Borderline Tumour and Full Abdominal Hysterectomy – Jackie’s Story

I  had my surgery last year; I had a 10cm growth on my right ovary which was a borderline tumour, I had a full abdominal hysterectomy, and also had my appendix removed.  I am pleased to say that the histology came back clear, so it is onwards and upwards from here.

I was cut from just above my belly button, right down to my nether regions, and had clips in which were removed after 10 days.  Post op I had two pain bombs which were fed directly into the wound. I had my op first thing in the morning, and only got to the ward after 4pm as I apparently took a long time to come round, I was on oxygen overnight and IV pain relief.

The biggest shock I had was being asked to get up the following day!!  It turned out to be easier than I thought, and the next day I got up by myself. My op was on the Thursday and I went home on the Sunday. As I already inject myself (I have arthritis and inject one a week to help with it) I took home a month’s supply of blood thinning injections to do myself – this was my choice – they did offer to do them for me but I didn’t see the point at the time as I am more than capable of doing them myself – in hindsight that may have been the wrong decision only in that it would have given me some contact with a professional to speak to about the things that were happening to me during my recovery.

This is where your book and support became a lifeline, as I felt totally abandoned.  My family were awesome and my mother-in-law spent every day with me the first week to help me, what I struggled with was whether what I was experiencing was “normal” or something that I should speak to the doctor about (my doctor is fantastic but as with most GPs these days very difficult to get in to see as the surgery is so busy). I read your book in one sitting and it answered so many questions.

I am now six weeks down the line, and I go back to see my Doctor in two days to see about the pros and cons of HRT and getting back to driving and work. My scar is still extremely uncomfortable and am still in tracksuit pants, as I cant bear to have anything touching it, I am also still struggling with my bowels – horrific wind and pain when I finally go to the toilet, I am taking laxatives – the Peppermint Tea was a great hint and does help.

I was on Morphine before the op as I was in an extreme amount of pain and also had to slowly come off that, but it wasn’t the ordeal that it was made out to be, I did it slowly and didn’t suffer any untoward withdrawal symptoms (despite some members of my family being worried that I would be addicted to it), I am now down to take Cocodamol for pain relief.

If I were to advise anyone about how to tackle your post-op recovery I would say

  • that it is a must to take one day at a time, and don’t rush your recovery,  I spent two days in a lot of pain due to trying to lift something that was way too heavy!
  • sleep, I went from sleeping most of the day, to having afternoon sleeps, which progressed to naps and now although I am tierd int he afternoon I dont feel the need to have a sleep
  • get a copy of the 101 Handy Hints it is brilliant

I am extremely fortunate to have an understanding and supportive husband, which has made my recovery time so much easier – here is to 2013 I know I am getting better, and that I have a lot to look forward to now.


in my own words book coverNow available on our online store and all other online book store’s. In My Own Words: Women’s Experience of Hysterectomy is full of many other real-life stories from women the world over.

Other people’s stories help women feel less isolated. They show that they aren’t going mad, missing the point or stupid.

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