6 months after my hysterectomy

Now that I seem to have really done my foot some damage (as in I can barely walk on it) I will probably be light on the running related posts while I try to give it time to heal. Or until I manage to drug myself up to the point where I can shove it into my Nikes – just kidding!..

When I started this blog I was staring down the barrel at my impending hysterectomy. I meant to (b)log my experience the best I could in order to help other women in the same situation find first-hand experience, with the running being a fun thing on the side. I expected the operation to be a huge, defining moment in my life for better or for worse. As it happens, I have almost forgotten I had it.

They say hysterectomy is a major surgery. And I suppose it is, when you consider what actually happens to your body – you lose an organ necessary for reproduction (which some might say is the sole purpose for existence from an evolutionary point of view). But for me personally the operation was a very easy, quick and insignificant experience. Physically I didn’t really have to go through much of an ordeal at all since it was done laparoscopically and all went extremely well. I actually had to go back to my emails to check exactly when I had my hysterectomy. I knew it was March but couldn’t even remember the date (7th). It’s been 5 months and 2 weeks.

I don’t regret my decision to have it, though I silently keep testing myself on this. I have held a friend’s gorgeous, sleeping baby in my arms without wanting my own. I have discussed the benefit of the Mooncup versus pads and tampons with other women (feeling glad the topic isn’t relevant to me anymore). I have gone on a beach holiday without having to give a thought to whether I was going to have my period during it. I don’t have to worry about accidents with the husband – or fill my body with hormones to avoid one.

On the other hand it has taken a long time for the understanding of what has changed to sink in. It took me forever to get rid of my tampons and I think my Mooncup still lives under the sink (though not literally, I hope!). Every time my stomach cramps my immediate reaction is to check my bag for tampons until I remember I won’t ever have another period again. The letters calling me in for cervical screening tests go straight into the recycling bin (though you should check with your doctor whether you have your cervix left, and even if you don’t you might still need a vault smear).

So here I am. Almost six months after my hysterectomy which removed my uterus and cervix. I don’t really feel different, but I definitely don’t feel worse. If anything, I feel… free. And the big surprise has been that it wasn’t the hysterectomy that ended up defining the “new” me but the running. At the end of the day – that’s how I prefer it.

Small reminder
Small reminder

17 thoughts on “6 months after my hysterectomy

  1. That’s so good to hear that your running is the thing that is defining the new you and not the surgery. I really appreciate your openness and honesty about this AND love the idea of no more periods! Liberating.

    1. I am afraid I lack the ability to moderate what I say so I have opted to be fairly anonymous for the purposes of this blog to be able to be as honest and open as possible. Life without periods is wonderful. It really is. I am of course very lucky in that I have had my kids so it would probably feel very different for a woman who hasn’t so I can only speak for myself. I definitely don’t miss all that hassle at all.

  2. Reblogged this on Our Hystories and commented:
    I know I have reblogged from the Hysterical Runner previously but as I said, I really enjoy her posts. This is a follow up on how she is doing approximately 6 months after her hysterectomy. I think I enjoy her posts, especially this one, because her experience so closely resembles mine. You can read more of her stuff at her blog: Hysterical Runner. Enjoy!

  3. Once again, your experience is so similar to mine. Now I’m only about 9 weeks post surgery but I agree with many of your sentiments here. I was prepared for the worst perhaps and ended up with everything going really smoothly. I really like your line about feeling free – that sums up my thoughts perfectly. Hope your foot is feeling better soon but you’re probably right that it is needing a rest for a bit (as hard as that can be!). I reblogged this post – hope you don’t mind 🙂

    1. It’s funny isn’t it. Hysterectomy gets so hyped up and made into this Big Thing and when you have one you realise they physically it is actually a piece of cake when everything goes smoothly. I am sure the mental side can be tougher to deal with for some women but I was so looking forward to the operation it wasn’t an issue for me. As for the freedom – I should really find a “Sound of Music” type of picture of me bouncing joyously on a green hill, that’s how liberating it has been.
      Thank you so much for reblogging me, I am honoured and humbled again that you would even want to do that. x

  4. i think it is quite freeing, isn’t it? there are moments when i am a little panged by the sight of a new baby… but i threw away the very last of the tampons just last week, and was like, “well, i’ll never need YOU again! hooray for that!” and there are a lot of things i will never have to worry about… pain being chief among them. i wish my lungs weren’t trashed in the process of this surgery, but it was a side effect that might or might not have happened. apparently, i’m the lucky 1%! the actual fall out of the surgery though… it was smooth and painless. i think so many women are afraid for NOTHING. 🙂

    1. You got dealt a really shitty hand with the blood clots. It is one of those nightmare scenarios that they tell you might happen but you never expect it to. I cannot believe how well you have bounced back after that experience – you must be made of rubber, Wonder Woman!

  5. I admire you for wanting to help women to understand hysterectomy through your experiences. I hope you will continue to shed light to those women who feel confused on hysterectomy. A big thanks to you!

    1. Hiya! It’s a big decision, especially if the question of having kids is still on the table. Take your time, discuss with your doctor and with others you might know who have been in a similar position. It doesn’t have to be a negative thing, personally I couldn’t be happier but everyone feels differently. Good luck!

      1. I am 36 and have 2 wonderful kids, boy 5 and girl 3. My husband had a vasectomy last year so we know 100% we’re done (we even discussed divorce or even a death and still agreed we would not be going back to babies if we re-married at some point). So that being said – I know in my heart I do not want any more children. I have really bad anemia and cannot absorb iron. I even when to the USA to get iron injections (because I can’t get iron IV in Canada because my ferritin is still one point in the “normal” range) it didn’t help. I know this operation will help with that but I keep reading all I these nasty “side effects”. I will keep my overies but I’m told I will probably go into metapuse early – which scares me. I wish I could just in the future lol. Also what is your opinion about keeping the cervix? I was told I could choose either way – I’m leaning towards keeping it “just in case” it does have something to do with the big O lol. I have been researching like crazy, even delayed my surgery date till June to make sure I am ready. It’s all I think about Every waking moment – Anyway I’m glad I’ve found your site 🙂

      2. We’re pretty much the same age, I am 35. 🙂 The internet is awash with the worst case scenario stories, enough to really scare you. What I tried to keep in mind is that just like when giving feedback on a purchase, people are more likely to make the effort when things have gone wrong. A lot of the women that have the operation are older than you and thus also more susceptible for problems and menopause being brought on earlier.
        Personally I had the cervix taken out and didn’t really even think twice about it. I trusted my surgeon who saw it just as an obvious route.
        For every negative hysto story there will be at least one positive one – it’s just a shame that most of those go untold.
        And hey – never ever having another period is one huge positive that is hard to beat!! 😀

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