on friday, we went to see dr. shen for mom’s first post-op appointment. disclaimer, we seriously love dr. shen and would recommend him without reserve to anyone who needs a surgical oncologist. in mom’s terms, “he’s just precious.” not sure that a renowned surgical oncologist with top notch training and a resume a mile long would love that description, but i think it fits him perfectly. unpretentious, crazy smart, even tempered and a smile that puts even the most type A wired for sound person at ease ((cough, cough, lauren, cough)).
dr. shen had all wonderful news. he feels confident that he removed all of the tumor with good margins. he said that there is a less than 10% chance of any recurrence of the tumor. we will go back to see dr. shen in a year for continued monitoring to make sure that if mom is in that 10% we catch it early. he also said that mom experiencing (for all intents and purposes) no pain was truly miraculous. and to that we say – prayer produces miracles. in true mom fashion, before he left she told dr. shen she certainly hoped he never had to operate on her again 🙂
today, we went to wake forest baptist because i had an appointment at the medical school related to starting PA school. to get to the appointment we parked in the parking deck and had to pass by the surgical waiting room. after the appointment, we stopped in. mom remembers “our corner” from her brief time there before going back to the pre-op area. i was able to share many of the stories from our wait.
i showed her where everyone was. we talked about who stopped by to wait with us.
of meeting matt, our very favorite surgical anesthesia fellow. his kind smile and reassurance that he would take great care of mom. and the peace that overwhelmed me when he said, “your mom is the nicest, most amazing woman i’ve ever met.” i know from firsthand experience how patients who are nice, amazing, and loving get above and beyond our best as providers as we are so unaccustomed to grateful and gracious.
i told her the stories of “our people” upon seeing others hurting in their wait stepping over to offer listening ears and prayers.
i told her about our “circle up” when we received the call that she was done and doing great. and how the family adjacent to us ran up after our prayer of thanksgiving and just had to know our news. and told us the story of their granddaughter who was in the OR. and then we offered prayers their way.
i told of the lady who waited alone. no family except her beloved a hallway away in a very risky surgery. i’ll never forget her tears of joy in rejoicing with us.
we feel blessed beyond measure. staggeringly overwhelmed by the goodness of a God who has shown us great mercy. and we say. . .
this post is very long, so i will pause here. but we want to share with each of you who have journeyed with us about life post-cancer. . .
and unspeakable joy – despite the outcomes.