Saturday, August 28, 2010

Surgery Update

Dear Friends and Family -

I wanted to share with you how the surgery went on Wednesday and what the day was like for me. I meant to do this yesterday... I was just so tired. There will be more information in this e-mail than what you need or want, but I am trying to keep a journal for myself without having to type everything twice. Sorry. (you can skip to the bottom to get the facts about the results of the surgery) I am making a blog to put these entries on and when I have it up and running I will send that email address and you can get an update whenever you would like.

When Talmage and I got to the hospital, my dad was already in the waiting room. It was his birthday. I was glad he was there and then shorlty after, my mom came in. It was the kind of moment that you just want to be that little girl who skinned her knee and your mom puts a bandaid on it and everything is better. No bandaid, but a lot of love and hope.

After getting my IV put in, a nurse and her assistant came to do a stress test on the baby. This was the comical relief that we all needed. They could not figure out how to turn on their machine and tried for a good 5 minutes. My confidence was dwindling. Finally, Talmage spoke up and asked if he could help. He went to the back of the machine and pushed the button that said, "power". It turned on. Whew! They watched the baby for about 15 minutes and this little girl proved that she was strong and ready for the day. It was a joy to listen to her and her her hiccups :) While we were waiting, a lullaby would play over the loud speakers. This meant that a baby had just been born. I was really wishing that I was there to have a baby instead of what I was about to go through. After the fetal stress test, I was sent down to have a Sentinel Node Injection. I was a little nervous for this, but it turned out to be nearly painless. I was grateful. This is where they inject a small amount of radioactive material through the breast that travels through the Lymphatic channels. This is how the surgeon would see if the Cancer had spread. We went back to the room and waited to go into surgery. A short while later, the stretcher pulled up. I really didn't love the sight of it. They wheeled me down the hall, I said "see ya later" to my parents and Talmage and I continued on to meet with the surgeon. We went over the information to make sure we were all on the same page and then they rolled me out. The plan was to do a Lumpectomy, Sentinel Node Biopsy with possible Axillary disection. It was hard to let go of Talmage's hand. As they wheeled me down the hall, we turned a corner and stopped. Right above me was a big, silver, bulb that acted like a mirror. I could see my whole body on the stretcher as if from a bird's eye view. It was surreal. All I could do is look at myself and repeat the same phrase that I had been saying hundreds of times a day since the diagnosis. "Faith not fear". We rolled into the operating room, transfered beds, got oxygen and then I felt my arm sting. I knew they were putting me to sleep. I instantly saw double and then I was out. Operating time.

When I woke up, I remember the first thing I asked was if they had to do the Axillary disection. I knew if they didn't then the Cancer hadn't spread. Nobody answered. They rolled me directly to Labor and Delivery so that we could monitor the baby to make sure she was well. She was. Unfortunately, my OB is out of town and has been for a while. So, I didn't really have somebody who wanted to be responsible for me, plus my OB is at McKay Dee Hospital and my surgery was at LDS. After serveral hours, they decided the baby was strong enough for me to go home .... JUST then I had a contraction and her heart beat dropped and they wanted me to stay for 2 more hours... which turned into nearly 4 more hours. As time went on, I started having pretty strong contractions about every 5 minutes. I think this was due to the stress that my body was under and plus I hadn't had anything to eat in nearly 24 hours. Finally, around 9:30 pm they sent me home. I had contractions all the way home and thought we might be driving straight up to McKay to deliver this baby. When we got home, Talmage made me some oatmeal and I slowly ate and worked through the contractions. Thankfully around 12:30 am they started to subside. I could finally go to sleep.

The night before surgery, Talmage and I went to the Temple to do sealings. It was our 16th anniversary. It was peaceful, beautiful and comforting. I thought that I would be really emotional and cry the whole way through, but not one tear fell from my eye. I could even say I was happy. I felt surrounded by love from both this side of the veil and beyond the veil. It is something I will always cherish. My friend from highschool sent me a scripture ... one that I love, and it is what I thought about the whole day of the surgery. It is:

D&C 84:88 ..."there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." Each of you have been my angels. Thank you so much.

The tumor they took out was 1 cm and they also took out 1 lymph node that was part of the Sentinel Node Biopsy. This showed that the cancer had not spread and so we have every reason to believe that they were able to remove it completely! I am SO THANKFUL! However, because of the size, my age and the type of cancer (3 negatives) I will still start Chemotherapy shortly after the baby is born. This is simply a precaution. This Thursday, my case will be presented at the Tumor Board and all of the doctors attending will decide the appropriate course of action to take. So for now, we wait for this little girl to make her appearance. Hopefully she can wait a couple of weeks so that I can heal from surgery and not have any complications due to lactating. We are just taking it one step at a time and are so thankful for all that has occured. Our family is being blessed. Our children are staying strong and faithful and I feel the love of all of you and from a loving, merciful Heavenly Father.

All Our Love,

Danae, Talmage and Kids

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