Tag Archives: surgeon

My surgeon’s hands

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surgeon's hands

As I reflect on all I have to be grateful for, one of them is the excellent care that I received at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics during my diagnosis and treatment. I feel so fortunate to have a breast with which I am happy, a breast that feels natural, that gives me a sense of wholeness and femininity…a breast that I am not ashamed of or embarrassed by. I thank Dr. Sugg, my oncology surgeon, and Dr. Lawrence, my plastic surgeon, for their care and expertise. My friend – let’s call her AngelM – has the same surgeons as I did. I hope that she may trust them to help her find wholeness in her loss as well. (See previous post entitled Soul touching).

My Surgeon’s Hands
By Vicki L. Flaherty

Wise from experience
Certain in their task
Precise in their movements
Sure of their actions
They move with grace for me
My surgeon’s hands

I depend on them
I trust them
To remove the bad
To keep the good
To shape my body
My surgeon’s hands

Their work enables me
To let go of my fear
To feel whole
To be feminine
And alive
My surgeon’s hands

Relief

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Two years ago, the phone rang here at my house. It was Jean, my surgeon’s nurse, calling to give me the results of the biopsy of the removed breast tissues and lymph nodes taken during my mastectomy.

No cancer. “The report is very, very, very good!” she had said, leaving the details for my surgeon to share with me. It’s impossible to put into words the sense of relief I felt. In a moment it was like I could breath again. No chemo.

After the relief came gratitude. I had been so fortunate along this road called cancer. No radiation. No chemo. Only a few lymph nodes removed – low risk of developing lympedema in my right arm.

I relished the calm that washed over me and the moments of celebration…

Chugging Train
By Vicki L. Flaherty

Finally, the train has stopped.
I’m clean — no cancer.
Nothing suspicious
That can be seen or detected.
At least for now…
It’s OK to celebrate this moment.

But, the engine was meant to move —
and so it begins again, chugging slowly forward.
At this juncture, there are questions
About prevention, recurrence.
What to do? How to live with the odds?
No conclusive answers.
The engine was meant to move —
and so it begins again, chugging slowly forward.

Navigating the course ahead
It’s up to me to decide:
Do I take the medication?
What tradeoff s, given the benefits and risks?
Choices, decisions — the signals along the journey.
The engine was meant to move —
and so it begins again, chugging slowly forward.

A related post is Waiting Game.