The day I died…
They told her to get my affairs in order, my heart stopped, I was dead. They thought…
I have something I would like to share with you. It’s about the day of my first surgery, on December 4th , 2001 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, WA.
This is the day I died.
After my colon was removed and I had my first ileostomy, I was extremely afraid. I was afraid of losing my wife and my best friend.
Afraid of dying.
I was diagnosed with Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP), a genetic digestive disease which causes cancer.
Several years prior to this day I knew I would have surgery. I knew my grandfather died of colon cancer brought on by FAP when I was 2 months old. Not only that, but my mother already had her colon removed by this time. I didn’t know what to expect.
Then suddenly there I was. In the hospital. Getting prepped for a surgery I had not fully and mentally prepared for. My wife and my uncle Mike were there with me. Between them and my medical team, they kept me distracted with so many other things and I don’t remember being too upset.
I prayed and prayed that day, I already knew it really didn’t matter whether I died or not. I mean if you know Jesus you know it doesn’t matter.
After the nursing staff prepped me for the surgery and I was hooked up to the IV’s that morning, the doctors were ready to wheel me into the operating room, and we prayed one last time before I fell asleep.
I don’t remember the surgery. I had to depend on my wife and the doctors to explain to me what had happened. So please understand I am only going off the details provided to me by my wife.
The surgery was complete after a long 12 hours. The surgeon was successful in removing my colon, creating a j-pouch, and a temporary ileostomy.
Then suddenly. Code blue!
The team rushed into the room and this is when my wife, Jennifer, was asked to leave the room.
I wasn’t going to make it, they thought.
They told my wife and uncle my heart had stopped and to get my affairs in order.
But then something impossible happened. I only know of one person who specializes in impossible.
I woke up in the ICU 2 or 3 days later, I WAS ALIVE!
This happened 17 years ago. My life was changed forever.
I really believe it was my faith in God, being positive, and the support of my wife and family that kept me alive and able to get through surgery that day.
Nobody should ever have to go through something like this. Nobody should ever have to feel the pain I did and the hurt my wife felt when she heard I wasn’t going to make it.
But this is life, and in life things happen. I wish I could say after surgery it was all over and I was healthy again. Unfortunately, it was just the beginning.
I remember my brain was just flooded with so many thoughts about the future and what was going to happen.
My hope is after you read this, it brings out the best in you. I was able conquer my fear that day with my faith in God and my family. You can do it too. What are some things you can do to conquer the fears you have with your diagnosis and treatment? Please share with me how you were able to get through your ostomy surgery?!