"It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes." Psalm 119:71

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Surgery #2

I was scheduled to be at the hospital at 7 a.m. Surgery would be at 9 a.m. and lymph node analysis would happen sometime before that. We were admitted and then told that it would be a while before they were ready for us in pre-op. Nearly 2 hours later I got a call on my cell. It was someone from the hospital asking why I hadn't shown for my appointment.
"Huh? I'm here!"

Turns out everyone had their wires crossed and I'd gotten "lost" in the system. Everything got backed up and even the node dissection took longer than anticipated.

But that was ok because I got to see a lot of people who were coming to visit me "after" the surgery. And I was very encouraged by Pastor Larry arriving to pray with us.

Once I was back in pre-op, I spoke quickly with my surgeon who is always encouraging (and I love how she pulls off blue eye shadow). I cringed when an impatient anesthesiologist offered to put my i.v. in for the nurse. I will never do that again-- I'm a hard stick for most people, not to mention someone who probably doesn't do IVs very often (or ever anymore).  I should have asked for the nurse (who had to do it in the end anyway) who sticks dozens of people a day. My bruise from all the "needle sawing" is still huge! Once that was over I asked for a sedative. :)

Terry prayed for me and then the surgeon's assistant (surgical nurse? surgical intern?) that I had last time came by to get me ready and she remembered me. Right before they wheeled me off I said, "Wait! I want to pray!" and she said, "Ok, go ahead." And I don't know why (because of my drugs? :) I said, "No, you do it," and I pointed at her. By the time she finished praying she was crying. Thank you Jesus for whatever it was you said to her.

When I'd had surgery on the 19th I had been anxious to get it over with so I didn't fight the anesthesia at all. This time around, though, I dreaded the actual mastectomy so I was trying to stay awake and make chit-chat with everyone in the operating room. I remember talking to the anesthesiologist about his kids. And I said several other things to people in the room before I was out. Must have been pretty funny to the staff-- me blacking out mid-sentence. And normally I dread small talk! ;)

I woke up in recovery in a fair amount of pain. I asked for Terry and meds right away (but maybe not in that order!). Unfortunately they gave me a reason as to why I had to wait for both. I went in and out of sleep until at one point I woke up shaking (normal from the anesthesia, I hear). All of this is really foggy so I couldn't even tell you what hurt, but I did give my pain an 8 out of 10 at this point (it didn't get passed 5 on later days). Terry finally came in, I got more meds, and they gave me back my oxygen mask. All of which helped me calm down and start feeling better. I stayed in post-op for 5.5 hours because I'd asked for a private room and they didn't have any. I ended up being the only one in the whole, big room so I got great care from the nurses (I also got to hear all of their Friday night excitment/gossip about the upcoming weekend!) and they let me have as many visitors at a time as I wanted. Monica and Crystal were very good company!

I got nauseous during the four elevator rides necessary to get me to my private room and so I wasn't able to eat until breakfast the next day. (Broth never tasted so good!)

The first night in the hospital was bad, but not because of the pain from surgery. It was mostly a headache and a catheter problem that kept me from sleeping. Every night since then has been progressively better (the first night home was hard but we've covered the bed with pillows and so last night was ok). Terry slept on a chair the first night in the hospital (instead of the pull-out couch) because he's such a deep sleeper and he wanted to be uncomfortable so he'd wake up and hear me when I called. The next night I encouraged him to sleep on the couch. Around 5 a.m. he was so out that I was yelling his name to no avail. I only got his attention by throwing a spoon at him.

I could have gone home after one day but I thought staying for 2 nights would be best for both me and my boys. Not getting to see me because I'm at the hospital is one thing, but not getting to see me when I'm in the next room would be confusing for them. I wanted to be in as good as shape as possible by the time they saw me.

My best friends came by the hospital Sunday and entertained me with funny stories and reminiscing. I got to see one of them show off her brand-new, teeny, 'baby belly.' And what better news is there than pregnancys? Their company made the day go fast and soon I was checking out and heading home!

I was so anxious to see the boys, but unfortunately they were, and are, both still sick. Caleb is so sick that I haven't been able to even hug him. My immune system should still be normal since we haven't started chemo, but I'd hate to get sick and postpone things so I'm careful to avoid germs. Caleb is a sad, weepy mess and he looks at me from across the room and I can tell he's thinking, "What's going on? Why aren't you holding me??" It's painful to not be able to be there for him right now. But he's being well taken care of. And getting better faster means more chances to be there for him in the future.

Today has been an exceptionally good day. I've taken off some of the bandages, am moving around pretty easily, and I've even done a bit of one-armed picking up and organizing. The organizing is necessary because cancer comes with a lot of stuff!! I've gotten books, cds, blankets, pjs, clothes, bracelets, head scarfs, and even a breast cancer key chain, mug, hat, and buttons! We may not be having any daughters in the future, but nonetheless my life is suddenly filled with pink!

Today's Score:
Sarah: 50
Cancer- zip


  1. I love this post!! Not only for your funny doped up stories, but mainly because of your last paragraph and your exceptionally good day. I wish we were still a 30 minute drive apart.

  2. I am so thankful that you have had a some what good day!!!!! Praise God!!
    I pray that you can hold Caleb soon!

  3. Go Sarah! I am praying for another exceptionally good day for you tomorrow. And, a better day for precious Caleb, too.

  4. I loved talking to you last night and I could tell in your voice you had a great day! I loved this post too. I hope Caleb gets better soon so he can give his mommy a kiss soon!

  5. We just found out yesterday about what you are going through. You are in our thoughts and prayers. I know God has some big plans in store for you and HE is able to do a miracle in your life. You will always have a special place in our hearts. You and Lindsey loved Shaenelle and took her in as family. I just showed some friends the book you made us when we left Richmond and how told them how special yall are. You were pretty much on target with the descriptions. We love you very much and will keep in contact and know we are praying for you daily.. =)

  6. Debbie JohnstonMay 5, 2010 at 7:58 AM

    that was not supposed to be anonymous.

  7. Sarah, I heard just recently what you have been going through. You are now on my permanent prayer list. I have another friend whose 30 yr old niece is going through the same thing. I know we have not spoken in quite some time, but I think of you often. I have some pictures from Missionettes and general pictures and I tell Samantha how much fun we had. Someday soon, we must get together so you can meet her and I meet your adorable sons. Love you and stay strong.

  8. What a great post! I am so glad that you had a good day and have progressively felt better. It may be a small thing to others but I know that is a BIG thing in the scope of everything. I'm praying that Caleb will get well soon and that you will have many, many more good days. You go girl.

  9. LOL...You threw a spoon at him!!!! LOL I love this post also, it's a great one!

  10. Sarah, you nor your husband know me. My name is Pastor Johnny Todd. I am a friend of Debbie and Houston Johnston, the parents of Sheanelle Johnston. I serve Jesus Christ as a prayer warrior in the healing ministry. Debbie asked me to pray for you. In doing this the Lord showed me what must be done to have you to walk in his divine healing. I don't feel appropriate discussing this in an open form. So I am asking if you, your husband could contact Debbie Johnston so that she can explain to you that I am not just some psycho texting you.

  11. So proud of you girl. :) You're doing so well!!

    And I'll be sure to send you a supply of spoons. ;)


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