Hysterectomy for cancer – Trudy’s Story

Hi, I have been off work for shoulder surgery work related. During that time I found out after my pap smear was abnormal that I needed a endometrial biopsy which confirmed uterine cancer. Less than a month after that I had a robotic total hysterectomy. Everything including my cervix was removed.

The resident told me I would be off work 4 to 6 weeks. My work disability is giving me off till 5/28/13. I had this procedure on May 1st ,2013. I am still on light duty til 6/6/2013 for my shoulder. I am a nurse who works 12.5 hours a day but not every day. I push a med cart with a computer. Wash, turn, lift patients getting them on carts and in and out of bed. I am working at the same hospital for close to 29 years. I have another surgery for a adenoma which will be scheduled for end of July/first week in August.

I am still pretty sore and have a difficult time with sitting upright in a chair and bending. I figured I would be off work for 8 weeks. My friend who had a vaginal hysterectomy was off for 8 weeks and my other friend 6 weeks; both sit down jobs. I don’t mind working, but thought 4 weeks is pushing it. Don’t want to overdo it to soon. I am glad to see that it takes longer then doctors say before one recovers from this type of surgery. I am not sure what to do if my doctor wants to send me back before I am ready. Even my insurance company says see how you feel at 4 weeks.

Work supposedly has light duty but last time when I hurt my shoulder it involved cleaning, refrigerators and medical rooms, and a lot of walking and things not really light duty. Thanks for reading my letter and if you could respond that would be great.


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  1. Hi Trudy

    I am shocked that you should be expected to return to work so soon after major surgery for cancer. I had the same operation as you did, a TAH-BSO, also for uterine cancer. I was 65 at the time (November 2011) and I was a nurse too. My operation went very well, but it took me many months to recover. A friend of mine took a full year to recover. AFter hysterectomy you are not supposed to even lift anything for at least three months, so I don’t know how you could be expected to go back to a “heavy” job like nursing after just four weeks. It takes a long time for your body to heal inside as well as outside. And as Saranne says, you have also had to adjust to the cancer diagnosis and I know how hard that it. Please take care of yourself and I wish you well. xx

  2. Hello Trudy

    I had my hysterectomy 27th Nov for the same cancer. No way would I have been able to return to a job like yours at 4 weeks! I went back at 6 weeks for one afternoon a week (sitting down office work).

    I am wondering if you are outside the UK? When I went for my pre-op the nurse told me that in the UK 3 months leave is automatically given to nurses after this operation.

    You have had major surgery and need sufficient rest and time for your body to heal before you can return to work. You have also had the shock of a cancer diagnosis to absorb. Easier said than done I know, but try not to be pushed into anything you are not 100% ready for. Let us know how you get on if you wish. xx