Thursday, December 16, 2010

December 27: It's a Date

I'm going to start off with kicking a little scientific knowledge, Lil' Emily style.

This is an normal pancreas.

This is my pancreas.

This will be my pancreas (or double pancreas) after December 27.

After two months of testing, examining, and above all, WAITING, I finally have a date for my surgery. In my last post I mentioned how I was worried that this thing would turn in major abdominal surgery, and the powers that be would continue to drag their feet resulting in the surgery not being done before Christmas. Unfortunately, I was correct on both counts. I underestimated my worst case scenario the seriousness of the surgery, but the date only missed the Christmas deadline by a couple days.

So here's the deal. Due to the size and location of my cyst, I have to have the middle part of my pancreas removed. Once that is done, the orphaned tail piece is going to be attached directly to my intestine, so that it can continue to produce pancreatic enzymes. Supposedly everything will still work pretty normally once it is all over, but healing is going to take a while.

I will have to be in the hospital for about seven days, and for the first three I will be all cracked out on a morphine pump with no food or drink. After that will be the starting to drink, eat, and walk enough to prove that I can survive on my own at home. After that, I will spend another 5-ish weeks recovering at home before I return to work.

As for the timeline for my return to cycling, I'm just going to play it by ear. I don't really expect to be able to mountain bike until late March, but really no one in Indiana gets to mountain bike more than a week or two before that, anyway. The difference is that I will have lost a lot of muscle and fitness. Since it's highly unlikely that I will be anywhere near healed enough for the Spa City 6 Hour or the Ouachita Challenge, as I had been planning, I might not rush into the beginning of XC season, either. I may take this spring and summer to work on building back lost muscle mass, strength, power, flexibility, and all that jazz, before I get serious about cycling again and give New New the proper CX season she didn't get this year (and some new wheels with tubies). Of course, that's pretty far out to be planning, and I may find myself dying to race in April. We'll see.