My Breast Cancer Journey: Surgery
ORLANDO - With the medical team in place and my family by my side I was ready to face the next part of my breast cancer journey – the surgery.
At 5:01am on March 25th before going to the hospital for surgery to remove a malignant tumor, my friends poured out their love. My friend Donna Jones called me and prayed with me. We cried together. She reminded me that when I first told her about my diagnosis I said, “I want to be able to help others to know that they can go through this without falling apart.” Hearing her repeat my words helped me realize that this was the beginning of many opportunities I would have to practice what I preached.
Next, I received a text message from my high school classmate Rubenia Felton. I remember reading the following, “God have your way today. Guide the hands of the doctors. Keep them alert and let nothing distract them.” She then quoted Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” She closed with “We trust you God, in Jesus name, Amen.” I then sent a text message to my son who was away at college and let him know that I would call him as soon as I could.
I arrived at the hospital and checked in at 7:00am. After having pictures and x-rays taken I was led to the pre op area. I was greeted by a nurse named Brenda who told me she’d take good care of me. She then gave me a gown to put on and closed the curtains. I stood there and thought, “I don’t want to go through with this.” Tears rolled down my face. I cried for a moment and then a calm feeling came over me. I thanked the Lord, wiped my tears, put on the gown and opened the curtain.
Across the room I noticed two nurses looking at me and pointing in my direction. Could they have heard me crying? I didn’t think I cried that loud. Then one of them came over to me and told me her name. It was one of my customers! She reminded me of how I helped her years ago and how much she appreciated it. She said she had been waiting for me because she had seen my name posted on the board the day before. She wanted to tell me that she was a breast cancer survivor and that she felt wonderful. Look how the Lord works. She was one of many He sent to comfort me as I prepared for surgery.
After my surgeon went over some last minute things with me the anesthesiologist administered the medicine that knocked me out in less than five minutes. I woke up in the recovery room and was told the surgery went well. I was surrounded by my mother, my brother, Ron, my sister-in-law, Barb, my friend, Dawn and my beau, Mac. I remember praying, “Lord today and during this whole time I saw and felt your love. Thank you.”
I called my son as promised. I told him that I was talking funny due to the anesthesia but I was ok. I kept saying the same thing over and over again before someone took the phone from me and told him not to worry. My mother spent the night with me in the hospital and the next day I was released and went home.
I received a constant flow of get well cards, flowers, gifts, personal visits, emails, text messages, and calls from church members, colleagues, friends and family. It was heartwarming to know people kept me in their prayers.
I made it through learning about my breast cancer diagnosis, I made it through assembling my medical and support team and I made it through the surgery to remove the cancerous tumor from my body. I believed the Lord would help me make it through the next phases in my journey – chemotherapy and radiation. The real battle was ahead of me.
I hope you will continue to go with me on this journey. It is one filled with faith, hope and trust in the Lord.