Next week on September 11 it’s been 2 years since my proctocolectomy, where my entire large bowel was removed and a j-pouch was made from my small intestine to act as my large bowel. Life has changed for better and worse in that time period, but overall I think that my surgery and illness has in a strange way had a positive impact on my life ever since.
I decided to look back over my diary entries from when I was recovering from surgery. It was really important for me to write what I was going through and in doing so be able to focus on the small victories I achieved each day, each week and each month in my recovery. It’s amazing to think how little energy I had and how simple my ‘daily tasks’ now seem, yet I still remember vividly how hard it was to make myself do them.
One example I found was the day before my birthday which was about 3 weeks post surgery. My goals I set myself for my birthday were:
– Eat out for dinner for my birthday
– Keep my back straight when walking
– Don’t have an afternoon nap
I achieved all three, barely! Probably the tamest birthday I’ve ever had, I think I was almost close to falling asleep at the table but I did make it out of the house to eat at a sushi restaurant.
In the last 2 years it hasn’t all been easy. I’ve had my desmoid tumour diagnosis and treatment and gone through a breakup, but I’ve also been pretty proud of myself for everything else I’ve managed such as holding down my job full time (and getting a promotion at the same time), going travelling and adventuring and becoming a much more open person.