Many of you in my support network already know what happened today. Surgery was a NO GO. And once again, I am faced with handling disappointment and remembering how to rise up. You know, my journey really has been pretty smooth overall because, in the end, I am responding well to meds and very much alive. For ovarian cancer, I’m beating the odds – it’s been strong progress forward the whole time. But it doesn’t mean there haven’t been setbacks like this that feel like a real gut punch. I am struggling today. It’s the second time I’ve gone in for surgery and come away with a heavy heart. When I went in for my hysterectomy the first time (“the first time” should be your clue here), they got the scope in to start the surgery and decided NOPE, we need a cleaner field and more chemo, closed me up, and I woke up in recovery to learn that the surgery hadn’t happened at all.
This was pretty similar although thankfully I wasn’t on the table yet. I had pre-op appointments this week, labs were drawn, scan, EKG, etc. – all the usual things and everything was signed off as ready. Yesterday I had the really fun day of an all liquid diet finished off with a chaser of “bowel prep” to really clean me out. Slept 2.3 hours to arrive at the hospital at 5:30 this morning. Prepped, IV in, happy juice flowing (this has helped a lot today)… Then the anesthesiologist came in and said, “you are extremely anemic, have you been feeling fatigued?” Um yes, just like I’ve mentioned several times this week to several nurses as I waited for lab results from TUESDAY. Hey, have those results come in? I would be surprised if I’m not anemic again. Well I guess someone dropped the ball and that wasn’t flagged earlier in the week. So this doctor decides no surgery until I get some blood, and they also put in an arterial line in my other wrist so they could draw blood and check my levels during surgery (and more closely monitor my blood pressure). My surgeon came in, said we’d push the surgery to later today, and all was well. Then I guess he went off and thought about it, or consulted with someone, I’m not really sure what happened, but he came back in and canceled the surgery. He just didn’t feel right about it. He has requested I see my cardiologist on Tuesday (appointment already made) to see if she thinks I am okay for surgery (did I mention a perfect EKG already?) or if she wants to do a stress test. But my anemia isn’t a problem with my heart. It is a listed side effect of the medication I’ve been on for cancer for almost a year. I’ve had several transfusions because of it. Anyway, they got me all unplugged and sent my drugged-up, bandaged-up, bruised-up, sad and frustrated self home. Well first to eat though – so that was a bonus!
He has said he would fit me in next week. We’ll see how Tuesday goes because that all depends on if the cardiologist is ready to sign me off for surgery. I’ll definitely need more labs drawn, and possibly more blood (thank you AGAIN to all you donors!!!). I’m spending today being sad and frustrated about this setback. But that’s what it is, a setback, a disappointment, not a tragedy, so working on perspective here. And I am super clear that while this was the path it took today, I just wasn’t supposed to have surgery today for whatever bigger reason – call it Divine Order if you will. I feel like the guy who decided to cancel his flight at the last minute on that plane that went down. I trust this is the way it is supposed to be. But that sure doesn’t help my heart at the moment. It’s all the things ya know? Having to do all the pre-op and prep again, being stuck again and again. And most definitely, the mental and emotional prep leading up to surgery.
I feel like I’m wearing out my support network as well. All the love, notes, calls, and prayers over the last few days and now you gotta do it all again next week (hopefully). I don’t know how to express that gratitude to you except to say thank you from the bottom of my heart (which is super strong and ready for surgery by the way). Your words, thoughts, and prayers really lift me up over and over and over and over. I am very clear that’s part of the reason I am continuing to soundly kick cancer’s ass (even though she put up a mighty protest today!). Love you all…