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Surgery Anxiety

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EmmaBee
Surgery Anxiety

Hi, 

   I'm feeling like I'm having a bit of a down day today. I'm due my Radical Hysterectomy next week (19th August). Up until now I've been positive and not worried about the surgery. But today I'm feeling anxious and in a complete panic about being put to sleep. (The only surgery I've had before is a c-section but never been put to sleep before).

 

Did anyone else has irrational thoughts about surgery? Panicking over not waking up - as ridiculous as that sounds or just generally being scared? I know it has to be done and that's my focus but I'm just feeling nervous today. I'm only 34, relatively fit and healthy and know I'll be in the safest of hands but anyone else's experiences would be appreciated. 

Emma xx 

5/6/20 Saw doctor due to abnormal bleeding after intercourse. 22/06/20 Gynaecology appointment, had loop biopsy. Thought it was cervical erosion due to having children and being on the pill.

7/7/20 Biopsy results confirmed Cervical Cancer. Stage 1B1. (Never missed a smear test or never had any abnormal results).

20/7/20 MRI scan.

16/09/20 Radical Hysterectomy & lymph node removal. 

09/10/20 Histology results. Stage 1B1 grade 1. Surgery successful, no further treatment needed. 3 month check ups. 

FeelingTheFear

hi Emma

RH was my first surgery and first experience if abaesthesia and I was very worried. Of course it turned out fine, my anaesthetist had done 10,000 GA, and we had a good chat prior to the surgery on the big day, so I trusted him. I even dreamed as I was coming round from the surgery, and had no nausea or hangover type effect you sometimes read about. No sore throat, etc. I was shivering a little but they have this device called bear hugger which blows hot air all around your gown and it was really lovely and soon warmed me up.

I did ask for diazepam which I was given 1hr prior to surgery which helped to keep me calm on the way to the theatre. Would recommend this for any anxious patient. 

All in all the GA was a great experience and I would not hesitate to have one in future if I needed surgery again. I dont really have much else to say about the GA as it was just a really simple straightforward unproblematic process for me. I am 36 and otherwise fit and healthy like you. Xxx

Feb 2020: smear = high grade dyskariosis

March 2020: biopsy = CIN3

April 2020: lletz = cervical cancer stage 1b1 (1b2 on new FIGO)

May 2020: radical hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy. NED!

September 2020: first follow up. NED!

FeelingTheFear

Ps. I was offered a spinal block as well which is a bit like epidural, this comes with its own risks, such as having a special kind of headache which can be very intense and would increase my hospital stay by a few days. This is relatively rare but did cause me to question whether I wanted the spinal. In the end I asked the CNS what % of patients having RH took the spinal and she said almost everyone, as you wake up pretty much pain free. People who don't have the spinal tend to take more morphine and using lots of that also has side effects such as itching, nausea, etc. So i took the spinal, I woke up pretty much pain free and I had no headache or side effects. It may have meant i needed less GA during the procedure/less strong drugs and therefore possibly contributed to my happy wakening experience. 

Having the spinal injection didnt hurt either, as I had feared it would. The cannula insertion in the back of my hand was worse, but even that wasn't awful, just uncomfortable. 

Hope that info helps xXx

Feb 2020: smear = high grade dyskariosis

March 2020: biopsy = CIN3

April 2020: lletz = cervical cancer stage 1b1 (1b2 on new FIGO)

May 2020: radical hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy. NED!

September 2020: first follow up. NED!

EmmaBee

Thanks for your reply Feeling the Fear. I'm glad to hear you had a pleasant experience with your surgery. I think I'm overthinking the situation, with me having to self isolate it's giving me more spare time to panic. (Not sure how I've got all this spare time with two young boys to be running around after!)  All your information has been really helpful, I have my pre op assessment on Thursday so will hopefully feel more at ease after that. I had a spinal for my c-section and agree, it isn't that bad. I think it's natural to worry about any sort of treatment but do feel better reading your experience. Take care X x

5/6/20 Saw doctor due to abnormal bleeding after intercourse. 22/06/20 Gynaecology appointment, had loop biopsy. Thought it was cervical erosion due to having children and being on the pill.

7/7/20 Biopsy results confirmed Cervical Cancer. Stage 1B1. (Never missed a smear test or never had any abnormal results).

20/7/20 MRI scan.

16/09/20 Radical Hysterectomy & lymph node removal. 

09/10/20 Histology results. Stage 1B1 grade 1. Surgery successful, no further treatment needed. 3 month check ups. 

FeelingTheFear

It is definitely natural to worry about these procedures and my mind certainly has a tendency to catastrophise under the guise of "preparing for the worst". It is only human nature to feel uneasy about losing consciousness in any kind of scenario, and although i had a problem-free experience it is still odd to think i lost those hours of my life, and I do wonder from time to time what actually happened during my surgery that I'm not aware of...

I am the biggest scaredy cat and wimp, as you can tell by my choice of username, but I got through it! And so will you. Definitely ask for the diazepam pre-med if you feel anxious beforehand xXx

Feb 2020: smear = high grade dyskariosis

March 2020: biopsy = CIN3

April 2020: lletz = cervical cancer stage 1b1 (1b2 on new FIGO)

May 2020: radical hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy. NED!

September 2020: first follow up. NED!

LaurieBeth

EmmaBee-

I had the every possible kind of surgical anxiety before my RH in May.  My oncologist/surgeon, who I basically worship at this point, told me that if I was NOT worried about such a major surgery that he would actually be worried about my mental state.  None of us like being out of control of things in our life, and surgery is really the most out of control, the most vulnerable a person can be.  

The days and hours leading up to surgery are just not much fun.  Try to distract yourself, but all the worry is a normal and healthy reaction to what is going on.  The morning of was pretty rough for me, but they gave me some anxiety meds before giving me my epirual, and that helped.  And before I knew it, I was waking up.  My very first thought was "I am alive!" and then my second one was "the hard part is done.  Now I get better each second and each minute and each hour and each day!"

I will be sending all my positive energy your way.  You have got this.  If I could do it, you totally can.

 

 

LBA 

11/18Abnormal Pap CINIII

12/18Colpo confirmsCINIII

12/18Cold Knife cone biopsy confirms CiNIII, clear margins-doctor suggest hysterectomy

1/19 second opinion-close monitoring appropriate

5/19, 8/19 paps and colpos CIN I

2/20 Pap reveals CIN III

3/17/20 Lietz under GA

3/20/20 Diagnosed with invasice cervical cancer, no clear margins

5/12/20Radical Hysterectomy, Lymph node dissection, ovarian transposition-Staged 1B1-no further treatment needed

Follow up 9/28/20

 

 

EmmaBee

Thanks for you reply LaurieBeth, I appreciate your honesty. I've been for my covid test today which was fine then the next step is the surgery on Wednesday. I haven't had an "off day" since my last post, I'm feeling positive and keep reminding myself what is the alternative?! I have to have this done, for my own health and the sake of my children, husband and family. Naturally I will be a bag of nerves on the morning of my surgery but keep thinking to myself this time next week that hardest part will be done. 

Ive read a lot of your posts as well as FeelingTheFear's and you're both very inspirational. We can do this!! 

xx 

5/6/20 Saw doctor due to abnormal bleeding after intercourse. 22/06/20 Gynaecology appointment, had loop biopsy. Thought it was cervical erosion due to having children and being on the pill.

7/7/20 Biopsy results confirmed Cervical Cancer. Stage 1B1. (Never missed a smear test or never had any abnormal results).

20/7/20 MRI scan.

16/09/20 Radical Hysterectomy & lymph node removal. 

09/10/20 Histology results. Stage 1B1 grade 1. Surgery successful, no further treatment needed. 3 month check ups. 

Charlotte290

Sending you so much positivity Emma- I really hope today has gone well for you. 
I have my Pre-op tomorrow so not sure if my surgery date just yet- so anxious! Like above, first ever surgery and am completely needle/hospital phobic... yikes!! 
Really can't wait to be on the other side like you will now- let us know how you got on!! 
Charlotte x

07.08.20 diagnosed with squamous cell 1b2 cc

16.09.20 radical hysterectomy 

EmmaBee

Hi Charlotte, 

Well, it hasn't gone as planned. I went to hospital Wednesday morning, got prepped and was due to be the first one down. But, my temperature was slightly high and they weren't fully happy so said to wait for the afternoon surgery. My temperature still hadn't gone down (not surprising with having to wear a mask as well as being a bag of nerves!!) They decided to do a chest x ray, bloods another COVID test and cancelled my surgery for that day. All of my results have come back clear but just no explanation of my high temperature. To say I'm gutted is an understatement, I was so worked up to have it over and done with and now I'm back to square one. I'm back waiting for another appointment, the consultant said I'd be a priority but I'm getting myself stressed out over it all again! Just hoping I'll get my appointment through soon. 

Good luck with your pre-op it's very straight forward. I'm a massive wimp with needles too so if I can do it you can. 

Emma xxx 

5/6/20 Saw doctor due to abnormal bleeding after intercourse. 22/06/20 Gynaecology appointment, had loop biopsy. Thought it was cervical erosion due to having children and being on the pill.

7/7/20 Biopsy results confirmed Cervical Cancer. Stage 1B1. (Never missed a smear test or never had any abnormal results).

20/7/20 MRI scan.

16/09/20 Radical Hysterectomy & lymph node removal. 

09/10/20 Histology results. Stage 1B1 grade 1. Surgery successful, no further treatment needed. 3 month check ups. 

Charlotte290

Oh Emma! I can't believe it... as if our 'luck' isn't down enough!! 
Really do feel for you- and so hope they get it all done soon.

my Pre-op turned out to be not my pre-op, it's now next week! Still no date, and another week to fret over the blood test (so silly in the grand scheme of things, just can't help it!!)

I'm moving over from private to NHS, so it was just an introduction to the staff... Complete waste of time if you ask me!! 
I did however speak to the nurses, who were so so lovely, and one is rather positive that she can arrange for tablet form of the daily injections needed afterwards- so if you are needle phobic like me- definitely worth an ask if you haven't already!! Will make my recovery a lot less stressful! 
I also made it very clear that I don't want staples, yet another thing to worry about coming out- the consultant said that unless you request... they often do them as it's 'easier'!! No thanks!!! 

I have been checking here so often to see if you've written anything, got myself into a right tiz that you were too 'ill' and in too much pain to type afterwards... so silly again I know! 

ugh... so wish I wasn't such a wimp!!!

Really hope they get a new date to you quickly- sending so much positivity- keep us in the loop! Xxx

07.08.20 diagnosed with squamous cell 1b2 cc

16.09.20 radical hysterectomy 

LaurieBeth

Reading through this brought me right back to my surgery and the scary days leading up to it. I just wanted to say hello again and to tell you both that you have got this. I was anout to tell you how many weeks post surgery I am but I realized I don't remember. Not quite 4 months and I have already stopped counting because I feel that much better. I still think about it every day, especially now that I am back at work and have to wear real pants, but I only have mild soreness and a weird lump of scar tissue on my incision as my daily reminders. Sex is normal (lube is a thing now, but small price to pay to be alive) exercise is normal, hormones have been normal (my ovaries were transpostioned just in case). My energy level may not be 100 percent, but I would say it is 85 percent at least. All this to say, once you get this surgery behind you, have patience. You will be fine sooner than you realize.

thinkimg of you both and sending positive energy! Message me any time!

LBA 

11/18Abnormal Pap CINIII

12/18Colpo confirmsCINIII

12/18Cold Knife cone biopsy confirms CiNIII, clear margins-doctor suggest hysterectomy

1/19 second opinion-close monitoring appropriate

5/19, 8/19 paps and colpos CIN I

2/20 Pap reveals CIN III

3/17/20 Lietz under GA

3/20/20 Diagnosed with invasice cervical cancer, no clear margins

5/12/20Radical Hysterectomy, Lymph node dissection, ovarian transposition-Staged 1B1-no further treatment needed

Follow up 9/28/20

 

 

Charlotte290

Thank you Laurie-

 

means so much to hear from people on them other side!!

I am a bag of nerves... life has hit a bit of a stand still during the waiting period- feel like a shell of my former self at the minute.

I know that once it's done- every day will get better and better- it's just so hard to psychologically get through the actual operation part for me! Terrified of everything that I'm going to face. 
I think my main fears are being put to sleep, and the pain & discomfort afterwards... which I imagine is everyone's fear!? 
Everyone says it's never going to be as bad as my anxious brain is making it- I just can't believe that just yet. 

My pre-op has annoyingly been moved to next Wednesday, and still no date for the op... so a few more weeks of wishing away my time, struggling to sleep and generally being miserable... I just hope that I can start to feel more 'me' again afterwards- worried she'll never come back!! 
Charlotte x

07.08.20 diagnosed with squamous cell 1b2 cc

16.09.20 radical hysterectomy 

LaurieBeth

I was a total disaster leading up to surgery. I was so scared of every part of it and was so sure that i would never be myself again. Just advocate for yourself in the hospital and you can keep the pain manageable!

LBA 

11/18Abnormal Pap CINIII

12/18Colpo confirmsCINIII

12/18Cold Knife cone biopsy confirms CiNIII, clear margins-doctor suggest hysterectomy

1/19 second opinion-close monitoring appropriate

5/19, 8/19 paps and colpos CIN I

2/20 Pap reveals CIN III

3/17/20 Lietz under GA

3/20/20 Diagnosed with invasice cervical cancer, no clear margins

5/12/20Radical Hysterectomy, Lymph node dissection, ovarian transposition-Staged 1B1-no further treatment needed

Follow up 9/28/20

 

 

EmmaBee

Lovely to read all of your comments. I haven't been on here for a while since my last operation was cancelled. BUT surgery is all done and I'm now on my way to recovery. I had it done 10 days ago, I'm shocked at how much the smallest of things tire me out I literally feel like an 80 year old woman (I'm only 34!) But each day I'm getting stronger and managing to do more. I feel like I have the pain under control too, the downside is I have little appetite and covered in cold sores but it's a small price to pay, the hardest bit is done. Ive been having the odd day were I've got upset as I feel so helpless towards my children as I'm struggling to do the smallest of things with them but I know I'll soon be back on the school run and be able to carry out normal activities with them. 

Thanks again for your inspiration girls 💫 

xxxx 

5/6/20 Saw doctor due to abnormal bleeding after intercourse. 22/06/20 Gynaecology appointment, had loop biopsy. Thought it was cervical erosion due to having children and being on the pill.

7/7/20 Biopsy results confirmed Cervical Cancer. Stage 1B1. (Never missed a smear test or never had any abnormal results).

20/7/20 MRI scan.

16/09/20 Radical Hysterectomy & lymph node removal. 

09/10/20 Histology results. Stage 1B1 grade 1. Surgery successful, no further treatment needed. 3 month check ups. 

More Information

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