From the monthly archives: October 2013

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.

 

 

 

Scans went by smoothly. MRI first for 30 minutes then followed by CT of chest for 5 minutes or so. Hopefully right decision to do only CT of chest. Since, I talked doctor out of doing two other scans of abdomen and pelvis. Since it is just a small amount more of radiation, as opposed to a new scan on a different different day.

I’ll stop by UMC tomorrow and pickup the scans on CD and results from the radiologist. The radiologist should look over the scans today, that way I can have results from the scans. The scans should be good anyway, the MRI was to look at the scar bed before surgery, and the CT was to look at lungs.  If anything does show up on the scans even though it is highly unlikely it would be this early. It would be a recurrence in the same place the tumor was originally. Or if it spreads through the vascular system to the lungs.