Well, it’s here and I can’t hide from it anymore. Tomorrow I go into hospital ready for surgery on Wednesday… and I’m terrified.
Ever since I was given a date, I have spent countless hours googling the surgery and reading up how well other people have recovered and the general opinion seems to be slow and painful.
On Thursday, I went for my pre op assessment and to meet up with my surgeon to go through the scans and the surgery. There were positives to it, the comparison of my CT scan from before and after treatment is phenomenal – I wish I could show them to you as they have to be seen to be believed (although I’m not sure how many of you want to see inside my bowel!).
Before treatment, the tumour was large, had blocked and perforated my lower colon and had started to invade my lymph nodes – this cancer was advanced.
After treatment, I’m now left with a little sliver of an obliterated tumour that’s barely thicker than a line of cotton. The spread to my lymph nodes also appears to have been destroyed too! It really is amazing and I’m so grateful to the magician that is my Oncologist, Dr Geh.
Even though the treatment has been more successful than they anticipated, they are still keen to remove anywhere that cancer has touched and to do that means removing the colon left that sits below my colostomy, my rectum, lymph nodes and a good surrounding area to be clear of the cancer. Due to the amount that is being removed from my pelvis, I will also be having plastic surgery to rebuild around that area to make sure that no other organs will fall out! To do this, they will cut my stomach open and use muscle from there to patch up further down (Ouch). The operation should take between 4-5 hours, not that it makes much difference to me as it will feel like a split second between falling asleep and waking up. Because of the nature of the surgery and my history of kidney problems, I may spend my first night in Intensive Care, just in case my kidneys need a little extra help recovering.
Now I know the full extent of it, I couldn’t be more scared. This surgery is bigger than I thought. I’m scared of the pain that I will be in, I’m scared of being sick after surgery (if you know me, you will know about my extreme phobia of vomiting). I’m upset that I will need to stay in hospital for 7-10 days as my phobia causes me to feel anxious around other sick people too. This is something I’ve had to try to overcome at every stage of treatment and a fear I had before I started chemo.
I think the hardest thing is that, even though I still have cancer, I’ve had a taste of what is feels like to be well and this is going to take me back to struggling.
I have every confidence in my surgeon though, and I know that this is the best thing as it will RID ME OF CANCER! I just need to suck it up and get my brave girl pants on.
See you on the other side FREE OF CANCER!