Archive for March, 2014

Drain report

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Today was the first day that the drain area didn’t hurt since it was put in, so I was able to walk at a normal pace.

Drain, drain

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

I’ve been averaging between five to ten cc’s per hour of lymphatic fluid, or a couple hundred a day. Sometimes it’s clogged with what looks like tissue, which eventually gets stretched out enough to come out. Some days it makes my leg sore, and on others it feels as if it’s not there.

Marrow extraction

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Since we had another snow day yesterday, we had a four-day weekend. Sandi had to drive me to my bone marrow extraction appointment today with the oncologist. At least I didn’t have to fast for it. No pain medication this time, just some needle jabs to numb the area, which is the left pelvis in the back. I had to take two valium before going in, which only seemed to make me walk a little wobbly.

I didn’t feel a gurgling this time when the marrow was extracted, and it didn’t bother me too much. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the results.

Still winter…

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Another snow day, so since I couldn’t go to work, I rested. I finally removed the bandage today, and it looks like the incision from the original procedure is healing well. The drainage kit is doing its job and also looks okay.

Hose, bud

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

The drain is doing a great job. I have to wear baggy trousers so the bulb won’t be conspicuous, which rules out the Dockers. I am now fully casual at work, wearing jeans and work boots. I always make sure my shirt has a collar, although I may wear my ‘Stones or ‘Floyd t-shirt underneath, for instance.

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.

Still leaking

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

The bandages almost lasted through the workday, and the wound didn’t start to leak until just before I left. I’ve been wearing my business casual Dockers trousers at work, with rugby shirts that would cover up any small wet patches. I’ve also taken to wearing sweat pants whenever I’m home.

I’ve been trying not to be too active, but it really doesn’t take much for the incision to start leaking. Going from sitting to standing, for instance, is enough. Even so, I try to get things for myself rather than pestering Sandi.

Home recovery

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

I was so fed up with this incision and fluid leaking, I stayed home and called the surgeon. I’m seeing him Thursday, after I see the oncologist.

I did discover that waterproof bandages did a better job of keeping the incision from leaking. I called Sandi, and she picked up some more for me on her way home. I should be able to make it through work the workday tomorrow, but I’ll still put a thick bandage over it.

Great while it lasted

Monday, March 10th, 2014

A great day at work today, without any leaks. However, my thigh continued to swell up with fluid throughout the day. After we got home, as soon as I sat down, it developed a pinhole-type leak between the stitches. Back to bandages and towels.