Recovering Gratitude

For a while now, I’ve been dealing with an enlarged lymph node on the left side of my neck.  I am a former smoker so, predictably, I’m going to get a little freaked out when I feel a growth on my neck…well, a lot freaked out, actually.  Immediately I headed over to the Google Doctor and was faced with some really scary possible diagnoses.  I figured it was something I couldn’t hold off, I needed to get it checked out.  Over the course of a few months, with the help of my real doctor this time,  we tried to keep an eye on it, he administered a few rounds of antibiotics, I got a CT scan and then a partial biopsy, that all ended with inconclusive results.  At the end of it all, I had two options: leave it alone or have it removed.

I am a worry wart by nature, so leaving it alone wasn’t going to be the best option for me.  I would constantly be thinking about it, fretting that it would get worse, and ultimately lose my mind over it.  It had to go.

Once that decision was made, of course, fear set in.  Going under anesthesia of any kind can be unsettling, but for me, it’s terrifying.  I find myself saying my goodbyes to my family and hugging them extra tight because, well, you just never know.  There’s always that small percentage of procedures where something does go wrong.  I am always worried that that patient will be me.  The whole hospital/ surgical atmosphere turns me into a nervous wreck.

Thankfully, this time, everything went well.  I went under, I woke up, and everything is going to be a-ok.  So as I sit here, recovering, I can relax with a strong sense of gratitude for all the things in my life that I somehow take for granted, and I reflect on all the things that I am thankful for.  Surgery will do that to ya!

  • Grateful that I woke up.  Obvious one, right?
  • So happy to see my husband walk into the recovery room.  Like, fall-in-love-all-over-again happy.  As soon as I saw him round the corner my heart swelled.  Best feeling ever.
  • Hearing from the kids and seeing their smiling faces when I got home.  Nothing beats hugs and kisses from the kids.  Nothing.
  • I get to EAT!  Not being able to eat the entire day was torture for me.   I was certain that every nurse I came across could hear the rumble of my tummy.  Embarrassing to say the least.
  • I get to bathe and use lotion again.  Not using lotion in the winter wreaks havoc on my sensitive skin.
  • I have a renewed outlook for the future.  I actually dreamt about future travel plans and thought about my family and friends.  I even went on an email spree to contact my friends to set up dates to see them.  I have such an amazing network of people I can count on, and I want them to know they can count on me too.

While I wish my renewed sense of gratitude wasn’t brought about under surgical circumstances, I am glad for it anyway.  I’m glad that it’s over.  And I’m glad that I can move on.

Here’s to health!


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  1. I’m so glad everything come through for you so well! Surgery and anesthesia scare me, too. It’s interesting, how gratitude sneaks in, no? I’m facing some medical uncertainty of my own right now, and that’s been the one thing that keeps me going – focusing on my blessings NOW.

  2. Good to hear that you are feeling better!
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  3. Sounds like you found the perfect way to handle a scary situation. There’s always much to be thankful for, but sometimes we forget to take time to really think on it. You are blessed! So glad your procedure went well too! :)
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  4. Eliz Frank says:

    Good to hear that you are okay… It can be scary to have lump and not know what to do because of fear…

  5. So happy that it all turned out so well for you! I have a knot that I’ve been ignoring for several years, I’m not brave like you!!!
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  6. Sometimes scares of this nature can be just the thing to open our eyes and see all of the wonderful things around us. I’m glad you’re doing well!

  7. Anytime you can be grateful is a fantastic thing. Always be thankful. So glad you are healing just fine. That can be a scary event.
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  8. Glad you got it taken care of! I totally understand the fear…as a nurse, everything for me and my husband is magnified to me! lol
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  9. I am so glad everything went well. Now, you won’t have to worry about it any more.

  10. It’s always good to try and have gratitude in our hearts always.
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  11. Glad to hear you’re doing ok. I totally get that fall-in-love feeling. I had emergency surgery in March (i was 2 months preg with #2) and it was everything to see my hubby again and to hear that heartbeat.
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  12. I am glad this didn’t work out for the worse and allowed you to have more gratitude. HUGS!
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  13. It is good to have an attitude of gratitude. Attitude helps us to become what we want to be and gratitude makes us happy.
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  14. Thank God you are ok! I know the feeling to appreciate life in a whole new way!

  15. I have one on my back and doctor says it’s nothing and to leave it alone. Every time I get a massage or something else they say something about it. But I’m reassured that it’s nothing. Glad yours is too…nothing. Sorry you have to spend all that money to find out. OUCH!

  16. Glad that you are dealing with it head on! You’re so strong. Happy to hear you’re ok.
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  17. I’m glad everything went well! And gratitude is such an amazing feeling. I agree, with should be gratefull for life all the time.

  18. I would have opted to have it removed too, I think. And I know that feeling of being so happy to see your husband, I had that too after my one and only surgery. They said I woke up crying for him, lol.
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  19. Happy to hear you are doing ok and recovering! I can only imagine how scared you felt! I have had a scare similar to that, it can change your perspective on things for sure!
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  20. Yay! I am so happy for you. It’s absolutely terrifying when something is wrong with your body, and you can’t figure out what it is. I’m so glad the surgery went well and that you’re happy and home with your family.
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  21. I’m so glad it’s over for you! Doctor Google is the worst! I was like you before I went in for my c-section with my twins…I was so worried something was going to happen. It definitely makes you thankful!

  22. Glad it wasn’t a big problem!! I have a few cysts in my neck that scare the living schiza out of me on a regular basis and I’ve been to doctors about them maaaaany times before. They’re not lymph nodes just cysts. So freaky though!! I also have pretty bad health anxiety so having them sure doesn’t help!
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  23. So glad you got through it and are on the mend!! I would have done the same thing

  24. It’s always the simple things that we tend to take for granted! It’s always refreshing to have that one moment in which we look back and realize how much we have to be thankful for. So happy to hear your procedure went well and you are recovering. Wishing you the best!
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  25. Gratitude is one of the secrets to happiness. It’s a great way to force ourselves to think positive but with ease. Glad to hear you’re well :)
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  26. So glad that everything is fine and you are okay. I too am a past smoker – it has been 10 years for me…I still worry about what smoking has done to my body.

  27. Jacqueline says:

    Current smoker here- I have the exact same fears about being put under that you had! I have had major dental surgeries while wide awake and am grateful I have not had to deal with any spooky growths yet. I think lack of insurance keeps me going to the Google Doctor (LOL!!) as much as my fear of anesthesia does. Good for you for having the guts to do something that scared you so much!!!

  28. teresa mccluskey says:

    This is one of those post that make me go ahhh I needed this! I am having a hard time at the moment on a few personally levels so this really does help me out

  29. It’s nice to have moments that make you remember all you are grateful for, even if it’s a struggle or trial. I LOL’ed at grateful to eat!
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  30. I was never a smoker, but I have an enlarged lymph node on my left side too. It is not noticable and only I know it is there. I decided to just leave mine alone since it doesn’t bother me.
    I had to LOL at your waking up… kind of sad but true, When you go under the knife, you are very happy to wake up.
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  31. I am with you – I never could have left it there not knowing for sure what it was. You are a brave woman because I would have FREAKED out.
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  32. Gratitude is definitely something we can all use a bit more of. I’m glad you’re ok :) Visiting from #SITS
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