Surgery Results

I’ve been holding back tears since Wednesday. That’s when depression crept in on the back of fatigue and stress rode shotgun on my pain. I’m tired of cancer, I’m tired of feeling like crap from chemo and surgery, and I’m tired of having my life hijacked by a disease I battled eighteen years ago and never wanted to see again. Furthermore, my surgeon said she’d call with the pathology report — and if she hasn’t called, the news must be bad.

I wait in the exam room, wearing an ugly, depressing gown and clutching a wad of scratchy medical tissues to blot the inevitable tears.

My doctor enters the room. When she tells me the lab results, the stress I’ve been carrying for the past few days pours through my eyes. I stand in the middle of the tiny room and sob

not from sadness

— but from relief and joy. Not a single cancer cell was discernible in any of the tissue samples or lymph nodes. The pathology report took two days longer than expected because pathologists kept dividing, testing and analyzing tissue and lymph nodes, and nothing malignant, not a single cell, was found anywhere.

I’m still not done, but the finish line is closer and brighter.

                                                          * * *

Two hours later, I have an appointment with the plastic surgeon. Her eyes widen when she sees my breast.

“That’s a lot of bruising.”

Name a color, any color, and it’s on my breast — everywhere, in technicolor.

Beyond the bruising, I’m healing OK. Still swollen and still in pain, but I’m doing OK.

My husband Les, who accompanies me to every appointment, asks when I can use my arm, when I can life weights in the gym, and when I can do housework.

The doctor looks at me with a conspiratorial smile, then straightens her face to answer Les.

“She can’t lift weights or do housework for at least a month.”

I laugh.

“Told you so.”

Les looks flummoxed and is about to open his mouth, when the surgeon repeats in her most professional voice, “Not for at least a month — especially the housework.”

Score one for the women.

Author: MeredithLaskow

Artist, writer, and unrepentant nerd girl.

32 thoughts on “Surgery Results”

  1. And I am crying years of joy for you. Such wonderful news. I don’t know what to say. Didn’t hear such good news yesterday for another friend but she is a fighter too and it will work out. I am so happy for you. Power of prayer. Wish I lived closers to give you a huge hug.

        1. Thank you. She is over 6 years ovarian. They found small lump in breast and 2 on lymph nodes in neck. Not calling it breast cancer . Biopsy showed from the ovarian. Starts chemo this week.

  2. I’m soooo happy to hear the great news!!! Keep up the good fight but relax this weekend and enjoy the happy news. Always sending prayers and positive thoughts!! 💖

  3. Somebody get glasses! Corkscrew! And I’ll pop the champagne bottle! YAHOOOO! Time to do happy jigs around internet! I’m doing it at my desk. So happy Meredith… so very happy. You did it girl! You really did!

  4. Been waiting to read your post, but at the same time I was so afraid of what it would say. I also cried tears of relief when I read the wonderful news! I know you have a long road ahead and I know you’re in pain, but this is really great news! So happy and relieved! Tell Les he has to vacuum and clean. Lol.

    1. Iris, I was soooo tired when I got home, even after my 2-1/2 hour nap — but I knew a lot of friends and family were waiting for this post so I wanted to write it ASAP. Even if I had to make 20 edits later, I just wanted to tell everyone the news!

      You inherited Mom’s cleaning gene, which I most definitely did not, and Les is worse than I am. Maybe we’ll sand blast the house if it gets bad enough lol.

  5. oh meredith, the fact that you could write this today is such a beautiful miracle, in my book! and i am so relieved and grateful for you and so wish the coming weeks to lift your joy higher and higher until you are so past all this! you made this miserable experience so relatable, and your good news so beautifully embedded and timed in this blog…wonderful news….except for your badly bruised breast and the drudgery ahead. You are impressive! I am sending you a “get well” package of sorts and am still collecting odd pieces of jewelry for you to use/play with/create with/or toss. Let me know when we can have lunch or when you might want a visitor. love love love

  6. Crying with you…tears of joy, relief and empathy. So very happy that you got such wonderful test results! Your strength and determination and humor is awe inspiring! Sending hugs and kisses!❤️💋🍾😍❤️💋🍾

  7. I haven’t been able to get online since earlier last evening…I was anxious to hear, but scared to…now I’m sitting in my stepdaughter’s house, tears running down my face and they can’t figure out what’s wrong. Or understand why I’m crying with such profound joy and gratitude. My heart is so deliriously happy with this news, Meredith. Dancing for joy around the living room! Grateful with every fibre of my being. Xoxoxoxo

    1. Sharon ♥ I know you’re one of many friends (and family) who have watched a loved one die, so you understand the fear and pain that are inseparable from cancer. Xoxoxoxo back atcha 🙂

  8. Thanks for your concern. I will let her know. That’s what scares me too. I go the end of November for my mammogram, surgeon followup and meetings with medical and radiation oncologists. Get more nervous every day it gets closer.

  9. Meredith, my heart is smiling for you. If everyone could have the same determination, the same spirit and the same faith as you…there would be no cancer that couldn’t be beat. You ARE my role model. May you live to be 100!

  10. OMG!!!! Congratulations!!! Meridith, this is fabulous news!!! It’s more than fabulous!!! I now you have to wait for a whole month to do housework!! I am so sorry, my dear 😂😂😂 Happy! Happy Hugs for you!
    💝💝💝💝

    1. Thanks Iva! I’m going to try to bribe a friend to help with cleaning 😉 otherwise it will just wait. I’ve always been domestically challenged so this won’t be a huge change.

  11. Oh Meredith, I didn’t even know you had cancer! My heart goes out to you in every single way luv. You have beat it and are going to be better than new…I’m so thankful to hear this. I’m rather blown away that somehow I didn’t know it…I could have been there supporting you. So, I’ll just be proud of you instead and stand in awe. Much peace and love sweetie.

  12. Meredith…such awesome, wonderful, happy, positive, incredible, hope-filled news! I’m thrilled for you, and hope the recovery from here on out is quick and full. You take it easy…no housework or weight lifting!! Take care, and know so many are praying and meditating for you. Jackie Grendel

  13. So glad I ran into you at the Wellness Festival. I didn’t know that it was one of the first ventures out. What a fighter you are. For my new job (being a 7-year survivor with a double mastectomy)- it requires heavy use of my arms & pectoral muscles. I will prove myself first, wait for the 3 legal months as a new employee, and tell them then. Otherwise, my fear there is that employers may judge survivors.
    Keep on keeping on, Merideth !

    1. Jody, I’m so glad I ran into you too 🙂 If this is the right job for you, your new employers will value you more because you’ve also healed yourself. When we’re at peace with ourselves, then others will be at peace with us. (And the ones that aren’t, are not worth our energy.) Keep on the path with love, not fear.

  14. Hi, it’s Sheila from Trader Joes. Yaaaay. You are so awesome. I have thought of you so often and kept you in my prayers. I’m thrilled to read this wonderful news. I hope I will see you soon when you are up to it. Until then, rest and take care of yourself. Hi to Les too.
    👍👍🙏🙏👏👏💕💕💕💕

    1. Hi Sheila, glad you made it here to the blog 😀 We’ve been eating out a lot lately so we haven’t done much grocery shopping. After this week, I’ll be cooking more (especially if it ever cools off) so I’ll see you at TJs soon!

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