Wednesday, September 11, 2013


My surgery is now less than a week away. Next Tuesday morning, I am scheduled for an exploratory gastrointestinal operation. I will find out the exact time next Monday.  I understand that the surgeons will be potentially performing a right hemicolectomy, removing my gallbladder, several large tumors, affected lymph nodes, and part of my small intestine.  I’m not used to having medical procedures where I do not know exactly what is going to happen, so this is causing me quite a lot of anxiety.  I’m concerned about long-term side effects of such a large surgery.  Nonetheless, I have been putting it off for quite a while now, and I am ready to do it, even though I am quite scared. 

I had my pre-op appointment last Friday and came out with a clean bill of health – all systems are go.

I’ve been listening to the mind-body relaxation techniques from the Peggy Huddleston book and CD’s.  They help me relax and refocus my state of mind more positively.  They also put me to sleep sometimes – I guess that’s a good thing because I need to keep myself healthy.

I’m also trying to stay away from too many people so I don’t catch anything before next week. 

Dr. Chan’s office gave me a prescription for Ativan. I have been having trouble sleeping with my anxiety about the surgery.  I have not taken it since we were in Boston last week.  I think just being in Boston reinforces my nervousness.  When I am home in New York, I’m usually pretty busy so I haven’t focused as much on next week. 

I have been speaking with a nurse from Aetna. This is a free service offered by my health care provider.  I’m not sure if it has been that helpful.  Yesterday, she told me that the doctor yet to submit my “case” to Aetna yet.  I didn’t understand exactly what that meant.  Aetna is a PPO, not an HMO, so I was not sure what needed to be done before the surgery.  I tried to get her to tell me how doctors typically submit a “case” but she did not know. The nurse stated that sometimes submissions come after the surgery.  This was all very confusing. I really don't know what, if anything, I should be doing with this information (or lack of it!) so I am not doing anything. 

I also emailed my disability case manager at my company to see if they received my FMLA form from Dr. Clancy’s office but she did not get back to me. What a surprise…hopefully, all is ok or perhaps someone would have told me there is a problem.

In spite of this bureaucratic complexity with the insurance companies, I am doing relatively well. I really can’t wait until this is over with.  I will try to have a family member post how I am doing after surgery and will follow up when I am well enough to type and think again.

Please think of me and send healing thoughts my way next Tuesday!