Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's only a day away.

Tomorrow is my surgery. Or depending when you're reading this, today. And you know what? I'm actually relieved. This waiting around thing is the pits. Let's just get in there and get 'er done.

Two days after we got that initial diagnosis, we decided to tell Ava and Nate what was going on. We knew we'd be on the phone a lot with family, and of course telling friends and church members here. So we didn't want them to overhear anything that would frighten them. They were both in the living room watching iCarly, so we asked them to pause it for a minute, that we had something to tell them.

Mom has some bad cells in her body, we told them. (They know, in a vague sense, what cells are.) She has to have surgery to take the bad cells out, or they will grow and could make her really sick. Nate started to look worried at this point, but then he started to get interested in the whole surgery thing. Would they put me to sleep? Would they cut me open? Would it hurt? After it was over, would I please tell him what it felt like? I could tell he was thinking, "This is gonna be pretty interesting."

I referenced Becky and her experience while we were talking, and Ava asked "So does this mean your hair is going to fall out?" Maybe, I told them. I told them I might have to take some medicine after the surgery. "You know how some medicine you take makes you better, but it can also make you feel sleepy, or can make your stomach hurt? This medicine is like that. It will help me get better, but it will also make my hair fall out." We told them we didn't know yet if I'd need to have that. They nodded, they were okay with that answer. Then, in talking about the surgery, I mentioned that the "bad cells" were in my boob. Nate gasped. "You mean they're gonna see YOUR BOOB?" Then he covered his mouth and started laughing. And then I knew they were okay. And then the iCarly episode was un-paused.

So, yeah they're gonna see my boob. As Rachel from Friends once said, "That's okay--I've got nice boobs." As far as the surgery goes, I'm not nervous--about the actual process, I mean. I'm not nervous about hospitals or afraid of needles. Of course, it's more the outcome I'm thinking about. The million dollar question: will the sentinel node have cancer cells in it, or not? If it does, that means we are in for a longer journey than I'm hoping for. If it does not, then I'll feel like I'm super fortunate. I'm trying not to think too far ahead at the moment.

And the strange thing is...I feel fine. I really do. I mean, I'm not happy about this, or excited. But the last 2 weeks have been more of a digging in of my heels and a squaring of my shoulders kinda thing. Like, okay if I have to do this then let's just do it. I was telling this today to a lady from the hospital who called to check on me. She identified herself as a "Breast Navigator", which... let's just stop for a moment and snicker like 13 year old boys at that job title. Cause it's up there. Way up there.

Anyway, her role is to basically help patients navigate through their treatment, answer questions and give information at each stage, as well as emotional support. She asked how I was doing and I told her. I shared that I was anticipating an emotional low after the surgery when things slow down a bit. Up till now, there have been appointments, phone calls, arrangements to make...not to mention the everyday stuff that comes with three little kids and pastoring a church. It's been easy to distract myself.

So we'll see how we go. I've given up obsessing over how I feel and wondering why I don't feel something else. This is working for me right now, so I'm gonna go with that.

My surgery isn't till early afternoon tomorrow, but I'm sure someone will check in here and let y'all know how everything went. Thank you for all your sweet comments, emails, and thoughts. You are the wind beneath my wings, guys! You are the real breast navigators in this story. And that's the truth.

xoxo


29 comments:

  1. Hi Amy,
    We prayed for you again tonight!
    You are in good Hands:)
    lots of love
    Rosemary

    p.s. yes waiting around is the worst, I'm glad for you it's tomorrow, let's get it over and done with!

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  2. "But the last two weeks have been more of a digging in of my heels and a squaring of my shoulders kinda thing. Like, okay if I have to do this then let's just do it". That's my girl! She is greater than the sum of her parts.

    Keep her in your prayers, please.

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    1. You are such a good man, Papa. The kind of daddy that every little girl needs. :)
      Hoping to get to P-cola soon to hug on you two. :)

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  3. Of course Papa, even though I'm not the praying kind, sending the best vibes ever. xxx

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  4. We are thinking of you and praying for only the best outcome! I know the uncertainty is the worst part. We love you!!

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  5. Praying over here, girl. You know it. All four of us. Every day.

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  6. I've discovered that this "praying without ceasing" thing is a lot easier when your dear friend has cancer. So thanks for contributing to my spiritual growth.

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  7. I am terrible with figuring out time changes, and thus I have no idea when tomorrow will happen in Australia, so I'm just going to think positive thoughts for you all the time!!

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  8. Prayed for you on my way to work this morning--hoping for the best possible outcome.

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  9. OK so I think you are 14 hours ahead of the eastern USA--I'm thinking of you all day and then lighting a candle tonight before I go to bed which should be your surgery time. Praying for the most positive of positives outcome.
    Too funny about Nate laughing at the thought of people seeing your boob. Just think--you could have told him people saw a lot more when he was born!

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  10. Thank you, everyone! Really. :) I'm up now, we are supposed to be at the hospital in an hour, but surgery won't be till later. Sorry--I should've clarified for the non- Aussies! I should be going in around 1-2pm local time, which is around 10pm in the eastern US. And I live in the future, so your Thursday night is my Friday afternoon.

    The nurse called me last night to give me my arrival details. No food after midnight, she said--just like a gremlin! And no water after 4am. Ugh! So I woke up at 4 to guzzle some water before needing to wake up at 6:30. Aaand, then I couldn't go back to sleep. And then I had to pee. So helpful hint: maybe don't do that.

    More soon! Xx

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  11. We are waitin' and prayin' along with many people far and wide. My prayer specifically is that you will feel a peace and calmness even before they give you drugs. And that Dr. Pip will be at the top of his game today. I love you!

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  12. You are my favorite Gremlin! I love you. I know it will go great. xoxo

    Call me literally anytime because you know I am always open.

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  13. I forgot to say: Breast Navigator. I just can't even.

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  14. Breast Navigator was my nickname in college.

    Amy, you are SO scandalous to let them see your BOOB! I mean, really. How's about a little decorum?

    I'm sending lots of wishes that the surgery goes perfectly well and that the Breast Navigator's job is nearly done. See, that's why the Australian medical system is superior to ours. Do you think we have Breast Navigators. No way.

    Which, by the way, as another way to distract yourself post-surgery , I'd be interested in knowing how your experience differs from Becky's because of the different respective health care systems. Does Australia have socialized medicine? Look at me, I'm such a n00b.

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  15. All the Rowlands love you so much and are praying. Just know that even though our bodies can't be there..our thoughts, our love, and our prayers are covering you. xoxoxoxo

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  16. Good luck! Sending you lots of positive energy and thank you for sharing your journey!

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  17. Love, Love, Love you!!! Praying for you sweet friend. My Community Group at church is praying for you too. XOXO

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  18. LOVE and PRAYERS. Capitalized. Times and million.

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  19. Between Nate's boob comment, the Breast Navigator, and Becky's pic of the panties, I am way too entertained right before your big surgery. But, do not fear, because being up around the clock with my 2 week old also leaves LOTS of time to pray for you. Which I am doing. A lot. Lots of love from South Dakota, Amy.

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  20. If my understanding of international time zones is right, I think you're probably being prepped right now. Thinking good things for you. Rest well afterwards and take excellent care of yourself. x

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  21. Woooo hoooo!! Just saw Becky's Facebook post and so happy to hear all is well.

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  22. Yes! Amy is already out of surgery (they took her in a bit earlier) and everything went the best we could have hoped. Her sentinel lymph node was clean, meaning the cancer cells had not spread into into lymphatic system or had not taken hold there. The pathologist will have to confirm that the tissue margins are good in the next couple of days, but he surgeon told Jason that he was confident he got every bit of it.

    Relieved, so relieved.

    Will do a proper post in a while when I've heard how she's recovering. This is good news! xoxo

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  23. Yay yay yay!!! Thanks for posting Becky.

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  25. SOOOO HAPPY!!! Answered Prayers!!! Thanks for posting Becky! We will continue to keep Amy, Jason and their darling children in our thoughts and prayers. :)

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  26. I just spoke with Amy. She sounds great. She is staying in the hospital overnight to rest up. She is very grateful for your concern and prayers. And from her parents, thank you all so much.

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  27. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  28. We are sooooo thankful that you are GOOD! I started feelin all bad cause I was never worried or fretting, initially p.o.'d, but not stressed . I just knew God has His hand on you Amy. Can't wait for your ma and pa arrive to bring so car, love and comfort that only parents can give ( we know you are da bomb Jas, but there is just something about having your mama around) Love you long time girl and will call you in a few. Xox

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