Thursday, May 03, 2012

Post Op Report

Sitting in the hospital room, I looked out the window from the fifth floor. Across the street from the hospital, a white steeple with a cross on the top jutted high into the air. I felt like it was placed there specifically for me. A gentle reminder of who was in charge.

It helped.

We checked in on Monday, and waited. Waited for a room, blood tests, and one nurse after another to to do this and that, all while asking questions, giving advice, and relaying step-by-step what was about to happen. A mastectomy is not something any woman wants to endure. But what about a man?

My six-foot-two husband suddenly looked so vulnerable. Hanging on to the right side of his chest those last few hours, Michael was a trooper. For me mostly, I'm sure.

They brought in a small bed for me to sleep on beside him, because I was not about to leave him. But sleeping is not something you do much in any hospital. All night long, nurses and doctors crept into the room bringing with them the bright lights of the hallway. Slinking around, trying to remain invisible, they took vitals, checked the IV, and did whatever it is medical people do in the middle of the night.

By Tuesday morning, groggy and aching from trying to rest on beds we were not used to, we tried to prepare ourselves for what was about to happen. Finally, at 7:15 a.m, Michael handed me his glasses, his wallet, and his wedding ring.

Nobody can prepare for having a breast removed. Not really.

They wheeled Michael to nuclear medicine after I kissed him for the umpteenth time. That was the last I saw him until they brought him back to the room at about 2 in the afternoon.

We had a fabulous surgeon, a wonderful nursing staff, and thank God for it. Pale and nauseous, Michael dozed in and out until finally, around nine that evening, he began to feel human. It made me feel much better to slip his wedding ring back on his finger.

He's home now. A drainage tube hangs from his side, and there's a big dip in his chest where a scar runs across it, but it really doesn't look so bad. He's alive. And will be for a long, long time thanks to early detection. We don't have the results back from all of the tests, but the doctor was extremely positive.

He's a survivor now. A member of the pink ribbon club. We're thankful for our family and the hundreds of friends who prayed for us during this time. We're thankful God was with us in that room, for the gentle reminder he placed just outside our window. A tall, white steeple that pointed to the Heavens ...

Blessings to you and yours.

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