Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pre-op, Surgery and Post-op...OH MY!!!

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but WE TRUST IN THE NAME OF THE LORD OUR GOD."  Psalm 20:7

I am sitting here thanking God for taking such tender care of me yesterday and for Christmas movies being on the Hallmark channel all night long!!!

***I am apologizing in advance for an typos and things that may not make sense.  I'm under the influence of medicine!

Shawn and I arrived at the Surgery Center around 8: a.m. and were greeted by my big tree - the tree of life.  I also had on my gold Victory Sports shirt because it represents GOD'S GLORY! 
We walked into a busy waiting room - the total opposite from when I was there Friday for my ultrasound/biopsy.  When I walked up to the check-in desk, I was greeted by 3 smiling ladies eager to help and PICTURES OF TREES EVERYWHERE!!! 

This is sweet Edna with trees behind her and to the right of her (if you look close enough.)  I'm thinking God waited to show me all the trees in the waiting room now so I could share their significance - HIS significance - with others!  I told everyone who would listen about my God trees as I took pictures! I was thrilled and could not contain my JOY!

Shawn and I were later joined by my dad, stepmom and mom.  In the waiting room, we sat by a Clemson fan (don't worry, we prayed for her!) whose husband was having rotator cuff surgery.  They own a Chick-fil-a in Huntersville NC!!! What a small world!

When I was called back for pre-op, I was greeted once again by pictures of TREES everywhere!  Boy, I needed my camera!  They covered the walls leading to the operating room!  I had one in my pre-op room too!  ONLY GOD!  This gave me more opportunities to share God with the medical staff!  HUGE ANSWERED PRAYER! 

TMI ALERT: This may not be for the faint at heart. 

Part of my preparation for surgery invovled going to radiology and having needles inserted into the exact spots my surgeon Dr. White needed to remove.  This procedure should have taken less than 30 minutes tops and only one needle.  It took them OVER AN HOUR with me and 2 needles!  Here's why...

Denise, the lady who did my ultrasound on Friday, was the person who came to get me from radiology!  I was so delighted to see her!  She walked me over the back way, and I was able to see many more pictures of TREES!  Then she put me in the very capable hands of Amy, the tech, and the radiologist (an older gentleman whose name just left me!)  I was left alone in the room for about 2 minutes when this song started playing in my head....

Here's the deal.  I was placed in the mammogram machine, clapped down tight, given a shot of lidocaine (numbing medicine), and injected with a long needle.  Imagine having this procedure repeated at least 8 times - probably closer to 10!  I honestly lost count!  I know we were on our 2nd bottle of lidocaine by the time we finished!

I did start to pass out on them after the 3rd try and had to lay on the floor!  Apparently I needed a little rest and some extra attention - AGAIN!  Every time I've been to radiology so far, I've needed extra staff attention!   Some of us are just sooo needy and will do anything for attention - LOL! 

After about the 6th or 7th try, I finally said..."We need to pray."  And I started praying out loud.  Mind you, I had been praying silently all along, but I knew it was time to get vocal.

At some point, it was decided that 2 needles would work better than one because the clip from my 1st biopsy kept moving!  I am so thankful for the 2nd clip from Friday's biopsy!  It was marking the correct spot with no problem!  This was definitely God's provision!  Without the 2nd clip, my lumpectomy may have been inaccurate!

On two occasions, I thought the needle had gone in one side and come out the other!  PAINFUL!!!  The problem was the spots they were trying to reach were quite deep.  OUCH!!!

Finally, one needle was placed correctly, but the other one was still having issues.  I looked at Amy, the tech, and I said, "Amy, you need to be praying right now."  She looked me in the eyes and said, "I am.  I am praying right now."

Then the radiologist tried again but the mammogram picture showed the needle was still off just a bit.  He wanted to take it out and try again.  Amy politely suggested he try a particular manual adjustment first.  He agreed.  IT WORKED!!!  IT WORKED!!!  They took another mammogram picture and I heard the radiologist say "IT'S PERFECT!!!"  Music to my ears!  I'm so glad the radiologist was a persistent perfectionist! 

Everything happens in God's perfect timing!  He reminded me He would never let me go via the song He gave me before I went through this whole ordeal in radiology!  GOD IS SO FAITHFUL, LOVING & GRACIOUS! 

*Just a side note: My surgeon Dr. White wanted both clips out.  Since my 1st clip moved away from the 2nd one, Dr. White decided to take out a larger area than originally planned in order to get both clips.  God has a plan for all of this too!


When I finally made it back to pre-op, I asked for my husband.  While I was waiting for him, a nurse stopped by and asked what had happened to me and did she need to go get me a LIVE TREE for my room!!!  How sweet!  Then there was an influx of people and activity.

Just before they took me back to surgery, Shawn held my hand and prayed over me.  Afterwards, my OR nurse came to my bedside and said, "We prayed for you this morning too!"  I teared up.  I am not worthy of any of this, yet God chooses to take care of me anyway!  I am so very grateful!  I must have thanked the nurse all the way to the OR!  And then I was knocked out!

The next thing I remember is waking up (sort of) and feeling nauseous.  I was given 3 different medications before my nausea lessened and I could sip some ginger ale. Then, I ate 10 packs of saltine crackers like they were a juicy steak!  I was so  hungry!  The discharge nurse hooked me up with a BIG BAG of crackers for the ride home.  She definitely climbed to hero status!!!    

It was a long day, but a good day - lots of opportunities to share God with others.  My surgery ended up starting about an hour late and lasting about 30 minutes longer than planned due to all of the challenges and changes.  Then my recovery took longer because of my stubborn nausea.  But my God is sovereign.  He is in control of it all.  NOTHING happens by chance!

When Shawn and I finally got in the car to leave the hospital around 6:15 p.m., guess what was playing on the radio??!!!  JOY TO THE WORLD!  Our God is soooo good!  Don't ever forget that - no matter what!  You can trust HIM! 

 My daughter made this special card for me with her guidance counselor!  HOW SWEET!

We came home to 2 children who were VERY happy to see us!  YUMMY food from my precious friend Audrey (* Audrey I've been praying for your daughter's results too.  Also, the casserole you made contains the Mexican flavors I crave on a regular basis! You cannot imagine how excited I was to eat it!!!  I had 2 helpings!  THANK YOU!) and my WARM bed! 

I was asleep before 8pm!  I know this goes against my reputation!  But does it help that I've been awake now since 2:22 a.m.??!!!

It is good to be home!

My eyes are filling with tears right now as one of my favorite Christmas movies is coming on at 4:00 a.m.!  And God did this just for me!  He loves me and HE LOVES YOU TOO!  MORE THAN YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE!

I saw this movie for the first time a few years ago and did not get to see it last year.  It's called "The Christmas Box" and Richard Thomas (John Boy from "The Waltons") plays in it.  It is about priorities and one man's quest to answer the question "What was the first gift of Christmas?"  A beautiful movie.   


Here is an amazing Scripture Audrey put in the card that came with her DELICIOUS meal...

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."  2 Corinthians 4:16-18 

Now, it's time for a nap!

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,


  1. Amazing! We sang Joy to the World last night at church and I thought of you. :)

  2. I know that it's no coincidence that I called you EXACTLY as you were sending the email with this update attached. So glad you did well and that your ministry continued yesterday!!

  3. I hope you are resting and starting to feel a little more comfortable from all the needle sticks. God is so good and to watch your attitude thru all of this is very inspiring. Thinking of you often. Love you and sending joyful prayers. To God be the Glory!!!