Monday, May 4, 2009

Dermoid Cyst Removal: Mission Complete

Today was a big day for our family. We have been so blessed with such healthy, beautiful children. We are so lucky to have been parents for five years and to have just made our first trip to the hospital today. And we are even more fortunate to be so close to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. I know that people go on and on and on about this place but it is truly the best children's hospital in the world. So if your child has to be cut on then that is the place in which you would probably like to have it done.

We started our day very early this morning. I started mine a tad earlier than desired but you can attribute that to nerves and no to lack of melatonin or 5HTP. Oh well, right? So, I got up and prepared a back pack with snacks, water, peppermint juice, rescue remedy, magazines, camera.... you get the picture (but I managed to only take one diaper... great jorb!). I nursed him and we were on the road by six thirtyish. The drive was easy and while it wasn't a pretty day, God answered my prayers to keep the heavy rains at bay. Thank you Lord. That helped ease my mind as we made our travels to Nashville.

Once we arrived at the hospital we registered him and then waited for a while. We were taken to a holding room where we were asked a series of questions repeatedly which, while a little annoying, made me feel good to know that they were being so thorough. Everyone was very kind and friendly and were very interested in my Rescue Remedy (Thank you Bach for Rescue Remedy and thank you to my mother-in-law for continually letting me "borrow" hers until she just gave it to me today!). We changed him into some sweet little pajamas and then we hung out for a while until it was time for them to take my baby to surgery. My baby. To surgery. It wasn't until I was actually there, witnessing it, talking about a breathing tube and incisions that I realized the severity of this "simple procedure". Thankfully they did a good job talking to us and letting us know what to expect. It's probably a good thing that I didn't quite "get it" or else I'd have been even more of a wreck.

The Captain, my mother in law, sister in law (both of whom took time off of work in order to be there for us), and I headed to the cafeteria for some food. I enjoyed a delicious chicken salad sandwich, Terra chips, and a protein smoothie, all of which was very nourishing. We talked and laughed together and their love and support kept me upright, as it always does (I kinda love my family, can you tell?). Once we returned to the waiting room it was no time before they called us in to talk about the procedure. The doctor said that it went just as planned but the incision was a little bigger than anticipated because the cyst was so large. It was a largest cyst from the smallest baby he'd ever removed! Too bad we don't get a discount for setting records (okay, stole that one from my bro-in-law). We can expect the scar to eventually fade into his brow line. But the scar doesn't bother me. We aren't a vain type of family and besides, chicks dig scars. We did get to see the cyst inside of the little specimen jar. Pretty interesting. I had a vision of my friend Geoff's cysts that he had removed from his arm many moons ago. They used to sit on his shelves in his room. This looked very similar to those!

We went back to the waiting room for a few minutes to wait for them to call me back to nurse. The staff knew that I'd just been battling mastitis and that it was vital that I be able to feed him asap. They made that happen for me. The Captain had stepped out to the rest room when they came to get me. So, the nice lady and I walked down the hall way, through the doors until we finally came to his bed. He was so tiny laying there all hooked up. He was pitiful. He was swollen. He had quite a shiner. I started to cry some... from exhaustion, from relief, from gratitude that I was one of the lucky moms there, from horror because I wasn't prepared for how puffy he'd be. He began to cry and he was hoarse. From the tube in his throat. Poor guy.

The rest is a bit of a blur. I tearfully sat down to hold him, nurse him, comfort him. I rocked him and looked at his face and felt so many emotions inside of me. I knew that I'd been making myself sick over the past few weeks. First from worrying about the cyst and second from the tornadoes. I knew then and there that I wouldn't be able to carry on with the anxiety and the stress level or else I'd become one of those people...unable to function. Paralyzed by fear. I have to let go and let God or else my fears will become reality. I'll get really really really sick. And I can't have that. Not again. So, at that moment I knew that my own mental state had to be top priority and if that means not serving my community quite as much so that I can serve my family then that is what it means. There will be time to be super mom and super human when I've restored my strength and made good on my promise to my husband and my children to make them number one.

So, I feel confident that this journey has taught me a great deal, the least of which is to be thankful for what you have and to not fear what you might lose. Or else, you've already lost it because living in fear is not really living. I'm not sure how long it will take me to get there but that is the direction in which I am heading... living a life without fear.

I called my old neighbor tonight. The woman up the street to whom I'd run whenever things were bad with my dad. She was always so good to me. She loves me. She's proud of me. And she's watched me grow up. She told me that mama's flowers look lovely this year but that her lillies only had three blooms this time around. She said that the man who lives in the house now has white hair and that he's taking good care of the place. He built a deck. A deck sounds nice.

Soon I won't be scared to drive to my old house. I might even have enough courage to knock on the door of that house and ask to bring my kids inside... show them where I grew up. Show them my old bedroom. Soon. Real soon.


  1. Praise God!! Thanks for the update!

  2. Oh, I'm so thankful for all that you are and have and are thankful for. Praise God for answering prayers I didn't even know how to pray. Those prayers that had been whispered in precious moments of clarity and those that were screamed silently in the night.

    When you texted me today, I texted back the following: You must have felt me thinking about you. How are you and Baby Drayk...and I got a phone call, which I answered, forgetting that I was trying to text you. This, of course, erased what I had written.

    Now, I'm so happy that you were able to love on your angel baby. I remember when Josh had to have a hole in his eardrum grafted. I didn't realize until it was over that they didn't go in through the ear. And how I felt the first time Jonathon had stitches. And the next time. And the next.

    How cool that they understood the importance of nursing asap. Thank goodness for your entire medical team and loving family. And thank God for answered prayers.

    Love always, sweet friend,

  3. Oh Mandy- you are one brave mama! Thank you Jesus for taking care of Mandy and baby Dreyken today.

    I have a book for you to read... CRAZY LOVE by Francis Chan.

  4. God bless you for being so courageous for your little guy and for the rest of your troops! You are an incredible Mom and I admire you! :o) I pray for a quick recovery - for you both! Blessings....-Amy

  5. Hey Mandy, glad to hear surgery went well. I remember how relieved we were when we were allowed to see our son again after his surgery. Although it was a minor operation, they had to put him under, which always carries some risk (especially for a 2mo old). It was the first time he had left our sight. But all is well now. Take care.

  6. I'm glad everything went well. He's such a lovely baby.

    And glad you are making some break throughs... fear is a hard one to let go of, but it's too debilitating... we all deserve to walk away from it and live life the way it is meant to be lived – fully. We deserve it, our children deserve it. First step creating the family we wanted, and second step living the life.

    Hang in their. You're doing a marvelous job.
    Happy Mother's Day!

  7. So glad everything is okay with your son! How old was he when he had the surgery?
    My 1 yr. old daughter has a dermoid above her left eye, near her eyebrow. Just made the initial appt. Wondering how long it takes to heal and if there's any scarring? Any other advice?
    Thanks from Atlanta,
    Kate's Mom

  8. Kelly,
    I have tried to find a way to privately message you but I was not able to. I'd love to talk to you about the surgery in depth. Please email me at


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