Paula is in surgery

Hi folks,

Greetings!  We want to thank everyone, first of all, for your prayers and encouragement.  We had a nice prayer time yesterday at NTM, and we know that many others have been and are continuing to pray for Paula and our family.

It’s close to 4:30 PM now.  I’m here in the surgery waiting room at Florida Hospital Altamonte waiting for Paula to come out of surgery, so I wanted to give you all an update:

I’ve been under the weather a bit the past couple days.  I think I may have caught the flu or something (perhaps on one of my flights back from Tanzania) and unfortunately now Joy and Paula have perhaps caught it from me.  Paula had a slight fever (99.3) this morning, but was feeling better than yesterday, so we touched base with her surgeon and the anesthesiologist, and they were good to continue with the surgery as scheduled.

After checking in here at the hospital, they took Paula to the Nuclear Medicine area to do a sentinel lymph node mapping around her right breast.  They injected a radioactive substance under the skin of her breast, waited a few minutes as it started to be channeled through her lymph ducts, then take some pictures (with Paula herself acting as the radioactive x-ray machine) which then show the primary (sentinel) lymph node(s) in that area.  I believe the thought is that if her cancer had spread to any lymph nodes, it would tend to be channeled through the sentinel lymph node(s) first.  If the sentinel nodes appears to have any cancerous cells, they will then likely remove additional lymph nodes.

We met the anesthesiologist and his two assistants, as well as the surgical nurse who will be assisting the breast surgeon, Dr. Lisa Minton.

Surgery started around 2:30 PM, so we are expecting it to finish any time now.  The plan is to do a simple mastectomy of Paula’s right breast, implant an intravenous port in the left side of her chest (to be used to administer chemo in the months ahead), and to remove and evaluate the sentinel lymph node(s), and, only if needed, remove other possibly affected lymph nodes.

We continue to pray for guidance for the doctor, God’s care for Paula, and that everything would be successful with no complications, no infections, etc.

When the surgery is complete, I’m expecting Dr. Minton to come out and speak with me.  It will probably be another hour or so after that before Paula is moved from the recovery room to a hospital room where I can then be with her again.

Thanks much, John  🙂

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