Hi Ho Hi Ho, Off to Surgery I Go

February 26, 2012 at 9:34 am 9 comments

Well, the big day is almost here once again.

Nope, not getting married. Nope, not expecting another kiddo to arrive.

I’m headed to surgery once again.

Why This Surgery?

Last October when I met with my OBGYN/oncologist, we reviewed my charts and updates over the past several years. As we talked, I explained to her that genetic testing has shown that I more than likely have a variant of Lynch Syndrome. After my second diagnosis with colon cancer at 25, we requested gene testing once again only to realize that many of my genes behave in a way that’s very similar to others with the disease. I don’t have the “traditional form” of Lynch according to tests and my family history (I’m still the only one with young colon cancer diagnosis.) But, between complicated stuff about MLH1 and PMS2 genes – it’s likely that I have some form of Lynch. Thus, the young cases of colon cancer.

Thanks to the testing I know that in the future, my risk for other cancers, namely ovarian and uterine, are also very high… almost likely. So, my doctor didn’t mess around when she realized I had Lynch Syndrome. She knew we’d chosen adoption as our path to kids. So with that, she gave the hard recommendation that I go ahead and have  a total hysterectomy. Even though I’m not even 30 yet. She didn’t push it on me right away, but said to look at my calendar and see if there was a “good” time to have this surgery done. And after several months of thinking about it and weighing the options, I decided to go ahead and do it.

Under The Knife Once Again

So, on this coming Tuesday I head under once again. I’m dragging my feet into this, but I know it’s something I need to do. The opportunity to stop cancer in its tracks and before it starts is why I’m doing this. Even if it does mean opening up my infamous long abdominal scar once again and putting me on a 6-8 week recovery plan. But, when I look at Mae, I know there’s really no other choice. I want to do all I can to stay around as long as I possibly can. So, off to surgery I go.

Unexpected Emotions

This has thrown quite a curve ball for me, since many unexpected (and honestly, many unwelcome) emotions have risen up. Maybe it’s because of counseling a few years ago, but suddenly I’m feeling the emotions that come with surgery and cancer threats. Or then again, this is the first time I’ve gone through anything like this as a mom – so that’s probably playing a part too.

Many thoughts, fears, realities, plans and “what ifs” have run through my mind this time…..

How do I line up childcare for Mae and arrangements for my small business?
Other surgeries haven’t been “easy” in the past – how long will I be out with this one?
How much extra can I work so that we can easily get that high deductible paid off?
How long will I really be recovering in the hospital?
By them “opening me up again,” will she find anything unexpected … like last time?
Will I have blood clots or problems with anesthesia this time?
How long will it take for my stomach to heal once again?
Will my past surgeries cause complications?
After surgery, what does menopause look like for me?
Will I be a sweat ball or hormonal wreck?
What are my risks of taking or not taking hormones?

And then again I too often camp on, “Why do I have to go through this in the first place?!?”

Coming to Terms

Typically, I’d tie up this post and show that there’s some peace and resolve that’s been found amidst life’s challenges. But today, I leave it at … I’m working on it. However, I knew a post was needed to get this off my chest. And, after looking through applications for other young colon cancer survivors for the 2013 Colondar this year – I know I’m not alone. Many others are being told they too have Lynch Syndrome. Many others will also face these hard decisions sooner than later.

Just pray for me Tuesday as surgery comes. Pray for a fast recovery. Pray this surgery STAYS preventative, and nothing else is found. And pray I’ll be back on my feet … and picking up my kid … in no time.

I’ll post when I’m back!

Entry filed under: Everything Colon. Tags: , , , , .

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Katie Atwell-Duncan  |  February 26, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I will be praying for you Danielle. I have had surgery twice in the last 2 weeks and I can definitely understand all the emotions you are going through. It is very hard to come to terms with why all this happens.

  • 2. Kristina  |  February 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Will be praying for you. Keep you faith set on the One who holds it all.

  • 3. Terri and Mike  |  February 26, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Good luck and we wish you a speedy recovery. We love you.

  • 4. Anonymous  |  February 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Love you. Thanks for sharing your faith, because that’s what you are doing. Janice Brown

  • 5. Alyson Phillips  |  February 27, 2012 at 7:26 am

    I am so sorry to hear this Danielle! I will be praying for you and will get the entire family praying for you also ( which is a force all its own these days :)) I have never had surgery, not even for my wisdom teeth yet so I can’t imagine what it is like going through something like this, but I do know that God is bigger than any giant we face and He was not surprised by this turn of events and will carry you through it!

  • 6. Margaret Horan  |  February 27, 2012 at 8:30 am

    I’m so sorry you have to go through this anxiety again, Danielle. Many prayers for you, as well as Mike and Mae. You have three things that will carry you through: faith, strength and the love of so many people. Take care.

  • 7. Gina Colletti  |  February 27, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Danielle, just want you to know I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog posts and have loved hearing your journey to motherhood. Mae is one blessed little girl to have you and I know your are overjoyed to be her mom. I am thinking about you now and will be praying for you the whole way through your surgery and recovery.

  • 8. Diane  |  February 28, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Had no idea you were facing this, Danielle. I am praying for you now and will continue to do so and for Mike and Mae. May God give you abundant peace and grace to once again go through a trial that seems so unfair. You are an amazingly strong young woman of God. Will be anxiously awaiting to hear how you do. Love, Diane and family

  • 9. Anonymous  |  February 28, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Danielle, I am wishing all the best with your surgery. I too have Lynch and have had a hysterectomy before my cancer was found. I was told the hysterectomy has reduced my risk for ovarian and uterine cancers. Peace and Blessing to you and your family!


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