Surgery moved to high priority

Surgery moved to high priority

Priority Surgery - On the Path blog by Cheryl Schatz

There has been a change of plans and a possible change in procedure

My surgery has been re-scheduled as high priority. Instead of February 11, 2014, the new date for my mastectomy is January 28, 2014. Because I am still on Filgrastim shots, my white cell count should be up high enough by then (God-willing). My oncologist and my surgeon have a difference in opinion in how far to take the surgery so I won’t find out the outcome until the day of surgery.

To take out lymph nodes or not 

My oncologist said that my CT scan showed a likely cancer spread into a cluster of lymph nodes. This scan was before my chemotherapy was done and before the amazing regression of the cancer. My oncologist doesn’t want to take any chances and he wants to have the surgeon remove a section of lymph nodes in my arm pit. I had the first level of 5 lymph nodes removed in 1995 and that caused me a lot of problems. I had a large area of nerve damage on my back, my side and down my arm. I couldn’t even have someone touch my shoulder to offer me comfort, because the mere touch on my shoulder caused me to be bent over in sever pain. Eventually after many years the nerve endings grew back together and I am back to normal, however this part of the surgery was the most painful part I do not look forward to going through that again. I could not lift my arm for many months. I also had lymph system damage with chording under my arm and I needed treatment to gain back the movement in that arm.

The second level of lymph node removal has a high risk of swelling of the arm called lymphedema. My mom’s cousin had this and I called it elephant arm because that is just what it looked like. This is why my surgeon does not want to take these lymph nodes out as he does not want to see me go through this kind of trouble. If it is possible, I would rather wait until the original surgery is done and to see if the pathology report shows no left over cancer after the chemotherapy. If there is still active cancer, I would be better to submit then to the risk. I don’t know if that is possible, but it would be wonderful to me if I didn’t need to go through this risk.

Prayer request

I would like prayer for the surgeon and my oncologist to come up with the best plan for my care that does not cause me life-long problems. I would also like prayer for my healing through this surgery, so that no matter how extensive the surgery, I will not develop additional complications.

My surgery is only a week and a half after my last chemotherapy session, and I am grateful that I have been placed into a high priority patient order. I do realize that there is risk along with the surgery, and I am asking the Lord to be there with me and walk this next path by my side. I am trusting that He cares for me and will work out all things for my good because I am called according to His purpose. NOTE: there is an update to this post and to the date if my surgery. See post at

4 thoughts on “Surgery moved to high priority

  1. Psalm 5:3 (NIV)
    “In the morning O LORD, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation.”

  2. Oh Cheryl, my heart and prayers go out to you. Yes, God does care for you and He is with you all throughout this ordeal! Hold on to His promises of healing, and love for you.

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