Follow by Email

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Next Big Thing

So, where to start?  I guess I'll jump right in.  Tomorrow, Monday, 27 May, at 10.00 a.m. I will be having a total hysterectomy.  (removal of uterus and ovaries.)  This is the 3rd date I've had it scheduled since March so it's about time for it to happen.  Last December, after a series of Drs. appointment for various issues, the reality set in that having this surgery would be the best road for me.  I was quite relieved that the decision to have surgery was finally made and I began to look forward to life on the other side of the procedure!  But a mix-up with the hospital caused the March date to not work out and the events that unfolded in my mom's life and death caused us to move the April date.  Now, it's the end of May and time to get it done.  While I'm not exactly looking forward to it, I am still very much looking forward to being on the other side of the surgery.
In addition to some physical factors that have contributed to my needing this done, there are two risks factors for ovarian cancer that I carry: The fact that my mom's cancer was ovarian and the reality that I've been infertile.  These two things in tandem with one another raise my risk factor for developing the cancer to a higher place.  In fact, ever since my mom's cancer was diagnosed, I have felt that getting my ovaries removed would be a good thing, but here in Sweden, the decision to do something like that preemptively was not a popular one.  Eventually, other factors and a second opinion from another Dr. led me to believe that now was the time.
Some women grieve over this surgery.  I'm having the opposite reaction, at least pre-surgery.  I have always had a fairly frustrating relationship with my reproductive organs since they never reproduced anything.  Any problems I've had in that area has only added insult to injury when it came to never being able to have children.  It always felt very unfair to have these problems when the stupid organs never worked anyway!  So, for me, now physically removing these organs from my body just feels freeing.  It will actually be medically impossible to conceive a child and that makes me feel a little bit more normal.  Maybe you cannot understand this but for me, it has just felt like a release from some of the pain I have felt from being an infertile woman.  I definitely do not want to conceive a child at this point so there is no real loss on that front.  I anticipate feeling much better after the recovery period and look forward to that new day.  The remaining scar will likely always remind me of my mom, who was so devastated to have cancer, fought it so valiantly and eventually had to give into its destructive force.  But I will see my scar as an inspiration that will always honor her fight.  She really wanted me to have the surgery so I go into this with great peace.
The recovery is long and somewhat difficult.  I've never had major surgery before.  I've never spent a night in the hospital before.  I cannot remember when I last had general anesthesia...probably when I was 24 and got my tonsils out!  But, I am confident of the care I will receive here in the able hands of my wonderful Swedish Dr. and I love the little private hospital where this will all take place.
The beautiful non-hospitalish hospital where I will have my surgery and spend a few days in the coming week.  
It is a hospital called Sofia Hemmet and is kind of like a boutique hospital!  Much smaller with fewer patients and procedures taking place.  My Dr.'s name is also Sofia and Sofia in the Bible means wisdom so I feel surrounded by a wise choice and wise folks who will care for me.  Plus so many people are surrounding me with prayer that I just feel confident and at peace that all will be well.
This means that I will be off work for at least 3 weeks, perhaps longer.  My husband remains Mr. Faithful to the end.  We celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary over the weekend even though our anniversary isn't until Tuesday.  But Tuesday we will be upholding the "in sickness and in health" portion of our vows.  He's been a champion throughout these difficult months and I could not be more grateful for his abiding companionship in my life.
So I'm happy for you to pray for us over the next week and look forward to checking in with you, post op and sans organs!