A journal of my experiences with breast cancer to inform those who are interested and to help any one else who might have just been diagnosed.

“[She] will have no fear of bad news; [her] heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Lumpectomy

Steven took off work to take me to my surgery, but the illness that has been going through the family finally hit him hard, so Sandy decided to take me and she stayed with me pretty much the whole time. I was scheduled to arrive at outpatient surgery at 8:00, and after the paperwork, I was taken to my room, where I dressed in my gown and a bag of water was started in my arm. I was then taken down to this tiny room, about the size of a walk-in closet in which there was a ultra-sound machine and a small table for me to lie on. Into this tiny room, four medical professionals were crowded around. There was the doctor who, using the ultra-sound images as a guide, inserted a wire that went into my breast (using a needle), through the lump and out through my nipple. There was the nurse who assisted the doctor, and the sonogram technician who kept the sonogram image the way the doctor needed it. Lastly there was the radiologist, who was in charge of keeping watch over the radioactive seed, which the doctor also inserted near the lump. Both the wire and the radioactive material helps the surgeon locate the lump to remove it. They slotted two hours for this procedure and it took only 15 minutes. The nurse expressed her surprise about how smoothly it went, and said, "You must have some people praying for you." (Thank you all so much for your prayers...they really do make a difference.)

They took me back to my room, and I had to wait for a couple of hours since they had slotted the two hours for the wire-radioactive seed procedure before the surgery. Then they wheeled my bed into the pre-op area, where the anesthesiologist talked to me and began adding various medicines into my IV drip, some for nausea, some for my cough, and one to begin putting me to sleep. I had a brief moment in which I felt swimmy and then the next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room, feeling very nauseous. I have never felt the combination of nauseous, swimmy and like the room was spinning all at the same time.

They wheeled my bed back to my room and gave me some medicine to help with the nausea, but the feeling persisted, so it was decided that I should spend the night at the hospital rather than go home feeling the way I was feeling. The nausea was finally gotten under control and I eventually ate something as I hadn't eaten all day.

As I was coming out of the anesthesia, the first word I said to Sandy was, "Truck."
She said, "Water"
I said, "No, truck."
"It hit me."
Yep, that was about how I was feeling alright.

In the middle of the night, I suddenly had chills and then, soon after, fever. I let the nurse know and she took my temperature and it was 102.1. They notified the surgeon, who ordered some tests...two large vials and four small vials of blood were taken. Tylenol took down the fever and it didn't come back. The surgeon said that this sometimes happens after surgery and not to worry. She also said that when she sent the lump to the lab (they need to retrieve the radioactive seed immediately), they sliced it in half and said that the surgeon had gotten the lump right in the middle, with a good amount of tissue surrounding it, so they were positive about her having gotten all the cells. We won't know for sure for a week and a half, when I return for my follow-up appointment.

Please keep us in  your prayers.

“…for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deut. 31:6


  1. Praying for you...so glad that you are settled back home!

  2. Ooops, almost forgot to comment.

    I"m so thankful your surgery went well. I've been and continue to pray for you.

    Oh, and Ughalasdfh;aeifhnc;svl to the surgery description. I'm discovering I've become somewhat squeamish to medical descriptions as I've grown older.

    1. Oh Ticia what on earth does that word mean? You do make me laugh!

    2. that is my made up word to describe the sound I made when I read it.

  3. Praying here for a good result, that you're managing to rest loads and for peace during the next week and a half. Take care of yourself.

  4. We continue to pray here.

    I don't know what that word that Ticia typed means either but it is certainly funny!

  5. You and your family continue to be in my prayers!

  6. stay strong Phyllis. I'm thinking about you everyday.

  7. You AMAZE me, Mama! TO be going through all this and you still sent me a Christmas card? I swear I will pray for you and your family steadfastly...

  8. I'll continue to pray for you, Phyllis! For strength, energy, wisdom, and total healing! Dear Jesus I ask that you totally and forever remove all cancer cells from dear sweet Phyllis.

  9. I am SO glad to hear this Phyllis. Keilee and I pray for you every night before bed and I think of you so often during the day. I see from the comments that everyone is sending prayers and I just imagine them like balloons going straight to heaven. I wish I was closer so I could help you out. Love and hugs and strength.

  10. I'm sorry to take so long to find this blog! But, I have been and will continue to pray - glad to hear things went well with the surgery despite the colds going through your house. All my love in Christ!