Q. I've been diagnosed with endometrial cancer and will have a hysterectomy. I'm worried about the physical and emotional toll it might take. Is there any way I can prepare myself?

A.

Taking time to prepare yourself before your treatment can help reduce anxiety. One of the ways in which planning can be beneficial is by talking with your doctor about what to expect before and after a hysterectomy, both physically and emotionally. Our fact sheet, “Doctor Can We Talk? Tips for Communicating With Your Health Care Team, might be helpful as it provides tips on how to make the most out of your visit.

It is equally important to acknowledge you may have different feelings before and after your surgery. In order to explore those feelings, you may want to consider options for building in emotional support. Many women find comfort in support groups by sharing their feelings and learning how others cope with challenges and common fears. Individual counseling might also be helpful. You can learn more about CancerCare support groups or speak with an oncology social worker.

Other resources include:

  • HysterSisters offers information, support, and resources for hysterectomy-related needs.

  • Eyesontheprize.org provides FAQs answered by women who have been through a hysterectomy.

Additionally, some people find various activities help ease their anxiety such as journaling, meditating, exercise, and exploring nature. If there are activities in your life that bring you a sense of calm, it is particularly important during this time to seek out and engage in those activities.