It was way too early on a Tuesday morning. The sun was not even up and I decided that I shouldn’t be either. Strangely, I was able to get sleep the night before. My husband and I checked in at the registration desk. I was blessed to have my mom and dad with us as well. We were doubly blessed to have friends and family at home watching our two toddlers at home. It was the day of my surgery for my mastectomy. Today was the day the cancer would be cut out of my body. I wanted that as far away from me as possible. It was going to be a good day.
I was ushered into a prep room with my husband. The nurse took all the vitals and then handed me a gown and some oh so fashionable grippy socks. I ducked into the bathroom to make the quick change. After I changed into them, I took out my contacts and put my glasses on.
“Oh, you can’t wear those into surgery”, she said.
“I know. I’ll hand them over right before surgery, if that’s okay”, I replied nervously. I am so blind without my glasses, it makes me feel so insecure not being able to see what’s going on around me. She smiled and said “Of course.”
I was wheeled back to the surgical area. It was right before the double doors, that I said a tearful goodbye to my husband. The doors opened and the cold air hit me like a wall of ice. I pulled the blanket up closer to my chin.
I sat there alone for a few minutes, praying for peace for me, calm and steady hands for the surgeons, and for God to guide each and every person, perfectly.
The first doctor came in, my breast surgeon. We talked for a few minutes and as we were chatting, my plastic surgeon and his surgical nurse walked in my little cubicle. Dr. B was collaborating with Dr. W to mark me up for surgery. They were making their marks with a surgical pen and everything became real for me.
In my nervousness, I blurted out, “Please make sure you’re removing the correct breast. This one, the right one, is the one you’re removing, okay? This one, (pointing to my left breast) is off limits. My daughter’s lunch is in there.” (I was still breastfeeding my daughter at the time.) What?! What did I just say?
I was laughing! The three professionals smirked, but it was my plastic surgeon that started laughing next. Then the other two joined in.
“Laughter is proof of hope.” I didn’t realize that in my nervous, awkward moment back then. Looking back, I always was making light of the surgeries, each and every time I had one. That was me dealing with the levity of the moment. That was also me, the one who had hope. I always had hope.
So, according to Glennon Doyle Melton, “Laughter is proof of hope.” If you are laughing through the pain and trials of life, you have hope.
The anesthesiologist pulled back the curtain and had a confused look on his face. He smiled and looked at me. “I’m here to start your IV and give you some medicine.” He hesitated, looking at my chart, and then asked, “Did someone already give you something to calm you down?”
The surgeons, nurse, and I just chuckled. I took off my glasses and handed them to the surgical nurse as I drifted off to sleep.