Yesterday afternoon, I got great news. My new surgeon made room for me in his summer schedule, which means I’ll be having surgery sooner than I expected. I am scheduled to have surgery on August 11th. I didn’t know how to react to the call. I’m happy that after such a short timeline from his second opinion in April to my follow-up consultation at the beginning of June that his conviction about working to improve my quality of life has come to fruition. But, my surgeon’s administrative assistant felt compelled to tell me that I didn’t have to take the date if it’s too soon or doesn’t work for me for any other reason because she recognized how stunned I was by the news. I assured her there is no reason to reschedule me. I think waiting two years to have someone, anyone, take decisive action with the intention to get me better is long enough.
I’m also full of anxiety. I’ve had surgery before, but this surgery is the biggest medical procedure I’ve had in my entire life. I’ll be on the operating table for three hours – or longer – as at least three surgeons work on removing the growth that is invading my pelvis and repairing the damage it may have inflicted on multiple organs. The known possible outcomes that fall on what I’ll characterize as the negative plane of the spectrum could drastically change my life. Not to mention, my surgeon predicts a minimum five nights stay in the hospital post-surgery – if everything goes well – that could turn out to be longer depending on what they find or how much of my rectum he must remove. Yet, I know that there is a positive, bright side of the same spectrum that could mean the end of my pain and the beginning of what’s next in my life, now that my eyes are open to the suffering that exists in the lives of so many people because of chronic pain and chronic illnesses.
Still, mixed into the confused pool of emotions I was excited enough to call or send messages to all my friends and family who support me through this illness at every turn – good or bad. Everyone I connected with was very happy to hear the news. They’ve all been waiting with great anticipation since I told them I would most likely have a surgery date for the end of the summer. Those who expect to be involved in my aftercare immediately reminded me of the commitment they’ve made to me to help in whatever way they can when I’m released from the hospital. Some made even grander gestures of support, offering to take me into their homes for my entire recovery. All of this continued support means everything to me and I know I’ll never be able to repay it, but I also know that without it I wouldn’t have made it this far.
I have an important date and my hope is that when it ends I’ll be on my way to better health.
Mr. Mister – Broken Wings