Archive for November 13th, 2009

I finally have a new date for surgery: Thursday December 3.  I’ve decided to go with Dr. Brown instead of Dr. Rajput and UNM (no big surprise there if you’ve been following my saga) and I’m happy with the choice. Dr. Brown’s office has been so accommodating and efficient – they’ve actually done everything they said they would! A refreshing change from my experience with UNM…

The surgery will take place at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque. It’s scheduled for 12:30 and should take about 3 hours. I’m told I can expect to be in the hospital for at least five days, and perhaps longer if my recovery is slower. My dear friend Alison is coming to be with me and to act as my advocate during the hospital stay. I couldn’t ask for a better person to keep a watchful eye on the doctors and nurses, and to make sure I’m cared for properly.

Once I get home, my sweet friend Kate is coming to act as nursemaid for a week or so.  Again, I couldn’t hope for anyone more nurturing to take care of me while I convalesce. My other angels, Shawn and Natasya, will also be looking in on me as they have throughout this entire ordeal. I understand I’m going to be pretty uncomfortable for about a month after the surgery, and probably on pain killers for much of that time. Dr. Brown has said that, overall, it could be 8 to 12 weeks before I’m feeling like “myself” again. So, it looks like it’s going to “take a village” to help get me through this next part of the journey.

It’s odd, but for a short time while the date for surgery was up in the air, I was able to live in a sort of irrational illusion that it wasn’t going to take place at all – that somehow I wouldn’t have to go through with this. Now, with a firm date, I’ve had to let go of my denial and accept that it really is going to happen – and soon. I’m pretty nervous about it. The prospect of living the rest of my life with a colostomy is not something I’m surrendering to easily. And I’m also really anxious about the long recovery and the level of pain I’m likely to be in afterwards.

Nearly everyone who knows anything about colon re-sections, ostomies and such, has told me that I’ll adjust over time. I keep hearing that many, many people live rather “normal” lives with ostomies. I’ve already received lots of information and can expect even more education during my hospital stay. A few friends have also given me the names and contact information of others they know who are living with a colostomy, in case I want to ask questions or just talk to someone who’s been through this. I’m so grateful for all of the support I’m getting – and yet I’m still nervous.

But, as my doctors have repeatedly told me, the priority here is cure. In order to have the best chance of long term survival, I need to be willing to give up a little function. I’ve been working hard on accepting this, realizing that resisting it won’t benefit me in any way. But I have to admit, I’m still struggling a bit with this one.

Meanwhile, the really good news is that I’m feeling well right now, eating a lot, gaining some weight back and getting stronger everyday. And I’ve got almost three weeks left to continue regaining my health, and to also work towards finding some peace within myself.

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