12 months ago today at the age of 45 I had surgery at Monash Moorabbin to remove a 15cm ovarian tumor. In addition, I had a full hysterectomy, my appendix, lymph nodes and some of the lining of my abdomen was also removed.
1 week after surgery, I received the news that the tumor and my left fallopian tube were borderline malignant but the rest of me that was removed was benign meaning I would not be required to have further treatment.
It has been a really big 12 months recovery for me. Getting through the initial diagnosis and surgery – I had my positive and be strong hat on. However, over the last 12 months – I have struggled with the loss and the shame of how my body now looks and works – and then guilt for feeling that way when I am really one of the lucky ones!
I have a large 25cm vertical cut from my pubic bone and up past my belly button towards my sternum. I have never had children and this loss has affected me in strange ways.
I have an amazing husband and incredible family – but I have found it hard to really find anyone who understands the way I feel. For those around me – my scars are hidden and they think I am fine and fully recovered – but for me I don’t really feel that way.
I would love to online chat with anyone who has been through similar circumstances…
In August 2015 I was also diagnosed with ovarian cancer ...i had a tumor on both ovaries and was in surgery 2 weeks later having a radical hysterectomy...I remember feeling very depressed during the recovery stage and then 3 weeks later my surgeon told me i would have to undergo 6 mnths of chemo as one of the ovarian sacks holding the cancer had split which may have released cancer cells.
I too have a long scar which has changed the way i look but 3 yrs on i have learned to live with that and feel so grateful to be still here. It took a very long time to get over the whole ordeal and in the process i took early retirement after 29 yrs in the same job.
I still have days that overwelm me but most of the time i am positive (which i was constantly told by the hospital staff was so helpful towards my recovery physically and mentally)
I never wanted children and so i didnt really feel affected by the hysterectomy...i just felt lonely but i do have a loving family and great friends and with thier constant support i now feel on top of the world.
I hope in time you will too!
I remember feeling alone and being drawn towards anyone who has/had cancer ....its such a shocking experience that can only be understood by others in a simular position but in time as your strength grows and the appiontments produce good results those feelings will wan but will never go entirely. Cancer does change you it may be in a big way but its the little things with me and it shows you who really cares (which was an eyeopener !) but most importantly it puts life into prospective.
I understand how you feel . I have the same scar i was dx primary Fallopian tube cancer .I have been No evidence of disease since the 8/8/2018 . I have my first 3 mth check up is in December 🤞🏻
Congratulation on 12 mth anniversary .
i had my surgery at Westmead December 2017 . Started chemo Feb carbo ,Taxol every 21 days I had hardly any side effects I feel really good just feel anxious now as I’m not on chemo & my body has to keep the beast away on its own .
Hi Sue, yes I can imagine your concern - I felt the same way at my 6 month check up post surgery. It does loom over your head - but we are so fortunate that we have such good after care and check ups available. Thinking of you.
I resonated with you saying that you struggled with the loss and shame of how your body looked but then the guilt because you were one of the lucky ones. I have a large mastectomy scar that I am faced with every morning and night but I look fine during the day with my prosthesis in place. I realise I am also one of the lucky ones and peop!e tell me I look great, however, it is still a rare day that I am not reminded of it throughout the day. Now 18months post treatment I thing I am starting to feel my new normal. I am only just now thinking about going back to some sort of work. It has taken me a long time and I wish I could just get back on the horse but it has been slow for me and I just have to accept that.
Best wishes for your recovery it will happen when it happens and you really can't force it.
I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. I think a big part of our healing process (aside from dealing with the 'new me') is knowing we are not alone - thank you for your message.
I am glad you feel you are getting to that point - the 'new normal'.
I think accepting that it takes time too is so important.
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