A Hurry-up and Wait Kind of Week

After my mom’s passing I was granted a one week extension on my placement for school. So while the rest of my cohort started summer vacation a week ago, my last day was Thursday. I had a lot of fun with my project, a manual for a emotions awareness group that I created. Monday and Tuesday were a scramble to get everything done for my final paper, and final meeting with my mentors and all the final things I needed to get my final grade.

For my project I also made samples of mindfulness activities that end the group sessions

My final meeting went very well. Both of my supervisors were very proud of what I was able to accomplish and had only kind things to say to me and about me. My college supervisor nominated my project as a model paper to be used as an example for future years. So, yeah, I feel pretty good about that!

I had a half day at placement on Thursday which gave me time to say some goodbyes. Then when I got home, Malcolm and I went straight into a call with Dr M2. Mostly it was a summary of more costs associated with surrogacy. Some of them we were aware of, and some of them we weren’t (I am working on a post about the financial side of surrogacy. Hopefully it will be done soon). We also discussed next steps and at this point Amber and Dan will be having their first appointment at the clinic at the start of August and on mine and Malcolm’s side we are in a holding pattern for the time being.

Eventually we will need to do extensive infectious disease screening and more detailed genetic screening than we have had before… We could start it now, but it won’t really do much to expedite the process and we will just have to do it again later. So we’re going to wait.

Since I didn’t have a hysterectomy date yet, Dr M2 suggested that I reach out to my surgeon’s office again and so I called Dr B’s office on Friday. Dr B’s assistant said that they aren’t getting much OR time because of the bottleneck created by COVID. I told her that I’m overdue for my next biopsy and that I have had some intermittent bleeding with the IUD in and I was concerned the hyperplasia might be back. She said “Oh, okay, lets see” and told me she was going to look at my file, a couple of clicks later she offered me August 11th as my surgery date and asked me if that was okay. In my head I was like “nope. Not ideal. I got plans on the 14th and I won’t be recovered enough to return to school at the start of September” but out loud I said “Yeah, I can make that work”.

The assistant then provided me with a bunch of info that I quickly scribbled on a piece of paper and she asked me if I had any questions. My only question at the time was how long would the hysterectomy take? She told me that the surgery itself would be about three hours, but I’d have about two hours of pre-op time and another two hours post-op. She also let me know that I was allowed to have one person there as a support and I said that Malcolm would be there without even saying a word to him about it first. Once he came into the hospital with me he would not be allowed to leave at all until he left with me and she did not know if they will let him into the recovery room.

I got off the phone and immediately messaged Malcolm, and my sisters, Amber… And then started spiralling… what am I going to do about my 14-week placement? I don’t want to miss out on that real world experience and just do a lit review. How am I going to make up three weeks of Precious placement time to catch up with my classmates if I do get to go on placement? Can I recover from this surgery in four weeks instead of six?

I also started to worry about the pain. I remembered how much the TAC surgery hurt and this surgery is likely going to hurt more. How am I going to get in and out of bed without engaging my abdominal muscles? I suck at bed rest and “taking it easy”… sigh…

Malcolm came out of his office and sat with me in our bedroom and I have to say, I took a good bit of time to cry and talk and cry and process and cry. The reality is that I have had a year to prepare and to accept that this surgery is necessary. I know that this is what I need to do for my health and my safety. It’s a lot easier to accept and be okay with something when it’s a far off someday eventually and then when it’s suddenly six weeks away, that’s a different thing all together!

What about all the scary ways this could go wrong? What if they screw up? what if I bleed out? What if they have to remove my ovaries too? What if there’s cancer there and I have to do chemo and radiation? What if… what if… what if??

Here’s the thing. I can be scared. I can be worried, and I can know that this is the right thing to do at the same time. I know that whatever the outcome, I can face it. It’s amazing what a person can do when there’s no other option than to do it, and this is the only next step for me on this journey.

If they get in the and they have to take my ovaries, then that’s what they have to do and I’ll be okay. If they find cancer and I have to do chemo and radiation, then that’s what I’m going to do. I have to hope though that the surgery will go as planned, that my uterus, fallopian tubes, and cervix will go, but my ovaries will stay and it will be a textbook easy procedure.

I will try my best to follow the restrictions for my six week recovery… I’ll find ways to keep myself busy.

I reached out to the coordinator for my program and she’s on vacation until August 30th. I chatted with some friends and they suggested another staff member I could reach out to and I have sent her an email. I hope that we can find a solution that allows me to have an in-person placement and lists me graduate with my cohort. If that’s not the case, that’s not the case and it will be okay. Honestly, doing a lit review would make it easier to do cycle monitoring and doctor’s appointments in Ottawa of we get to do our OHIP funded cycle this fall. It could be a nightmare trying to schedule that around placement hours.

I also rescheduled my plans for the 14th. My bestie and I will be getting together on July 9 instead.

It’s all going to be okay. And right now I just gotta wait until August.

You can also follow our surrogacy journey on instagram @operation.babyspaceship

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