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Update on My Surgery To Prevent Ovarian Cancer

Howdy – My name is Mark – and I’m Allison’s husband. As I write this, Allison is in her hospital bed right beside me. It’s 7pm in New York.

The surgery went very well — as well as we could have hoped. With this type of surgery, the going-in plan is to do it laproscopically. The back-up plan is traditional abdominal surgery with a large incision (Think Cesarean) and days of recovery. Thank goodness everything went as planned and Allison has only three teeny, tiny incisions – about ½’ each.

The day didn’t start out nearly so smoothly. As Allison noted yesterday, she hurt her ankle badly while walking the kids to school in the morning; she was laid up in bed all day. It looked like she was trying to smuggle a tennis ball in her ankle. Ouch. Her concern about the surgery potentially being put off by the ankle injury was well founded. There was a short window of time when there was a chance the surgery would be put on hold. While it’s elective – and fully ‘postpone-able’ – the patchwork quilt of childcare help that we’ve put in place would have been difficult to unravel. Also, and more importantly, Allison has been looking forward to this day for months.

Her ankle was so swollen, they didn’t know if she’d be able to walk well after the surgery. Walking is a key way to get things moving inside (bowels, etc.) – and to counter the effects of the anesthesia. Plus, there was a momentary concern that the swelling could contribute to a blood clot during surgery. An x-ray proved negative; no broken ankle. The surgery began as planned – if a bit late.

I got the call from the surgeon about an hour later. All went well. Ovaries. Tubes. Uterus. Cervix. All removed as uneventfully as you can imagine. All the tissues looked normal. He even gave her liver a look-see when he was in there. No charge. All normal.

Allison is resting peacefully. We hit the lottery and got a private room – without even asking. She’ll get on her feet on Friday (tomorrow) morning with a goal of trying to get well enough to leave the hospital quickly. As the surgery started about two hours later than expected, I’m not sure that’ll happen tomorrow. Hopeful – but not confident.

However long it takes – I’m psyched that Allison made this choice. Short-term won’t be easy – but the potential alternative is even less desirable. I’m happy that my wife – the ‘planner’ in our almost 20-year relationship – planned to get tested for the BRCA gene – and planned to have this surgery.

The next post will likely be from Allison once she’s up to it. Thank you all for being her extended, virtual support group. I think she’s gotten more from the process of blogging on this topic than you know.

 
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