Friday, May 14, 2010

Surgery around the corner. Farewell fertility.

I'm excited and a little sad too. Excited to get this over with - the hysterectomy - and feel good knowing I'm preventing cancer of the ovaries/uterus/cervix by having said body parts removed and getting on with life. Sad that I'm saying a very final goodbye to my fertility and the possibility of ever giving Cooper a blood related sibling. Even if I wasn't having the surgery I would do everything in my power to avoid becoming pregnant again because of the fear that pregnancy hormones would ignite a deadly firestorm in my body. But it's still a really big deal to be saying goodbye to having the option of creating beautiful life. Don't get me wrong about this - I want this surgery. But one thing I've learned over the years, and especially through this cancer journey, is that a person can want and need something and still have grief about it too. Feelings must be felt and processed for healthy resolution. So, tonight, I'm looking at Cooper and experiencing a flood of emotions as I prepare to say goodbye to my reproductive organs next Tuesday. I'm so thankful to God for the timing of my pregnancy with Cooper. Had we not gotten pregnant and had Cooper when we did we would not have ever had him because of the cancer. Cooper is such an amazing and precious gift from God. I'm thankful that my body withstood the challenge that the pregnancy posed and that we were blessed with a healthy beautiful son in spite of the difficulty we had (incompetent cervix resulting from procedures years earlier to remove precancerous cells). God got us through it and gave us this amazing child. I sometimes worry that we've done Cooper a disservice by not giving him a brother or sister but I know in my heart that we're protecting him with this decision by taking steps that we believe will help keep his mom here on earth for the many important years to come. Tuesday morning I'll head down to UCLA for the surgery. I'm having a complete hysterectomy and also having one of my breast implants replaced (it's too large in light of the lymphedema swelling I have which is not likely to go away). The hysterectomy will be performed using the Davinci robot which is pretty cool since that makes it minimally invasive and greatly reduces the recovery time. In fact, the plan is for me to be back to work next month! I'll be spending the night in the hospital since it's still considered a major surgery. My mom is flying in to help out again. I am so blessed to have such an amazing mom. We can't wait for her to arrive tonight. Cooper will have so much fun with her during her visit. Thank you, mom! I love you! I appreciate your prayers and positive thoughts as we proceed with this next important step in this journey. We're praying for a successful surgery with no complications and with a quick and smooth recovery ahead. We're praying that Cooper won't struggle or be hurt when I'm unable to lift him in the couple of weeks after surgery. We're praying for clear/negative pathology results following the surgery. And we're praising God for the miracles He has performed for us already - every single day.

8 comments:

  1. I am continuing to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Isn't having Mr. Cooper therapeutic and healing? They are so full of life and happiness. Keep us posted, I'll be thinking of you.

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  2. Girl you just keep plowing right through...daaaaaaam! I am so proud of you,actually look up to you more than you know, or more than I admit. And if you really ever wanted another child, trust me there are options you can fulfill that desire to such as adoption..there is always a path that God makes for us. I am always there with you in spirit my friend...I love you so so so much :) now, go and drink some organic beer! lol

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  3. I'm here, reading and thinking of you, Julie! I can't wait for your surgeries to be complete and successful!

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  4. You have to keep in mind that I was an only child, so I can give you first-hand insight on the matter. Just call me your "personal only child expert". It's actually quite a blessing to be an only child. You get all of the attention, fancier family vacations, nicer toys and clothes, etc. You saw what it's like for me and all of these children. It's impossible to give equal attention at all times. I won't sugar coat anything, though. Being an only child is sometimes very lonely. But you can solve that like how my parents did. We took my BFF Angie everywhere! Vacations, sleepovers, etc. She was like my sister. I think she went on every yearly vacation from age 10 and up. Plus, only children learn how to entertain themselves, as you may see in the "Daily dealings of Diana". lol

    You'll do just fine! I know you'll be sad some, but it's for the greater good, and you know that! ((hugs)) And heck!!! No more period!! YAHOOOO!!!!

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  5. Julie, I started getting teary-eyed reading your blog tonight. I'm not a crier, you know; your post really touched my heart. I imagine part of it is bc we had similar experiences while pregnant and the infertility treatments I've been undergoing. I often worry about all of the hormones I'm given though my body is functioning fine and what they might do to me. Should I do it or not, will this cause me less time with my family in the future, etc. It is something that I pray about often. Knowing that it is out of my control, I have given it to God. Beyond any doubt, you are doing what is best for you and your family. God gave Cooper to you and there was no mistake in His timing. That little guy was meant to be and meant to be with you and Bob as his Mommy and Daddy. If he is to be an only child, then it will be. You never know what God has in store for you and when one really stops to think about all of this, what a glorious ride it is when we accept His will and grace to carry on. I am praying for you--for an "easy" and clear surgery, a quick recovery, and many precious memories spending time with your family while you recover. I am praying for Cooper, that he will roll with your recovery, for Bob and the rest of your family, that they have strength also. I thank our heavenly Father that He has given you such an amazing family and the faith, honesty, and grace that you, Julie, continue to show in your life. God bless! Love you!

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  6. You feel sad when you lose your reproductive ability - even if it's through chemo-induced menopause or through age. You still don't ever lose that desire once it's there, I don't think. At least, I didn't. Good luck with your surgery and don't worry about having an only child. My two kids are 11 years apart and my older son has been out of the house for years - my younger son is being raised like an only. I think he's pretty happy. :) Your son will be too - after all, he'll have his mom. And, there is always adoption if you decide to go that route. Will be watching for your update.

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  7. I started a comment yesterday and never got through it. I got messages via Bob today that everything was successful, and now recovery. You are so strong and so brave - I pray for your continued courage these next few days, which I am sure will be unpleasant. Keep in your heart and mind that you are moving out of the dangers of cancer into a new start. Thinking and Praying for you.

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  8. Julie-

    YOU ROCK!! I KNOW this will be tough but I also know the WORRY that would have creeped into even the most positive of minds(yours)over the years will be g.o.n.e! And..Cooper will love you even MORE for being such an incredible ROLE MODEL. Julie,I know everyone who knows you says this and that you know it deep down inside but..you are an icredible person on so many levels. I only WISH I could be half the mom, friend, wife, sister warrior that you are.

    XO
    Katie

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