My journey to Orchiectomy and beyond.

Rachel A. McCartney
Jul 28 · 6 min read

By Rachel McCartney

June 22nd, 2019

On the 21st of June, I went to a doctor's appointment. It was a consultation to set up my Orchiectomy. The date that looks likely will be July 19th. Since walking out of the doctor's office I have been going through some deep thoughts. I have been weighing if this is something that I want. If it is worth the pain that will come. I keep coming back to yes. The question keeps coming. the questions are normal. This is a big thing happening. It feels like it needs thought. Anyway, I thought I would write this. As this story unfolds. Tomorrow I will call the doctor's office for an update. Hopeful I will have a date set do I can start making arrangements for travel and such.

June 25th, 2019

Called the doctor and my surgery is July 8th. That is two weeks sooner than I thought it would be. I am rushed to deal with whatever emotional and mental baggage I have. Is it strange that I have been wanting this for so long and the moment I get it I have major baggage? I am still trying to process what is going on and some time away will be good. We are leaving Friday to head to Eureka Springs. There I hope I can relax and get in a better headspace before this surgery.

July 1st, 2019

Eureka Springs was a good trip it gave me time to get away from life and figure somethings out.

July 4th, 2019

As I write this I am 4 days away from surgery and for the most part, I am ready. Still, have little anxiety attacks here and there. But I figure that is to be expected.

I never thought this would happen that I would be given a chance at being myself. It gets overwhelming sometimes.

July 6th, 2019

Surgery is 2 days away. It is Saturday and the only thing I have planned is to hold my daughter as much as possible. Holding her is one of the things I'm going to miss while I'm recovering. I have been having little moments of anxiety about the medication, not the surgery. I have never taken anti-anxiety meds before so I have no idea how they will affect me. I can't help but think that this whole thing is going to be as jumpy as £$&= but this is how this process has been.

July 7th, 2019

Right now it is the night before and my tummy is in knots and my brain is racing about all the bad things that could happen. I keep missing the good no more pain than makes me double over. No more dietary restrictions and finally being able to get my gender marker updated. In 11 minutes it will be Monday. I can't even right now I'm a mix of excitement and fear. And I just want it done so I can move past this.

July 8th, 2019

Good morning! Today is the day I have taken the prescribed medication and waiting on my ride. Last night as I lay in bed the thought I had is this road I'm on has no turn lane so I have to push through.

I did it! The surgery is done and home in bed resting. The pain is mild and feels like hair being pulled. Nothing I can't handle. I'm very grateful to have a great family around me. Still in bed on the first day the thing that bad about a couple of hours ago and I wasn't sure what to do. Luckily I found a position that was comfortable and allowed me to kind of doze off for a few hours. The pain is manageable it's not pleasant and it feels like a constant pressure and it's not fun.

July 9th,2019

I finally fell asleep and managed to get 8 hours of sleep. Right now the most painful thing is pressure on my tummy and that little area below the tummy. Walking helps but it still hurts. Took a shower and I noticed that I am bruised up down there. That makes sense. I'm still glad I did this.

July 11th, 2019

I am tired of being limited. Boredom is my worst enemy. I will say that hurts more than I thought it would. Woke up feeling good then after lunch, it was like all my energy was gone.

July 12th, 2019

A girl can only watch so much YouTube. I did sit up for all meals today and I'm going to try to sit down to watch a movie with the family.

July 14th, 2019

The past few days I have pushed my limits and have exhausted myself. My daughter's birthday was Friday and I was up for a little party we had at the house. Then I rested and we went out for dinner. It felt wonderful being out of the house. Yesterday I was out for almost the whole day. We did come home to rest a little before dinner. I am still in pain but it is very manageable. Haven't taken a prescription pain pill since the day after surgery. I'm going to let this log go until 2 weeks post-op since that is when the doctor says I should be back to close to 100 percent.

July 15th, 2019

Went to the doctor today he said everything is healing great and that I only need to come back if something is wrong. I talked to him about getting a letter to change my gender marker and he said he would mail one out to me soon. I also got the all-clear to hold my daughter again. I have missed holding her can’t wait to tell her.

July 20th, 2019

Been 5 days since my last little post here. Turns out a lot can change in 5 days. Pain is still there and it appears to have found a new home. The swelling is still the worst thing as it can make things difficult. The gross thing is my scab has started to fall off. That is a good thing but it still makes things a little nasty sometimes. Almost been two weeks this time has gone so fast.

July 21st, 2019

Two weeks post-op. Still, have pain and swelling but the rough part is over now I get back to things I want to do. Like the zoo. I'm pretty sure I overdid it but it felt good to be pushing myself again.

This is the part where I get to look back and be 100% honest with you. This surgery scared the crap out of me. I was almost certain something was going to go wrong and I would die. When I was talking about holding my daughter as much as possible. it was because on some level I thought it would be the last time I ever would. You might be asking yourself if I thought I would die having this surgery why would I go through with it. I let fear control my life for over 30 years. At times I still struggle with fear. I couldn't let fear take this away. I couldn't give up on myself again because fear told me the worst possible thing would happen. Fear is a lying sack of poo and I had to prove that to myself again. I pushed through and I'm grateful I did. For the 1st time in years, I'm not in constant pain. For the 1st time in my life, I feel whole. I feel like I can move on with a much clearer head and take on new challenges. I now at this point you are tired of the inspirational tone. I’m not sorry about it. It is how I see life right now. So much more now makes sense and paths have become more clear. Even with everything being much clearer I still have a long road to recovery. I'm told that I'll have swelling for months to come. I figure a few more weeks of pain before everything is said and done. Here is the million-dollar question would I do this again, knowing what I would have to go through? Yeah, I would it has been worth everything I have gone through. This is where I leave you. Take care of yourself and others too.

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