4 months post abdominal radical hysterectomy

Hi there,

I wanted to add a little update on my progress so my story doesn’t stop on the forum…and to hopefully help others in the same boat.

It’s taken 4 months to start to feel ok-ish and for my belly to be a bit more comfortable and smaller in the morning. It doesn’t take much to set it off again, but finally I am seeing a reduction. I’m not yet in my old clothes but my figure is a bit more recognisable now.

Mentally I’m having moments where I can forget this has happened, which is wonderful. It’s not there all of the time, but still about 98%! Having those tiny breaks is wonderful and a sign I’m slowly getting there.

I’m becoming rather frightened about some situations, like seeing people I haven’t for ages etc and wondering what to say to them. I’m going to start work next week, just 2 hours in the office in the morning then a couple of hours from home. I’m excited about this, but also anxious.

Standing or sitting for too long is uncomfortable but swimming is getting better and really helping me.

I’ve not even attempted any intimacy with my poor man yet, I don’t even know where to start on that one and I’m awaiting a counselling appointment for it.

I’d say for anyone having the abdominal surgery…this is a hard recovery but it does get better, from speaking to people having had this op it does take a couple of months more than keyhole to get to the milestones they give you. Take it steady!

This forum has been a total inspiration and wonderful source of advice for me, so thank you to everyone who contributes :slight_smile:


hi could you please explain what abdominal radical hysterectomy is thanks

so pleased you are starting to get back to normal many thanks xxxx

Hey there,

It just means I have one large incision across my bikini line where they opened me up and removed everything. A bit like a c-section


thank you for gettin g back to me so soon sounds very painfull big hugs to you xxxx

Hi Jo,

Thanks for sharing your update. You are dong amazingly well! I wanted to wish you luck in going back to work. I think the way you are gradually gong back is a good  idea and something I may also look into.   I also want to go swimming but not sure when I'm allowed? 
Can I ask why you couldn't have keyhole surgery? I'm guessing there is a medical reason?
Take care,
Tess xxx 


Yeah I decided to take control of going back…I just said I’m not 100% yet so can only come back with thes conditions and I’ve taken lead on it, which makes me feel better about the whole thing. I’ve not had a ‘normal’ week since January so it’ll be strange.

Swimming is ok from 6 weeks according to my document…just need any wounds to be fully closed and healed to prevent infection. Swimming has been a life saver for me!

My consultant who was the surgeon said they only do radical hysterectomies via open abdominal incisions at that trust. I thought it was odd, so asked my nurse and she confirmed it and said when they’ve done it via keyhole they’ve ended up back in with prolapses etc. I wish I could have had key hole, I’m sure I would have been back at work months ago!

Hope you’re doing well?


That's good to know. I'm not sure I could have a phased return but will ask the question.  With my job I think once I'm back I'm back. I'm lucky as in I can work from home but also travel quite a bit. I will have to manage my diary better!

It's a shame you couldn't have key hole.  My local hospital said the same thing but offered to send me to another hospital for key hole under 'NHS Choices'.  I then used my private insurance and picked my own consultant anyway but the choice of keyhole via the NHS would have been there. 
I was feeling great but have now got tonsillitis! I can't believe it, it's making me feel crap.  Hopefully it will ease off in the next few days. I'm also awaiting my results and hope to get them tomorrow.
Tess xxx 


Hi gals - recommend the Macmillan site for advice on all things work related including, including negotiating a phased return. http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Livingwithandaftercancer/Workandcancer/Workandcancer.aspx

Glad to hear things are looking better all round for you.




Hi Tess,

Because cancer qualifies you under the Equalities Act 2010 your employer legally has to take ‘reasonable adjustments’ to help you return to work. My GP is signing me a as only fit for work if they meet the conditions that will help me. If they can’t, then I’m not fit for work and will stay off.

Obviously it’s in both mine and work’s interests to ease back in. I work in travel and usually go away once a month but I’ve added ‘grounding’ as one of my adjustments.

I’m basically going back knowing that really it’ll be new year before I’m back to full energy. I’d hoped to go back with a fitness regime and social life and just slot work in, but it’s not been that easy for me!

Slow and steady wins the race :slight_smile:


So good to see you with a plan that works for you after all your earlier work worries, Jo. 

I have only recently gone back to full time and still sometimes need to bail out early to rest (this heat has been exhausting). It just takes a long time to get the old mojo back.




I complained to my MD in the end about HR. a grovelling phone call later and full sick pay was reinstated! It gave me the confidence to be a bit pushy with what I need going back and they’ve so far been brilliant.

I’m nervous about how I’ll feel. I’m exhausted today after following my man round the supermarket for an hour.

I’ve still got 5 weeks hol to take by end Dec so I’m fsctoring in a day off per week, then a week off in Oct, Nov and Dec which means I won’t have to work more than 3 weeks in a row before 2014. Seems ok to me! Hoping to book a break to a sunny place in November too.



nice to read someones story who is further down the path and being show there is light.  i admire your strength and being in control of your situation re: work.  


Hi Jo, I just want to agree whole heartedly with the above comment! I definitely draw strength from your experience. Thank you.