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I've hit a bump in the road. Could use some advice.

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Old 01-31-2007, 02:28 PM   #1
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Arrow I've hit a bump in the road. Could use some advice.

About a month ago I found a rather large lump above my belly button. I went to my regular Dr. (that's when I had the cholesterol test some of you might remember). She was unsure of what it was and then I asked could it possibly be a fibroid, since I was diagnosed with them about 20 months prior. She said yes, I made an appointment with my gynecologist, she examined me and said "Yes, it's definitely a fibroid". And my first thought was "I wonder how much that sucker weighs." She said it is not necessarily all that much larger, but with will all of my weightloss it is now starting to bother me. She sent me for a pelvic sonogram and I just got the results. She wants to remove my uterus. Hmmm. She says the fibroid is about the size of an orange. And my uterus is enlarged to the size of a cantalope. At this point I'm dying to ask how much the fibroid AND the uterus weighs. Somehow I restrained myself.

She says I'm 43, I no longer need my uterus. Fibroids grow back, removing just the fibroid could cause major blood loss and it's not worth the risk. She'd be leaving my ovaries. I'd no longer have my period, which is absolutely horrendous beyond belief due to the fibroid. She says leaving the ovaries will provide me with my needed hormones. So how does that effect menapause? I would go into menapause eventually and not know it because I would no longer being having periods. I was just wondering if any of you here are familiar with this or have had similiar situations? If it's not too personal, that is. Any of you know the recovery period and when I could resume exercise again? Just how bad a surgery is it?

I also asked her how soon does it have to come out. Could I possibly wait til I'm through losing all my weight, say up to a year. First she said yes, then she said maybe 3 - 6 months. She says if there are any changes with discomfort or my period I should call her immediately. I won't have all my weight off in 3 - 6 months. I'm just not sure if I should wait till it's all off, or get it over with and do it in maybe 3.

Anyway I'm really not too pleased. The thought of surgery is really scary to me. I've had surgery only once, my oldest daughter was delivered by C-section. It was not pleasant. The thought of me putting my weightloss on hold is horrendous to me at this point. I've built myself up to a nice fitness leveland I am TERRIFIED of losing that. Any input you wise ladies could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Last edited by rockinrobin : 01-31-2007 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:01 PM   #2
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You need to put your health ahead of weight loss. The doctor has given you good advice. You'll be glad you did it once you get it over with. No surgery is pleasant. I'd be more looking at getting relief from your horrendous period. You need to discuss with your surgeon when you could be back to exercise, etc. I wish you well.
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:09 PM   #3
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Hi Robin!

I had a myomectomy(removal of a fibroid) in 1986 in between the birth of my two sons. They found a tennis ball size fibroid in my uterus at the time that I had our oldest in 1981. I asked Doc why they did not remove it during the C-section. He said that it is NOT standard procedure because there is already enough blood loss during a C-section. Adding any more with removal of the fibroid would not be safe. Also, often as the estrogen levels go down, so does the fibroid. My fibroid did get smaller.

In 1986 I felt what I THOUGHT was a pregnancy. Doc thought so, too! An ultrasound confirmed however, that I was NOT pregnant but that the original fibroid was back. If I wanted to get pregnant again, I should have it removed. Apparently miscarriage is quite high when a fibroid AND a baby are competing for space in the uterus. I did not want to try to become pregnant a second time KNOWING that the fibroid was in there and COULD cause a baby of mine to die. I agreed to have Doc take it out and was given a 50-50 chance of NOT ending up with a hysterectomy. Things went well, fortunately, and my now softball size fibroid was removed with just one cut. My doctor had said that until you get in there you really never know the shape, size etc. of the fibroid OR if it may be attatched in many different places. Mine was attached to the wall of the uterus by a single stalk.

Two years later I was pregnant with our second child. I was very happy I played the odds and had the surgery, but at the time I went under the knife I did not know whether I would wake up with a uterus or not. VERY SCARY STUFF!

Things were fine after our second son was born in 1988, and for the first time in my life I had periods that were EXACTLY 28 days! That was so weird after having very erratic periods my whole life!

In 2000 my periods became very intense. They got longer with heavier flow. I did some extensive reading on the subject and found that fibroids can and DO usually grow back. I also discovered that if you are close to menopause and can be patient,however, the decreasing estrogen of the process of perimenopause then menopause shrinks the fibroids. After Two C-sections and a Myomectomy in eight years, I was willing to be patient. I did NOT want to have yet another surgery! Also, I have heard that a hysterectomy CAN prevent a woman from feeling an orgasm due to the cutting of certain nerves around that area. That was enough to make me decide that I could put up with changing my pad every 15 minutes and wearing TWO tampons at a time! I also became anemic with a hemocrit of 32. I HAD a hemocrit normally of 40. I began taking SlowIron and a multivitamin and drinking more water and increasing my sodium. All of that brought my iron back up to 40. (I donate blood every other month, so I wanted to still be able to do that!)

I'm in menopause now. My period "Grande Finale" with all the fireworks is finally O-V-E-R! It was a LONG four years of heavy bleeding! I STILL have my uterus, AND all my nerves for GREAT orgasms. I once again played the odds and won.

Unless a fibroid is cancerous, and they almost NEVER are, you DO NOT have to have them removed unless you plan on conceiving another child. Menopause WILL shrink them right up! Mine did!

Hope this helps!

Cheryl
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:11 PM   #4
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Sweetie I do not know what advice to give you but wanted to hug ya! *HUGZ* Definately get a second opinion and your health does come front and center. You can always start losing again after ward!
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:15 PM   #5
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So sorry you are going through this

My sister just had a hysterectomy. The recovery period was 6 weeks.

I think you should go ahead and have it done. BUT, tell your doctor your concerns that you will lose the progress you have made with your weightloss, and that you need exercises you can do during the recovery period. Maybe she will need to refer you to a physical therapist. But I would think there must be something you can do while you are recovering.

I don't like surgery either. But I generally lose weight during the recuperation period, if that helps any.
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:20 PM   #6
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Wow Cheryl. That's quite a story. I'm 43 though, it could be 10 or more years til I hit menapause. I actually can see the sucker, I can't imagine how it will be when I lose more weight. You have really, really got me thinking now. I'm more confused then ever. When I was first diagonosed about 20 months ago, that was my first thought, to just hang on til menapause. But since now I'm AWARE of it, meaning I kinda feel it both internally and externally I was thinking it's time to get rid of it. It hasn't grown much since last sonnogram, but I think it's a possibility. And my periods are so bad that sometimes I can't leave me house. I would be real happy to do without the surgery though. I'm just really confused now.

Thank you so much for sharing your story.

Jasmine thanks for the good wishes, you as well QuilterinVa.

Fiddler we posted at the same time, I'm adding this as an edit. Thank you for sharing your story as well. Six weeks, huh? This is really a hard decision. I almost wish it were more clear cut.
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:20 PM   #7
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ALWAYS get a second opinion before removing a BIG part of yourself such as your uterus. Doctors are WAY TOO QUICK to want to remove body parts they view as "unncessary" such as our tonsils. Hello! Our tonsils are there for a reason, and our uteruses may be there for more reasons than just for holding little babies (the orgasm example was a good one). Sounds paranoid, but I bet a doc gets a lot more from insurance to remove a uterus than a fibroid. I'd get even a third opinion before proceeding with such a drastic surgery as removing something from my body (unless they're sucking out fat, now that I'd do without any second opinion).
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:24 PM   #8
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Mami, you made me laugh with your fat sucking sugery comment.

That orgasam thing IS more then a bit scary.

Oh gosh, what to do? what to do?
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:03 PM   #9
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There are other alternative fibroid treatments out there besides hysterectomy.I am no expert but I have seen a lot written about new treatments where you keep your uterus and stop having periods.Do some research and get a second opinion.
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:04 PM   #10
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http://www.fibroids.com/
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:17 PM   #11
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Try an IUD for easier periods (and birth control of course, which is why I got it). I got one a few months ago and like the doc said, the first 3 months I had longer and heavier than usual periods but because of the small release of progesterone in the IUD that was implanted (no pain and took 2 seconds), I am literally spotting for a few days as my TOM (a pantyliner rather than pad is all I need now).
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:21 PM   #12
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Thanks for the link and your opinion fitbyforty. My Dr. said she does not believe in the shrinking method. She says they almost always come back.

I put it to her like this, I said if it were you or your daughter what would you do? And she said she'd have the surgery. I have been doing a little bit of research. After looking some things over, from what I can see there is no rush to get the surgery. I'm going to do a bit more research. Try to find some more people who have been through it. I will be keeping a list of questions I have for my doctor and in few weeks time call her back with my questions.
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:23 PM   #13
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Mami, I don't believe that would be effective with a fibroid. But I will put it on my list of questions. Some people go on the pill to try to control the bad periods. I am reluctant to do that. I'm 43 and not looking to go back on the pill. I've been off of it for years.
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:24 PM   #14
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Hi, My Mom has a lagre fibriod, She can also feel it from the outside. Her Doctor Recomended an embolism (the link fit by forty posted talks about this) But she is in her early 50s so she decided to wait till menopuas as the doctor did say it would shrink. Removing the uterus seems drastic without trying some other treatments first.
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:26 PM   #15
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Good luck, there are some really awesome forums out there, I am having an endometrial Ablation in less than a week, which is a step back from removing the uterus but still leaves me sterile and isn't an in patient operation but rather an outpatient surgery, so far less intrusive. I think that is what fitbyforty is talking about. It is basicly a third degree burn INSIDE your uterus that cauterizes it. I am a bit scared but I need to stop bleeding to get back my blood as I am severely anemic and not getting any better.

It would not remove a fibroid on the outside of your uterus or one that is that large though, so a hysterectomy is a must I think. But a second opinion is always good no matter what. If anything to concrete that your doctor is looking out for your best interest.

But it really is up to you if it is the right thing to do. Alot of women have pain with fibroids expecially large ones. But if your not having pain and your doc ok's waiting then it is ok. Just watch out for what she said. It really can be serious. I would also see if she can do a biopsy first to make sure nothing in cancerous, just to be on the safe side. That really scared me but the chances are slim but you dont want to remove anything without knowing first!

Good luck and read read read, it really helps!!! -Sumi
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