Hurry up and wait…

It’s been a while since I’ve written, so this will be a catch up post as there is much to update.

Leaving chemo in the past, the time to focus on surgery options came quick, with little time for important decisions to be made. After meeting with my surgeon a couple times, undergoing additional scans to better pinpoint where tumors are post chemo and understanding what my options were, I ultimately had to make my decision on Thursday, February 24th with a scheduled surgery date just one week later on March 4.

It was an emotional journey, but ultimately I chose to go with an aggressive lumpectomy (or partial mastectomy) and lymph removal. This choice comes with an excruciating wait of 5-10 days after surgery to get results of pathology letting us know if we got all the cancer out, or not. And a 1 in 3 chance that I will have to go back in for a mastectomy in the coming weeks if pathology indicates we did not get it all. Today marks day 3 of that wait.

On Thursday, March 4th, I went into the hospital at 10am. After being admitted I was taken to have ultrasound guided “savi scout” markers implanted in my breast and lymph tumors.

A relatively new wire-free technology for more precise tumor removal, I was among the first patients at Kaiser to receive this exciting technology, so a host of trainers and trainees were present for my implantation. And, even with a room full of people, I was able to watch the procedure in real time on the ultrasound screen. After the devices were implanted, a digital wand was waved over the affected areas and a loud beeping was audible as the wand hovered over the tumor. Then blue dye was injected as another helpful visual indicator for surgeon once she gets in there. As she explains it, she “can’t see cancer”, so these tools will help her find, and remove, the cancer during surgery. I felt a bit like I was in a sci-fi movie.

Next, I was taken to be prepped for surgery. After being prepped, dressed and IV placed by 12:00, I was ready for surgery, scheduled to start at 12:30. Then, I was informed that the surgery before me was running long and it would be another 30-60 minutes before the room would be ready for my surgery. So I hung tight, resting pretty comfortably under the disposable space-aged hot air filled blanket.

Then I was informed that it would be another hour… and then another hour. Finally, at around 2:30 I was taken to the operating room, again a group of trainees and trainers were present for the new technology being utilized. After roll call, and verbal verification by the surgeon and me as to precisely what the plan was, anesthesia began going in. I started to crack a joke about trying to get up out of the bed, but I was out cold before finishing it. Next thing I knew, I was waking up in a dimly lit recovery room about 4 hours later.

With the help of the nurse, I got up and walked about 15 minutes after waking up. My surgeon called and told me the surgery had gone as well as it could have. While she did have to take a good portion of breast out, she was able to minimize the incision (and later scaring) by cutting around my areola, and that she was successful in the lymph removal, taking 3 lymph nodes, verified by new technology and lab tests to be the lymph nodes with cancer present. Woo hoo!

I was home and resting in bed by 8:30 that night.

Now, three days later, I’m managing the pain with meds, ice and rest. The ice is a must, bringing immediate relief, even if short lived. The swelling and bruising are worse today but I’m hopeful I’ll be in less pain day by day after this weekend, or at least by mid week. I have not yet seen what the incisions look like as the waterproof dressings are not ready to be removed. While I’m anxious to see, I’m much more anxious to get the results from pathology back. I’m ready to hear that I’m cancer free!

Fingers crossed. I’ll post an update as soon as I know. Thank you all so much for the continued Love and support…it keeps me going! More to come soon…

13 Replies to “SURGERY IS DONE”

  1. Joan jelinek says:

    You are a true warrior! So glad that so much is behind you, you trooper! Sending positivity and love to you and Dylan!

  2. Craig Lowery says:

    Hello friend. Much love and well wishes. I thought of you today as we had students back in person for the first time in a year. They are our purpose. They brought life back into the building. I hope you are able to lean into the incredible community you help to build. You have given so much, now it’s time to let yourself be loved and cared for by all of those you have done the same for!

  3. Susan Prior says:

    Beven, thank you for this update. I’m visualizing you cancer free and continue to send love, positive vibes and gentle hugs to YOU💗

  4. Nancy Hiser says:

    Another milestone! Hope the recovery from chemo has been complete. Will hold good thoughts for path results. Hugs and love.

  5. Daniel says:

    Our thoughts are with you, sending energy & focusing on the best for you.

  6. Joel Pomeroy says:

    You’re incredible! What a crazy ordeal. I hope your news comes quick. Huge hugs to you. Will be thinking about you and D and the kiddos lots this week. Xoxo

  7. Susie Bobenrieth says:

    Hi Beven! Congratulations on making it through the surgery. I’ve been thinking about you all and hoping and praying that you’re feeling better and about to get a wonderful pathology report. I think you look fabulous in that pink hood and wonder what it is that makes you able to pull of just about any sort of fashion fun. Ice is your friend right now. Keep it close and rotated through the freezer. Good job for your little helpers!!
    Big hug (without any discomfort) and lots of love to you. Susie

  8. Alayna says:

    Prayers love, hugs and support continued from the whole Ross gang over here!!! We love you, and on top of this…. Thanks for giving us updates and allowing the love to continue to flow to you!

  9. Sue Porter says:

    Oh, Beven, how overwhelming all of this is. I can’t believe that they sent you home the same night. Of course my fingers are tightly crossed for the final results. Am sending you huge pain-free hugs and healing sparkles. – Please post as soon as you know your results. – Love, Sue

  10. janicehop says:

    On our minds, and in our hearts Beven. Your results can go either way. There are other options. You are in the warmth of your wonderful family and they will be there for you every moment. Xoxo Janice and Steve

  11. Ken says:


    I have had you in my thoughts the last few days knowing your surgery was coming. Understandably, you are anxious waiting for results. I’m looking forward to your next post shouting a big YAY that you are cancer free. Sending my love, Beven❤️

  12. Karen Valbuena says:

    Congratulations, Beven. What a difficult journey. You are never far from my mind and I will all possible body parts for an excellent pathology report. Sending love – Karen

  13. Rachel Beavers says:

    You have been through so much and now, more waiting for news. I hope time goes quickly but, most of all, I hope that you can finely be cancer free.

    I’m so relieved that you are on your way to recovery. Get some rest. Looking forward to celebrating!


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