UPDATED 9/3/09: I was reminded today that there is still a chance I'll need chemo after all--boo! They need to inspect the lymph nodes more closely, and there are two more tests to do. I meet with the surgeon again next Wednesday and I think at that time he'll have all the results in. Please continue to pray for complete healing and I really hope I don't need Chemo yet. I thought I should move the update to the top for those who already read this so they would see it.
My Major Concern: My lumpectomy was Tuesday and although I had a few concerns, on the whole I basically trusted that God had healed me and would bring me through--He did! Just in case something went wrong though, I made a list of "Things To Do, People to Call" for Gerard with phone numbers and instructions for things I do such as banking online, blogging, fixing the TV when it goofs up, how to record and play back TV shows and where our important papers are along with a note that he was a wonderful husband and he should feel free to remarry if he finds someone else. My biggest worry was that if something went wrong and I didn't wake up, he would be a total wreck with no clue what to do. This may or may not be true, but I wanted to be a help to him just in case. By doing this, it gave me more peace of mind. I am a list maker, can't help it! After recently reading "The Last Lecture" I too wanted to be a realistic optimist.
For me, about an hour and a half of my wait was sleeping. I had no pain and woke up about a 45 minutes after the surgery ended. The cancer appeared not to reach the lymph nodes so I probably won't need Chemo and lymphodemia (very limited use of arm and need it wrapped for life) most likely will not happen which was my other concern.
The day was actually easier on me than it was on him I think. It's always hard when you feel so helpless when you want to do something to help but can't. Waiting is extremely hard, but especially for Gerard who doesn't have much patience. That's why I thought I'd let him give his summary of the day:
Gerard's Synopsis: The day started as usual except Karen couldn't eat breakfast--her favorite meal of the day or even drink anything. She gets really growly when she gets hungry so I wasn't sure how that would work. I took Abby for a walk, took a shower, ate breakfast and took Abby for a long walk to the park while Karen had her quiet time and commented on some blogs, then off to the hospital we went.
Our first stop was to pay $15 to the surgeon's office for completing the FMLA forms Karen needed to submit to work. Can you believe they even charge for filling out papers? Then on we went to the main hospital at 10:00 A.M. They took Karen off to change into the hospital wear and I was in the waiting room with a TV which had a stupid game show on. This was annoying to me; I like news. I spent the day pretty much in constant prayer. I got to see Karen for a little while, but then I was sent back to the waiting room while she went at 11:00 for "mapping." She says that was the painful part.
She got out of there at noon and we were reunited. Surgery was moved back to 2:00 from 1:30 because they said it would take the mapping dye a couple hours to get down to the area. I was so nervous and hated to see Karen with that IV in her and just laying helplessly waiting. The IV was to keep her hydrated, give her vitamins since she couldn't eat and insert the anesthetic through it. I wished it was me instead going through this.
Pastor Zerby from our church came in and that helped a lot. He had a real calming effect on me and it made the time go faster. Two o'clock came and went, then 3:00 came and went and a nurse or volunteer called to find out what the hold up was. She told us an emergency came up and that's why he was delayed. This did not comfort me any. I started praying for that person to pull through. She let us watch TV at least in the waiting area which helped some so we saw some of the U.S. Open. Finally close to 4:00 it was her turn for surgery. I so wanted to take her home with me.
She insisted this would be a good time for me to go home and walk Abby so I did and then back to the waiting room again. The doctor came in around 5:30 and said everything went well. Thank you, Jesus! Then I had to wait for her to wake up which was around 6:30. Then I had to wait until she was up to going home. I brought her home around 7:30 or so and she went right to bed. I took Abby for another short walk. I did finish reading "Public Enemies" by Bryan Borrough while I had all that time to wait.
Then I watched the end of the Red Sox game. They won, but of course not easily--more stress for my day! It was a long day, but all ended well so glad Karen is home and well now! Hope we never have to go through that again!
We are praising the Lord! He answered our prayers and those of many of you, co-workers and church friends. Karen was anointed by the deacons of our church last Sunday for healing as instructed in James 5. It sure is helpful to know God in times like this!
I took the picture above of Karen sleeping in until 8:15 the day after her surgery with our two cats on the bed with her. (Abby was in the room too part of the time but stayed on the floor.) She loves when the cats come on the bed with her!