|Graphic from lesleygrainger.com|
Tomorrow is another big day for me. Surgery is scheduled bright and early. Although many women have hysterectomies at age 40, mine is a direct result and recommendation from my breast cancer diagnosis. It's another "what now" added to the "will this ever be over?" Over the past few days, people have asked, "Are you scared?" Truthfully, the answer is NO!
Since I was a teenager, my favorite Bible verses have been Proverbs 3:5-6. We have most likely all read these verses in Proverbs and perhaps even committed them to memory. Over the past two years, these verses have come to have an even bigger significance to me, and their meaning guides all of my decisions. My prayers have been answered, and I know without a doubt that God led me to some incredible people in my life.
My surgeon, oncologist, radiologist, gynecologist, health personnel and new friends have all been placed in my life for a reason. I have been blessed with my medical referrals, and I truly believe that the Lord led me to these individuals. Therefore, when told I need surgery, I am trusting in the Lord. (I still get on the Internet and educate myself, but it is not to second guess the decision that has been made.)
In some ways, I am looking forward to the benefits of having a hysterectomy and oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries). Since chemo began in October of 2011, I have been in what I like to call "Chemo-Pause". My cancer is fed by estrogen and progesterone, so I have also been on Tamoxifen for 18 months. That medication stopped my ovaries from producing estrogen...so I have been experiencing all of the menopausal symptoms. I have extreme mood swings (just ask Jeff and the children), my own personal summers (love my little fan that sits on my desk at work), and no cycles. The lack of cycles has led to endometrial hyperplasia, or a thickened uterine lining, which can lead to cervical cancer. I had a biopsy back in July, and the results were benign. Having surgery will eliminate the pelivic pain I have been having, and more importantly remove another site that cancer might grow in my body. Unlike Angelia Jolie, my cancer is not genetically linked, so I didn't have a hysterectomy immediately after diagnosis with my mastectomy.
A hysterectomy won't solve all of my problems (I will still be an overweight, stressed out wife and mother with curly hair, one breast, a right side that is covered with a mastectomy scar, radiation scarring and hard as a rock - what the doctors call "woody"), but it will eliminate many. Are there complications, yes...more than I wish to think about, but I am choosing to "Trust in the Lord". When we turn problems over to God, we can't keep "taking them back" to work on ourselves. Does God present us with opportunities to help ourselves, yes...but I choose to trust HIM to lead my path and make decisions.
Report time is 5:30 a.m. Monday morning. My surgery will take place at the Medical Center of Central Georgia. Dr. John Slocumb is my gynecologist who will perform the surgery. He is very personable and has a wonderful southern drawl! The plan is that I will have a robotic hysterectomy, using the daVinci system. This is minimally invasive and has a quicker recovery time. However, until Dr. Slocumb scopes around, he won't know for certain if that method can be used or not. Fortunately, he is going to "look around good" for any other possible issues while inside my pelvic region. My wonderful mother is here to be my personal nurse-maid, so I know that I will be in great hands. After surgery, I will have to spend one to two nights in the hospital, and then will be released.
As I begin my list of things to do prior to surgery, I have a sense of calmness. I am trusting in the Lord! If there are complications or issues tomorrow, I know that with His help, and the love, support and prayers from my family and friends, things will be ok.
During my vacation over the next few weeks, I plan on catching you up on everything that has happened and the future plans.
Please remember me, my surgeons and my family in your prayers tomorrow. I know that I will be surrounded by your love! (Also, say an extra prayer for me this afternoon / evening as I begin my pre-surgery requirements. Spending the evening with a bottle of Miralax and a gallon of Gatorade will be so much fun!)