Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Back among the living


I am alive and back among the land of the living. Thank you for your prayers.

Monday was a long day...a L-O-N-G day.

We arrived at the hospital around 7AM as we had be instructed. After I checked in, I met with my pre-op nurse and changed into my "fetching" gown. Then they sent me over to Nuclear Medicine so they could locate the lymph nodes that needed to be removed for testing. This special x-ray took over an hour to do because once the special dye was injected in my ear (ouch!) then x-rays were taken every ten minutes to see where the dye traveled. The process worked just as it needed to and the lymph nodes in my neck where identified as the sentinel nodes.

I missed my 10:30AM surgery time because spent 20 minutes laying on a stretcher outside Nuc. Med. waiting to be wheeled back to pre-op. So, I waited with Pastormac for the next available time. We met with my surgeon who made the "official" mark (which was huge) on my ear. The nurse put my IV in and the anesthesiologist explained to us what she had planned.

Then around 12:30PM it was finally time to go. The anesthesiologist gave me a dose of "good stuff" (her words) to relax me and it took all of about 30 seconds to put my lights out. I barely had time to kiss Pastormac before I was unconscious.

I'm told the surgery went well. My surgeon was able to get a good sample of lymph nodes and he was also able to take the larger portion of my ear without having to use a skin graft. I tried to wake up near the end and so required another dose of anesthesia before it was through. This made it extremely hard for me to wake up afterwards and a process that normally takes about 40 minutes took two hours. And I felt pretty yucky when I finally did wake up. The post-op nurse called it "anesthesia hang-over" and boy did I have it bad! Nausea, & disorientation. I was finally released at 6PM and we came home so I could go to bed. We arrived home around 7PM. It felt good to be home.

I spent the rest of Monday night and most of the day on Tuesday laying in bed still getting over the anesthesia and recovering from the surgery. Luckily I did not experience very much pain.

Today (Wednesday) I've felt mostly like myself again although it doesn't take much to make me feel run down. We were allowed to remove the bandages and "check the damage." I have quite a bit of numbness through my ear and neck area. The incision on my neck is about an 1.5 inches and my neck is pretty bruised and sore. My ear - ugh; it's going to take some getting used to. I'll be happy when the swelling goes down and all the stitches come out because right now I think it looks pretty bad. I'm reassured by my family that my ear doesn't look as bad as I think. Today was just a really sad day for me.

Hopefully by tomorrow we will get word about whether there was cancer found in the lymph node samples. For now I'm meditating on 2 Corinthians 4.



Beck said...

Oh, poor you! But I'm sure that your ear will heal nicely and that it will just be an interesting but not that noticeable scar.

Keeping you in my prayers.

Jody said...

Oh my goodness. Hugs to you!

I know this may not be of help, but that doc did a marvelous job with your ear.

May I ask how you found the lesion...did you go to a dermatologist for a check up, or was it something you noticed and decided to check it out. The reason I ask is that I have several areas that need to be checked and I have been procrastinating.

Anonymous said...

Sweetie, really, it looks bad now because of the black line of stitches...once those are gone and the healing begins, it will really only be noticable if you put your two ears side by side. What a blessing that God puts them on different sides of our heads!!! ;-)

Praying for WONDERFUL news today!!!

We are all praying continually and sending our love to you.


5KidMom said...

Kate is absolutely right. God had a pretty great plan, didn't He?!?!

Make sure to get plenty of rest, and let the kids take care of you for a bit. You deserve it. 8^)

Susanne said...

{{{{{A big hug for you, Ann}}}}

May the Lord minister to you as you heal up from the surgery. That black line and the stitches will be gone before you know it. I felt the same about my hand and now it's healing up nicely and already it's much, much less noticeable. I love Kate's perspective that unless ears are side by side one can't tell!

Bless you, get lots of rest and may your recovery be fast!

PastorMac's Ann said...

Hey thanks everyone! I appreciate the encouragement more than you know.

I am glad my surgeon did a good job! I was told by many that he is the best. I'll get used to it. I know. I was just partial to my original ear. This one is quite a bit smaller, curves in a funny way and now it sticks out quite a bit more than my other one.

Because Jody asked: The original lesion was discovered during a routine skin check with a dermatologist. I figured it was about time (I'm almost 40) to have my skin looked over so I made myself an appointment. The dermatologist asked me if I had any areas of concern and my ear came to mind. The mole wasn't located in a clearly visible place (how to you look at the back of your ear?) so it wasn't something I had looked at and thought, "wow, that looks bad." I asked her to examine it because I had brushed it sometime during the previous year and it bled a lot. She took the mole off and sent it to pathology. At that time she didn't think it was anything serious. But the pathology came back as melanoma. And so you go.

My encouragement to anyone thinking of getting a skin check? Don't procrastinate.

Robin said...

Wow...I can't believe how invasive they had to be :/. GOOD for you, providing this kinda/sorta PSA.

I've seen your comments "around" and was glad our paths officially crossed during Karen and Chili's blogradio show :).

Thankful you're clear following your path results!