I had my follow up appointment with my orthopedic oncologist today. So far, everything is looking good with the healing with the scar. I had questions answered that I needed to hear. I found out how much tissue was removed from the surgery. The report says “white-tan skin ellipse (11.0 x 2.5 cm) with underlying subcutaneous tissue, fat, and muscle (11.0 x 6.0 x 5.5 cm.” To clarify the meaning of skin-ellipse is the portion of skin that was removed and of course the next statement was everything else. Which happens to be a good portion that was removed during the surgery.
Side Note: Also, a sigh of relief was what was thought to be a possible neurofibroma on the spine from an MRI earlier this year, is nothing at all. That was at the back of my mind, that I didn’t think about too much. I am glad that is resolved.
Also, radiation was discussed. Radiation is not out of the picture yet. She will discuss with the radiation oncologist and find out if it needs to be done. I rather not have radiation but if it is required, I will go that route. I will find sometime soon if radiation is needed and give the details here.
The next step is an MRI and CT scheduled for May to continue the followup. Other than that I need to continue the healing process. And get out and walk more and exercise so, I can mostly get back to normal.
I know that God is in control of all things. I realize I have been throughout a lot growing up with surgeries, and even this is another trial that I’ve been through. I know I will continue to get stronger and these have only helped me along the way to shape who I am now. I am thankful for everything I’ve been through, because I do not know the person who I would be today, without all these events happening in my life. It is time to move forward.
I thought I was making progress recovering. I feel like I’ve regressed back a couple weeks in terms of how the leg feels. It may be the cold weather. But probably more likely I either picked up something I shouldn’t have or stepped wrong.
I decided to go back to using a crutch. I’m not even sure that is the best method. I’ve not even talked to a physical therapist, so when I transitioned from two crutches to one crutch. I did that on my own accord. So, hopefully now using one crutch will lessen the pain and put less stress on this leg.
I feel enough pain to take medicine to relieve the pain. I rather feel it then have it cover up. The multiple surgeries that I’ve had, when I compare it to those pains overall, it is minor in comparison.
At this rate in my recovery process, seems it will take longer than expected.
I have to look past all the pain, and looks towards the future. I know I will be better. I will walk and move faster. Small hurdles I have to go through now to get to the final outcome. I am thankful for everything I’ve been through. It only makes me stronger to face the road ahead.
Scar is healing up nicely. I am off crutches as of a few days ago. I still have a slight limp, when I am walking. I am sure it will get better as the days pass.
Still have limitations on what I can do. I still try to avoid heavy lifting or any thing significant enough at work or around town, to allow healing to continue.
I need to look on positive side and not of any negative statistics on what could happen if this recurs. But it is hard not to since, I am just three months away from first surgery, and one month from the last one. Then playing the waiting game. Hard to return back to life and think everything is normal. In actuality in bleeds into everyday life, more so than I realized.
Going from being five years free of a pheochromocytoma, and with the sarcoma being diagnosed. Life doesn’t return to normal after surgery. But a new one is actually started. Life is looked at differently, and appreciated more. There are more risks you are willing to take. A chance to step out of your comfort zone and go into boundaries you never thought possible.
As life goes on around you, people continue in their same pattern. As you flow into a different one, but unaware to those around you.
A chance to experience things that can bring you joy. There are places to be, things to do. The concept of time is what we take for granted. We can fill our time with useless things, and not realize the pattern we are in day to day.
There is a lot of free time. We have to learn to put it to good use. Charting out, what you do in a day is a good tool to use. When you look back on the week, it can be surprising. Do we let things bother us that can creep into other parts of our day. Those aspects need to be marked and eliminated if possible. We need to deal with those and not ignore the underlining issue.
Once you get a better grip of time spent, you can value it a lot more. Get out and experience life. We came from dust and til dust we shall return.
I for one am appreciative of all that I’ve been through and won’t let any tumor keep me from feeling a since of normal. I will continue on.
Clean margins is what I was told. The previous surgery had a micropositive margin, so I knew this surgery would clear it up. So, pathology was good.
Couldn’t really ask that many questions since this was more of a wound check type appointment. But I was able to get the basic information I needed.
God is good.
I’m sure the post-op appointment will be fine. I’ve haven’t been notified otherwise. I will find out the pathology results from the surgery though, and that is a good thing. I am not too worried about it, since it normal tissue that was surrounding where the tumor was originally located.
I will get to find out exactly how much she took out. The scar did increase it was around 5 inches, and it is currently 7.5 inches. The tumor was about 4.5 cm at the biggest point. So 4.5 cm to inches is 1.7 in. And 7.5 inches to centimeters is 19.05 cm (from 12.7 cm, previous surgery). The scar is thus longer than the tumor itself. But the scar is the smallest of the scars, from my other surgeries.
Again this is just a standard post-op appointment with the nurse practitioner of the surgeon. He will check up on the scar, and find out how I am healing. I’ll need to get all my questions answered though, because if I don’t I’ll have to wait to see the doctor on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
Also, healing is coming along nicely though. Some soreness still. I’m not walking perfectly yet. I’ll give it two to three weeks. But otherwise doing well.
On Thursday around noon, I went to the ER because of a suspected blood clot. I had some swelling, definite warmth and a red hue around part of the incision. I also was experiencing pain and soreness that didn’t seem normal.
I didn’t have to wait long to be seen. It was around five minutes. I get into the treatment room and sit on the bed. I explain everything to them. After they looked at it, they are telling me it is normal. I noticed the warmth wasn’t there, and red hue had gone away. I also noticed I wasn’t experiencing any more pain. I contemplated as I waited alone in the room for about two hours. I’m not sure how I was feeling better all of a sudden. I thought of different reasons. There was no other scenario that could make me do a total 180. From feeling the way I did for the two previous days. The only explanation I can think of is prayer and that God is continually working in my life.
Today, I am starting to feel a lot better. Soreness still abounds, but not that bad. I’ve not had any pain medicine since that Thursday morning.
I will be glad when I am back to walking normal once again. It is easy to take things for granted. I am doing what I can. One day at a time.
Still some major swelling and bruising. Which is most likely normal after the surgery and trauma to the surrounding area of my leg. The scar is much longer than last time. There was more work involved with removing different layers of tissue (skin down to muscle).
Also, I may have done too much on Saturday moving around. Mainly going up and down the stairs on two different occasions. Which I need to avoid and keep to a minimum. Note the earlier post about excessive stair climbing. I failed to consider this part of that example, but I believe it fits in perfectly. I dd enjoy getting out of the apartment though.
I am moving around but it does hurt with each step I do take. Which I consider the normal part of the healing process after surgery. Like my previous surgeries, I do have to keep moving around despite pain and discomfort. It really is not that bad just don’t like feeling this way. I’ll have to continue to rest and realize that I can’t get up and move around in this state.
I know recovery will take time. I will take each day as it comes. I know God has a plan, and even this is part of it all.
Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way but the Lord establishes his steps.
1 Chronicles 16:34 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
God has been working in my life always, and I will continue to trust Him.
I was discharged about 12:30 after being in the recovery room for an hour after anesthesia wore off, then an additional hour in short stay.
The surgery went well and was successful. I do have pain from the surgery and decided to bear the pain I had which was about an eight, til I arrived back at home. The last surgery I had a shot that numbs the area and reduces pain for a longer period of time but comes at a cost. I could bear the pain because of having other surgeries and I’d rather feel the pain, so I know what is hurting. Also, I had some pills left from the last surgery, so I could take those before I filled the new prescription today. The discharge notes say “Let pain be your guide to activities. Too much pain – too much activity” which is what I already know and do. It makes perfect sense.
Right now, I am currently resting, and keeping my leg elevated. It needs to be elevated for a few days. Also, going up the stairs from the surgery wasn’t too bad, except nearly falling backwards because I stepped wrong with the crutches.
I will use the next few days to recover and go back to work on Monday. Even though I won’t be walking that well, I hope that I’ll be off crutches in a couple of weeks. I am currently on weight bearing as tolerated, which means I can bear weight on it, as long it doesn’t hurt too bad.
I’ll have to take it easy for the next ten days per additional notes, but I wasn’t planning on playing sports, running, excessive stair climbing or squatting. I will just take it easy, as I always do and allow time to heal, keeping my activities to a minimum.
I know that God provided a successful surgery. He is the great physician and hears and answers prayers. By His hands he brought me through the surgery and will bring through to recovery. He is faithful. Always.
I will be having surgery tomorrow morning at UMC. I found out yesterday through a call from the anesthesia department that I will be checking into short-stay instead of day surgery. The main difference is with short-stay you check into a small room initially and return to the same room up to 23 hours. Then with day surgery it is outpatient. I will be considered outpatient again this time in short-stay. I will most likely only be in the room one to two hours (I’m estimating, I really have no idea)
Check in at 6:45 A.M. Surgery is at 8:00 A.M. Surgery is estimated at two hours.
I’m not sure about the recovery period. I’m sure it might be a longer time frame then the previous surgery, when I am able walk without assistance from the crutches.
Also. an update about the scans I had last week were good. CT checked out fine. No abnormality or evidence of metastatic disease in the chest. Always good to hear about a good report on scans.
October 3, 1995. It was the day of my last spinal surgery. This surgery is the fifth or sixth surgery that I had on my back (I lost exact count). This operation lasted about eleven hours. It was a spinal fusion + thoracotomy surgery. Well, of course a spinal fusion is when they graft part of a bone and fuse it with the spine. I have two Harrington rods that support the spine from the surgery.
Also, the thoracotomy part of the surgery; they cut open my right side, which allows access to the anterior spine and lungs. The scar is around 20 inches that loops around to the top of my back. They removed part of the right rib and used that to graft. And an additional part of the surgery they had to collapse one of my lungs to allow better acesss to the spine. There was a chest tube inserted as well, that I vaguely remember. That was not very fun with some of the breathing treatments to get everything back in working order.
I then spent three days in the ICU, and in the hospital for at least another three days. I missed a month of school but I had all the work from the core classes. I eventually did go back to school but only for half-days for about two to three weeks. (I had my schedule rearranged to take those core classes.)
Also, I was free of my back brace with the last surgery. I wore a back brace from age five to age thirteen(kindergarten through eighth grade). I only took off the brace for an hour a day. So, that day marked the last day I had to wear a back brace. The back brace was a part of my everyday life, so it felt weird not having to wear it anymore.
O.J. Simpson was found not guilty on October 3, 1995 as well. I went into surgery anticipating the verdict and one of the first things I asked when I was awake was about the verdict. I was surprised as most people were when I heard about he was “not guilty”. But anyway I will always remember that part of history that occurred on the day of my last surgery.
One of the verses that is close to my heart is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.” It is a verse that I’ve said many times before my surgeries. I pray that back to God, knowing He will provide and get me through the surgery. I had no doubt, because of His gracious provision throughout all my other surgeries. I know nothing in myself is possible to provide comfort or gives me the ability to go through this by myself but God alone who provides that strength. Whatever fear I might have, I can turn to God for that comfort.
God alone does this and He will continue to be in control. I have no reason to doubt, as I can look back at the other moments in my life, and see His hand in it all.