Wednesday, November 16, 2016

After Doctor Visit

I had my 1st postop checkup today with my plastic surgeon.  He said everything looked great.  He removed the Tegaderm from my leg and kind of “scrubbed” off the old clots, which should have hurt like crazy, but fortunately, because that whole big incision had made much of my thigh numb, I didn’t feel much. (yay!)  He replaced it with a piece of xerofoam and a big pad.  It will be changed every other day like my arm. He said I could remove the dressing and shower – just let the water run over it, pat it dry and redress.

Then he went to my arm.  I still think it doesn’t look great, but he says it is fine.  He cleaned it up a bit and redressed it with the Xerofoam and Kling wrapped around it. 

He said I could get rid of the splint (yay!) and begin to move my fingers – just don’t bend the wrist too much yet.  It will be changed every other day.  When I shower, I’ll need to keep it dry.  I’ll just wrap the Press N Seal around it.

 He said my head looked great and the stitches could come out today.  He removed some little staples that were holding down those wires that were in my neck.  Then he removed a whole wad of sticky tape holding all that mess in place. Removing those wires was what I was dreading the most.  He said, “I’m going to put a little pressure here.”  I was all set for pain, and he said, “That’s it!”  I didn’t feel a thing!  He said when I showered just not let the stream of water hit directly on the flap, but a little water running over it from the other side (where the hair is) would not hurt.  I can wear my glasses if Guy could bend the left stem up a bit and away from my head so that it didn’t impinge on the flap.  Yipee!  I don’t need to use a Q-tip to clean the stitches of my head with hydrogen peroxide and apply Bacitracin anymore.  Yipee!  I will need to wait another couple weeks to sleep on that side.  Boo!

I asked if the final pathology report was back.  He said everything he sent in came back clear.  Yipee!!!! Guy pointed out to me later that he only said what HE sent in was clear.  That went right past me, so I don’t know if he was implying what Dr. M, the cancer surgeon, sent in was not clear or if it was OK.  Now I have to wait until I see Dr. M in the morning to get that answer.  Pray, pray, PRAY what he sent in was clear!!!!!  If it turns out clear, I don’t think there will be any further treatment.  As I understand, angiosarcomas do not respond all that well to radiation or chemotherapy.  That is my last hurdle to jump!!  I’ll let you know what I find out tomorrow.  I believe that tomorrow I’ll be assigned to a medical oncologist that will follow me as well as my cancer surgeon.

When Dr. P finished with me, his nurse came in to take out all the stitches.  (except my thigh – they are all dissolvable) That took a while!  I had not realized until yesterday that I had stitches under my chin leading to that wire insertion area.  He explained that one of the harvested vessels tied into the flap through that incision.  The other one was through the incision in front of my ear.  The nurse worked and worked to get all those stitches out of my head, in front of my ear, and under my chin.  Then she worked and worked to clean all this area up.  I had so much residual stickiness left from all that tape, it was a mess!!  I had developed a rash under some of it.  It felt as if she was rubbing my skin off!  But when she finished she gave me a hand held mirror and I stood in front of the wall mirror.  Wow!  It looked so good!!  And felt so good to get that all off my neck!  I’ll include a picture here and point out what’s what.  I think most won’t find this gross, but you can look at the former post to see the difference between the way it looked before and how it looks now. Big difference!

 This side picture of my neck lets you see where the neck incisions were.  Just under my ear is where the 1st lymph node was taken from. Below that the little bumps are a bit of a rash from the tape.  To the left of them, in the picture, is an incision where one of the vessels were tied into the flap.  Beyond that, and not really showing is where the two wires went into neck to monitor the viability of the vessels.  Below that center rash area is where the 2nd lymph node was taken.  Below that incision is where the wires were stapled to my neck to hold them in place. There was also tape over that, thus the little rash bumps.

 This pictures shows the flap with stitches all removed and cleaned up.  Such a better looking area from the *before* picture!!  The little dark spot at the base of the flap and to the right is where the drain was removed before dismissal from the hospital.  You can clearly see the rash bumps lower and to the left.  I’m not really allergic to tape, but after having it in place for over a week, it made a rash!

I feel so FREEEEE now that all that is gone!!!  I'll be anxious to play around with my hair now, parting it on the other side, and seeing what I can do with it.

I’ll go back to see him again in two weeks.

So I feel like I’m well on my way to recovery!  Just got to get that CLEAR path report in the morning!!

I’m really looking forward to Thanksgiving with the family next week, and

As always, I’m in His hands.

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