For two-and-a-half years, I searched for an accurate diagnosis for what turned out to be a complicated illness. During that period, I experienced considerable physical, mental, and emotional setbacks. These setbacks were not only due to my bodily deterioration, but also to the fear that the medical profession, despite all its expertise, would not be able to identify my condition. This arduous search for a medical solution to my predicament eventually ushered me unexpectedly down the road to surgery.

This trying experience fed my desire to share my personal adventures in the medical arena. I believe the information provided will help you prepare for one of the most important events that may occur in your lifetime - surgery. This book will guide and support you through the processes of educating yourself about your condition, finding the right surgeon, preparing for surgery mentally, physically and emotionally, organizing your hospital stay, and planning your post-operative care.

Our bodies cannot last forever in a perfect state of well-being. We sometimes have to face physical illness that may require surgical intervention. Once you come to realize that you are not a "victim" of life, but an active "participant" in your life, you then discover that taking responsibility for your health and wellness can give you the inner strength and courage you will need to help you face and adapt to the consequence of your condition.

I hope this book can assist you in your journey. May your way be cleared and your heart be at peace. You are not alone and you will see your way through - as my father always said, "Onward, Forward, and Excelsior!"