Well, here I am, alive and doing well! Surgery was on September 21, 2016, and today is my 3-week surgiversary.
In a nutshell : my Endometriosis had returned, bringing with it a leaking cyst and a bunch of adhesions. Endo had also decided to now grow on my bowel (the outer layer of my sigmoid colon) and my ureter (the tube that carries stuff from kidneys to bladder – he had to detach my ureter, clean it up, and reattach it). AND it disappeared from my liver (doc couldn’t find any there this time). He was able to cut out all of my Endometriosis, except for a lesion that is on my diaphragm. He cut away all of my adhesions and put my organs back where they belong. I’ve still got both my ovaries and fallopian tubes. My uterus was stuck to my bowel, my ovaries and tubes were a rat’s nest, and my uterus was also stuck to the right side of my pelvic wall. It just sounds like such a mess…But, he did confirm that my bladder’s exterior AND interior were completely healthy and Endo-free.
For those who enjoy reading medical mumbo jumbo, an excerpt from my Op Report:
Here’s a little comparison chart of what was found (and done) in 2014 and 2016…as well as the difference in COSTS from the two surgeries. Don’t get me started on the inflated costs of medical care in the U.S…
This recovery was SO much easier than my 2014 surgery. I was far less bloated, hardly had any residual pain from the CO2 gas, and felt a lot better both physically and mentally. Don’t get me wrong; it was still hard (I’ll save that for another blog entry), but it truly was night and day, comparatively. And it’s still rough…I can only sit, stand, or walk for a small amount of time before having to switch it up a bit because of the pain that creeps in around my incisions and abdominal muscles. And I’m still severely restricted until early November on what I can do…and I’m sure I’ll be building up my strength and endurance for a while after that.
BUT : I haven’t had any recurrent Endo pain since my surgery (other than those associated with surgery). Wonderful news.
Below is a little .gif I put together so you could see the difference between 2014 & 2016 for the first nine days after surgery. When I asked my surgeon what he did differently from 2014, he let me know that he let out as much of the CO2 gas as he possibly could.
And here I am now (well, October 4, 2016):
If you’d like to see photographs of my insides and the teeny surgical tools, click here 🙂
So, now that I’m all freed-up of 99.9% of my visible Endometriosis, the adhesions have been cut away, and my “anatomy has been restored,” as Dr. Kurtulus so eloquently wrote, what’s the plan? I’m giving up birth control pills since they didn’t do anything to keep my Endometriosis from returning (I hate the side effects so much). I’ve already had one period since surgery – it lasted a whopping 3 days and the pain was so minimal on Day One that it was handled with two Ibuprofen. I’m also monitoring my pain levels and diet daily (made easier via Google Slides). I’ll go back to see Dr. Kurtulus in April for my annual exam and pap. BUT if I notice any horrible return of pain before then, I’ll make an earlier appointment. And, at the advice of my physician, I’ll continue my efforts to “eat healthy, drink healthy, and exercise.”
I am so grateful to my gyno/surgeon, his staff, the hospital, the surgical team, my wonderful Man, my Mum, and my Rosie. And to all of you who sent me care packages, you’re awesome – they were used well. ❤
Here’s to hoping recurrence is a thing of the past…
And, if you made it all the way down to the bottom, yes…that is a poop with a corn in it. What better way to illustrate those are my guts? 😉