The day of the surgery was pretty remarkable when you consider that I checked in at 7:30am and checked out at 3pm! That’s right I’m not kidding.. bilateral (double) mastectomy! Vomit bowl under chin and cold wash cloth on my forehead and away we went on our way home. Looking back, it was kind of funny when I think about my poor husband who was trying to get me home quickly; the faster he went the more I got sick!
I think the most intimate moment I have ever experienced with my husband was in the recovery room. I remember looking up out of my fog and seeing that wonderful face with his charming smile looking back at me. He just kept saying, I love you. I couldn’t say much because my voice hadn’t returned yet, but I was telling him with my eyes that I loved him too. I made it! Here I am! Almost in one piece and I’m so grateful that you are here waiting for me! There was so much to tell him about my experience since I had last seen him hours ago when he left pre-op. My surgeon picked up my hand and held it like he was holding it as they wheeled my bed into the operating room and once we got there she didn’t let go. The nurse was setting everything up and she just continued to hold onto my hand, caressing it until she leaned over and softly spoke…goodnight Sheri. I remember as they wheeled me in the operating room that it was very cold. The radio was playing oldies and Team Boobie was in good cheer. My doctor, nurse and anesthesiologist were a team who worked together frequently on breast cancer patients. They called themselves Team Boobie, I called them my All Girl Rock Band. The chill of the operating room was sobering. Instantly I snapped out of vanity and became very aware of what was really happening. Team Boobie was not taking off my breasts. They were saving my life. Oh God, I have cancer. Please get it ALL! Take it all! Then Joshua 1:9 ran through my mind and over my lips. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid nor dismayed for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” That’s what I was repeating when the lights went out.
When the lights came back on there was my husband waiting patiently to tell me he loved me. I was only home a few hours when my sisters got in town. One of my sisters is a nurse and going to school to be a P.A. Whew, thank goodness because I tend to be a nervous nilly about everything. But, she was there to keep track of medicine and to help measure and drain the tubes. It was like having my own personal doctor! I was so happy to not be in the hospital! By the end of the day my whole family and close friends had stopped by to say hello. It was a celebration. I am officially a cancer survivor!