top of page

The Procedure

Ok, bear with me. I don’t speak medical jargon. The only college level course I ever took was medical terminology at Ivy Tech….but it didn’t stick.

The “procedure” was surgery to remove my uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and some limp nodes for good measure. The goal was to remove all the cancer and see if it had sneaked out of the uterus.

The CT scan from the previous Thursday had shown that the cancer hadn’t spread. Praise Jesus!!! Tt was a relief when Dr. Stockrahm came to the Bee-stro for lunch on Friday and told me the CT scan came back and it was good. Seriously, I didn’t realize how heavy I was concerned about the CT scan and what it would find until he told me the news that it was good. The rest of the day was sing-song happy.

So, on Monday, Oct. 9, we packed up our stuff and headed to St. Vincent Indy.

Now, by packing up our stuff, you have to realize something about me. I like relationships. I especially like relationships with people who will have my life in their hands. The best and quickest way for a relationship to form is through food. So, part of what we packed up was three half-gallon containers of a variety of soups and a stash of Bee-stro brownies.

Now, hear me out on this. When I met with Dr. Callahan the week before, I jokingly (half jokingly) told him I didn’t know if I could trust him if I hadn’t cooked for him. He played along and said he would happily eat anything I wanted to cook for him. So, amidst Andy mumbling, “I don’t know why you need to bring all this food to a surgery”, we brought it. Unfortunately, I found out later I still haven’t cooked for Dr. Callahan because the nurses and anesthesiologist beat him to it.

On the trip up to Indy, I told Andy who I wanted my pallbearers to be just in case. It seemed like a lighter topic that what the news was playing on the radio.

Luckily, when we arrived at the hospital, we didn’t have to wait long before heading back to get prepped for surgery. The first thing I needed to do was empty my bladder, which was fortuitous because they also needed to do a pregnancy test. At 54 years old, I told them the idea of being pregnant was scarier than having cancer.

The nurse checking us in was a chatty gal. She told us of a great new series her and her husband were watching, her annual vacation destination (she doesn’t like to try new places so they go to the same location every year- always driving because she is afraid to fly), and she complimented me on by bright fluorescent toenail polish. She was a gem.

Then the anesthesiologist came in. He asked me how I was feeling. I told him the more important question was how was he feeling? Did he imbibe the evening before? Is everything good at home? Is he happy? I asked in a laughing and joking voice, but seriously, those things matter! He told me his Sunday evening was a nice quiet one with no alcohol. I could see Andy shaking his head out of the corner of my eye with a look that said, “That’s my girl.”

The anesthesiologist told me I might wake up with a tube down my throat. They try to get them out before heading to recovery, but sometimes they can’t. I looked at Andy and told him, “Make sure to have people pray about that. I don’t want to wake up with a tube down my throat.”

After Claudia, the very skillful nurse who was evidently the IV stick specialist came in and got me all ready with my IV, I was wheeled down on the gurney to the pain center to get my epidural put in. From there, I was out….

The next thing I knew I was waking up in recovery. No tube down my throat- Praise Jesus!! I was thirsty, so a nice nurse kept giving me ice nuggets, you know the good kind like we have at the Bee-stro. I was sleepy and groggy. And the room was spinning. My chest was hurting, so they did an EKG. All was good there. It must have been gas.

I don’t remember who told me, but it was in recovering that I heard that it looked like the cancer was all contained in the uterus- a HUGE PRAISE JESUS!!!!! They said they wouldn’t know for sure until pathology came back, but Dr. Callahan was very happy with what he saw.

Andy came back and saw me in recovery along with Terry and Melanie. It was later before I was able to go to the private room that would be my home for the next 3 days because they had to wait for a vacancy.

The biggest hurdle I had with recovering from surgery was getting the room to quit spinning which was making me nauseous. During that time, I was pretty quiet and just slept a lot. God love him, Andy was right there watching me sleep….with my mouth open.

Once the room stopped spinning and I was feeling better, I was able to chat with the nurses when they would come in. There wasn’t a bad one in the bunch. They were all very kind, caring, and professional. Two nurses told me that I was the “brightest patient on the unit”. One told me that it was even written in my chart. I was honored to have that disclaimer.

The big thing the nurses and doctors kept asking me was if I had passed gas. I guess with this type of surgery, passing gas is a must before they let you go home. Imagine that. Don’t tell your 6 year-old sons. In the wee hours of Thursday morning, not only had a passed gas, but I did the grand pooh-bah- I finally had that BM from Sunday’s colon cleanse- 4 MiraLAX and several stool softeners later. I felt like I had graduated high school.

When Dr. Callahan came in later that morning, he told me I could go home. I asked if I could shower first. I also asked him a series of questions, the most important being what would be next. He said we would know more after pathology gave their report. I asked if it showed they got it all, what would be the chances of the cancer showing up some place else later. He said it was very rare. Praise Jesus again!!!

Before we left Indy, we stopped by Sundae’s and picked up 4 tubs of Honey Graham Ice Cream for the Bee-stro. But let me tell you, that drive home, the sun, the breeze, just made me feel so alive.

Part 4- THE STAFF, tomorrow


Recent Posts
bottom of page