Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Day of Surgery Post


journal date: April 30, 2016

Wow. April is over.
I can't believe that just 2 short months ago I was given the cancer diagnosis
and now...
it's gone.

2 months is not a long time, yet, it seems like I have wrestled with cancer and all that comes with it for a lifetime.

I've looked death in the face and realized it does not scare me.
We've asked ourselves some tough questions and come to some even tougher answers.
We've seen and outpouring of love and friendship like never before.
Older women have become mentors
and I've realized how little I know,
how much I've learned
and how big and loving my God is.

I've faced a lack of self-control and fear head on -
I've been brave in ways I didn't know I needed to be brave in.

I've learned that truly no matter what we go through there is no need for resentment,
condemnation,
anger or fear.
Those things will rob us of peace,
and of joy, they will steal precious moments and lie to us.

I've learned memorizing Scripture is more valuable than anything money can buy and nurses can say.

**********

So on a personal level here is how the day of my surgery went.

We arrived at hospital and I was taken back to prep area #7
There a lady from NH, who's uncle lives on S. Main Street in my hometown took my vitals and we shared Steven Tyler stories.

The nurse then came in and handed me a cocktail of pills in a small cup and went over some paperwork and had me sign some more consent papers.

I then changed into my hospital gown, was asked what the doctor would be doing today and my right side shoulder was marked; then I was given the biggest, most painful IV I have ever received.
"I am feeling lightheaded" I told her as she worked at getting this monstrosity into my hand.
I closed my eyes and recited Psalm 103 in my head;
especially the verse that says "as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him"
I was lightheaded and in pain but I was so settled knowing my God, the Creator of the Universe has compassion on me, just as I had compassion on Justin the night before as Steve and I helped him work through a tough life situation he was facing.
Wow God I thought, how much you love me!!

Apparently the nurse finally looked up at me and said "wow, I'm going to tilt your head back, you're as white as typing paper"--
once the IV was in she gave me some fluids to hydrate me as she asked:
"Do you eat all organic?" Yes
"Do you drink lots of water?" Yes
"Do you take any medications?" No
"That's what I figured" she said "Your poor little body doesn't like all we've just given it, plus you're probably getting dehydrated"

Once I was back to flesh color she called in Steve and 3 of my friends who had come to pray over me.
Eventually I ended up with 2 warm blankets, those heated blankets really are the bomb and I was feeling like myself again.

At last I was being wheeled upstairs to pre-op, a sassy transporter pushing me with Steve at my side. We posed for some SnapChat pics and then I experienced my first pre-op.


Every person who is going to be tending you comes in asks your name and birthday, explains their duties and if you have any questions. The anesthesiologist and then his nurse, the surgical nurse and then my doctor.

My doctor.
I think, no, I know you must have a doctor you believe in and who believes in you. I had been praying for her and she that morning for me. She marked my surgery side again and then she was gone.

I said goodbye to Steve as we parted ways in the hallway and I was wheeled through the surgery doors and into a room,
cold and metal,
shiny and sterile,
just like tv.

I was moved to a skinny morgue like table and covered again with another warm blanket. Two surgical techs were busy prepping as my arm lay out on a small thin table extending out to my side.
I was given a mask to breathe some sleepy medicine through.
"You're arm may feel a little warmth" the nurse anesthetist said as I felt the worse pain inside my body than any other pain I had experienced.
"Warm." I said "this is the worst pain ever"
"You'll be falling asleep soon" they said
Deep breathe
Deep breathe
Deep breathe

Then I woke up.
On a real size bed.
In a different room.

I slowly began to awake and talk.
Those poor doctors and nurses, to have me ramble.

After a short period of time I was wheeled back downstairs, everyone impressed with my quick alertness.

Never underestimate a redhead, a Yankee, a mom, me.

Steve and my mom joined me back in my original #7 room.
My IV was removed, I put on pants was given water!!
Yeah water!!
Could someone have at least done something with my hair!!

Then I was wheeled out to the car and after dropping my prescription I was safe and sound in my own bed.

Justin arrived moments later with Chick-Fil-A.
Grilled nuggets
Waffle fries
Diet lemonade
--nothing on my approved diet list, but everything on my empty stomach, haven't had Chick-Fil-A in months list--

I felt great!
A little woozy,
but great.
A few hours later Steve brought Illana over and we read books and talked in my bed.
Joliene and Aubry showed up, the girls played and I visited with Jo.
They left and Vaughan, Sarah and the boys came over
My heart was full.
Over joyed.

Then I hit the sack
And it was over.
I went to bed cancer free.

I know they say technically you need to be 5 years without cancer to be considered cancer free
but somehow
I feel like with the tumor gone and clear lymph nodes
I am cancer free.

I am cancer free.

So that is the day of my lumpectomy,
a day I want to remember the details of.
Remember because God is in the details,
of the nurse from NH,
the sassiness of the transporter,
teh specific people who showed up,
and didn't,
the belief of the doctor
and the peace in the storm that very easily could have swept me under.

No matter what you're facing,
no matter the size of the wave,
big or small,
know that God loves you and cares.
He is in the details, even when we think he just can't be in the details.
He is.

In those details He is doing something new.
In you, around you and through you.
Hold tight friend.

I'm not sure about tomorrow but I know this:
Thus Far the Lord has helped us.

1 comment:

Louise Sutliff said...

I praise God for you and your family. I am thankful that you are perceiving the New thing God is doing in your life. Thanks for sharing your faith, Love Louise

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