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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hi, Everybody!

Dear friends,

I wanted to let you know that I'm in the hospital and will most likely be having surgery quite soon. My ulcerative colitis has continued to get worse, in spite of high dose steroids and a double dose of Remicade. Since my diagnosis almost two years ago, I've exhausted all the treatments that medicine has to offer, from limited diets, supplements, medications, etc. My doctors believe that there is nothing else that can be done but to take out my colon. I couldn't agree more. I'm excited to get rid of this sick organ!

Surgery will leave me with a temporary ileostomy (piece of small intestine pulled through the abdominal wall. My solid waste [poop, for those of you who prefer technical terms] will accumulate in a bag that I'll wear on my stomach). Eventually, I will have either one or two reconstructive surgeries that will enable me to eliminate waste more normally.

It's not an ideal situation for me to have surgery when I'm this sick, but unfortunately, it appears that I don't really have any other choice. The longer I wait, the sicker I will get, and the higher the risk of complications becomes. The doctors are running tests tonight and tomorrow to make sure that surgery is the best option. I'm really blessed with great doctors who truly care about doing the best thing for me, which is excellent.

The good news is that these surgeries should cure me of ulcerative colitis and arthritis! Having no colon will change my lifestyle a little, but I will be able to stop taking practically all my medications, eliminate my high risk for colon cancer (I mean, you can't get cancer in an organ you don't have!), and I won't be sick, tired, or in pain. While I'm not excited to miss a lot of school and undergo radical surgery, this is where God is leading, and He has given me total peace with it. I'm excited to have a chance to get healthy again.

I'll be in the hospital for a while. After I'm out of the hospital, I'll spend a couple weeks on semi-bed rest at my parents' house in Grapevine. I am not a big fan of just laying around, so I'd welcome any visitors, books, movies, TV shows, games, activities... anything that will keep me entertained without being overly demanding!

I'd also really appreciate your prayers for me, the doctors and my family. My poor family has enough to deal with without having a kid in the hospital, so pray for God's grace and strength for them! The next two days will decide if/when I will have surgery, how many stages of surgery (2 or 3), and if I will stay on steroids throughout this time, which would complicate my recovery. Please pray that the doctors would make a wise, timely choice.

A good friend reminded me that instead of focusing on pursuing goals (like being healthy, finishing school, having a career, finding a husband/wife) it's so crucial to just focus on pursuing Christ. That way, no matter what happens, I'm doing His will and will glorify Him. That's my prayer, that I would honor God and be a light for Him through this situation! Thanks for the reminder, Destiny! :)

I'll try to update to letcha know what's going on. If you're interested, you can check! Can you tell that I'm a little bored? Got some morphine in and feeling good...

Thanks for all your love and support,

Hannah ;)

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