Sunday, February 16, 2014

So remember that one day....when I had brain surgery? {Part 2}

I took a sleeping pill hoping it would help me sleep that night 
but I tossed and turned most of the night. 
It's funny but as nervous as I was about the surgery & outcome, 
I was mostly worried about my friends and family.
I HATED thinking of them sitting 
and worrying all day while I was in surgery.
HATED it with a white hot firey passion.
So I would try to sleep and then I would start to worry and then I'd pray.
Worry. Pray. Worry. Pray. Worry. Pray.
over and over again all night. 

We had to check in at the hospital by 5:30 am so we were all up by 4:30am.
I took a quick bath and got dressed and snapped a pic to post.
If someone had told me before this that I would ever post a picture 
of myself without makeup, I'd have said they were super stinkin' crazy.
Right before I posted it I remember thinking how insignificant how
I looked was in terms of what was about to happen. 
Nothing like a brain tumor to give you some serious perspective.

 I remember wondering as I posted that pic if it would be my last picture 
with a full smile and oh how I prayed it wasn't.
{That was one of my biggest fears- not being able to smile anymore}

We packed up, checked out the hotel,
 and arrived at MD Anderson and checked in.
I was quickly sent to a room where I changed into a gown 
and those super snazzy compression hose.

I had taken some anxiety medicine 
{praise The Lord for that medicine those last few weeks} 
but I remember getting super anxious at this point. 
I could only have two people in the room with me at a time 
and I remember panicking that I wouldn't get to hug everyone 
who was there and tell them how much I loved them before surgery.

The next hour was a parade of doctors and nurses coming in to talk to me
 mixed with sweet family and friends coming in to love on me, hug me, and pray with me.
 I was so blessed to have an amazing amount of friends and family there that day 
and although I hated that they had to sit there all day, 
it was a tremendous comfort knowing they would be there together.  
Everyone from my sweet daddy and his girlfriend to my ex husband and his parents
 to my daughters friends to my work friends to my church friends 
to my daughters drill team directors to my sister
 to my precious in-laws and sister-in-law were there. 
{I'm told there were so many people that they had to split between 
three waiting rooms and boy do I hate I missed that party!}
I'm pretty sure a girl has never felt more loved than I did that day. 
I was truly overwhelmed.

Both surgeons came in and one wrote YES on my neck to indicate 
which side they would be operating on.
{I'll be honest, at this point I was thinking NO.}

Since scheduling surgery I had been crazy worried about was having my facial nerve cut 
(which would mean many more surgeries 
and a host of additional problems for years to come) 
or other complications that would make me, not me anymore.  
There were lots of possible complications and side effects that could happen 
but facial paralysis was the one that I worried about the most. 

I remember talking to one of my surgeons that morning and 
reemphasizing to him that if he needed to leave a piece of my tumor 
in order to save my facial nerve then that was my desire. 
I clearly remember the odd look on his face as he explained to me
 that his goal was to save my life and remove the tumor - not to save my facial nerve.
It's funny but up until that point I really hadn't thought about dying.
At all.
I remember thinking.......
Wait, you mean I could die during this?

I know those of you reading this are probably thinking 
DUH- of course you could die during brain surgery you ding dong.  
I can't explain why but I had been so focused on everything I had to do to prepare
 for surgery and to check out of my life for several weeks that it truly didn't cross my mind. 
I'm thankful it didn't and think that was a little gift from God.

All too quickly it was time to say my final goodbyes
 and I remember crying as my precious friend Betty prayed one final time
and said my I love you's and I was wheeled away.

As they wheeled me down the hall I remember singing in my head 
a song I had been clinging to for weeks.
A reminder that God was with me always
and I had nothing to fear.