Home Sweet Home

005 (2)Yesterday’s surgery went very well and I am glad to be home!  The morning started at 3:30 a.m. as we had a 5 a.m. arrival time in surgery.  Of course, as the saying goes, “hurry up and WAIT!”  Tim and I  sat in a waiting room for nearly 2 hours before they brought me up to anesthesia.  A wonderful doctor who understood my concerns for starting an IV in my chemo-wrecked veins, did a great job using a child-sized IV.  She said the drugs they use could have damaged my port so she couldn’t use that, but she did numb my hand first so it wasn’t so bad.  She was also very compassionate about me not wanting to remove my scarf and provided me with a double surgical cap to wear instead.  I know I shouldn’t have cared that I be in surgery with my head uncovered, but I did,  and she didn’t make me feel silly at all.

I was given a sedative, then a nerve block in my back so that they wouldn’t have to use as much general anesthesia, making recovery a lot easier.  I drifted off into la-la land and woke up in recovery 2 hours later.  I stayed there for 2 hours and then went to a private room for the rest of the day.  The most pain I had while in the hospital was a headache and back pain from the injection of the block.  The pain in my chest didn’t start until I went home, but I am taking a strong pain narcotic for that.  The nurses expected that I would stay overnight, but Tim and I were ready to leave and get home and get some sleep. When we got home we were greeted by all of these beautiful flower / rose bouquets! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

One of my nurses was Stella, a Nigerian woman,  had also been my nurse last October after suCB106305rgery.  She is a beautiful woman with very, very short hair and a gleaming smile.  When I told her that she had been my nurse before, and that I thought she was such an angel, and that the months following that experience were really tough (going through chemo and losing my hair), I said to her “I have a little more hair than you now, see?”, and I pulled back my scarf.  She then told me that one year ago her husband died, and that in her African culture a widow is to shave her head while in  mourning for one year, and so she did.  I was speechless.  Here I have been mourning the loss of my hair for all these months and yet this woman has suffered a far greater loss than I have, yet she willingly shaved hers all off!  She was still so beautiful to me because of her spirit.

Tears started to fill my eyes as we talked and she reminded me that God is good and has carried us both through some very rough times.  In her Muslim homeland she has many friends who have told her she must denounce her Western Christian beliefs, yet she refuses.  She told me that she will never, ever turn away from the Jesus who has saved her soul and has conquered death.  It is her hope and her faith that have seen her through this terrible time in her life and she knows she will one day see her husband again because of this hope!  Meeting Stella was one of God’s ways to show me that short hair is a badge of courage, and doesn’t have to be something to despise.  I can only hope that my face and spirit will shine like her’s as I forge on through this fight!

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5 thoughts on “Home Sweet Home

  1. Koryn,

    Stella is BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for sharing her story w/us and oh what a great God we serve. He knew the best way to minister to you and sent you an “angel.”

    So glad you like the flowers. We wanted you to know just how much you are loved.

    Praise God for such a great report on yesterday’s events. I continue to pray to a full recovery in all aspects.

    Love,
    maggie

  2. Stella is beautiful! My eyes filled with tears hearing her story. What a great testimony to so many that she has and her faith is so strong. It hasn’t felt like a badge of courage to lose my hair either, but now I can have a different perspective on this awful part of cancer survival. Thank you Koryn, for once again encouraging many with your posts.

    Prayers today for your post-op discomfort to be controlled. Glad you are home!

  3. what an amazing story about your angel friend Stella…i too cried as i read about her and the words of strength & faith she shared with you. i am so humbled by your ever deepening grace and open-heartedness as you prevail through this journey. i am having my mammogram tomorrow and have to admit that i am a bit nervous, but am grateful for the chance to be made aware of the state of my health. know that you are always on my mind & in my prayers. sending much love & healing thoughts!

  4. WOW! Koryn that was powerful! You are so strong! I do not think I would be as strong as you are, but you are truly an inspiration to everyone you touch and see!

  5. Praise God that He answered our prayers for you!!! You were definitely in my heart and on my mind all day yesterday. Thank you for sharing Stella’s story. Wow. God is so amazing 🙂

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