Health Update: Hysterectomy in June

March 26, 2010

in Health

I would like to extend my gratitude and thanks to my readers, fellow bloggers, and friends for your comments, friendship, support, encouragement, and well-wishes. I am sorry that I am not able to return your comments and visit your blogs as often as I would like lately, but I have been dealing with some health concerns.

I’m not sure how much to share on my blog. In the end, I decided to share some of the details, in case it might help someone else. I have been experiencing heaving bleeding (menorrhagia) since hitting perimenopause. It has been causing me to become anemic – with a particularly bad episode this past fall. I took slow release iron pills for months, and my most recent blood tests have shown that I am no longer anemic. (Finally!)

Heavy bleeding can be caused by a number of factors and if you are experiencing it, please see a doctor! Mine is caused by adenomyosis, which is like “endometriosis of the uterus”. Basically, it’s endometrial tissue where it doesn’t belong – in this case, within the uterine muscle itself.

After much consultation with my doctors about my diagnosis and treatment options, I have decided to have a hysterectomy. Mine will remove the uterus and cervix but not the ovaries, so I will still proceed through menopause naturally. It will be a laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomy (LAVH). Hysterectomy is the only definitive “cure” for adenomyosis; once the uterus is removed, I should no longer experience problems from it.

My surgery is scheduled for early June. In the meantime, I will be preparing my home for my recovery. The surgery is done as an outpatient procedure and will require 3 to 4 weeks recovery at home.

If you are experiencing heavy bleeding, know that you are not alone. About 1 in 5 women experience it at some point – 20% of women! (For different reasons, not necessarily adenomyosis.) If you aren’t experiencing heavy bleeding yourself, chances are you know someone who is. Heavy bleeding is not normal and can be treated – and there are options that aren’t as radical or invasive as hysterectomy, depending on the diagnosis. It can be treated. You don’t have to live with fears of bleeding through, leaking, having anemia, or any other by-product of the heavy bleeding over the long term – there are solutions. Go see as many OB/GYNs or gynecological surgeons as you need to, to get the care that is right for you. I am currently seeing a gynecological surgeon who specializes in cases like mine and I couldn’t be more thrilled with her care.

Special thanks to all of you for your continued support and well-wishes. I have had to cut back on some activities to take care of myself so that I can also take care of my family. And I will need to continue to reduce my online activities until after my recovery period is over. Please know that I appreciate you stopping by and leaving comments, friendly messages, and encouraging words, and that I will catch up with you when I can. Your continued support means a lot to me!

{ 17 appreciated comments }

1 jacky March 26, 2010 at 8:05 am

Good luck with it all Anne. I hope that you are feeling back to your healthy self very soon.

Jacky xox

2 Jo March 26, 2010 at 9:00 am

Hi Anne, sorry to read about your health problems. I had an hysterectomy myself a few years ago after years of suffering with endometriosis. Hun, if you want to ask any questions please feel free to drop me an email. This is a big decision and I found that it helped to chat so the offer is there for you if you feel it would help.
Big hugs to you, Jo x

3 Teresa aka Tess March 26, 2010 at 9:07 am

Anne, So sorry to hear you are going through this but am pleased they have agreed to do your surgery. You won’t regret it. I had pretty much the same condition. I not only passed a lot of blood but lots of clots (sorry this sounds so disgusting). I had been having problems for years and finally was sent to a specialist. Because of my age then (35) they wanted to use hormone therapy. I took massive doses of hormones for a month after an ablasion procedure (he scrapped the lining of my uterus, decribed it as lawn mowing). I was told I would not have another period for up to 6 months. 3 weeks later I woke in my car with the engine running. I made it inside the door and passed out, luckily I made it past the stairwell. (This was at work.) A co-worker in the nearest office came to my aid. My dress was drenched with blood. Since we knew what was going on I asked my husband be called. He picked me up and took mew straight to the OBGYN. My surgery was scheduled for 3 weeks later. Same surgery as you are having. The hardest trouble I had post surgery was with the gassy bloating. I was to have lapiroscopic only and they ended up slicing the uterus in half to remove vaginaly because it was more enlarged than they thought. I am sure you will do fine and wish you well during these next few months before the surgery date and of course after.
As women I feel we must tell our stories to help others. I know of many who the ablasion procedure worked for including a daughter. I know of some that the hormone therapy worked for . As for me, I wan’t planning to use it so I just wanted to lose it. (Has to inject a little humor.) I’m doing fine with just the ovaries…
Take care,
Tess

4 Cheryl March 26, 2010 at 10:37 am

Anne – Good luck with your surgery and recovery period. I’m sorry you’re going through all of this, but it sounds like you have a good doctor and a good plan. I wish you all the best, and don’t feel like you need to respond to this comment. I know you’ll read it and appreciate it and you need to take care of yourself. I’ll be happy to hear from you once you’re recovered – don’t stress about little things like responding to every comment and email.

5 Nancyljk March 26, 2010 at 10:51 am

Thanks for sharing, Anne. I’m sure you are relieved that there will be a resolution to your suffering with the hysterectomy. I will be keeping you in prayer.

6 Tonje March 26, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I’m sorry to hear about your health problems, but it sounds like you’ve found a solution. Hope all goes well with you.

7 Frayedattheedge March 26, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Hi Anne – I’m glad that you are getting the help that you need, and wish you a speedy recovery!! Love, Anne

8 Tiffany March 26, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Aww…Anne! So sorry you are going through this but that you will finally be receiving the treatment to ease your pain!! Thank you for sharing the story so that it will help others too! Know that we are all thinking of you and that your health is definitely the most important thing, beyond crafting!! Hard to say and admit, but it’s so true, take care and I’ll be thinking of you…sending you HUGS!!

9 Jill March 28, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Hi Anne, I’m so sorry you have been suffering with this, but I am hopeful relief is in your future! Make sure that you get lots of rest and know that your faithful readers on your blog aren’t going anywhere! :) Take care of yourself and you are in my prayers! Sending you BIG hugs, my friend!

10 Patty March 29, 2010 at 8:26 am

I just discovered your blog and love it! I also had a hysterectomy and dealt with heavy bleeding and anemia. Mine was due to a fibroid that ended up being the size of a 5 month pregnancy. The surgery was the best thing decision I ever made! Good luck with your surgery and recovery!

11 Susan March 29, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Hi Anne,

I went through the same thing two years ago and it was very difficult for me. Now, I am no longer anemic and I have a lot more energy.

Take care of yourself 3>

12 Linda Vincent March 30, 2010 at 4:48 am

Hi Anne….I am sorry to hear you’ve been having problems but hope everything will be sorted for you very soon. Enjoy that time in June to relax and take good care of yourself.
Hugs
Linda

13 Linda March 31, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Hi Anne, Good luck with the surgery and do take care of yourself. We need you back soon being your fun, energetic self.

With love and hugs.
Linda

14 Judy Keefe April 1, 2010 at 9:23 am

Oh Anne..I’m sorry to hear you have had so much trouble and will be going through major surgery. I will pray for you to come through it with flying colors.
xoxo
Judy

15 Candace April 20, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Anne, I know you will be fine if for no good reason other than I want you to be! Selfish, huh? Thanks for this amazingly honest and upfront post. So many folks still are so hush hush about things they don’t need to be quiet about at all. We’re all in it together.

And thanks much for your sweet visit and kind words. Very appreciated.
I’m thinking about you!
Your Pal, Candace

16 Dawn T April 20, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Anne… I missed your post in March – so I wish you best of luck for the hysterectomy. I know this will be the best thing for you. I will be praying fro a speedy recovery for you. I am currently trying Progestrone cream to see if that will help me…
Take care and big hugs to you.

17 Nancy James April 20, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Hello Anne
Just reading your update here and my heart goes out to you. I will be praying for a speedy recovery. I went through this 2 years ago (partial) and while the healing can be time consuming…your life will be SO MUCH better…trust me! Feel free to email me if you need to talk!

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