“How are you feeling about all of this?”
This is the question that I keep hearing. And I don’t know that I’ve given an adequate answer even once. The truth is that how I’m feeling about this approaching surgery is so complex that I cannot possibly detail my emotions over a text message or in passing at work. To divulge sufficient details of my emotions requires time, attention, and response. Enough of such that I seem to only be able to disclose them through the comfort of my laptop.
Excitement: I am incredible excited to take my life off hold and move on from the sickness, anxiety and waiting around. Although I still have one more surgery after this one, this is a necessary step I need to take to finally be done with my ostomy. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for my ostomy, and I’ll say it again, I do NOT regret my decision to go through with having my colon removed. But it’s just not for me. So plain and simple, I am excited to not have one.
I’m also excited (sorry YMCA) to have time off work. I need a break and I am excited to spend some time processing the surgery, planning for my next and taking a mental break from the daily grind to prioritize my life. I miss my babies and coworkers already, but knowing they are all in good hands, I’m excited to step back.
Nervousness: I’ve been through one surgery. And it was excruciating. My memory of that recovery has me very nervous for going through it again. Pain, nausea, immobility, exhaustion and discomfort are all waiting for me. And I am slightly terrified to tackle them again.
Sadness: Now this is a big one. The aspect of fertility that plays into this surgery saddens me. To refresh your memory, because of the potential nerve damage and scar tissue, my fertility rate is compromised. And although that does not change my decision to go through with surgery, it weighs heavy on the decision. It makes it that much harder. I feel sad that I am put in a position where I need to make a choice like this. I feel sad that in the future, I may not be given a choice if I could have children or not, and I might feel sad forever. Might.
Confusion: Right now I can’t say I would be devastated if I couldn’t have children, but in 10 years will I be able to say the same? I find comfort in the fact that my career will somehow always be around children, and I really do feel love, affection and attachment to them. But will that be enough 10 years from now? It feels like I am making a 2-person decision alone. Will my future partner be okay with this decision that I’m making for the two of us? Will I even be able to find someone who will be okay with this decision? How can I even ever ask someone to be okay with it? To love me even though I might not be able to provide them with a future they envisioned?… I just. don’t. know.
Calm: A lot of thought has gone into this process. I had my first consult back in May and have been thinking about it every day since. I have gone through all of these emotions daily and as confusing and overwhelming as they are, they do not change. This is what I’m going to do, and I am confident in that decision. I am at peace with it and I am ready.
Hungry: In preparation for tomorrow I cannot eat. And I’m starving.