I'm at peace this morning as we head to the hospital. I put Pandora radio on the Michael Jackson channel. Bob and Riley are quiet, lost in thought. I'm concentrating on the music. The music will help my mindset. We're just merging onto the expressway when my song - Earth Wind and Fire's September comes on. I couldn't be happier! I'm dancing and jamming in the car. Life is great for me right at this moment. Today is a good and happy day. The cancer is being removed. Cancer will not be in my body after today. It is a day of gratitude.
We arrive early (that's a first for us!) and I'm wearing my pink lei in celebration of the day. I check in and am taken back to my presurery room. I've brought some "boob" cake pops to pass out to the doctors and nurses who will help me today. I'm in celebration mode - I am celebrating life today.
I'm prepped for surgery. It takes two pokes to get the IV started. I'm hoping this isn't an omen for the surgery. As in last time, I have to have a radioactive dye injected into my breast so the doctor can see my lymph nodes "light up". The nurse warns me about the doctors that deal in this - "they're all weird and smell like moth balls". Okay then, can't wait to meet him.
Lo and behold, in walks the same doctor I had 6 years ago. I say hello, you're from Bulgaria right? He's in shock. I have this thing about having to know something about the people who are intimately working on me; so I remember his story from last time. I get him to tell me why he chose this profession. He likes to look at things and figure them out, he says. Injections complete (yes there were two!) and on to jiggling my breast. Yes, you heard me, I have to jiggle my breast to move the dye around. I sit and jiggle waiting for my family to come back. I was scheduled for 10:00 a.m. surgery, I'm told it won't happen now until 11:00.
Since I'm a Reiki practitioner and have volunteered in this hospital for the last three years, I had requested a treatment right before my surgery. My family arrives at the same time as the Reiki pracitioner. My daughter, Riley is outside my door. I can hear her tell the Reiki practitioner that she can't come in because she can't stop crying. My heart is breaking for her. I want her to know it's okay to cry and be sad but we have to look at the big picture. I am coming away with my life. IT IS A HAPPY DAY.
I can hear the Reiki practitioner talking to Riley and giving her a hug. She calms her and I am thankful. Once they're in the room, the Reiki treatment begins. Both Bob and Riley are on either side of me holding my hands. I feel the energy going through my body. I'm filled with love, spirit and calmness. I think that both Bob and Riley feel it too. They seem calmer.
We sit, talk and listen to music for the next two hours. I hand out my "boob" cake pops to all the personnel. The anesthesiologists are speechless. They smile and say this is a first. I've brought out some smiles today. In the midst of this crazy, sad day - I smiled along with others.
Dr. Ruark comes in, I give her her cake pop. She smiles and puts it in her pocket. She explains, in her calm and gentle manner, the surgery. I'm so happy she's my surgeon. She tells me if I wake up and there are two drains in me, that means the cancer has invaded my lymph nodes. So I guess you know what the first question I will be asking when I wake up. She says the surgery will last around two hours. Pathology will be done while I'm on the table.
The come in about 10:50 and say "Okay it's time for the good stuff" and begin the injection into my IV. I don't remember anything after that. I'm told I kissed everyone and said goodbye. I had my arms up in the air saying "Whoop Whoop!! It's a happy day!! as I was lead out of the room and taken down the hall to surgery. Bob stands and wouldn't leave until he sees me turn the corner. He collapses and sobs after I'm out of sight. When I hear about this later I'm sad. I think it's truly harder on my family watching me go through this. Cancer hasn't just rocked my world but theirs too.