Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Surgery

The cancer has been removed.  They took out a lump with surrounding tissue that was about the size of a clementine.  I like the idea of removing a small orange from my body.  I am not sure why, but I like that image.  Definitely better than a golf ball, way more organic for sure.  

Yesterday when I went to Juravinski for my care I was totally overwhelmed with love for those nurses and doctors.  From Sheila, the nurse who has been working there for 35 years and will retire on Monday, to the anesthesiologist who had kind eyes and wore the hot pepper surgery cap, to Dr. Susan Reid, who was kind, funny and had a voice like Cybill Shepard, a bit raspy and so calming.  

As I went toward the operating room, I walked by surgeons who wore something that looked like bicycle helmets and was told that they deal with more intense surgeries that involved cutting bones and that the helmets were actually visors to prevent the icky stuff of bodies from getting on their faces.  Well, that just about put me over the edge and I started talking a mile a minute, and I didn't quite realize it but I was FREAKING out!   

We opened the doors to my operating room, and there were 5 or 6 women, who all surrounded me quickly and began the process of getting me prepped.  I told them that I felt like this was some sort of coven of amazing women, and that I loved them.  I was given some ativan for anxiety and the last thing I remember was a mask being put on my face. 

I awoke about 4 hours later and the first thought that came into my mind was that they had made a mistake in the surgery. 

"Uhm, excuse me? Hello? I whispered in my gravelly voice. "Am I cross eyed? I think I am cross eyed?'
"Nope.  Your eyes are just adjusting. It's something that happens after surgery." smirked the short haired nurse. 
"I really think I am cross eyed.  My son would like that.  He's five."

As I started coming to, I asked a lot of questions.  Is the cancer gone? I am alive? Can I drink some water? When can I have chocolate pudding? The bells around me would go off and I would be reminded to take deep breaths.  I drank water and continued to breathe.  

Soon enough I was wheeled from the Recovery Room to the Same Day Surgery where I was reunited with my amazing team of my mom Carmen, and my husband Dave.  We hugged, and I cried a bit, and we all felt relieved. 

I know that this surgery is a mild one for sure, but it really made me think about life.  As the mask was put over my mouth and nose, for one moment, I thought, this could be my last moment.  Who knows what could happen?  And for one brief moment, before I fell asleep, I just felt love.  A very calm and simple love.  


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  2. Glad you came out okay. I hope the follow up treatment isn't too awful and that the scarring won't be too bad. I think they are getting much better with that. When I had some tissue removed as a 14-year-old (I'm sure it was gynecomastia, though the surgeon wanted to protect a pubescent male from embarrassment, so he called it a 'fatty tissue infection'), I ended up with a big smile of a scar about 5 inches long and half my pectoral gone along with it. Anyway, I wish you well.

  3. Thank you for this Lisa. With you every second there. Much love for the healing. Xxxxx