Sunday, February 16, 2014

Life Changing Surgery

As many of you know I suffer from an auto immune disease called Ulcerative Colitis (aka UC).  It has been ruling my life pretty much since 2008 and we have finally gotten a bit of a hold on in with the help of many medications and for that I am grateful full.  Without modern medicine I would be so much off worse than I can even imagine, but even sometimes, not all the medicine in the world is healthy or will help control or even cure a disease.I have been on probiotics, anti inflammatory drugs, mild forms of chemo, infusions and even self injections but sadly they have only controlled the UC, not cured it.  

This past October on one of my regular scopes we got word that things are not getting better and that I have developed some precancerous cells.  granted the doctor on the phone told me that I have the big "C" word which threw me and my family into a panic of a tail spin, but once we went to go meet with the surgeon she later confirmed that they were only precancerous cells.  I have to tell you that was the biggest weight lifted off of my shoulders! **Side note - along with my UC I also have a condition called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis ( aka PSC) which is also an auto immune disease.  It is not uncommon for people with 1 AI disease to have multiple AI diseases.  With the UC and PSC my chances of getting colon cancer are 25% higher than that of a normal person so when they told me I had the precancerous cells, it was a relief, but I also knew that it was a matter of time before they were true cancer cells.

The surgeon then processed to tell me parents and I what her strong opinion, along with my 2 internal doctors, that the next step for treatment would be to have a Total Coloectomy with a J-Pouch.  This means that they will be removing my entire large intestine (aka colon) and my rectum and I will be having a temporary ileostomy.  Yep I get a poop bag lol. They will be performing 3 surgeries over the period of probably a year or so. 

The first surgery will be to remove the colon and rectum and give me the ileostomy.  The second surgery will be to start the J-Pouch surgery which is they will be making a faux rectum out of the part of the small intestine that would normally connect to the large intestine. And then the 3rd will be to reverse the loop-osteomy and to open up the J-pouch.

It will be a huge change for me as I will have to trick my body to absorb liquid which is the job of the large intestine, but if you know me, I am always drinking water anyways since my large intestine isn't 100% working as is.  I will have to learn my digestive tract again, and from what I have read, watched (there is a GREAT YouTube channel with someone who has the same 2 conditions I do - UCandPSC), I will be pretty much as normal as anyone else, eventually.  I will be able to decrease my immunosuppressant medications since I will not need the anti inflammatory medications anymore and will be able to feel healthy again.

Surgery is scheduled for March 11th and I will be on here throughout the process giving updates on how things are going.   I have to say I am so excited to not be in pain anymore and not have to worry about having an "accident".  I am also so very blessed to have the parents God has given me.  And lastly for my family and friends.  I love you all!