Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Feeling a little lighter...a look back on my procedure & recovery

Happy Tuesday all!

I haven't posted in a week so needless to say, it's time for an update! Also, I wanted to take time to document my experience of going through minor surgery and the road to recovery, so I would be able to remember all the good memories that were made during this experience.

For all those who didn't know, last week I had a breast mass removed (actually 2 because they found a smaller one when they went in). Here's a quick timeline of how this whole mass ordeal started:
  • February 14th (yes a Valentine's I will never forget): went in for routine physical and the doctor noticed a small pea-sized mass in my right breast- yes I freaked out and of course the stupid lady who was referring me to a surgeon (didn't use the word specialist) told me how I would live a long life...totally freaking me out more...
  • February 15th: all in one day I met with a general surgeon, had an ultrasound, had a mammogram (my first ever...there were lots of tears...mostly from panic, general fear, and terror of the pain of a mammogram), and had a needle biopsy
  • the following week: doctor's office calls and says the mass is benign (praise God!) but they still want to remove it. I didn't have health insurance and in no way could afford a surgery. Also, my family starts calling doctor friends we have who say there's no reason to take it out yet or to panic
  • last day of Spring break in March: referred to an AMAZING doctor who ONLY specializes in breasts in Houston and she says there's no reason to panic, the mass seems a little big but it's because it's still healing from the needle biopsy and to come back when school is over so she can check it again
**On a side note, this doctor works with a program in Houston called the Rose and they sponsor uninsured women, so grace of God all of these expenses were covered by this amazing program**
  • June: mass is still there, seems bigger, and hurts (it's aparently a good sign when it hurts because breast cancer doesn't hurt): doctor ultrasounds it and says she has no idea what it is. It shouldn't have grown at all and she thought it would have disappeared. In an effort to be safe, she schedules ANOTHER needle biopsy to verify it's still benign
  • July: I come back for needle biopsy, she calls 3 days later and it's still benign. Because it's growing she still wants to take it out. I am then put on a waiting list for funding and when funding is found for my surgery, I will go in.
  • August: I graduate college, still waiting for a call about the surgery, mass seems bigger and starting to protrude a little (totally freaking me out), my family prays over me at my party that God will continue to intervene with this mass and progress will be made
  • a week later I get a call at work: I will be having surgery next week and need to come in tomorrow for a pre-op appointment

OK. I know that was long, but that's the timeline! So this is how last week played out!

Andrew and I drove down to Houston, taking our sweet Macy along! We knew we'd be gone for 5 days and she's sooooo social and I hate leaving her, so we packed up and headed to Houston! The night before the surgery, we stayed with one of his grandmother's who just loved Macy (who doesn't!) and woke up bright and early and headed over to the surgery center! It wasn't in a huge hospital, thank God!
After checking in, filling out paper work, and getting my gown on, they put my IV in...yuck! I just didn't look! Next thing I know they are giving me the "office margarita" (a relaxer) and I was out! The surgery went amazingly smooth, they found a 2nd mass (size of a marble) behind the larger mass (size of a half dollar) and removed both. I was very groggy and my sweet mom and grandmother drove me back to my grandmother's house and Andrew met us later with Macy and all of our stuff.

That day was the hardest of all. I spent most of the day throwing up on and off (my body was trying to rid itself of the anesthesia) and had no appetite. I did manage to sleep well and felt MUCH better the following day. I know it was all the prayers, but besides throwing up (and wearing awful compression hose for 24 hours) the recovery has been so smooth! I'm only slightly sore, which is nothing out of the ordinary because I was usually sore before from the growing mass. I can't lift much for another week, but other than I feel great. I spent the rest of the week and weekend resting, with periods of shopping activity (with my family) and eating out a few times.

On Monday (yesterday) I went in for my post-op appointment and the doctor said everything looks good! I'll contiued to be taped up for a little while, whie my incision heals, but I have had no swelling or even bruising! The results of the mass came back also. Once again, no cancerous signs! The doctor said the report shows that my body believed there was a foreign object in my breast and was trying to protect/defend itself by forming a mass around the object. FYI, the object was just dense breast tissue. She said it would have made sense if I had ever been injured there...but I haven't. So I guess my body is just...strange. Regardless, I am glad to have those masses OUT! I feel lighter both physically and mentally! I can now move on from this experience, being more educated in this field, and hopefully able to offer encouragement to anyone else who ever finds a mass. Also, as I was going through this process, I found more and more young women my age who have also found masses (some grew, some didn't, some were removed, some weren't). So strange!

Although I don't know why this experience happened to me and hope this is the end of all that, I am grateful for God really truly showing me how to TRUST Him. Also, I'm so blessed by all those who were/have been praying for me, thinking about me, left me sweet messages, gave me sweet cards, and helped take care of me! A special shout-out to my mom who flew out, took care of my when I was so sick the first day, made sure I was using my ice pack every 20 minutes, and just loved on me the way only moms can!

Let me close with a few pictures we took this past week!

waiting for surgery!
My hubby and mother in law in the waiting room!

Macy found a cozy spot at my grandmothers!

Red White and Blue healthy recovery breakfast

On the road again! Headin' home!

Car rides are more fun when you can climb on everything!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Oh wow. What an amazing praise report Kate! By the way, I am from She Reads Truth and got your request for Provers lock screen. I will do it first thing in the morning. I'm from Philippines and it's our bedtime here. I totally had to check your blog when I read your request. I will pray for your immediate healing!

  2. Hannah! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my blog! It's been quite a journey with this whole thing, but God is so good! Also, thanks for making me the lock screen! Hope to stay in touch through She Reads Truth! :)

    1. Hi Kate! I have your lock screen! I hope you will like it! :) God bless you lady!


    2. Thanks Hannah!! I love it!! And thanks for your sweet post about me on your blog! I love you already as my sister in Christ! You're awesome :)

  3. Praise the Lord!! I am so relieved that everything turned out well!! I think about you a lot and have been praying for you. I miss your smile and your beautiful personality!! Love you, Helen