Sunday, July 24, 2011

Surgery Update

Hello all! I'm overwhelmed by all of the support I've been given over the last few weeks through email, twitter, real life :), etc about my surgery so I wanted to make sure I gave you an update. Here's where you can stop if you don't want to read on!

Last Monday was my surgery and the results were amazing in so many ways. I would never imagine saying I was glad I had surgery but the results of this one confirmed so many things for me. 
I wasnt sure what I'd hear when I was in recovery. I knew that during the last surgery there was extensive work done. I was told the adhesions in my body were so scattered the doctor said it looked like snow all over my abdomen. They littered multiple organs along with the ovarian cysts that had to be removed. So this time, my surgeon was planning for another extensive case of "snow" adhesions as well as two ovarian cysts. The one cyst on my left was large and causing a lot of constant pain. She made arrangements to have two surgeons involved & I pictured recovery to be similar to last time. 
After the first surgery was when I started my journey with changing diet & lifestyle. I'd be lying if I said that after two years of being gluten & soy free as well as low sugar & low caffeine, I was extremely disappointed to be going back under the knife. You guys have read along about all the things I've experimented with and the doctors I've tried. Despite the renewed pain and need for surgery again, I still believed that all the lifestyle changes were a good thing.
My faith was renewed when I woke up in recovery. As all good drugged up patients do, I was asking over and over "what did they find?". I think the nurses realized I wasnt going to stop asking until it was my family answering so they went to get them out of the waiting room. Everyone had smiles on their faces and I thought maybe they were just trying to sugar coat something. Lots of things were running through my head like "they had to remove vital organs, they knicked my bladder or intestines like we were worried about, I wont be able to have kids..." the list goes on. Instead, what I heard made me relieved and angry at the same time. First relieved... then really angry. 
My husband and mom both told me there were no adhesions at all. No snow. Just the two cysts. I couldn't believe it! I was so relieved! We had gone in knowing they were going to have to remove old adhesions from my bladder and intestines that the previous surgeon saw but couldn't remove. Because of the type of procedure involved there was too great a risk of puncturing the organs.  My new surgeon was specialized in this and was ready to go in and remove it.
I couldn't believe it. It had all disappeared. It was like I was in slow motion. I was excited about the results and my mom looked at me with what looked like tears in her eyes and said "all of your hard work... the acupuncture, the diet, exercise... it worked". I got tears in my eyes but then immediately thought - but it didn't work for the cysts. I still had a huge cyst on my left side like last time.
Then came the bad news. The largest cyst that had been causing all of my problems was the same one from before. My previous surgeon hadn't removed the core or the wall of my cyst during the last procedure. She only drained it. I was speechless. If you've been following my posts at all lately you know I've had some disappointment with doctors. Thankfully it's resulted in finding new, amazing doctors and I chalk this surgery up to that. I thought it was gone. I felt a little betrayed. Apparently the laser procedure I had last time can result in the cyst only being drained, not completely removed. I really wish someone had discussed that with me further. Again, I feel ridiculous. I had no idea that was what she had done. She said she was able to remove it and burn the core with the laser. 
My follow up appointment is in a week and I fully intend on getting more details later. Hopefully I’ll get more details and be less upset. But for now I feel so lucky to have found a surgeon who specializes in removing everything to give me a fresh start. And I have to thank every blogger, author and friend who has had the guts to talk openly about their experience. Without all of you, I wouldn't have started on a journey to make my endometriosis controlled naturally. It takes a lot of guts to open up and put personal things online for people to read. And while there is a lot to this story that I will keep private, I know what I am choosing to share is important for someone else to find. If you are reading this and have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
My recovery has been overwhelmingly better than the previous three surgeries and I'm infinitely grateful to my family who has been with me all week. I’m thankful for the vacation days & flights taken, the road miles driven, all to support me through this week. Thanks Momma, Hubby, Dad & Brad for being my posse ;)


  1. Glad to hear that surgery went well and you're having a good recovery! After reading your previous posts, it sounds like you finally found answers with good doctors and lifestyle changes (even if things took a detour).

    Looking forward to continuing AIGA work with you!

  2. Just found your blog - love it! Glad to hear you're on your way to recovery. I look forward to learning from you and your recipes in the months to come!