In vast majority of cases, rad. hyst. causes no problems. I had radical hysterectomy 05.09.2014 and I can tell you, at age 60, had no real issues with it. I also had key-hole surgery and only have 4 tiny scars which are hardly noticeable. I was in hospital for 4 days and returned home. First week, I was just tired and needed to be waited on, but felt fine. Second week, was getting up, washing and dressing, but started to have problems with bowels - initially constipated for nearly a week, then started going to the loo anything from 3-8 times a day! This lasted almost 2 weeks but then went back to normal. Bladder fine, no pain except some occasional twinges in bladder/vagina area. Was not driving, but went to local village by bus and had short walks daily by week 3. By week 4 started to do light dusting, putting dishwasher on but no heavy housework. Drove after about 6 weeks, but you will be advised by your consultant about this. What to take - well, take a good novel, nightdress (although they can supply them), toiletries, dressing gown, hairbrush, hairdryer and mobile phone - oh and slippers.
Can't answer query about hrt as long past menopause. Worse thing for me was doing the 28 Fragmin injections at home!
Conclusion - for me this went very smoothly but of course can't speak for everyone.
May 14 - abnormal smear
June 14 - colposcopy and lletz cone biopsy under anaesthetic
July 14 - MRI - confirmed 2A
Sept 14 - examination under anaesthetic and downgraded to 1b1
Sept 14 - rad. hyst.
Sept 14 - biopsy confirmed stage 2A with clear margins, no lymph node involvement, but lymphatic disease found.
Dec 14 - due to have one cycle of 28 radiotherapy plus 5 chemo and 3 brachy to reduce chances of recurrence.