We went and got the ultrasound in June of 2013 and brought both reports with us to the surgeon. The lymph node had grown from 1.6 to 1.9 in a matter of 30 days. The surgeon felt since it had been enlarged and growing for 6 months we should remove the lymph node and biopsy it to see what was going on. Officially a third surgery for Phoebe.
We scheduled the surgery for the end of June at the hospital. I was told it should be a same day procedure (where she could come home a few hours after the surgery). The day of the surgery came, we woke up early and headed to the surgery wing at the hospital. There was a completely different feeling about walking into the hospital for this surgery than there was going into the outpatient surgery center across the street. This brought with it a more ominous feeling. With Phoebe cuddled up against me, I carried her down to the registration desk for admitting. And once again I opted to go alone with Phoebe. And despite this being a much scarier surgeon and location, I was feeling more confident that I would be ok by myself.
When we were called back to pre-op after registering Phoebe got to lay in a bed and play with a bunch of toys the child life specialist brought her. She was exhausted and her neck was bothering her from the pressure of the growing lymph node. We watched tv, colored some pictures, and played with play doh and farm animals. It wasn't long before I was handed that one piece sterile suit I had grown to hate. The presence of that suit meant my daughter would be on an operating room table.
Once I was suited up, it was time to go to the OR. I carried Phoebe this time, she didn't want to walk. The hallways were long and narrow, there were a lot of people and a lot of strange noises. She felt safe wrapped in my arms. How I wish she could just stay there.
When we were in the OR, it was time to put her under anesthesia. This time it was different. Instead of laying her on the table to be put under, I was to hold her in my arms until she fell asleep. What? Hold her until she is asleep and limp? How on earth was I going to control myself while doing this? I had no choice, I couldn't lose it. If I did I could scare her. And that was not an option. Phoebe cried a little because she was scared, but before long she was asleep, and the nurse took her from my arms and placed her on the table. I walked out of the operating room shaken, nervous and scared that I just held my daughter for the last time.
The surgery took about 45 minutes. The surgeon came to get me when he was done and told me that she did great, was in stage 1 recovery and that he was very happy we removed the lymph node. It had been a few weeks since the last ultrasound and the node was even bigger than they expected. He said it would take a few weeks to get the complete biopsy results and that I just had to wait for the anesthesiologist to come and get me so I could sit with Phoebe while she came to.
A few minutes after the surgeon spoke to me the anesthesiologist came to get me. When I was finally by Phoebe's side again she was still asleep with an oxygen mask on. A nurse was stationed at the foot of her bed and they were carefully monitoring her vitals. When Phoebe woke up she was groggy, but smiled when she saw me. She reached for me, and they let me pick her up and rock her. They wanted her to take in some fluids and crackers before they would release her, but to me there was no rush. She was back in my arms.
After sleeping for another half hour or so Phoebe fully woke up thirsty and hungry. She devoured the first ice pop they brought her and asked for another. She ate the second one just as quickly, drank a cup and a half of water and ate a saltine. With how well she was taking in food and water they said she didn't need to go to stage 2 recovery and would discharge her from there.
Phoebe, the fighter, had done it again! They got her a wheelchair and we were on our way home!
Photos: 1- Pre-Op
3, 4, 5 & 6- Post-Op