Saturday, November 23, 2013

bouncing back

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
Now this I know:
The Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Psalm 20:1-7

Yesterday was my surgery day...the day my breast cancer found a new home in the pathology lab.
Goodbye and good riddance.
Words cannot express how I felt yesterday.  As ready as I could be to get this behind me, I still wondered how I would feel afterwards.  In as much as I had questions, I had an innermost peace.  Truly a peace that was beyond understanding.  I know that peace came from God, showering mercy over me.  In doing this, He was not only making Himself known to me, but also answering the many prayers of His children who were praying on my behalf.  My testimony through the days since October 16th is of His goodness and steadfastness in hearing and answering His children when they call out to Him.  God has carried me all through life, these past few weeks have been no different.  He is the constant when everything else is prone to change.
My day began at 8 in the women's imaging center.  I had to have a wire-localization procedure there in order for the surgeon to know exactly where to locate my cancer in order to remove it in the OR.  It is impossible to say enough good things about all the technicians and my radiologist...a good way to begin, though, is by simply saying they are caring yet knowledgeable.  Yes, they must put one through many uncomfortable positions and situations, but to do it with such grace, is a testimony to their character.  Many of them told me they would be praying for me.  I believe them.
All was going well.  The stinging as the needle goes in with numbing medication is the most uncomfortable part.  At least this time, I had an idea of what it would be like...did not make it any less painful, but it did help.  The thing about this procedure is that there is no way for you not to see what is happening to you. During the biopsy, everything happens under you and the table you're lying on.  During the wire-localization, you sit in a chair that is pushed up to the mammography machine.  There is a reason one sits through this, however, as was reiterated in my case.  About a minute or two after the wire was in, as I was just sitting in my chair waiting on the tech to get the machine positioned for the pictures needed to be taken to assure the wire was indeed in the right place, I began to feel very lightheaded and it became difficult to breathe.  As I began to tell the technician that I was no longer feeling okay, I also found it hard to form and speak the words.  It is called a vasovagal response.  Unknowingly to me there is an emergency button in the room.  As soon as I expressed a problem, my tech must have pushed it and more assistance arrived in a flash.  Lightning quick.  Including the radiologist herself.  The chair I was in was reclined and cool cloths placed on my head and neck.  They all talked me through it as they took my pulse and blood pressure.  Although I was feeling strong and okay with everything, my body was reacting to the stress of the whole ordeal, my radiologist explained.  She congratulated and thanked me for at least getting through the wire placement.  Apparently some people do not even get that far and it slows down the process quite a bit and it becomes difficult to get it completed.  After about 10 minutes, I sat up and smiled through the smooshing once more.  The worst part of the day was now behind me.  And, it wasn't even that bad.
A new experience followed.  I was transported in a wheelchair in a medical transport van to the pre-op area in the hospital.  Honestly, I am weary of all of these new experiences that I have lived a good, full 41 years without thus far, but they are for my good.  First biopsy...cancer diagnosis...MRI...X-ray...ride in a medical transport vehicle...and I do not believe the list will end here.  But, God is good.  He has led me to best local facility and people to help me outlive cancer.
Pre-op was impressed I had arrived in a timely fashion.  It only confirmed what they had said about the vasovagal episodes slowing everything down in other cases.  There were a few hours of waiting ahead of me, however.  Once I my IV was in and I had met and spoke with my anesthesiologist, I was allowed visitors.  After only an hour, I was again with people whose faces I recognized and whom I loved.  It did indeed help pass the time.  There was a TV in my room and I was allowed to have my cell phone.  Those helped, as well.
Trying not to get my hopes up too high, I watched for 2 o'clock with anticipation.  At 2:04, my surgeon walked in.  {commence angels singing}  The only thing left to do was begin receiving antibiotics and a "margarita", as my surgeon jokingly called the good meds to help me relax, via my IV.  It did not take long for the effects of the "margarita" to kick in.  Had a good chuckle or two at absolutely nothing and everything even before they were wheeling me out of my room to the OR.
All I remember after that is the placement of more blankets and probes on me.  I am not even sure they were completely finished with all of those probes before I was out like a light.  I awoke to the movement of my gurney moving me to recovery.  There, I heard the sweetest words all day long..."Your cancer is gone." and "What would you like to drink?" Music to my ears.
I felt fine, a little weird, but fine.  Pain was about a 5 on a scale of 10...which was remedied by an IV pain medicine rather quickly.  Tears of joy and thankfulness fell.  No more waiting, no more testing...the cancer found in my left breast was gone.  Recovery time.  Time to regroup and prepare for what lies ahead.  Surgery was behind me.  Through it all, God was, is, and will be good.
As I moved to post-op, my recovery nurse thanked me for being such a good patient.  My post-op nurse was also my pre-op nurse and told me that I had made it to post-op in record time and would be going home sooner than later if I kept bouncing back so nicely.
She was correct.  I was leaving the hospital before it was dark.  A few minutes before six, a mere 9+ hours after arriving, I was going home.  Free.

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As the evening progressed, I felt more and more back to normal.  Yes, I am bandaged and wrapped snug as a bug in a pink ruffled tube top for the next several days.  But, I am indeed bouncing back more quickly than I could have imagined.  Again, I feel that it is in answer to many prayers being prayed on my behalf.  May God receive all the glory for every good thing along this path I have been walking the past 39 days...and will continue walking down in the coming months.
God is good...no matter what.



5 comments:

  1. Thanking and Praising God! May you continue to bounce back quickly, becoming stronger in all ways.

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  2. What a beautiful testament to God's grace and goodness through your procedure! Praying for a quick recovery and good health for you. (((Hugs)))
    ~Theresa

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  3. So, so gratfeul that everything went smoothly!! Praying that your healing continues!

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  4. Praising God that everything went so smoothly for you! Praying that you will continue to heal well and that you will remain cancer free.

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  5. Thank you all! God's mercy showered upon me has me in tears most often...He is so good! Just had my post op appt. this morning and my doctor is pleased with my recovery and said the pathology lab reports that I am, indeed, free of any known cancer!!! How awesome is our God!

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