Monday, September 24, 2018

I Found My Surgical Pacer

I met with the new oncologist this morning, and to say it went well would be a huge understatement.

N went with me this time, which was really great. I wish he went last time so he could compare the two experiences, but considering how ready I feel to take on this challenge with the support of this doctor I know seeking another option was the right thing to do.

We talked for a long time about what I've been through so far, and she helped me understand why she is recommending a simple hysterectomy. She drew pictures and answered every question we could think of. She even remembered a pen!

She noticed my socks and recognized them as a preference for running. She shared that she is a runner too and we chatted about running and upcoming races. Mine is this weekend, and she is training for the New York Marathon later this year. There is just something about talking about running with another runner. It creates an immediate connection and a shared language that is difficult to explain to people who are not runners.

As we discussed the details of the procedure and what I need to do to lead up to it, she said I have likely spent more time and energy preparing my body for the race on Saturday than I will need to do for the surgery. As we continued to talk and she referenced race training and prep with the surgery, she either said or I picked up on the fact that the the preparation for and execution of my race this weekend will likely be more difficult than this surgery.

So there it is. All I really needed to hear. Not only can I do this, but I have already done something more difficult than this and have done it well. I will be back on my feet and ready to put this all behind me in a period of time comparable to recovering from an ultra marathon.

And I've already done that once!

She did an incredible job of helping me feel confident and strong and not only able to handle this surgery, but that I would likely be back to running fairly quickly because I am in such good shape. Not once did I feel like she thought I needed to be taken care of. She pointed out my strengths and reassured me that they would carry me through this with ease.

I wrote a couple of days ago that although I feel surrounded by people supporting me and cheering for me, I am doing this alone. Well, my visit with this doctor totally challenged that thought. She and her team will be there with me the whole time. It's like she's my surgical pacer who will do everything she can to ensure a solid finish. I am so grateful that I held out hope and found someone who makes me feel this confident in the decision to move forward with the surgery.

We are working on the scheduling and it could be anywhere from 2-4 weeks away depending on what the nurse finds out. I should know by tomorrow.

They will do pathology on the uterus once it is removed to see if there is any further treatment needed. I am holding out hope that everything will be removed with the surgery and I will be able to put this whole experience behind me soon.

This has been a whirlwind of emotion and coping since July. I have spent a lot of time feeling fearful of this surgery and unsure of it all. For the first time, I am thinking of how much better it will be afterwards. I am able to see myself sailing through and actually feeling better once it is all over. It's a beautiful and much needed fresh perspective.