Surgery went well and I am resting at home. Dr. Beatty reassuringly squeezed my foot as he left after we had our pre-op talk. My first thought? “I have to tell my mom!”.

This is the email my mom sent to my last night after hearing about the clear PEM scan. (It still won’t make total sense so I’ll explain it later in the post.)

Hi Liz,
I was so relieved that I forgot to wish you well on the lumpectomy.
Hope all goes well. We love you so much.
All week I kept hoping that Dr. Clark would squeeze my foot
and tell me you’d be OK. I guess he did.
Okay, so here’s the explanation:
I was a preterm baby born with respiratory distress. My body was not yet producing sufficient surfactant, which allows lungs to inflate with air and keeps the air sacs in the lungs filled with air. Back then, physicians didn’t know how to treat it so the prognosis was more touch and go. JFK and Jacki Kennedy had lost a baby a couple of years previously from respiratory distress. (For years, all I knew about my rough start in life was that my lungs weren’t fully developed and that I had the thing that the Kennedy baby had.) To make a long story short, it wasn’t clear that I was going to survive. My mom’s OB/GYN, Dr. Clark was talking to her while she was in the hospital. I imagine that she was alone. She had 4 other children at the time so I am guessing my dad had them at home. Seeing that she was scared and tearing up, he squeezed her foot as he left the room. My mom has spoken of this event many times over the years so I know this little gesture meant a great deal her.
So when I told my mom about this she said, “You need to write about this in your blog!”
So hospital physicians out there, we like the foot squeeze. We give it two big toes up!