Friday, May 11, 2012

Breast removed and still feeling blessed

Yesterday was a day full of pain and full of blessings as well.  As we were driving to the hospital at 5 am, I spent the time praying.  I prayed for my safety and safety for the baby.  I prayed for the surgeons and the nurses.  I asked God to draw the cancer back into the breast if it had spread anywhere and compact it in the center of my breast so it could be removed cleanly.  I prayed for the Anesthesiologist, that he would find the exact balance of medication to give me.  I specifically prayed that the operating room would be filled with the Lord's presence and that the procedure would go so quickly and so smoothly that there would be no denying His presence.  The procedure was supposed to take 2 1/2 was completed in under 2.  The surgeon was surprised by the size of the mass.  It was considerably smaller than they had expected.  The mass has two of the indicators that suggest it is one of the more curable types of cancer.  The amount of skin covering the mass that had to be removed was minimal and the plastic surgeon was able to do a pucker closure which will leave me with the best results when I have the reconstruction.  When they woke me up after the surgery, I immediately started talking and had great conversation and bonded with my favorite nurse ever, Rose.  The amazing part about it is that I came out of the anesthesia quickly and with minimal nausea.  The Anesthesiologist did a great job and gave me the perfect amount of medication.

I have been very apprehensive about how I was going to feel after the surgery and had to look down and see myself with only one breast.  I have to say that so far it's not as traumatizing as I thought it would be.  It's just really weird but not upsetting.  It's most likely because I know that in a couple weeks they will start filling the expander with saline and I will  begin to have the appearance of a breast again.

Today I feel pretty good for the first two hours after I take my pain medication and then I spend the next two hours waiting to take another pill.  I went for a walk this morning.  I walked from my parents house up to the corner of their street which is three houses away and then back down two houses past my parents house where we turned around.  The surgeon says walking is very important after the surgery because of the risk of blood clots and pneumonia which I am at a higher risk for both because of the pregnancy.    I felt so pathetic walking 100 yards at such a slow pace.  Everyone keeps saying they're so impressed with me.  I think I should probably stop being so hard on myself.

Today I am especially thankful for the way I have unknowingly prepared my body for this surgery. I have spent the past 11 months running and doing yoga.  I think about my friend and yoga instructor, Holly, every time I use my core muscles and every time I breathe deeply to release tension in a painful part of my body.  It hurts a lot to breathe.  Every time my lungs expand it sends horrible shooting pains through my chest.  When the pain meds start to wear off I can focus on relaxing those muscles and it helps a lot.  Today I am also thankful for pain medication.

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