Ok I’m back and now it’s time for the hardest part of my war so far.
So I left off with half of my vagina missing. You can imagine how devastating that must have been; and it was!
In February, once again I had another tumor. This one grew incredibly fast! Dr. M wanted to do another surgery. However, he needed Plastics and Reconstruction to get involved this time. By the time I had my surgery in July, my tumor was the size of a 50 cent piece! So far they had all been about the size of a dime, so this one scared me!
On July 15th, 2020 I was admitted to the hospital. My surgery this time would include 3 surgeons: Dr. L, my colorectal surgeon, Dr. M and Dr. E, Plastics and reconstruction. Dr. L gave me a loop ileostomy. That is so I can no longer go Number 2. I wear a bag on my upper stomach for that. This was because of what Dr. M was going to do. He removed all my vaginal tissue. I mean all of it! There was nothing remaining down there! Plastics then came in and cut a 12″ by 4″ strip from my stomach to ‘recreate’ some sort of vagina.
Have you ever met someone who changed your life? I have. Dr. E. He truly became my friend and the man who saved my life. After my surgeries, which took place over 1 week, I became septic. I caught some bug in the hospital and it nearly cost my life. In fact, I died twice and Dr. E brought me back. Over the next week, I needed 3 more surgeries. I don’t remember this time at all. I know I was in ICU, but I remember nothing else. I lost 80 lbs and looked nothing like myself. The next thing I remember is Dr. E nearly in tears saying he was glad I was back. He said he’d never been so scared. I should tell you, he’s a very young doctor. No older than 40. I was the first patient he’d ever lost.
After the surgeries, I was so weak that I could no longer walk. I stayed in the hospital until the end of August and was then transferred to a rehabilitation facility. I actually celebrated my 39th birthday there. I had amazing nurses and Dr. E came to encourage me every day that I was in the hospital. Of course, this was during the Covid-19 lockdown. My then 14 year old daughter was not allowed to come and see me. That had to be the hardest part. Until then, I had only spent 2 days apart from her her whole life! And yet, somehow I made it through. I never thought I would, but here I am!
So that’s my surgery story. Of course I’m still battling cancer, so this isn’t the end, unfortunately. But I will break here. Be back soon and thanks again for all the support and for following my story!