Minnesota: the final chapter

Now isn’t THAT a dramatic title?

But it is true. We’re outta here today! It’s the last trip to Minnesota and I cannot wait. Well, I take that back. I’m not looking forward to leaving Jude, or dealing with post-surgery discomfort. But. I am SO glad that in just a few more days, I can bid farewell to my delightful (constant) companion, the ileostomy. See these leftover supplies that have taken up residence in the powder bath? I’m not gonna need ’em anymore! Woo hoo!
See ya, ostomy supplies!

In all honesty, after I got past the first 3 or 4 weeks, having the ostomy was okay. It wasn’t great, and there were definitely days when I was really sad about it all, but if I had to do it forever, I could. I could do it.

More than anything, I can’t begin to tell you how great I feel.  I haven’t had this much energy in years, probably in our entire marriage (5 years this summer!). That, my friends, is amazing. And to not be on steroids anymore? A miracle! Every day, I still have this automatic reflex, like, oh, did I take my medicine this morning? And then I laugh to myself. It’s all over.

I got a photo in the mail just after my first surgery. It was of us, at Thanksgiving, the week before my surgery. When I look at that girl in the picture, I think to myself that I just don’t think that looks like me. My poor body had been through too much. Oh, and we’re posing with Spiderman – isn’t that hilarious? (brief side story: We had gone to hang out with Simon’s sister’s in-laws on Thanksgiving Day. They have this lifesize Spiderman that they won in a contest, and they have any guest who comes to the house pose with Spiderman, and they make 2 copies of the picture: one for the guest to take home, and the other to put in a giant binder of every Spiderman photo they have. Isn’t that awesome?)
At Thanksgiving. One week before surgery #1.

So now, for my own personal comparison, this is me the week before surgery #2.
R. One week before surgery #2
Photo on 2010-02-17 at 14.03

YAY.  I’m just so much HAPPIER now. And at the same token, I remember talking to Simon in the first weeks after Surgery #1. I was crying because I was feeling really unsure, really doubting whether or not I’d made the right decision. Those first few weeks after were hard. I was sobbing, “I just want to talk to Future Me to know that everything is going to work out!!!”  He grabbed me and hugged me tight. “You do get to decide what Future Me tells you, you know,” he said in my ear. “You get to decide how this is all going to play out, how you’re going to respond, react.”

Hmm. I remember sitting up, sniffling. You know, I think he’s right. And now, if I could go back and talk to Post-Surgery-Me, I’d say, “You know what, you CAN DO THIS. And you will come through with flying colors.”

I reminded S of this conversation the other day, and he has absolutely no memory of it. But I wanted him to know that I heard what he said, and I know he was right.


8 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Mandy Ford said,

    You look SO happy and healthy in that last pic! And I love that necklace too btw 🙂 Hope everything goes smoothly!

  2. 2

    Erin said,

    You look so great, and you’re almost there! Good Luck Wishes + Prayers sent your way!

  3. 3

    whitney said,

    you look beautiful! so glad you are feeling so much better!

  4. 4

    Kira said,

    I love the new pics Rachel! Know we are praying for you (well technically, Evelynn is praying for Dude’s mommy, but I am sure God will cross-reference if necessary). We love you and look forward to a happier, healthier you!

  5. 5

    Love you, friend. “Dude’s mommy” made me laugh.

    Sent from my iPhone

  6. 6

    Bridget said,

    so close!

    …isn’t it incredible what steroids are capable of doing to you? ugh. I am glad that you will hopefully never ever never have to deal with that nonsense again.

    Good luck with part three at Mayo! 🙂

  7. 7

    ML said,

    Well I could see the beauty of you shinning through the steriod eyes because I too have been there. Not knowing who that girl was or if I could walk that path of recovery. I just knew that I in no way walk the path of “not” doing the surgery, I had a husband and two babies plus family and friends that needed me here. As I learned post surgery #1 I would have been dealt a hard road to tow had I opted out. The cancer found in my rectum would have been to much to overcome. God surly blessed me with my surgeries and recovery. He too will see you through.
    Your beauty is blessed by the gift with in your heart. Take care and praying in TX.
    I donated my extra supplies to a girl I know through blogging that insurance didnt cover her supplies. If you are wanting to send yours out to others think about her and I will tell you who she is.


  8. 8

    Stephanie E. said,

    I’m so happy for you! Truly!!!!

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