Part 4: Cut it Out
I'm not going to lie to you: the days leading up to the surgery were a bit of a blur. I remember not being allowed to eat the day before (which always makes me cranky) and having to use this anti-bacterial/sterilization soap that smelled awful. The day of the surgery (March 24 or 25, 2016), my husband and I headed to the hospital bright and early to get through registration. We get all the forms and whatnot out of the way and head into the prep room. After donning my stylish paper gown, no-slip socks, and IV bag of fluids, I snuggled into the warm blankets and tried not to think about anything. I was only allowed one other person in the prep room, so my Husband ended up switching out with my mother, father, and grandmother when they came to check on me. After a while, the surgeon and a nurse came by to talk to us. It was time for the big event, so the nurse wheeled me into the holding room. I honestly didn't feel like this surgery was big deal, so I was genuinely surprised when we passed the waiting area and it was full of people who were there for me. Friends and family waved at me as I was pushed by, and my husband was forced to join them because he couldn't go past the door to the surgery wing. Once I was in the holding room, the first thing I noticed was that it was freezing! The air was blowing right on me, and not even the blankets could stop its cold wrath. The room had barely enough room for myself, so imagine my surprise when two other beds were pushed in along side me. I don't remember if I talked to them or not...I think we just watched the single TV and tried not to freeze to death. After a long wait in that frozen hell, the anesthesiologist came by and began asking me questions while going over her part in the procedure. When she had finished, the nurse came and took me into the pristine surgical room. They put me on the table, stuck the mask on my face, and everything went black. I had a hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery known as a Sigmoid Resection, which is where they took out the tumor, 5 inches of my colon, and the surrounding lymph nodes. The surgery only took about an hour (I think), and when I woke up in the recovery room, I was so high on painkillers that I didn't feel a thing. They waited until I was mostly awake before moving me to the room I'd be in while I recovered. It wasn't long before the painkillers wore off and I felt EVERYTHING.
Part 5 coming soon!
*I found the illustration at Johns Hopkins.