Hurry up and wait.
That has been our lives, it seems, since Christmas. Lots of waiting. Waiting for phone calls from doctors, waiting for paperwork, waiting for insurance, etc. We’ve still got some waiting to do, but there’s now a light at the end of the tunnel.
Excision surgery is set for April 16th in Atlanta with the Center for Endometriosis Care. A plan of procedures has been made, my employers have approved the necessary leave time, and our insurance companies didn’t laugh at us. I will be having a cystoscopy, hystroscopy, laparoscopic excision of existing endometriosis, hysterosalpingogram, and a presacral neurectomy.
Those are all great big med school words, and I had to google the last two. As big and scary as it sounds, it will be three small incisions to get in, all of the major work happening under the skin. Two of these procedures are necessary for us to start IVF, so it’s nice to go ahead and knock those suckers out on one operating table. One of these procedures (presacral neurectomy) is actually the removal of the presacral nerve, as it originates from the base of the spine, splits, and wraps around the uterus. This is admittedly the more invasive procedure. My current OBGYN in Hattiesburg once told me that my body was actively having contractions, just like labor contractions, every week, dealing with and trying to process the abnormal growths of endometriosis. He jokingly told me that labor would be a breeze for me, and then wisely moved out of arms reach, lest I go to swinging. The removal of this nerve will eliminate the pain caused by these contractions. In that same thought, a side effect is that I may not feel contractions (that actually bring about a baby) should I get pregnant. As I sit here towards the end of a really hard and painful week dealing with endo, I just can’t be mad about that. Contractions for years, with no baby? Pretty sure I’ve earned it.
April 4th, I will be running my last half marathon with rampant and unchecked endo. I’ve run the distance before. I’ve run this exact race before. This race, however, will probably be an emotional one. It will hurt, it won’t be pretty, and it sure won’t be fast. It is the most ladylike way I can think of to give endometriosis the middle finger. Will I be cured after this surgery? No. I will always live with, always fight this disease, until the day the Almighty calls me home. There is no cure. Yet. The best I can hope for is remission, until the day they find a cure. If I can run my halfs and finish my full marathon with is disease in full force, unchecked and running amuck in my body, I just might be able to fly in remission, sans pixie dust.
Another big date has been set, and an appointment has been made. We have our initial appointment to start our first cycle of IVF on June 1st in Jackson. My wonderful doctor moved clinics on me (just across town), and joined another FE. With that move came a few new nurses and staff. I was wary, because I’m very emotionally attached to my IUI nurses. I don’t just ugly cry in front of anyone, and “concentrated lady feelings” come with a lot of ugly cry. They reassured me they were still there, there’s just more of them. Since he has joined up with another doctor, their pricing structure has changed and is actually more affordable than we were initially planning. Medications will be ordered, our wine shelf will again become the “lady feelings and needles” shelf, more awesome band aids will be purchased, and the ovarian stimulation will begin on June 1st.
So far, these two things have been just a concept. Now, they are hard dates. I can count down to this, look forward to this. I know that I could wake up on April 17th and be well on my way to remission. By the end of April, there’s a good chance that I will be virtually pain free, with every organ system south of my rib cage functioning properly. If my prognosis is as good as it’s expected to be, we could be parents to itty bitty blobs in Petri dishes by June. I could ugly cry just thinking about it.
I have hurt for 15 years. I’ve gone to school, gone to work, gone to church, gone running, and lived life with this for more than half my life. Not because I’m brave. Not because I have a high pain tolerance (that’s something you develop out of necessity, in my opinion). Not because I’m “handling this well.” Because this has been my life, and it has to be handled. I can’t ignore it. I get up and deal with it, because that’s what I have to do. This isn’t the way most little girls imagine how their family would come to be, but I am already seeing God be glorified in the process.
We do have some specific things we covet your prayers for:
- Preparation for surgery: Finacially, that we would use what God has blessed us with wisely; physically, that I can maintain a healthy weight up until surgery, as I will likely lose a good bit immediately afterwards, and that all surgery prep will go smoothly; emotionally, that my pre surgery anxiety will be replaced by His peace.
- Procedurs will be uncomplicated, go as planned, and nothing extra be needed.
- Healing will happen as planned, with no complications, and I will be able to return to work and life on schedule
- Safe travels: Mister and I, along with my parents and my sister, will be in Atlanta for 5 days. It takes a village, and God gave us a good one.
We still have a long way to go, our journey is far from finished, but our God goes before us. Sometimes he is a cloud, sometimes he is a pillar of fire, but His presence is always known. We are His, and He knows our babies’ birthdays.