Yesterday my sister-in-law informed me of her decision to have surgery. She’s decided to have the reversal surgery for her ileostomy. The ileostomy has been an incredibly difficult thing for her to manage and she has never adjusted to it. I know this wasn’t an easy decision for her to make. I know she dreaded telling me, let alone the rest of her family. I know that if it were me, I’d be doing the same thing. It’s just that it terrifies me. This family has had more than its fair share of loss in the last few years and, consequently, I have become very risk averse.
My sister-in-law had her initial surgery back in October, it didn’t go well, and the family spent more than a month wondering if she would pull through. It was draining for me – for all of us. She was in a coma, Kevin (her brother and my husband), was battling his own cancer and wasn’t physically able to visit her. I wasn’t able to tell Kevin how truly grave the situation was out of fear it would set him back even further in his treatments. I would try to visit her every day, just like Kevin would have if he had been able to. It was a time of unbearable stress and it is my last experience with anyone having had surgery. It’s still very fresh.
I know that this is a different procedure, not the same surgery as before, but I can’t help feeling fear. The things that are precious to me make me vulnerable. I wish I could just open my arms and sweep everyone in close and hold them tight and make it safe. I wish for a little while there were no tough decisions to be made. Life isn’t like that. So we go with it.