Sunday, January 29, 2012

Here is the surgery I will be having, in simple man terms. I do not have a "pancreas tumor" but imagine that whole pancreas is going to be taken out along with a few other body parts in there. I am feeling very scientific tonight in explanations.  Amazing what modern medicine can do for us today. Praying all the reconnecting goes perfectly.

I labeled this post under "HOPE" for a specific reason. I finally have a date for my Total Pancreatectomy with Auto-islet Cell Transplant, which will take place February 16th, 2012. I keep asking my wonderful Mama when I will be "ready" for this and when this feeling will go away. Unfortunately, I don't think I am ever going to be ready and I don't think the feeling will ever go away until it is over. I have 18 days until surgery. 18...That will fly by and it will be here before I know it. I can't even say 18 more days without crying. At first I thought I had lost my mind, but I was reading some posts on my support group site from a lady who will be having this surgery right around the same time as me. She said something I am afraid to admit- Sometimes she feels like she is walking around spending her last two weeks here. I hate even admitting that out loud (and technically this isn't out loud), but I feel that way too sometimes. Then, I bounce back and know that God will take care of me. I can't help but have my mind go to these places that scare me so much, and I hate it. I was talking to a friend tonight and we decided that maybe it is the devil that makes you think these things. God isn't making me think them, that's for sure.

I know this surgery has been performed many times (around 600 times total since the 1970's) but when you really think about it, it is far from a routine surgery. I think many people upset me when they are insensitive and say things like "it's not a big deal" or "all surgeries are scary," which I have heard many times since I started talking openly. It's not like I want people to scare me and say how rare this surgery is, but I really think some people just don't know. I have even had friends compare this to the time they had their appendix out.  However, if you compare an appendectomy (appendix) at 75,000 a year in the United States you can start to identify how much less common a pancreatectomy (about 600 since 1978) can be. Also, the average laparoscopic appendectomy takes approximately 12 minutes total removal time and the more invasive approach takes less than one hour. My surgery will take up to 14 hours. You see my point? Can I win the medal before the surgery, kidding, kidding, but I hope you can understand why I am being a nutcase about it. This thing just doesn't sit well in my brain at night- no matter what I try to do. 

One thing that does make me feel better is the label that this blog post has, HOPE. You see, I have something that so many others do not. I have something to look forward to with my chronic illness. I have hope. I have a team of skilled surgeons and doctors who have promised to take care of me with everything the have. That is a huge promise and I trust my life with these men. I can't recall another time I have had to place my life in the hands of someone else for this long, but I feel confident that my life won't just be in their hands, it will be in God's hands. I pray for those who do not have hope for a cure every night, because even if it isn't a cure that we all know about I never underestimate the "miraculous healings" that I know can happen if we believe. 

I will leave you with this thought. Something my Mom used to tell me when I was younger and I try to remember it today. Sometimes it's okay to let everything go and just "be happy" no matter what. Drop everything and do something that makes you happy whether it takes 5 minutes or a whole day.


  1. Whit we will be exactly one year apart i know the apprehension that you speak of but you are in great hands and you will have your life back i am living proof of the hope go girlfriend your strong

  2. Jill was your surgery REALLY Feb 16th, 2011? I just had goosebumps! I know this whole thing is meant to be. I look at your photos in awe and with envy. Can't wait for my Mexican vaca!


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