But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as Eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Isn't it amazing to have a double masectomy with immediate reconstruction and head home by noon the next day!!!  I'm actually staying with my sister, Sheila, right now and she's helping me with my drains and meds.  She's being an awesome nurse! 

Surgery day didn't start out so well.  The hospital is an hour away and we got on the interstate and the car began to shake.  Larry said it felt like a tire, so we managed to get off the road enough to check.  But the tires looked ok and Kim (my sister) said it felt like maybe a belt in one of the tires broke.  We still don't know for sure, but we had to abandon the car at the next exit at a service station.  Fortunately our daughter, Jennifer, hadn't left home yet, so she was able to pick us up and we only ended up being 15 minutes late.  So it worked out, but made me nervous.

Got to the hospital at 1:15 and the surgery was scheduled at 2:30.  They took me back to prepare me for the surgery.....IV and that cute little gown.  Then the nurse said she had bad news for me.  Oh my!  You never want bad news when you're preparing for surgery!  She said the surgeon was running behind an hour and a half.....not her fault, but because a surgeon ahead of her ran late.  Oh my, that would put my surgery at 4:00 PM!  But it actually stretched until 6 PM.  When they finally got me into the operating room, I asked them if they were too tired for such a late surgery.....they assured me they were not and they'd take good care of me.  LOL!  I think I got out of surgery around 9:30.  I was so drugged up I don't remember much of that time period, even though my family said I talked to them!  Nope, don't remember that!

I knew I was in very good hands and lots of prayers were being said for me across the country.  I was at ease and had a total peace.  I was just ready to get it done.

Dr. Zusan, my surgeon who did the double masectomy and removed that nasty cancer!

Dr. Jackson, the plastic surgeon who put my tissue expanders in and will be doing the rest of the reconstruction process.  He was able to fill me with 300 cc of saline, which he said was half of what I needed, so I think that's a good thing!  :=)  I will go back to him every two weeks (after I'm healed) to get a filling until I'm the right size.  He told me he'd be removing the portion at the sides, although they weren't part of my breasts!  I told him to feel free to remove any fat he wanted!  LOL!  After it was all over he told my family he removed my "puppy ears" under my arms so I wouldn't look strange!  You've gotta appreciate a surgeon who will remove your "puppy ears".  LOL!

And last, but definately not least....Dr. Parker, who administered my anesthesia.  He's very important!  It was my first time to meet him and he was very kind and compassionate.  He did inform me that my hemoglobin was down (probably from the chemo) and depending on the amount of blood I would lose during surgery, I may need a blood transfusion.  I wasn't expecting that!  So they brought in a consent form for me to sign, informing me that a blood transfusion could cause all kinds of things, including HIV, AIDS, and HEPATITIS......I can see why some patients are afraid of a blood transfusion.  Me....not so much, but it does make you really think about signing that paper.  I think it was less scary to me because I had to have 4 pints of blood after each of my children were born, and that was back when the blood wasn't tested so much.  As it turned out, though, I didn't have to have a blood transfusion, so that was good!  At least they were prepared!

Unfortunately, I didn't get pics of the nurses helping with my surgery, but I know there were several of them.  They were a very important part of my team too.  I got the doctor photos in my room before the surgery.  They were so gracious to let me snap their pics.

This is Nurse Debra who was my overnight nurse.  She was very friendly and kind and took great care of me!

And Nurse Amy took over in the morning until I left at noon.  She was just as wonderful!  Actually, everyone at this hospital is compassionate and friendly.....this was my 3rd surgery at this hospital and I am always treated by such caring individuals!

Aren't my pillows lovely?  I was surprised with a gift ftom Carin Henderson, who is another cancer survivor that I met at the "Look Good; Feel Better" program.  She has had her surgery and knew just what I needed!  What a nice surprise!  Carin is currently going through her chemo treatments and only has 3 more to go (yay Carin!).  I want to ask everyone to remember Carin as she finishes up her treatments!  And, Carin, I want you to know you really brightened my day when my gift arrived at the hospital while I was waiting around.  That was soooo sweet of you and I so appreciate it!

Ahhhhhh, they feel so good Carin!  I have found that my pain is under my arms and my pillows sure do help!

And thanks to Sharon for stopping in....sorry I didn't get to talk to you much....I had a date with some surgeons!  But I want you to know I sure appreciated it and the new camisole that was waiting on me when I got there!  That was so sweet of you to think of me and take care of me!  I am wearing it right now with my drains in the pockets.  You're the best!  :=)

Ok, me and my family had 5 hours to wait in my room before they wheeled me back for the surgery......and we had a camera....need I say more?  LOL!  This bunch kept me entertained so the wait didn't seem so long!  We had the party room!  LOL!

My good buddies, Linda and Martha were there.  I so appreciate them.....they've been there for me every step of the way!  My friends, Barb and Vicki and others have been there too, but were not able to be at my surgery due to work schedules, but I know they were there in "spirit" and thoughts and prayers.

And my family was right there for me.  My daugthers, Jennifer and Erin....my husband, Larry.....and granddaughter, Jenna!  And of course they've been wih me every step of the way too.

And my sisters.....Kim, Sheila, and Pam.  They've been great cheerleaders!

My sister, Kim......the "baby" of the family (and she never lets me forget that...she was always so spoiled.......LOL)

It was a long day for Pam, especially considering she had just flown in from Oregon where she was visiting with her daughter and her family.  So, I offered a portion of my bed!

Of course I'm not pushing her out of bed!  Would I do that to a sibling?  :=)   Actually, I think Dr. Jackson just walked in.

Well that was my surgery day!  I'm staying with my sister, Sheila, and she's being a fine nurse and taking such good care of me.  I'll probably go home tonight.  The doctors told me not to be alone for the first 24 hours.  Although I told Sheila she was taking such good care of me that I might just stick around for a week or two  LOL!

I'm doing really, really good!  The nurses told me before I left that I looked good and was doing great and I told them it was because I was covered in prayer all over the country/world!  My pain pump is working wonderfully!  I do not have pain in the masectomy area.  My only pain is under my arms, where he removed my "puppy ears".....and only when I move.  The right side isn't so painful, but the left side can really burn......that's the side the lymph modes were removed.  But, amazingly, I'm not in much pain at all.....only when I move the wrong way.  And I have pain pills I take every 4 hours.  I really am doing great!

Until next time.....I want to thank everyone for their prayers.  I definately felt them, as I had such a peace (and still do) through the whole thing.  God is good......all the time!

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