Not a very original title, but it lets me cut-to-the-chase….
I have a date for my surgery. August 8.
When I originally met with a surgeon and her resident in late May, I was told it would be up to an 18-month wait for my first surgery. But, there was a chance I could get in earlier with a different surgeon… So, I told the surgeon that I would be interested in having her recommended surgeon and colleague do my first surgery.
Then one week later I got a call. Then a week later I had an appointment. And now I have a surgery date.
How do I feel? I feel good. I feel ready. I feel confident. I feel slightly nervous. I feel tired. I feel optimistic. I feel thankful.
The people I’ve already told about this surgery have reacted very supportively. A few people have been surprised and shocked that I would be happy about having my large intestine/colon/bowel removed.
I suppose the idea of having an ileostomy is a scary one and not one many people ever want to consider. For me this ileostomy brings with it nothing but relief. Relief that my days will no longer be ruled by toilets and bathrooms. Relief that I can get back to feeling well again. Relief that this takes a lot of uncertainty out of our lives.
I know it’s not going to be easy. But the last seven years haven’t been that easy. I think that with time I’ve simply gotten used to feeling the way I do. It’s not obvious to most people how I’ve been feeling, but ask Marc and he’ll tell you how it really is. Ask anyone with a chronic incurable illness and they’ll tell you that after a while you get really skilled at managing fatigue, masking pain, and simply getting on with living – there really is no other option.
This surgery on August 8 is the first of two surgeries. I don’t know when the second surgery will be. This second surgery requires the skills of one of three specialists in the city – so yes, it could be a very long wait.
I’ll be in the hospital for up to five days after the surgery (assuming everything goes well). Then I’ll be at home for a few more weeks. I hope to be back on my bike as soon as possible. In fact my surgeon said there is no reason why I can’t be doing long rides four weeks post-op.
In the meantime before August 8, my goal is to maximize the rest of June and all of July. I know this time will go by very quickly with the rest of June already packed with the Preston St. crit on Sunday, elite road race nationals weekend, and a Canada Day long weekend visit with my brother and his family.
So yeah, that’s my news. Have questions about all of this? Don’t be shy – fire away.