Hello my friends.
As many of you know, I had yet another major surgery two weeks ago Monday.
I have battled Advanced Stage IV Endometriosis, Ovarian Remnant Syndrome, high risk for Ovarian Cancer, Ovarian Cysts and to top it all off, I am part of a very rare group of women that can regrow ovarian tissue even after having had a total hysterectomy and both ovaries removed and subsequent radical surgeries to remove masses As a result of my last three surgeries, I’ve developed an umbilical hernia post-op. During the last surgery, my surgical team repaired the hernia as part of the closing process. They had intended to repair the hernia with a surgical mesh but due to all of the complication during the surgery, they were unable to do so. Long story (somewhat) short is that the umbilical hernia returned several months ago. We thought that I might be able to put off any surgical procedures but in the last month or so, the umbilical hernia had developed into a full abdominal wall hernia. Fun! Leave it to me to go big or go home.
As a result, I needed to undergo an abdominal wall repair where they used a large piece of surgical mesh to repair the hernia and separation. They went through my original incision from the past surgeries and placed a piece of surgical mesh the size of my entire abdomen under the abdominal muscle. Talk about getting deep into my transverse!!
I am currently in a minimum 8 week recovery period. For the first 4 weeks, I won’t be back at work. I had to go home with a drain so that the abdominal wall area had a chance to heal. That is out now and I am working from home. I’m healing well and my surgeons are very pleased with my progress thus far.
What was even more scary to me? I was told by my surgical team that I am not able to do ANY core workouts or exercise for the 8 week recovery period. I can do paced walks after about now if I feel up to it but as you can imagine, my abdominal wall is very sore as they had to separate the muscle for the entire area and then add sutures when placing the mesh.
In true barre3 ambassador fashion, I asked if I could wait to do the surgery until after the Winter challenge in January. My surgical team agreed as long as I honored my body and don’t push it in core work. One of my specialists on the surgical team is still interested in trying out a class. She loved seeing my success from when they did my last surgery over a 1 1/2 ago! WOOHOO! Always talking barre3!
An 8 week “bench” from working out is a SUPER long time in the world of a girl who works out at least 5-6 days a week! 8 weeks away from the barre. 8 weeks of being forced to slow down….not push myself…learning and remembering that it is not only okay but crucial that I ask for help.
A woman I’ve come to respect greatly, Sadie Lincoln, shared these kind words with me when I shared my news… “Sending you strength and healing thoughts. Exercise is not the end all. Barre3 is so much more. Nourish. Connect. Be kind to yourself. We are all here for you.”
And that’s when it really hit me… I may be “benched” for 8 weeks and that’s okay. I may have to ask for help because I can’t lift, drive, etc. etc. I get frustrated. I’m tired and wear out easily. I’m in a great deal of pain. BUT… I’m healing. I’m being kind to myself. I’m not only asking for help…I’m accepting it with great appreciation and thankfulness. I’m continuing on despite any of the challenges, fears or doubts that I might feel. Why? Because I’m unstoppable. I’m unstoppable because I have such amazing people in my life. Riche and my parents have literally been my strength over the past few weeks. I have the most amazing friends who have been by my side offering support, kind words and prayers. So I continue on….unstoppable…because of all of you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!