Archive for the ‘Surgery’ Category

Surgery day (again)

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Surgery went well and I am home, resting comfortably. I had to fast from the time I woke up until the surgery today at 1:20 p.m. The surgeon put in a Jackson-Pratt drain, which consists of a hose in my thigh attached to a 100 ml suction bulb. The bulb can be pinned inside my clothing. I need to empty it when needed and keep track of the amount each time. When the amount of fluid slows to 5-10 ml per day, the drain can come out.

This time, I remembered a bit more after the anesthetic was administered. I remember being wheeled into the operating room, being lifted from the gurney to the operating table, and having my arms secured to the armrests. That’s about it until I awoke in the recovery room. Sandi hadn’t been brought in yet, but she was there before too long. We were out of there by 3:30 pm.

Since I couldn’t eat heavy or spicy food for a while, I treated us to chocolate milkshakes for the ride home. I was told to rest and take naps for the rest of the day. Not a problem for me.

Two doctor visits

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

We didn’t spend much time at work today. The incision from the biopsy on 21 February was still draining fluid this morning. Dr. K. had actually not received a copy of the biopsy results, which the surgeon had given us a copy of earlier in the week. I hadn’t brought it along because I’d assumed he had it. Fortunately, the surgeon’s office was upstairs and the surgery center was across the parking lot, so the pathology report was available in the system in no time.

All in all, he thinks my prognosis is very good. First, it is a less aggressive form of lymphoma than I had the first time. It is the same type I had in 2009 which was treated with Rituxan only, but a grade 2 instead of grade 1. He said my follicular B-Cell lymphoma could easily be treated with radiation instead of chemotherapy. Also, since the cancerous cells survived chemo, they probably wouldn’t respond to the same medications.

However, if the lymphoma has spread to my bone marrow, then radiation wouldn’t be enough. I would need chemo again, with a different medication cocktail. So the next step is to do another bone marrow extraction and send the sample to the lab.

He also said there were other nodes that were marble-sized, but after radiation, the cancer would be gone from that area, and would never return. So that is good news. I’m hoping I won’t need chemo; I would much rather take three weeks of radiation therapy than six months of chemotherapy.

Next, we went upstairs to see the surgeon and he ended up aspirating the seroma twice. He then made a surgery appointment for me for tomorrow to put in a drain. It’s at 1:30pm, so it will be no breakfast and a very late lunch for me. They’ll be putting me under again, so it’ll be over before I know it. Right now I have bandages over my bandages because a couple of times a small patch of skin came off with them. This procedure will allow the first incision to finally dry and heal normally. I might even get the stitches removed in another week or two.

I sure am looking forward to not having any leakage or wetness most of the time. It was a challenge to get through the day at work – even with jeans and rugby shirts, sometimes a wet spot was visible. Otherwise, it was easy for me to disguise by holding my coat in front of me. One reason to be grateful for a long winter!

Sandi was my chauffeur, of course, and was so kind as to buy us lunch. We each had a half sandwich and a bowl of turkey chili at the café in the medical pavilion. I couldn’t ask for a better caregiver than her, and sometimes feel that I’m just another source of worry and stress for her. Although, probably not as much as others might be.

Post-surgery swelling

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

My thigh has been steadily swelling up since the operation last Friday. I was told that sometimes water or fluid might collect to fill the cavity left by removing the lymph node. Today there is a big lump under the incision, so if it’s not looking any better tomorrow, I’ll call the surgeon’s office.

Surgery day

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Sandi drove me to the surgical center this morning, and everything went well. We actually didn’t know if the operation would take place today, because I only had my blood test done yesterday morning. The surgery center had to call my primary care doctor and have her specify the tests as STAT because they needed results within 24 hours. As I was clearing the snow off the Mustang yesterday morning, I slipped on some ice in the driveway and came down hard – REALLY hard – on my right knee. I think I may have damaged it, so I’ll have to have it checked out. I changed into jeans and boots and left for the lab a little later than planned, then off to work.

Fortunately, the surgical center had everything they needed this morning. The doctor removed the enlarged lymph node in my left thigh. I was sent home with a prescription for pain medication and need to make follow-up appointments with both my oncologist and the surgeon. I’m resting comfortably and am glad I have two more days off before I have to go back to work.

Sandi is the greatest, a real life-saver and I would truly be lost without her. And that’s not the medication talking.

Pre-op Appointment

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Saw my primary care doctor this morning, and she gave me the all-clear for surgery this Friday.

Surgeon Visit

Monday, February 17th, 2014

We went to see a surgeon today to schedule a biopsy. He said he’ll just remove the whole lymph gland and send it to the lab. I need to see my primary care doctor for a pre-op checkup, EKG, and a blood test as soon as possible.

I made an appointment for this Friday for the surgery, and an appointment with my doctor for Wednesday morning. I’ll have to have the blood work done before I go to work this Thursday.