Has it really been 12 days!? I’m nearly two weeks post surgery and in many ways it feels like it’s been two months. I had hoped to write this post within the first days following surgery but just couldn’t make it happen. It’s happening now so I’m rolling with it and not letting myself get caught up in what should have been.
For those of you who may not have checked social media for an update, the short version is that surgery went perfectly, my recovery and healing have gone very smoothly. We received the final pathology report a week after surgery and I am thrilled to say it too was perfect! Lance & I were joking the other night that we’ve honestly only received one piece of bad news in this whole thing. Aside from the original diagnosis, we have gotten good report after good report! I’ll just conclude the short version for those of you ready to wrap up this read by saying “THANK YOU”!! Thank you for even caring about me and my family. Thank you for praying. Thank you for checking in and being patient for a reply as I am still catching up on email. Thank you for all the ways you have extended care and love to us. With that said, feel free to close this page and continue on your way or keep reading for the longer version.
Let me rewind to March 30th. I was up late and didn’t sleep much the night before surgery. Not because I was nervous, but mostly just trying to cram in every last thing I could think of. I was able to see all three of the kids before we took off out the door that morning which was an unexpected blessing. Let me tell you, it was a really tough goodbye. Once we were on our way, I was amazed at how I was able to let go of everything else and focus on what was ahead of me. I was full of so much peace. I felt calm and relaxed right up to the moment they wheeled me into the operating room. I had my playlist, a note full of scripture to meditate on a list of surgery affirmations. I was armed and ready for battle.
When we first arrived at the hospital, we were settled into a pre-op room where they began all of the necessary preparations for surgery. At 9AM, I was wheeled off to nuclear medicine for a procedure that would place a “tracker” in my breast that could be picked up in the sentinel node biopsy portion of my surgery. This procedure and getting an IV placed were the two things I had been most dreading. Kind of silly considering the other things I would be facing but I guess that sums me up in a nutshell. I’m kind of good with the big scary stuff and tend to freak out over the small and random. The procedure went much smoother than I anticipated and I was able to distract myself by talking the radiologist’s ear off the whole time. Lance was able to be with me and I know that helped me feel another level of calm.
We were led back to my pre-op room until it was time to wheel me into the OR. I had my music playing next to me all the way down the hall. I introduced myself to everyone in the room and asked a few questions about all of the equipment around me until they moved me onto the operating table and told me it was time to get under way. The anesthesiologist explained he would place a mask over my face to help me relax and he would have me countdown until the next thing I would remember would be waking up in recovery. Well, it didn’t take much for this lightweight. I remember them moving the mask toward my face and before they could get it all the way on, I was out. I woke up in recovery and felt so great that I was sending Lance pictures and texting him my status.
It wasn’t long before I was in my room and reunited with Lance. I was able to get fluids down and food pretty quickly and enjoy a few visitors. The best moment though was seeing my kids. From the time I woke up that morning, I had a picture in my head of being reunited as a family of five as soon after surgery as possible. It fueled me all day and when it arrived I just felt a sense of relief. That moment was my own personal benchmark for success. I had done it. One of the hardest steps in this journey was now behind me and I felt like I crushed it.
The night continued to go smoothly. My high school friend, Sarah, stayed with me and proved to be the best nurse in the hospital. I saw my surgeon at 5AM the next morning and was released to go home whenever I was ready. We slept a little longer until my dear friend, Tina, came back to relieve Sarah. Tina got me dressed after breakfast and then we were off. I was settled in my own home just 24 hours after surgery. My body felt so much stronger that I anticipated and I experienced very little pain throughout the process. God is good!