On the Mend

I finally had the surgery that I have had to postpone twice and I am so thankful to be done with it.

On January 29, 2020, I went for my regular yearly physical. I cannot stress enough how important it is to go to these visits. I do not run to the doctor every time I have a sniffle, but I think regular “maintenance” checks are extremely valuable. My PAP from that visit came back with ASCUS (atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance). Recommendation was a colposcopy with biopsies, so that is what I did. On February 26th I had the colposcopy with a few biopsies which determined I had high grade dysplasia. Recommendation was to follow up with a LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure). On March 6th, I had a LEEP, which then determined that I had cervical cancer, but they were unsure if it was in SITU or invasive. Even without knowing that, they knew that I would have to have some form of hysterectomy, simple or radical. On March 30th I had a cone biopsy to determine severity and whether I would have a simple hysterectomy or a modified radical hysterectomy the following day, on March 31st. The results from the cone were clear! I couldn’t have been happier and I chose not to have two surgeries back to back and postpone it with the hope that COVID would diminish and I could have the simple hysterectomy once that had happened.

Fast forward a bit, COVID did not go away but I still HAD to have a hysterectomy, so I had scheduled it for August 27th. The Monday prior to surgery, after having done all my lab works, taken a COVID test, and happily at home prepping mentally for surgery, I got a call from my boss. The company that purchased our little pharmacy, that had wanted to “support small business” and keep “independent pharmacy thriving” had sold EVERY independent pharmacy they owned to Walgreens. Our doors would be closing officially that following Monday, August 31, 2020 but the staff was to stay on until September 17th to clean out the building and close. I was told if I didn’t come back, I would not even get severance, so I cancelled my surgery and went back to work. It was devastating and very stressful to me because then, although I knew I could find a job, I didn’t want to start somewhere and then immediately need to go out for surgery.

I have been home since then, truly enjoying being with my kiddos and husband. It’s been financially straining and at times I thought I would lose my mind as result, but God always came through somehow with something. We had so many people we knew during that time list their houses with other agents or buy with other agents and that just hurt. Granted, most of them didn’t know we were going through a whirlwind of financial turmoil, but why would they have to? It was disheartening and hard not to become frustrated with the way things were going, well, we did get frustrated with the way things were going. BUT literally every time we would be on the path of, what felt like, certain demise, God came through.

On December 29th, I had the hysterectomy I had been needing. I had a laparoscopic hysterectomy and removal of my cervix, but they were able to leave my ovaries, so I wasn’t thrusted into surgical menopause. The pathology was completely clear, which was an absolute blessing! Not only that, but I have healed really well. The plan was for me to stay overnight, but let’s be honest, nobody wants to spend any extra time in the hospital right now and I was no exception. I asked the nurse what needed to happen in order for me to go home the same day and within an hour of waking up, I had done all the things. So I got to go home. I took Tylenol and ibuprofen for, maybe, 48 hours post-op and I haven’t needed anything since. The three laparoscopic incisions look great (despite me peeling off the glue about a week post-op -it was driving me nuts) and the internal incision hasn’t been painful hardly at all. Another blessing. I am taking it easy because although I am thrilled that I am doing well, I am not completely crazy.

Mark has his follow-up endoscopy to check, and hopefully, stretch his esophagus so that his choke risk is not as high. His story here if you don’t know what I am talking about.

In a world of so much uncertainty and hatred, I just want to stay focused on the things I am thankful for. If I think too much about the state of our country and the division, it makes me queasy. I am not burying my head in the sand, but I am also not going to focus all my attention on so much negativity. I can’t.

This past year has been more than I would’ve thought I could bare, without even considering COVID and the political nightmare that has engulfed our lives, but yet, I am still here. So are you.

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