Hi Ho Hi Ho, Off to Surgery I Go
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.
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!