Monday, September 18, 2017
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
My biggest fear I think this morning was getting my power port accessed for the IV. They seem to have had trouble the last several times there. The problem is that they only stock 3/4" needles, and the infusion centers always use 1". This is the needle that goes though my skin and directly into the port. (I always put lidocaine cream over the port area and cover it with Press N Seal.). I had as really swell nurse this morning who had a preceptor with her. The nurse was doing it all and explaining everything she was doing. As she was preparing to access the port, I asked her if her needle was 3/4 or 1. She said she had both. (Surprise!!) I told her they always had trouble with the 3/4 and the infusion centers always used 1". She said, "Oh! Thank you for sharing that with me!" She asked to have the 1" apparatus dropped onto the sterile field, and proceeded to slip it into my port, slick as a whistle!! I thanked her for making that procedure go so well. She was very competent, sweet, and had a great sense of humor.
Thank you, God, for sending this lady to care for me during the preop part of the morning. You knew just what I needed this morning to calm my fears.
The last time I went to the OR room, I had to slide from the cart to this very cold table that was covered by a cream-colored plastic thingy - brrrrrr! This time the table was covered in sheets and bent into a shape that I presumed was going to fit my body once they turned me over. However, anesthesia told me they would put me to sleep right here on the cart. Nice!! So I started breathing the oxygen through the mask. And promptly woke up in recovery!! 😊
The Dr told Guy everything went well. I saw him in the preop time, and he drew all these marks on my head. That squiggling on the lower neck was just to mark which side - they always have to do.
He told me all these different kinds of dressings he might sew onto my head to cover the site that would remain until we heard from pathology. He said he would determine which one after he got in there. I showed him the area of my concern - where all those rashy-looking, itchy bumps were from the lower stitches to almost my ear. He looked it over carefully, knowing my suspicions from that biopsy turned out to be true, and he marked it well to include my suspicious areas. He said he would take what he suspected - and then take a little more beyond that - thus the solid and dotted lines. That's what I wand to hear! I told him my ear was itching a lot, but I wondered if it might be the feeling coming back into it. He chuckled and said, "Well I'm not taking your ear this time."
As soon as I awoke in recovery, the usual vital signs were taken and the "Take a deep breath," instructions given. Soon she gave me some fentanyl for the burning-type pain and 2 oxycodone to get on board. Then came the crackers and Sprite which meant that the wheelchair would not be far behind!😊 It is just about "drive-thru-surgery" these days. After the crackers and Sprite, it was time to get dressed. Guy helped me with that. He took a picture of the dressing. I must say I've never seen anything like this!! It is a foil-type mesh. Enlarge the picture, and you can see the mesh part. (As well as some STAPLES!! Staples??? He didn't say anything about staples...oh, well....I guess it is not coming off of there until he takes it off) They said the next time I saw him would be in surgery again.
Then Guy went for the car. He had had to park on the top level so I knew he would be a bit. I leaned back to rest, but it was not long until here came the wheelchair. The pain pills had kicked in by then, so I was feeling pretty good.
It was 1:00 as we pulled away from the hospital. One hour in recovery. We got to Mark's with no problem, and they loaded our things into the car, including Annie, of course! And we took off. It was rush hour, but we didn't have far to get out of town. Since I had to be at the hospital this morning at 8:30, we were in big-time rush hour, but Guy did a good job, and we were not late.
OK, that's enough for tonight. Just praising the Lord for the day - made it through surgery well and safely home. Thank you all SO MUCH for your prayers and encouraging words!!!! Love you all!! ❤️❤️❤️
And as always....I remain in His hands...
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
We left early this morning for KC rather than going yesterday since my appointment wasn't until 1:15 this afternoon. This was to see my plastic surgeon to have my stitches removed from the August 10th surgery. Dr. Przylecki had called me after the last surgery to tell me that even though he had removed the recommended 1mm all around the wound plus even more, the pathology report was still questionable on one side - the side away from the original flap. I need to include the picture of the surgical area in order to describe what I'm talking about.
BTW, it is not everyone that has the initial of their last name branded on the back of their head! 😊 The lesion that was removed was in the 9:00-10:00 position. The path report was questionable in the area of the 1:00-2:00 position. That was because of the remaining inflammation. The rest of the margins were clear. I had sure would rather have heard that ALL margins were clear!! But what bothered me was the area of the 7:00-8:00 position and below- and that little area that went out to the left. That area itched almost constantly. If you will recall, this last lesion itched a lot. None of the other spots ever itched. So of course my paranoia kept wondering if I was growing another itchy one like the last one. Anyway, taking out the stitches from the start of the "C" clear around to the 8:00 position didn't hurt at all - no feeling in that area. However, the rest of the stitches (in the itchy area) was another story. The closer to my neck you get, the more tender the area. Thankfully, it didn't last long! He kept making comments that he was concerned about the "bump" at the 2:00 position. I hadn't worried about it because I thought that was just where the flap kind of turned up, and that it was just the way it was stitched. But Dr. P said something about maybe a cyst there. At any rate, he thought he should biopsy it. Especially since that was the area in question in the path report. I said, "Well, the area I'm most concerned about was where it itched." He said, "Well, I'll biopsy that area, too." The 1st one was a snap because, I had no feeling in the area. The 2nd one - YIKES! That shot really hurt!! And then I felt the biopsy being taken and the stitches! But I just groaned and gripped my knees. (I was sitting in a chair with my forehead resting on the edge of the exam table.)
Soooo....it's still not over! Now I await the next pathology reports! The nurse said if I had not heard by next Wednesday, to call her. She also said that she cannot give out "bad" reports - it has to be him. So, I'll know now if she cannot tell me the report, it will not be good. I surely pray the next voice I hear from this office is hers, and not his!!
Tomorrow morning, I'll see Dr. Mammen, the original surgeon. Since Dr. P had consulted with Dr. Mammen over this last path report, and since I had not seen Dr. Mammen for several months, I made an appointment with him to get him back into the loop. I wanted him to see the latest incision. Dr. P is basically just a "repair" surgeon, where Dr. M sees cancerous tissue all the time. Since Dr. M had told Dr. P during the consultation process that he was "not inclined to chase after it," I rather suspect that if either of these biopsies is positive, I'll be going back to Dr. Powers, the oncologist, and he will most likely start chemo again.
I left the dr's office this afternoon rather discouraged because I really wanted those stitches out and just get on with my life - until the scans the 3rd week in September. But then I knew that getting down in the dumps would not help any. It wouldn't change a thing - other than make me miserable and not help with the healing. So, I have to, once again, trust my Maker to know what He is doing. I have made it through the 1st year, and, although I've been slowed up a good bit, I'm still very blessed to feel as good as I do. As always, I appreciate your prayers more than I can express. I'm quite sure they are a big part of why I'm still here.
And as always, I remain in His hands...