Monday, April 18, 2011

O is for~~~ Operation


           In December of 2007 I found out I had Breast Cancer. One month later I was in the hospital waiting area getting ready for my operation. The waiting area was void of movement or sound it seemed.  Only the occasional whisper was heard. It was very early in the morning and I was wearing the very "telling" robe and slipper socks. Wearing that meant you were sick...very sick and it also meant that soon it would be your turn to go into the operating room.

There in the waiting room you also knew that the people who didn't wear the robe would be left behind to worry. My Husband would soon join that group.  My attention went instantly to a dollhouse that was on display. It was beautiful donation from a family that appreciated the good work being done at the hospital. It was a welcomed sight for me,  I love miniatures.  I had an I.V.  in my arm as I went into yet another waiting room. My husband and I chose to sit near the corner and we held hands and prayed. I don't remember being scared. I just wanted it over with. I wanted the Cancer out of me and thrown away. I didn't know if I would need chemo or how far the cancer had gone. I felt good that something was going to be done to get rid of it.

The nurse called my name. She smiled and commented on my hair clip. I had to take it off.

My Husband instinctively walked with me and I know if they had let him he would have held my hand all through the whole operation.

"OK you'll have to say goodbye here." she smiled some more.

My husband gave me a big hug and kiss and one more hug for good measure.
 He said " I love you, God bless you" ( something we always say when we say good bye).

As I let go of his hand I realized that the next time I saw him I would be changed forever. I looked back one more time and waved. If it weren't for the robe and goofy socks that scene could have taken place at an airport terminal. As I walked  without my Hubby I thought...Funny,  I thought I would be wheeled in to the operating room, but no I walked in. The doors opened and a flash of white surrounded me. The entire room was crystal clean with a crisp whiteness that I had never seen before. It was freezing there and I wasn't sure if it was the cold or the fact that I was getting nervous that made me shiver. My doctor turned to me and said

"Well, Joanne we are finally here." she wore her pristine white surgical mask but her eyes smiled at me and I smiled back. They lead me to the table where they covered me in a thin bubbly plastic inflatable blanket. The air that flowed through it felt warm and comforting. I looked around and realized I was surrounded by women. There was not one man in the room.

                                  They knew how I felt. They had to.

"Some must have kids at home." I thought.  "They know how much I love my family and how much being a Mom means to me...they know because I am surrounded by Mothers, Daughters, Sisters and even maybe a Grandmother." I sighed.  They knew and I felt safe.

The anesthesiologist asked " Have you ever been on a cruise?" Odd question that made me giggle nervously as I said no. The doctor, remembering my love of Disney said " I think she'd prefer a Disney cruise." I smiled at her.

The anesthesiologist then said "Well, just think sweet thoughts because I'm going to send you on that cruise" She placed the mask over my face and the last thing I remember were the faces of the women that would save my life.


  1. Oh my, Joanne!! What a story!!! And I was right there walking into that O.R. with you!!! Your writing continues to be so powerful!!! My husband, mother, and best friend all had cancer. Almost unbelievable that you had all women. But please tell us the rest of the story, you can't just leave it this way. How far along was it, did they get it all? Did you need any other kind of treatment? Deciding the treatment is SO hard, especially if they give you options. How are you now?

  2. what a story and I have seen the inside of way to many OR not in any hurry to ge back. So happy you are doing so well. you're amazing

  3. What a story. I feel like I was right there.

    I do hope you are doing well now.

  4. God has a way of seeing us through difficult times. I'm surprised you had to walk into the operating room.

    I like your blog page. It shows good taste!:) Thanks for stopping by. New follower.

  5. This brought tears to my eyes Jo. I am so happy that you are a cancer survivor. I have a niece that is a breast cancer survivor too. May God Bless you and may you always be happy.

  6. I almost got chocked up, Joanne. Glad, you are well!!!

  7. Oh Joanne, this story was told so beautifully. You are a brave and courageous woman with such a sweet spirit. I am inspired by your ability to face breast cancer with such grace. I can't imagine walking into that operating room. God bless.

  8. My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago - a scary time for my family of course. After surgery, chemo and radiation she's now in remission. Thank you for sharing your story.

  9. Oh my, Joanne. What a powerful story. How brave you were and what a wonderful supportive group of women were there with you. I don't know if I would have handled that with as much strength as you did.

    Thank you for this.


  10. Joanne...I tried posting this comment once so I hope it doesn't come through twice. :-) My favorite part was that your hubby would have held your hand through the whole thing. So beautiful. You are a courageous, strong woman.

  11. I'm glad they were able to save your life. It had to be very scary for you and I think it is sometimes as difficult on the people we love when we are faced with these things.

  12. @ Ginny~ Thank you. Wow so many people in your life affected Thank God they had you in their lives!

    @ Becca~ what I went through is nothing to what you have and are going through. God bless you for being so sweet and caring or others!

    @ Ma~ Thank You for your sweet comment. It means alot to me.

    @ Darlene~ Thank You and you are so right God was with me every step of the way!

    @ Beth~ thank you so much. I wish and pray the same for your Niece.

    @ Lena~ Thank You so much

    @ Retired English Teacher~ I look back and it seems so surreal. Thank You for your sweet comment. I think you have a very sweet spirit too.

    @ Liz~ Thank you for your comment. Your Sister fought a tougher fight than I did. I know your family's love and support helped her through.God bless her!

    @ Claudia~ Thank you. I can honestly say that it was such a blessing to have those women there to help me.

    @ Charmaine Clancy~ Thank you so much.

    @ Tracy Jo~ Thank you- I think that my Hubby was stronger than I was- I feel blessed that he was there for me

    @ Barb~ Thank You I think you are right about that.

  13. Incredibly painted picture.

    Thank you for sharing it. Bless all those wonderful women for surrounding you when you needed them!

  14. Thank you so much for sharing this! Sometimes when I post emotional things on my blog I fear that others might think I am looking for sympathy, but my blog is my form of therapy. Everyone goes through extremely tough times in their lives, and of course mine would never compare to this, but I feel that this post has told me 'it is OK to be raw with your feelings'. 'it is OK to put your life out there, to tell people what you life is like to be human'. Thank you so much for sharing this part of are a strong woman. God Bless You.

  15. Your description of your experience really brings it home in a way that most of us would never know. All the people involved in that day, those who love you and those who want to cure you. How touching of your doctor with the Disney cruise comment. The dedication of those behind the scenes is amazing. I am so thankful that your prayers were answered and my heart aches for those going through this as I type these words to you. ((HUGS))


I LOVE comments...I think I'm addicted to them! they are like chips...oooo chips....or chocolate....yum...chocolate. Or like......can ya tell I'm dieting? Please leave me a comment so that I can keep my mind off of snacks!!!