Friday, January 30, 2015

Post-op Day One

Well, Katie made it through the surgery without any complications.  Feeling under the weather now
with pain pump keeping the pain at bay.  Plan is to be out of bed this morning sometime for a walk and then maybe a nice cup of tea this afternoon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Heading to OR tomorrow: Update Number 1

Ok- reporting as a very hungry pre-op patient over here, but I just want to throw out a few logistics. This blog initially started on Caring Bridge as an easy way to update friends and family when my parents, brother, husband and I have been too consumed with my care/surgery to effectively communicate with all of our loved ones (or too drugged, as in the case of the latter named). Anyhow- we'll be reviving that tradition over the next week, so come check out the blog for updates (though they will not necessarily be written by moi). Of course, please feel free to reach out to any of us personally as well, and we will all do our best to get back to you. Reaching out is always incredibly appreciated, and helps to keep our spirits up, even if you don't get a response I promise you it's lovingly accepted! Here is a basic account of what we know right now:

1. I'll be heading to the OR tomorrow morning (the 29th) around 11am at North Shore Manhasset hospital

2. I will be staying at said hospital for about 1 week

3. The details of my surgery are very vague. They will be removing the peritoneal inclusion cyst (which now logs in at 4 liters!), they will lyse adhesions from my small bowel and they will try to fix the source of these recurrent cysts, but they do not currently know what that cause is and, so, we are not exactly sure what we are dealing with as far as surgery length. We do know it will be an open laparotomy (this is the opposite of a laparoscopy, meaning my abdomen will be completely open to allow them better visualization). Unfortunately for me, this means a much longer recovery period and much longer hospitalization.

4. I am very, very hungry. Already. Seeing as I am not even 1/10th of my way through my NPO period, this is not promising (as far as my sanity goes, at least).

Anyhow- Just wanted to send out a pre-op update. If you'd like to reach out, this blog, my email, Facebook, my phone, text, etc. are all fine options, but do know that I will be totally incapacitated tomorrow and very likely incapable doing much of anything for many days thereafter. My focus will be on not watching food commercials, banning anyone from my room that mentions what they ate for breakfast, and trying to not get so pissed off when the nurses and my family shove the spirometer in my face every hour. But do know that your messages always put a smile on my face.

Love you all!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015


"You've always been so brave." These were the words my surgeon left me with this morning as I exited his office and walked towards purgatory (a.k.a. that little white room where the soft-speaking secretaries work out the details of your fate). "So when would you like to book your surgery?" where the next words that reached my ears, though my mind was far off, tuning into the faint noises of the sterile waiting room where I could detect the sound of my two year-old daughter crying. She was telling my mother that this place was "so scary." I smirked. Despite her experience being limited to the waiting room, where the fish in the tank swam seamlessly in tune with the spa music that permeated the space, the discordancy of that room's purpose and its semiotics was not lost upon her. I re-focused on the secretary's question, "Never," I answered, "I would like to book this surgery...never."

January 29th. That's the date. That Thursday morning will bring yet another time that I will have to put my "brave" face on and walk into that O.R. and lay down on that crucifix-form table. It is on January 29th that I will allow the anesthesiologist to drip the poison into my veins, and as they ask me to begin counting down from 10, all I will see is that face. That adorable little face. And I will be terrified.

You see, Dr. Procaccino, that steely look you see in my eyes is no longer bravery. It is now terror. It is not stoicism, just fear. It is the look of someone who has so much to lose. It is the face of someone who faces invisible enemies. You are now looking into the eyes of a mother. 

When I fall asleep on January 29th I will know that I will wake up with a 2.5 liter cyst removed from my abdomen. I know that I will have adhesions lysed from my small bowel. I know I will wake up with many tubes, and I know that I will almost immediately begin the obsessive week-long (or longer) wait until food or drink can pass my lips. What I don't know is if I will still have ovaries. Those tiny things that carry within them the very keys to life. "We will do all we can to save them," I have been told. Though I am anxious at the thought of losing them, they have already worked the greatest miracle of my life. And for that I am forever grateful.

I almost didn't write today, because I have almost lost hope. The space between these major recoveries is becoming more and more slim, and the prospect of recurrence of a peritoneal inclusion cyst is vast. I am losing hope of being healthy enough to realize my dreams of becoming a doctor. I am losing hope of my ability to be a stable force in my daughter's life. But, mostly, I am terrorized by the idea of hearing that little voice crying in a waiting room where the wait seems to be eternal, and her fears are never assuaged.