Breast Cancer, Surgery Today

Breast Cancer, Surgery Today
Friday Morning May 6 2011 (ninth post in this series).
I will add several updates to this blog today and the events unfold.
Most of you know that I am an engineer and I have dealt with facts all my like. So, here as some facts:
Our family is lucky in that we have not any of the really bad events in our life – at least compared to what some other folks have had to endure. Another fact is that we have three daughters and they have all had some pretty major heath issues. Lisa has recovered from hers. Judy has some pretty significant health issues that she will have to deal with for the rest of her life (seizure disorder and pretty significant back issues). We are glad that Lisa is in good health and that Pat and I are in pretty good health. Our heart breaks for Judy as she deals with her problems, but she is managing pretty well with the cards she has been dealt.
Some more facts. A huge number of ladies (and a few men) will have breast cancer. The technology has improved greatly and the long-term survival rate has improved significantly over the past several years. Further, double mastectomy surgery is performed thousands of times each year.
The other major fact is that Kelly is healthy and detected the disease early.
So much for the facts. Lets talk real world. The whole ordeal has simply and completely kicked our a**es. When it is your daughter all of the facts fade and the word “Cancer” becomes overwhelming.
Now our healthy 43 year old daughter is facing a terrible procedure and and a few more followup procedures. She has dealt with this situation with a tremendous amount of dignity. Damon, her husband, has been very supportive. All of the family (close and extended) has been an extraordinary support system. We have been blown away by all of Kelly and Damon’s friends and associates who have offered all kinds of help/support/prayer.
Kelly and Damon’s girls are at their aunt Lisa’s house and seem to be handling the situation well. Lisa and Dan have texted a couple of pictures and they are hunkered down with their cousins and their dog, Toby. Toby seems to understand that something is wrong and is staying pretty close to the girls.

Judy, our youngest daughter, made a special trip down from Bailey to say HI to her sister. That really meant a lot to all of us. We are fortunate that we are a very close family and that really helps at a time like this.
Kelly is being prepped for surgery now. She will go into surgery at 11:00 and the surgery is expected to take 4-5 hours. It will be performed by a oncology surgeon and a plastic surgeon.
I will update this post in a few hours as we learn more.

Update 12:15: We got to meet both the surgeon and the plastic surgeon and visit with Kelly just before they took her to the OR. The surgeon was about 45 minutes behind schedule, so our updates will be delayed a bit. Kelly seemed to be in pretty good spirits. Like all of us, she is anxious to get this ordeal behind her.

Update 1:15: Dr. Kercher just came out and told us that Kelly’s surgery went very well. She said that she went to sleep with a smile on her face and patients tend to wake up the same way they went to sleep. She said that she did not find any signs of cancer in the lymph nodes and that was the preliminary finding of the pathologist. She still has about 30 minutes or more of plastic surgery. 

Update 2:40: Dr. Bateman (plastic surgeon) just came in and told us everything went very well. She will be in recovery for another hour or two and then will go to her room. The hope is that she will get to come home late tomorrow.

Update 5:17: At 4:17 Kelly arrived in her room (456). .She is still pretty groggy, but seems to be doing pretty well. The nurse said that all vital signs are good.
I forgot to say that she is at Littleton Adventist Hospital. This is a wonderful place. The folks are very friendly. We were surprised that there were not many people in the surgical waiting room. At times we had the whole room to ourselves. There was a great table in the room in a little bay window-type room. Damon and I were able to work on our computers there and had a great view of the main entrance.


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