Monday, December 14, 2009


I feel like we have been waiting a lot lately. I havent posted on this blog in a while because I have been waiting for something to say. I still don't have much, but i am sitting by myself while everyone is at work or school, and figure I may as well fill you in as to what is happening up to this point. So, last Friday I had my surgery to remove a wider incision around the mole which came up positive for melanoma. it is behind my left ear. I also had a lymph node mapping, which is not as much fun as you would imagine, so they could remove some of my lymph nodes to determine if my cancer has metastasized.
Lymph node mapping is where they stick you with really painful needles of radioactive material, then you lay under a scanner in what starts out as a comfortable position, but what you figure out after 10-20 minutes of holding still, is quite painful. Some people complain that you get a taste in your mouth after the shots, while others have the feeling of wetting themselves. I just had the feeling that someone was jabbing me really hard 4x with a needle full of radioactive material behind my ear, which then decided to bleed and ooze.
Then 20 minutes on my stomach, hands over my head while looking left for the first picture.
Then 10 minutes on my back, hands over my head with a scanner 1mm from the tip of my nose (if you are afraid of enclosed spaces, this would be a nightmare. I on the other hand, was trying not to cough cause I have a slight cold, and a tickle in the back of my throat.)
Then 10 minutes on my back, hands over my head looking right.
Then wait to see if it is ok.
Then 10 minutes on my back hands over my head looking right again.
Then 10 minutes on my back hands over my head looking right again while drawing with some marker thing.

Finally I was done, and we could go over for surgery. Surgery was the same as it ever was. Get in a gown, get your vitals, put on a weird hat. Go to the OR, breathe this..... out. Josy told me when I woke up that when they had shaved to prep for the surgery they found another mole that looked like the original ones they had taken out, and that they made the wider incision, took 3 lymph nodes, and took out the mole that looked like the bad mole. Originally Josy had joked about shaving my head, and the doctor said it was probably a good idea. I have a similar mole behind the other ear, and could very well have more hidden in my hair. Josy has since bought me a stocking cap to keep my head warm - "In case we end up cutting it closer...".
So, after surgery, I came home, and started in on recovery. Weird thing is that I can not use the muscle to make me pee. I know I have to pee, but the muscle will not contract. It takes me 30 minutes to get enough pee out to feel like i should not have to pee any more.
By day 2, I notice that I can not tell if I have to go #2 either. So, not only do I not have to pee, but i have to pee, but I know i have to poo, but i can't tell if I have to poo! This probably does not make much sense, but it does to me. Sunday night I am not able to go (#1 is ok since i have trained myself to spend 10 minutes dribbling enough out to be ok about every 1-2 hours.) so i decided to stop the pain meds. Last pain meds i took was last night at 8. this morning, I could use the bathroom for both types. I really had to go. REALLY. After getting that out of my system, I looked in the mirror at my wound - which i really hadn't seen since the steristrips had come off, and decided I may need to go back on the meds. it looks painful, so, I think i am going to try the meds i had from last time. I think they are lighter duty, but at least i can feel my functions with them.
That catches you up to now. Tomorrow i have the meeting with the surgeon so i can hopefully find out whether the lymph nodes are clear, and whether the other flap of skin is clear. Based on that information, I will see the oncologist on Thursday to find out what-if anything- needs to happen there. I anticipate having some advance notice of tomorrows information today. I imagine that if the other mole comes back as anything but normal, that the doctor will call and ask me to shave my hair close for tomorrow's visit.

Anyway. Now you are up to date. Here are some pics.

1 comment:

Missy said...

Oh, holy hell, sounds like you have your hands full ... pee and poop, yikes. Those are like my two most favorite things, for reals. Really, what feels better...only ONE thing that I can think of!!! Anyway, thinking of you, what a tough go. Now shave that head! We need pictures;)