Friday, January 28, 2011

Surgery Update

We just got back to our motel room at the House of Kin here in Sudbury (Friday Jan 28th). It has been a long 24 hours since we left here Thursday morning.  I will give a bit of a step by step over the past day.  We arrived at the hospital at seven thirty and went to Day Surgery registration.  It was interesting that the people we were sitting with would become friends over the time as we went through similar things.  Once registered  and changed to hospital attire, we went down to radiology.  As soon as we opened the door to that waiting room we greeted a familiar face,  Tammy Urso (Maitland) from Blind River works in that department and it was so nice to see her.  Her mother (Barb)  had told Tammy we were coming and it was nice to have a hug to start this day we had been so apprehensive about.

In Radiology we had a five minute procedure to inject dye into the tumour in Mary's left breast and wait for it to travel to the lymph nodes.  With the dye injected we went back to the Day Surgery waiting room for two hours. We had to return at 10:30 to have x-rays and see  how far the dye would travel.  Back in the waiting room we settled in, I had a book to read and Mary a quilt she was working on.  We talked to everyone as is Mary's custom.  People from all over the north,  a couple from Timmins, a lady from Cochrane,  two sisters from Sturgeon Falls and many from Sudbury.  It seemed that about 50% of the people were in for Cancer surgery but there were many other surgeries as well.  The doctor had said that the surgery would be at about 1pm and that Mary would be out at 6 or 7 in the evening.   We knew it was going to be long day but had no idea at that point.  Mary said she could feel that people were praying and that we were in the Lord's hand.   At 10:30 we walked back to radiology to have the pictures taken of the dye. 

We met another young couple in that waiting room who had a tragic story of Breast Cancer.  They were in the middle of chemo treatment and radiation therapy.  We prayed for them as they left to continue the battle.  While in the waiting room the Television news report talked about a group of men from St.Catherines that found out they had won a big lottery back in 2003.  Everyone in the waiting room was discussing  the story.  It is too bad that money can't buy good health.  I was thinking that it is a good thing our treasure is in Heaven and facing Cancer makes that so real to us.  Winning the lottery would not change the cancer but trusting in Jesus makes all the difference.  He will sustain us in a way earthly treasure could never.

On the way back to the Day Surgery waiting room I took a peak at the pictures in the envelope.  It looked like the dye was injected to the tumour and by the picture it had travelled to 3 or 4 other distinct parts.  We had been praying that the cancer would be confined to the tumour but by  the looks of the xray it was evident it had travelled.  Our hearts sank a bit as we contemplated more extensive surgery.  Then the waiting game actually started.  We settled in that large waiting room at about 11am, hoping to have our name called for surgery at 1pm. One o'clock came without a call, 2, 3, 4 o'clock and still no word.  The doctor had been in surgery most of the day and we were wondering if maybe things would be postponed.  At 5:30 I saw the doctor heading out for supper  and I wondered some more.  I was hoping to have this ordeal over but It would be nice to have the doctor rested and ready.  We were the only ones left in the large waiting room.  I am sure 60 people or more had passed through that room during the day. At 6:30 the doctor arrived to take Mary in, she was ready to do the surgery.  Mary left with the doctor and nurse and I decided to go down the hall to Tim Horton's for a soup and sandwich.  On my way I remembered that Jody Fullerton was in the hospital so I checked at the front desk about visiting hours.  The girl said the visiting hours were over at 7pm so I decided to go up and visit Jody right then.  It was nice to see Mary (Jody's wife) and him.  

At about 8pm I continued my trek to Tim's for my first meal of the day.  Mary had been fasting since Wed. evening and I thought and prayed for her as I ate my supper.  That Tim Horton's in the hospital is a busy place.  The line up was almost constant.  Back in the waiting room it was a lonely place.  The TV was on, but my thoughts and prayers were with Mary down the hall in the OR.  The time dragged on but finally the doctor came to the door at about 9:15 with the news of the surgery.  She said that everything went well and then the best news.  She said she removed the lymph nodes identified by the dye and that they were negative for cancer. Praise God!  This is a good indication that the cancer has not spread beyond the breast.  We will know more once the rest of the pathology is finished but this was very good news.  The doctor said the anesthetic had hit Mary pretty hard but should  be ready to go in a couple of hours.  You have to know that one regular strength Tylenol will but Mary to sleep and I knew she would be longer than that.

Another waiting game began.  This time I was not alone.  At about 9:30, Katie showed up at the door. It was great to see her.  She had managed to get a ride north from Toronto, and was there to see how Mom was doing.  We went into see Mary at 11pm but she was still out.  At 2am we tried again but still no luck.  Finally at 6:30 Friday morning we wheeled her out of the hospital and at the moment both Mary and Katie are asleep in our room at the House of Kin, while I type away at this computer.

It has been a long twenty-four hours but the Lord has been faithful and it is great to have this part of the adventure over.  I will up date again in a few days.  Thanks to everyone for your prayers and thoughts at this time.


Lina said...

SO glad to hear things went well! You were in all our our thoughts and prayers--may God bless you richly as Mary recovers and decisions are made about further treatment.

Jason & Erin said...

"Winning the lottery would not change the cancer but trusting in Jesus makes all the difference."

So very true...we continue to pray
Jason & Erin

Ross said...

Thanks Tim for walking us through this with you and Mary as you go with your hands in God's...your faith and trust speaks to us. We are blessed to know you both and share in your walk and cheer you on from the sidelines as you run the race for Jesus! You are in our prayers and on our hearts. We are so very thankful for the news that the nodes were cancer free, thank you Lord. May you sense His Peace and presence as Mary heals. Loads of Love, Mel and Ross and the boys.

Sue and Evan said...

Thanks for the update on Mary's OR, Tim. Thinking of you both and hoping that Mary feels better each day. Sue and Evan

Jean-Pierre said...

Thanks for the update, Tim. So glad to hear that everything's well and to hear of God's faithfulness! We recently had a miscarriage and went through a similar waiting game re: the hospital here in Cape Town, so we know that side well.

We're praying for a speedy recovery on this side and praise God with you for all that He's done!

Much love,

Jean-Pierre, Christa, Shirley and Sarah in Cape Town.