My choice to have a Hysterectomy at 32 to reduce my risk of Ovarian Cancer

Deciding to have surgery is never easy, but I can start this by saying there’s a happy ending. It was the best thing I ever did.

Having suffered with heavy & painful periods since the age of 13, my mum always suspected I had endometriosis, the same condition as her. It wasn’t until I was 30 years old that this was confirmed through a laparoscopy, something my mum had fought tirelessly for since my mid twenties.

It was another 2 years of trialing medications & eventually changing my gynaecologist, before I was finally booked to have a Bilateral total hysterectomy. I was ecstatic. It was booked in February for June of 2015 and I couldn’t wait. I finally felt like the days I’d spent laid in bed through pain would be over.

I knew I was very young at 32 & went through a variety of questions as to how I would deal with no more children, what if I lost a child, what if I split up with my husband etc etc but in the end it was agreed & a date set for 1st June 2015.

I sounds strange, but I was excited. I also thought I’d lose loads of weight having it removed (it weighs about 2lb), so don’t get your hopes up on that score, & you’re meant to be laid up for 6 weeks or more recovering!

In the March prior to my operation we learnt of my mums ovarian cancer, and she begged me as her final wish, to make sure they removed my ovaries. This was a very big decision as it meant I would have a total hysterectomy & would have two healthy ovaries removed. I didn’t really think of anything other than reducing the risk of cancer & although it was discussed, I didn’t research or think about the menopause. I promised her I would have the ovaries removed & when I went to see my surgeon prior to the operation they agreed this would be the best thing.

Just 2 days after my mums diagnosis of Terminal Ovarian Cancer, I was off to Couple of the Year 2015 at Slimming World HQ with 2 of my amazing couples

I loved my job and my members & I wasn’t going to let them down.

My mum sadly passed away just 6 weeks after being diagnosed on 20th April 2015. So just a couple of weeks after my mums funeral, we took a family holiday to Spain. At times it was hard but we still had a great time, as we knew when I got back it was surgery time.

My mum’s cancer hadn’t stopped me working, I remember working on the laptop next to her, while fetching her drinks & moisturising her legs! I certainly wasn’t going to let a hysterectomy stop me either. So I did it & 2 days later I was back home, maybe not fully functioning, but there was certainly no week in hospital following my surgery, including removal of both ovaries. There was no 6 weeks recovery. How can you when you are self employed & have 2 young children? In fact I was back at work the following week, inevitably a little too soon as I tore my stitches. My team & the team I had been part of before becoming a team developer rallied round to help support me.

It might not be the answer for everyone, but it was for me. Within 3 months I was no longer in physical pain 3 weeks out of 4 with endometriosis. The menopause is a different matter. I wasn’t quite prepared for, and having neither my mum or my mum-in-law, I often still wish I had one to just borrow for some practical advice. I can live with the hot flushes & night sweats. The hormones, well they are all over due to the personality disorder anyway so who knows. And my husband just says I’m moody all the time now instead of once each month!

There are days, only a few, where I wonder about ever geving more children. Whether I ever would or just the thought of there no longer bring a choice. I also have to worry that in future my girls may develop the same.

I know I made the best decision, and everyone is different, but for me, it’s all about being here as long as possible for my girls. And this hysterectomy added another layer of protection!

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