After over four weeks, the waiting is finally over. Surgery is scheduled for Monday, June 7. Kolette went in for another CT scan and, as predicted, her “pseudocyst” is larger than her stomach and ready to be operated on. It is pushing against her stomach, which is the primary reason she has not been able to eat – she always feels full or nauseous because of that cyst. The location of the cyst, although has not been a favorite in terms of the food department, makes it ideal to do this particular surgery because the doctor will simply punch a hole through the shared wall that has been formed, allowing the cyst to drain into the stomach. The rest of her organs are surrounded by fluid – no wonder she looks like she’s ready to have a baby. There’s a lot of extra stuff in there!
Not only will the cyst be drained during the surgery but Kolette’s gallbladder will finally be removed, stones and all. Surely that has been a source of much of the pain that she has experienced because most people have their gallbladders taken out just a few days after diagnosed with the problem. Kolette has had to live with it in order to just have to do one surgery instead of two – certainly the wise choice even if it hasn’t been the most comfortable one.
We feel extremely confident in our surgeon. She is highly specialized in the pancreas and we feel like we are in the best hands possible for these procedures. She talked to us about some of the possibilities that could affect Kolette long-term because of the last month’s events. Kolette’s pancreas has basically been destroyed but to what extent, no one knows yet. It is possible that she will have to deal with diabetes for the rest of her life but only in the sense of blood sugar levels and insulin management. No other diabetes symptoms would manifest themselves in this situation. The second long-term problem is called malabsorption and involves the fact that your pancreas helps you digest food with all of the enzymes it produces. Without those enzymes, food just goes right through you immediately after eating unless a handful of pills acting as those enzymes are taken with each meal. Not a fun one to have to deal with for the rest of her life but definitely a possibility.
So our approach to dealing with either of these long-terms scenarios is to simply pray that Kolette’s pancreas will have the right parts working well enough to combat these issues, especially the malabsorption. Time will tell. Nature will tell. Every person is different and every pancreas has it’s own decisions to make regarding how it will function. The doctor cannot predict at this time what will happen for Kolette but we are choosing to be hopeful that she will have the function that she needs to lead a normal life.
One thing is for sure, just like everything in life, whatever happens we will deal with it when it comes.
Thank you for your well wishes, your prayers, your thoughts, your kindnesses toward Kolette and our family. Cole is in good hands at Grandma’s this week and we are immensely blessed to have so many people willing to take him in among hugs and laughter and lots of spoiling! The neighborhood women bring in food regularly so no one is going hungry around here and so many friends break up the days by coming in to visit Kolette for a few minutes. We are truly blessed.
Instead of staying in a holding pattern, we’re on the road forward for the first time and we are very happy about that!