The day of the surgery we woke up early and drove to the outpatient surgical center. I had opted to go to the surgery alone, even though I knew I might wish I hadn't while I was waiting for the surgery to be over. Since she had had one other surgery at this location I knew where I had to go, and I recognized some of the staff when we got in there. That helped a little.
Shortly after registering her we were called back to pre-op to get ready for the surgery. Once again I put on the one piece sterile suit so I could carry her into the OR. With her being a little older, she was more aware of what was going on. When the nurse came in to take her vitals she wanted to touch everything and help the nurse wrap her finger for the pulse-ox reading. My brave little girl was facing this like she had faced everything else, like a champ!
When it was our turn to go to the operating room Phoebe wanted to walk holding my hand. She was so little, so innocent, but she wanted to be a big girl and walk next to mommy. I tried to contain my tears, because I didn't want to scare her or cause her to worry. So we walked hand in hand down that familiar long hallway, while Phoebe clutched her puppy tightly in her other arm.
When we walked into the OR, the staff all greeted her with a hello and waves. I scooped her up into my arms, holding her as tightly as I could, and placed her on the table. She seemed a little nervous and confused with what was happening, but she didn't cry this time. Even as they placed the mask on her face for the anesthesia, she just smiled while she looked at me.
Once she was asleep, I walked slowly back to the waiting room. I didn't know how long the surgery would take and the same fears that scared me with her first surgery started to surface. I started to wonder if I made the right choice to come alone. As I sat there worrying and watching the surgery board, I started to think back at all that Phoebe had overcome in her short life. She had so many tests, so many specialists, was already in her second surgery and we still didn't know what was going to happen with the growing lymph node. Were we looking at another surgery for her?
As my mind raced and I started to panic, the elevator door opened and my best friend, someone who is like a brother to me, walked into the waiting room. He knew I needed support and he made a point to drop in to surprise me so I wouldn't be there alone, driving myself nuts with my thoughts. He had come at exactly the right time. We talked about all the plans we had for the upcoming summer, stuff that was going on with the other girls, and how things were going with our schooling. (I am in nursing school and he was going for business)
Before we knew it, he had to get back to work and as he walked onto the elevator the doctor called my name to tell me that Phoebe was out of surgery. The surgery went smoothly and we were just waiting for Phoebe to wake up so I could go back to join her.
Our champion won another round! I couldn't wait to hold her in my arms.
Photos: 1- Pre-Op