Well, as I promised Terry, I wouldn't sugarcoat my response. Without being too dramatic, the words from a song sum up mine and my husband's experience…“when everything falls apart”. To be fair, we walked into surgery #1 for me with a lot of baggage. We had lost a good friend, mom to 5 young children, to a brain aneurysm a few months before finding out I'd be saying goodbye to my colon. Then between my birthday and Mother's Day last year we realized we needed to interrupt our adoption of a little boy from Colombia, not because of my health, but some paperwork had been withheld from us til the last minute right before his visa was supposed to be issued, and that brought to light some insurmountable issues for us. We both grieved but very differently. My husband has had to watch or hear about me almost dying 3 times…the 1st during a pregnancy and the 2nd right after our son was born. He didn't talk about those 2 times for 5 years. Any time I go under anesthesia that triggers him. As my condition declined before the surgery he started unraveling emotionally and I didn't know what to do. He decided we needed to go on vacation and get away from it all, except I couldn't. I was pretty much hydrating and sleeping at that point and meeting with the psychologist virtually-her goal at that point was to get me to the surgery and then help me deal after. I told my husband he and the kids could go. My kids said they didn't want to leave me. His downward spiral continued. I think it's hard for 2 people that are falling apart themselves to find a way to hold onto each other. Thankfully, it was evident to his bosses and co-workers and he started seeing his own counselor. He is always very body positive/affirming. He made sure to be there when he knew the WOC nurses would be there so he could learn to help with bag changes. Drove me to so many WOC nurse appointments. Months later, I was not doing well from an ileus after the 2nd surgery and they said they needed to place an NG tube, he called someone he knew that had one and said “talk me through how to be there for Jodie”. I'm definitely not the same person he married almost 17 years ago, and I told him when I came home I needed the freedom to be me…however that looks now. I'm still processing changes in myself from the past year. As my energy is coming back and the hyper component of my adhd is kicking up it drives him a little crazy because I just have so many good ideas 😉He told me the other week he misses my stoma ☺️. I texted him after a test I had done last week saying I threw up a lot, it sucked, so I was stopping on the way home to adopt a puppy. His response was “I'm so glad I married you”. I think we're coming out of a tough season and figuring out how this new one will look together.