much information a bad thing?  I almost feel like it is, at least for me.  As much as I tell myself to stop looking up things or watching these crazy videos, I just am compelled to do it.  I have now frightened myself about the surgery, the recover and what life is going to hold over the next few months.  I’ve had several surgeries before and this is the fist time that I am actually afraid.  Maybe it’s because my last two surgeries I was in such pain that all I wanted them to do was go in and remove the problem (gallbladder and appendix).  This is different though.  Other then some minor symptoms, I feel fine.  I feel no pain or discomfort.  I don’t have fibroids or endometriosis, which I know is the cause for many people to have a hysterectomy. Other then those pesky abnormal precancerous cells, I’m actually pretty normal.   Which maybe makes the logical side of the brain think, “why are you doing this when you feel fine?”.  I understand that if left untreated this will turn into cancer.  Which of course I don’t want.  So I know the surgery is necessary.  I’m just struggling with the fears of everything that is about to transpire.  The fear of the unknown is a terrible thing to try and conquer.  I am so grateful that I have Don and my wonderful parents to help me through this, but it is not helping the fear and anxiety.  I am just downright scared.

I plan to documents my journey in hopes of helping myself (writing my emotions is very therapeutic for me), so here is to the start of this scary journey.  Thank you for all of those that will stick through this with me and provide words of encouragement.  I have a strange feeling I am going to need an excessive amount of support throughout this process.

My Story: 365 day blog challenge Day 58 The Call

365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
Day 58
The Call

I know that the intent of this 365 day blog post challenge was to have an auto generator pick a topic each day for me to write about.  Today however, I am going to go a little off track because I have some things going on in my life that I needed to get off my chest.

Today’s topic is going to be about “the call” I received yesterday afternoon.  It was one of those calls that was slightly life changing.

To give a little background, about 5 weeks ago, I started my monthly cycle.  Everything was going normal but the problem was it just kept going.  The cycle never stopped and after 4 weeks, I finally decided that this was just not normal and went into the doctor.  They were a little concerned, as nothing like this had every happened to me before.  During my visit they did a double biopsy (uterus and ovary).  I am normally pretty good with pain, but I must say.. this was incredibly painful.  During the appointment, there were several comments made about checking for cancer.  Anytime the “C” word is brought up, it instantly becomes a scary situation.

It took until Wednesday (yesterday) to finally get a call with the results of the biopsy.  I received the call from the doctor at 5:10pm.  I instantly knew something was wrong pretty much as soon as I heard the doctors voice.  I am not sure why I had that feeling, but I did.. and I was correct.  The doctor went on to advise that the biopsies came back with abnormal results and showed signs of precancerous cells.  I continued to listen as she described what all of this meant and was sort of in a zone when I heard her say that in this situation, they recommend a hysterectomy.  I did very well while on the phone with her and managed to get through the conversation without breaking down.  Don was standing next to me when I was finishing up the call and the second I hung up I lost it.  I completely broke down in tears.  Thankfully he was there and instantly put his arms around me and let me cry.  He is such an amazing man.  He let me get through the tears without even knowing what was going on.  Finally I was able to calm down enough to tell him what the doctor had said.  He immediately went into “protector” mode.  Although scared and devastated, he made me feel safe and I love him so much for that.

For hours I cried on and off.  I called my mother and also my godmother because I needed to hear them tell me it was going to be okay.  Don had already done that, but sometimes you just need to hear it over and over.  My godmother had a hysterectomy due to cancer when she was 28, so she was able to explain to me a little about the process and how it all worked out for her.  For me, sometimes the unknown is the scariest part of any situation, so being able to talk to someone that could tell me what to expect was helpful.

By about 9pm last night, I was emotionally and physically exhausted from all the crying.  I thought for sure I wouldn’t sleep but I ended up passing out as soon as I hit the pillow.

Today I had an appointment with the Gynecological Oncology department.  I guess the wheels are already in motion because we are already going to get started on the process of scheduling the surgery.

As I was not fully able to comprehend everything my doctor was telling me yesterday, today I learned from the Oncology doctor what I have is Complex Atypical Endometrial Hyperplasia.  This is abnormal precancerous cells that if untreated will turn into cancer over time, hence the need to have the hysterectomy.

It’s amazing how life can change so much in just the short course of 36 hours.  That called was the first time ever in my life that I actually thought about my death in a serious way.  I recall at one point thinking that I was just not ready to die.  I know that may sound a little dramatic since they didn’t tell me I had cancer, only precancerous cells, but it still went through my mind regardless.

This is going to be a challenging next few months.  Between organizing things at work so that I can be off for 4-8 weeks to getting through the surgery and recovery… I am going to have to really pull from deep inside for the strength for all of this.

I just read that people with Complex Atypical Endometrial Hyperplasia also have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.  Sometimes the internet is NOT a good place to go for information  Sometimes you find out way more then what you wanted or needed to know.

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