The countdown is on….64 hours until my surgery. I have accomplished everything on my to-do list with things that will help to keep my family organized while I am in the hospital and recovering at home. This included creating for my parents a "Surgery Survival Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Taking Care of Mackenzie and Kendall." This week was filled with appointments with each of the surgeons that are on my surgical team. My brain is completely fried after listening to each of them give their point of view of what will be taking place to fix my face. On several occasions I felt compelled to plug my ears with my fingers and sing la, la, la, la. Yet, I made it through each and every appointment....up until the last one scheduled on Friday with the Maxillofacial surgeon. By Thursday afternoon, I was done - there was nothing this surgeon was going to tell me that I hadn't already heard from the other surgeons. And I just needed a break. The appointment was cancelled.
Keeping busy was good for my sanity. If it were not for the long to-do list, I would have spent too much time thinking about what is to come and freaking out about it. I did have a little melt down after my appointment with the Plastic Surgeon, but overall I have been doing pretty well. Despite my busyness this past week I did manage to squeeze in some one on one time with Mackenzie, Kendall and Jason…but the highlight was going to see The Hunger Games. You could say it was my "last dying wish" before our lives are turned upside down.
During the down times, I spend a lot of time talking to God and asking Him for his goodness and mercy during and after the surgery. I don't know what is worse, no knowledge or too much knowledge going into a surgery. Last year, I had was afraid of the unknown. This time I am afraid because I know what is to come. Jason and my parents will be camping out at the hospital once again as the surgery will most likely take 12-13 hours. I will be in intensive care following the surgery for two days. They will be keeping me heavily sedated with a breathing tube....I put my foot down and instructed the surgeons that there was no possible way I would allow a trache to be inserted into my throat again.
Without going into to much detail, this surgery will be complicated and not without risk..especially since the skin and tissue in my face has been damaged due to radiation. It will take several months, possibly longer, for my face to heal. And then it will be back to surgery for further revision and skin grafting. The surgeons say it will be a take up to a year for everything to be completed.
In the midst of trying to keep it together, I have to consciously decide to not go down the road of blame and anger. I often wonder why it is that after four years of dealing with cancer and its aftermath, that I am still facing more pain and recovery. I envy the cancer patients who go through treatment, are healed and then are able to move on with life. I on the other hand feel stuck.
Yet once again, I am so blessed by the many friends and family offering words of encouragement and support. God is using them more than they know to minister to me especially at the times I need it the most. I have learned that this is the way God speaks to me…through others in my life. I am so thankful for my neighborhood friends that have signed up to bring meals for the next couple of weeks or have offered have the girls over during Spring Break. It helps me to feel at ease to know that my family will be taken care of. God has blessed me with wonderful parents and in-laws willing to interrupt their own lives to come and care for my girls while I am in the hospital and recovering also allowing Jason to attempt to maintain a normal schedule at work.
Jason will be updating my blog/Facebook page during surgery to let you all know how things are progressing. A special thanks to those of you that will be keeping me in your prayers. I am thankful for all of my friends and family that are willing to go on this next journey with me.