Thursday, January 14, 2016

Surgery & 10 year anniversaries

Surgery is over and we are just waiting for the results.  Thank you for your prayers, it was a very easy experience.

Sometime on Monday, a peace settled over me.  I was still a bit apprehensive, but I slept fine that night, had to be there at 6:30 am Tuesday on the coldest morning of the season for Florida LOL.  After much thought I had  decided to go with Florida Hospital of Wesley Chapel, a new hospital and used a surgeon from our medical group.  I had debated about what to do since I do think it matters where you have medical procedures done.  One of my college friends had had the same type of surgery last year and used the same surgeon and same hospital and had a really good experience.  That gave me confidence. 

I had decided against a biopsy because an interducatl Papillion usually is surgically removed just in case it could turn into cancer so regardless of what a biopsy might say now, in a couple of years, it could change.  PLUS, I've done some reading about biopsies and I'm not comfortable with them if they can be avoided.  Some studies are showing that in the case of cancers, there is sometimes a "needle track"  of tumors.  I don't ever want to take the advice of the internet but some real cancer hospitals like Sloan-Kettering are doing studies to look at the safety of this common procedure.  I'd rather error on the side of caution. 

Since the tumor could not be seen or felt, I had to first have a thin wire inserted to mark it.  Generally the wire is inserted into the tumor but I asked if it could be placed to the side or on top of it without penetrating the tumor.  The radiologist cheerfully accommodated  my request without being upset or making me feel like I was crazy.  I really appreciated that!   He was able to loop it around the tumor so it was marked for the surgeon, but the tumor was not penetrated.  That procedure was the worst part, but it was not too bad.  There were about five people in the room and one of the staff held onto my feet and started rubbing them!  I just concentrated on that and it helped me.  I don't know if they offer that service for all patients but I sure did appreciate it!   Of course I was numbed up, but honestly that only helped somewhat.  But I've experienced much worst pain that that before hitting my foot on a toy.  It was just the idea of a wire being inserted in to  my boob!  LOL  The radiologist did tell me that it looked like an typical Papillion so that helped to take away some of the fear.

Then I was taken back for the surgery.  The surgeon was able to take the tumor out in one piece and said it was soft, which I've been told is a good sign.  Of course it has to be examined by pathology because sometimes there are atypical or cancer cells inside it.  We are very happy that the tumor was taken out with out it being ruptured in any way.  In case there are any bad cells inside, the idea is they stayed inside! 

The pain has not been bad at all.  I'm surprised at how easy it's been.  The staff told me to keep an ice pack on and believe me I have done that!  I haven't even taken an Advil in over 24 hours.   They also told me to keep a bra on all the time.  I was bummed, I thought I'd have an excuse NOT to wear one for a week or so LOL.  Today I took my first real shower and realized how hugely swollen I am, it was a shocker, lots of bruising too.  I hurried right up and put that sucker back on since it's supposed to help keep the swelling down.  The bandages are still on, and no I've not looked LOL.  I'm not good with incisions, I'm basically doing what I did when I had the C-section and let things come off when they fall off ( that was the staff's advice too) I had learned when I had the C-section to use a blow dryer to dry the air (set on a very low speed and heat) I did the same thing today.  I recovered so quickly from the C-section so I'm hopeful this will be the same. 

All in all, it's been much easier than what I anticipated.   Jon's taking the week off so I don't have to pick up the kids and a friend is going to help me next week.  Steve delayed his return to college and stayed with the kids for the surgery.  His classes didn't start till the next day but it's fun to get back early and see all your friends.  So I appreciate him staying over. 

I'm not too worried about the results, I think everything will be ok but of course I will be glad to know for sure.

Today I had to get a pelvic ultrasound, I actually drove myself so we didn't have to take the little ones.  The ultrasound was fine, driving home was rough!  That was the last test of all the things I had to do regarding all the stomach issues I've had.  The doctors have concluded I just have really bad IBS, with some active colitis.  I just have to take better care of myself and go back in 2 years for another colonoscopy.   This had been going on since October....the breast tumor was the surprise!  I thought I had something really wrong with my stomach.... then I just went to my yearly mammogram thinking nothing was amiss.....SURPRISE!  It's a bit ironic to me. 


BEFORE all of that we had our 10 year anniversary party last Sunday as pastor of our church.    We had the actual party/celebration at Hillsborough River State Park.  We rented the hall there and cooked out.  Several folks brought their kayaks and canoes so all the kids had a chance to go on the river.  We also had folks fishing and walking the trails.  It was a very relaxed time for us and just our type of celebration!

Ok you can tell it was very casual!



Saturday was our actual 10 years exactly and that was also 10 years to the day that I got Shad!
So while Jon was here in the US with Steve and Sam, getting ready for his first week as pastor of Grace Church, I left that Friday to fly to China and get Shad.  It was hard going on my own but at that time it was the best decision.  So Jon's first Sunday at the church was January 8th and as he was finishing his Sunday night sermon, I was meeting Shad for the first time in the orphanage (about 8 am China time- 12 hours ahead).  What a big day for our family!!!!  It does not seem possible that we adopted Shad 10 years ago, actually it seems like he was always with us, always our son.  We went to Chick Fil A on Saturday so he could celebrate with the food he loves, he got a 30 piece chicken nugget box!   He was meant to be our boy!


Sarah and me after her bath. 

Tuesday after surgery we had to drop Steve off for his second semester of college.  I didn't know if I'd be able to go but I was fine.  Jon said I'd gone if I just had gotten up from open heart surgery LOL

BTW, that sweat shirt is my oldest piece of clothing I own, somehow it has missed all the times I've cleaned out my clothes closet.  I actually wore it the day we brought Steve home from the hospital!  I also wore it the day we brought Sam home!!!!  No kidding!  I've got my money worth from that sweat shirt!

Bye Bye!

We had to go to Chick Fil A to console ourselves.  Shad fed Sarah for me, I couldn't do it no matter how hard I tried, I kept getting soup all over her. 

We had to say goodbye but not for long- we had to drop something off to him the next day LOL and he is coming home Friday for the weekend.  The beautiful girl he is dating is coming too to meet us.......we can't wait....poor little girl RUN!  LOL  she has no idea.....

Thank you again for all your thoughts and prayers, I'm sure they've helped! 


  1. So happy that it wasn't too much of an ordeal for you and continued prayers for quick healing! I was glad to read your thoughts about not penetrating the tumor and concern about biopsies. I have also felt that way and some people say I am crazy! Love these pics of your family - the smile on Shad's face while feeding Sarah is priceless! I can't wait to hear how the meeting between you and Steve's lovely lady goes! She would be so blessed to be a part of your family (not that I'm trying to marry them off too quickly - ha!)! Congrats on your 10 year celebrations! (((HUGS)))!!!

  2. Happy anniversary ....So glad that you're home and on the mend. :)