With a Thyroidectomy scheduled for this Wed., May 13, 2015, most patients might be nervous. But this is not cancer surgery, it's only 2 hours, and I'll be staying over just one night. Speaking of night, this surgery will be "night and day" in comparison to the surgery I experienced in September of 2009 - at the same wonderful hospital, Providence Little Company of Mary.
On Labor Day weekend a little less than 6 years ago, I underwent a 15 plus hour Double Mastectomy, the surgery I chose, having cancer in my right breast. While there were lots of positives - I was prepared to miss work, had a phenomenal assistant, saw VIP written on my folder at pre-op AND the breast cancer was in stage 0 - there was still a "don't know if". You see, the doctors don't know if the breast cancer has entered the lymph nodes until the actual surgery. So we breast cancer patients enter surgery with that question mark, that fear, that "please God, don't let it be there" prayer. And I wouldn't know if the "margins" were clear until a few days.
Surgery was successful due to local Hermosa Beach residents, Breast Cancer Surgeon Dr. Melanie Friedlander and Plastic Surgeon Dr. Michael Newman. I had 6 tubes when first awakening in ICU, and other than experiencing several eccentric, scary dreams, I felt the comfort of a 5-star hotel. The Providence Little Company of Mary nursing staff was warm, treated me like family, and both surgeons visited daily in addition to lots of friends. My phenomenal sister Diane flew in from Indianapolis 3 days after surgery and helped prepare my apartment for my return home. So everything really was going smoothly, even my move from ICU to a regular room. But a scary bit of good news shocker was still coming. That was the news from the Patholigist.
Dr. Friedlander visited me, sharing the awesome news that my margins were clear; no cancer was in my lymph nodes. She also had some chilling news. The Patholigist found breast cancer in my left breast, also. That cancer had not been detected by the mammograms, the MRI's, by no one. And yet, its size was 1/2 centimeter smaller than the cancer in my right breast. That's not THAT much smaller. So, thanks God I chose the Double Mastectomy rather than having just my right breast removed. Dr. Friedlander was quick to say "smart choice of surgery, Adrienne". And I replied, "Wow", with a smiling sigh of relief.
So today I am cancer-free, in great physical shape and ready for another surgery to be added to my history. This Wednesday's Thyroidectomy should be "a piece of cake". Thank God. I've already endured the tough ones, like amputation for starters, and they're in the past. So this surgery, in comparison, will be very minor. And sincerely, I look forward to Pre-Op appointment on Monday, seeing Leslie Gault, as she was incredible in 2009. This entire surgical experience will be a joy, because it's at Providence Little Company of Mary, the best hospital in the world, with the best doctors. It's the best hotel.
#speakswithasmile #survivors #lifelives