Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Hysterectomy Consult

This entry is part 40 of 44 in the series Breast Cancer Posts

On the 2nd of March I had my appointment with Dr. Rose. From what I understand—I could be wrong about this—she’s the one who performs hysterectomy surgeries for the VA Women’s Clinic. That’s why I saw her yesterday; this was my initial consult regarding me getting a hysterectomy of some sort as part of my ongoing cancer care.

The Women’s Clinic was redesigned a few years ago. Now when a patient arrives, there’s a little organized children’s play area to the right, surrounded in part by waiting chairs. We’re to check in at an electronic kiosk, and I was invited to do so upon my arrival about an hour before my appointment yesterday. I did explain I was so early because I was on transit and like to start early in case there’s some sort of delay, but the receptionist insisted I check in with a promise to explain things to Dr. Rose. So I checked in and sat down next to a table covered in women’s health care information; most of it seemed to regard heart disease.

For most of the next forty-five minutes, I read a book I checked out from the library. Just before a nurse came to call me back, I put the book away and tried to start up my Nook, but discovered it wouldn’t operate because power was too low, so I put it back. LOL Right after I got done putting my Nook back in my satchel, the nurse came out to fetch me.

We went to the far end of the main hall of the women’s clinic section and into a room there. Vitals were taken, and the nurse left me with assurances Dr. Rose would join me as soon as she was finished with her other patient. My mind suitably encouraged by the book I’d been reading, I thought on one of my own stories for the duration so I wouldn’t be too distracted when the doctor arrived.

I hadn’t long to wait. Maybe fifteen minutes later, Dr. Rose showed up. We shook hands, and she sat at the computer to access my files. For the next twenty mintues, we went over my medical history—the cancer, the medications I’m on and why, everything. Including my gender dysphoria. I was completely honest with her, explaining that though I’d probably not have any chance at all of getting the surgeries I need for my transition any other way, I was far more concerned with my cancer coming back.

She seemed to agree with my concerns about the cancer, and didn’t try to contradict me. We went over my current medication regimen for cancer care, and she agreed with my oncologist’s assessment that my lack of dramatic emotional reaction to being on the hormone suppressants was a good indication I’d deal with having a hysterectomy well.

Then she said I’d get a partial hysterectomy—my ovaries and fallopian tubes would be removed. I asked why, when I certainly wouldn’t be using my uterus after that—and wasn’t it another cancer risk to leave my uterus behind? Dr. Rose patiently explained to me that since I hadn’t shown to have either of the known breast cancer genes, taking out my ovaries would most likely prevent any sort of uterine cancer. She went on to tell me that the partial hysterectomy surgery was much less invasive; it’ll be done through small incisions on either side of my abdomen and in my navel. According to her, to take out my uterus as well would likely require at least one large incision that would require more recovery time and be much more uncomfortable for me when taking out my ovaries would do the job just as well.

Dr. Rose went over a general itinerary for my surgery as well, explaining that they have one day of surgeries for hysterectomies a month, but that April’s was canceled. Basically, I’m to fast the morning of the surgery like I did for my lumpectomy, I expect to have to shower with specially-provided soap, and I’ll likely be going into surgery sometime in the morning. I’ll also have to stay overnight for observation due to my CPAP machine, so they can ensure I don’t suffocate to death due to the surgical sedatives; I can’t say I’m disappointed about this and will make sure I have plenty of material to read while I’m stuck in a bed at the hospital until checkout.

My partial hysterectomy is scheduled for May 5th. I’m to go in on April 27th for another consult and to have blood tests and everything done. Dr. Rose told me if I had any questions about things to go ahead and give her a call. On the way out of the clinic, Dr. Rose led me to a wall of pamphlets and passed me ones on Preparing for Surgery and Laparoscopy. I grabbed an additional one, about Hysterectomy. Still haven’t read them, will probably get to them later on this month.

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  1. Glad your appointment went well and it sounds like everything’s neatly arranged!

  2. Sounds like everything’s lined up nicely. Hoping it all goes smoothly.

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