Update on my previous post, Surgery and PTSD — my doctor said he was shocked


To recap: on November 20 I went to see a surgeon who comes highly recommended in this area. He has been a practicing surgeon for 33 years. So, when he looked at the new growths on my forehead and on my neck and said, “Well, that’s cancer,” I did not question it.

As a former nurse, I already knew that the growths looked like cancer. And a quick search on Google had produced plenty of skin cancer images that looked exactly like my ugly growths, especially the one on my forehead. That one was fairly large and beginning to ulcerate. It looked like a squamous cell carcinoma, although the surgeon initially had said that it might be the less dangerous basal cell type.

Surgical removal of the growths was done in the hospital under general anesthesia on December 6. I have had two life-threatening anaphylactic shock reactions to an anesthesia drug in years past, so I was very nervous about the anesthesia. I have also had two biopsies in the distant past that came back positive for carcinoma, so — even though I have been cancer free for almost forty years — I was a nervous wreck in the days leading up to this surgery. Knowing that skin cancers are rarely deadly did not help me feel any better, because the lymph nodes in my neck have been swollen and tender for the past few weeks. So, truth be told, I was fearing the worst.

Yesterday I went back to the surgeon for my post surgical appointment. It’s an hour and a half drive from our home and I had only gotten a couple of hours of sleep the night before, due to my nerves. My husband wasn’t feeling well, so I made the drive alone and I was beat by the time I got there. Exhausted, and expecting to hear some very bad news.

I was surprised when the nurse took my blood pressure and it was normal. Of course, I had done a lot of praying and singing along with K-Love on the way there, which always helps my mood.

Then the surgeon walked in, set my chart down on the counter and said, “So, what’s up? How are you doing?”

” I… don’t know, ” I said. Meaning that I was waiting for him to tell me how I was doing.

I noticed that he looked nervous, which worried me even more. I don’t remember ever seeing this self-assured surgeon look nervous before.

“Well, I am shocked,” he said finally. ” I was positive that those growths were cancer. But they were benign. ”

It was my turn to be shocked!

Wow. Wow. Just…. WOW!!!

Thank you all so much for your caring words and your prayers. I just wish that everyone in the world could get great news like this. All the suffering in the world breaks my heart. And I know that there is nothing special about me, no way, not at all. On the contrary, I am a very fallible mess! So I know that if God will do something wonderful like this for me, He can and will do wonderful things for anybody who sincerely asks Him to. Even if you don’t believe! I know this is true, because I was staunchly agnostic, almost an atheist, for many years.

Life is so amazing. Although I’m glad that I am not dying right now, I really am eager to see what the next life is going to be like!