My surgery – and no pain!

My surgery – and no pain!

My surgery and no pain On the Path blog by Cheryl Schatz

I had my surgery yesterday, February 11, 2014, and by God’s grace I had no pain! My anesthesiologist offered me a needle on the side of my spine that was designed to block the nerves on my chest and give me pain relief for a minimum of 12 hours. I declined as I didn’t want my spine touched or my nerves affected. I was also offered morphine in the recovery room, but one a scale of 0-10, my pain was only a 2 so I received 3 regular Tylenol and that is all I needed for pain. Since then I have been completely pain free! Praise the Lord for the prayer that has gone up on my behalf. It was a major surgery and to have no pain is amazing. I am feeling tiredness, but that is to be expected.

The next part of my treatment plan

In a month I will be put on pills that will block any estrogen production to stop the cancer from feeding off of my estrogen. The drug that I will be getting is called  letrozole or Femara and it is an aromatase inhibitor. Some of the side effects can be quite strong such as arthritis, joint/bone/muscle pain, tiredness, hair loss, memory loss, and trouble sleeping. I have been doing some reading about the side effects and women who have experienced these side effects say that the arthritis they experienced has made them feel 80 or 90 years old. Some of the side effects will eventually go away after the treatment is over, but other side effects can be permanent such as the bone pain and arthritis. I am asking God to spare me from two things. The first is the side effects of Femara, and the other is radiation treatment. My oncologist tells me that 50% of women who have had excellent results from the chemotherapy will have the pathology report after mastectomy come back clean of cancer. The other 50% of women have some living cells still remaining and these women will have to have radiation even after the mastectomy. The problem for me with radiation is that this will be a second time for radiating the same tissue which will bring much more severe burning, and they will also increase the radiation area to include the underarm lymph nodes which will also cause swelling of my arm. Both side effects of the aromatase inhibitor and radiation will affect the quality of my life without God’s intervention and this is important to me.

For now, I am just basking in the joy of being pain free and believing that God will look after me in the remaining months and years of my life. Praise the Lord that He has walk through my surgery with me and He has given me peace and the absence of pain!

20 thoughts on “My surgery – and no pain!

  1. godrulz,
    I agree one day at a time. My problem is that I like to know about everything that I am being given so I don’t go in blindly without knowing how my life will be affected. For now I am just so happy that all went well, that the future is less worrisome.

  2. Great news, Cheryl! Thank you Lord. It certainly looks like God is showing you that He is with you and looking after things at every step of your cancer journey.
    We will pray for no permanent side effects from the estrogen-blocking medication and a clear pathology report.

  3. Praising the God who daily bears our burdens, pray He continues to daily bear yours Cheryl. So happy you are pain free.

  4. Jenny,
    Thank you praising God with me! I like your comment about the God who daily bears our burdens. It is a daily need for us to come before God with our requests. The troubles of tomorrow are in the future as we walk with Him this day.

  5. How gracious He is, what an amazing answer to everyone’s prayers & your own. Will continue to pray for you!

  6. I had a lumpectomy for Stage 1 breast Cancer two years ago…………….I had 17 radiation treatments and am now on letrozole – one pill per day. It causes hair loss with me and some sleep disorder, but it is OK.

  7. Dorothy,
    Good to hear that you have not had major side effects from letrozole! My problem is that I am very sensitive to medicines and am still suffering from nerve damage from the chemo. If all I have is hair loss and some sleep disorder, it wouldn’t be so bad. I am most concerned about arthritis and bone pain, as that is already a carry-forward for me from chemo. Have you been on the medication for two years already? If so, I would think that if you were going to have arthritis as a side effect, you would have experienced it already. It is encouraging to know that not everyone has serious side effects.

  8. Ingrid, I still have no pain. There is tenderness in the muscles at times and I can feel the pull of the staples if I am too active, but otherwise I have no pain. I also noticed that there seems to be a wide area that has no feeling. It is probably due to nerves being cut. I hope to have my drain out within a week. It is the thing that limits me the most. It is hard to get out when you have a drain hanging around your waist.

  9. No pain still, that is wonderful, since pain is sometimes delayed after surgery and it’s been a few days already! I remember my mom also having an area that felt numb and having a drain as well. It is important to keep track of what the discharge looks like, but I am sure your doctor told you what to look for. I went back home after she was able to lift up her arm and wash her hair :)…which was less than 2 weeks, if I remember correctly. The everyday things that we take for granted, until we ca no longer do that.
    One step at a time. Blessings and regards from everyone to you both.

  10. Ingrid,
    I have felt occassional pain as I heal up. Nothing huge, but I can feel the pulling of the staples and there are areas where flesh has been scraped that doesn’t hurt at all…until I touch the skin. I guess it is part of the healing process. Your mom may have had surgery under her arm that would have caused more pain if it was done. I can already wash what little hair I have, and I will be able to fully extend my arm above my head once the staples are out. For now I am just letting it all heal as normally as possible.

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