I’ve been silent here. Here’s an explanation (I also posted this on my CaringBridge site that you can find here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/lorimorrissey)
Apologies if this is a complete surprise to you. It’s been a crazy two months. I love you, even if you are just finding out about this now.
Wow. As I sat in the hospital Tuesday night, after having surgery earlier that day, I was in awe of where God had brought me in the last two months. A snapshot of thoughts could look something like this:
- “This pain in my side is just part of getting older”
- “Ok, I’ll try one more specialist and see if they can figure it out”
- “My kids are never going to get into college” (Okay, this thought really is ongoing-but it was around in January, too ; )
- “A Colonoscopy?! Isn’t that for old people? They’ll never find anything but I’ll do it since the Docs think I need it”
- “I’m sorry, what? Did you say polyp? And it’s still in there after the colonoscopy?” (they usually just remove them as they find them during a colonsocopy)
It was about this time that I started unpacking the gravity of this situation. In “The Polyp World” (insert ominous sounding voice here, sounds better ; ) anything over 2cm raises red flags (mine was 3cm). As does a polyp on the right side of the colon (check). Also, if it is sesille-shaped like a shaggy carpet instead of a mushroom (check). When I would meet with Gastroenterologists they would say how out of thousands of colonoscopies they do every year they maybe see one or two of these types of cases. Whoa.
It wasn’t until a Gastroenterologist at Colorado University Hospital said something like this, “Lori, I realize that your last month has been turned upside down with the finding of this polyp. But I want you to realize that no matter what way you choose to get this out-we’re going to beat this thing. We’ll get it out and you’ll get a 2nd chapter on life. Most people who have polyps like this don’t get a 2nd chance. So while you are upset, and understandably so, really, you need to make dinner reservations!” That’s when I got it. This is a big deal. But God is bigger and thought I needed to stay around a while longer on this earth to continue to bring Him glory-so he had the Doctors find this now, when I’m 37 instead of waiting until I would have typically had a colonoscopy at 50+.
Okay. I was beginning to see the whole picture now. After prayer, fasting (not me but my friend who committed to fast a meal/day until I made a decision, wow!), crying, praying, discussing with Aaron, parents, friends and other family members who have faced similar decisions (thank you Uncle Jimmy and Kathy!) I decided to move forward with surgically removing the polyp and 8″ of my right colon. In the medical world this is called a Right Colectomy. It includes an appendectomy since my appendix is located at the end of my large intestine. This decision to have surgery was the only decision in which I had peace. And God promises peace…Jesus is peace! Enter Jesus speaking to us in John 14:27: 27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” That’s when I knew I had to have this surgery and move forward with Operation Get the Polyp Out (OGPO).
Let’s take a moment and define some terms. These are things I just learned in January so don’ feel silly if you didn’t know them:
1. Our colon is the same as our large intestine.
2. The cecum is at the very end of our colon and includes very thin membranes that can easily tear. (this is why getting my polyp out with a scope was inherently risky business)
3. The cecum is where my polyp was (!!) The exclamation points are for the past tense…it’s gone!
4. Colon cancer (often coming in the form of cancerous polyps) causes anemia-for which I was diagnosed in January. That’s diagnosed with anemia, not colon cancer.
Okay, now that we’re all on the same page. I booked my surgery for Feb. 25 and mentally and emotionally boxed it up in a pretty little box (with owl wrapping paper. I like owls ; ) and put it in the corner. I had a life to live for goodness sake!
It wasn’t until the Sunday night before surgery that I really started using up your prayers. Well, come to think of it, just the fact that I was able to not dwell on my surgery for the two weeks leading up to it were due to your prayers, too, so that’s not the most accurate statement. The point here is, I started freaking out a bit and needing to trust the Lord more often throughout my days starting Sunday evening.
When I went in for surgery Tuesday morning I was surrounded by the Lord’s peace (and lots of people in green scrubs and hair nets). When I woke up from surgery (and I mean woke up and was more alert, not when I was in that weird state of knowing things are going on around me but not having any solid, concrete recollection of what was happening) I cried. It was then that I discovered that this stupid polyp was actually more like 4cm. And that the surgeon said he was really glad I chose surgery. What? Not only do I feel that the Lord led me to this decision but He confirmed through the surgeon that this was really my only choice.
Thank you for joining with me through this OGPO journey. Praying God’s peace, wisdom and guidance for my family, my parents as they watched the kids, my father in-law as he lived at our farm and took care of the animals, Dr. Vogel and his team as they removed 8″ of my colon, for the nursing staff, for bringing meals, warmth and love to our souls. I am in tears now as I write. In awe of what God has done-and continues to do.
And yes, we are still waiting the biopsy results. But thanks to your prayers for peace I am truly in a place where I can say, regardless of the results: I trust the Lord. May He be glorified forever and ever in our lives and yours.
Heaps of blessings on you. My recovery continues to go well! Aaron is great and running the house and farm. My parents are coming this week to help while Aaron is at work. To God be the glory!
I’ll be in touch (hopefully by Wednesday) with biopsy results.