Thursday, January 17, 2008

Winter Weather & Surgical Date Set

OK, yesterday was strange in Georgia. We actually got snow. BIG fluffy, wet flakes of snow. It was followed by sleet, and in some places thunder snow storms / thunder sleet storms. Now normally this is cause for great celebration by school children, and most adults do one of two things: (1) go insane and decide they MUST drive in the snow with all their experience usually resulting in catastrophic body work on the car, or (2) they roll over in bed because they know that work is either opening late or not at all.

Not wanting to be on the roads with the people of the #1 catagory above, BUT having a 7:30 AM surgeon appointment in North Atlanta the next morning, it was finally decided that Jenn, Jewel and I would go spend the night at a hotel very close to the surgeon's office so if the weather made travel difficult the next morning, we could still get there. So we packed in about 3 minutes, threw ourselves in the van and zoomed through snow that was so heavy and wet that it hit the windshield with a thud, thud, thud, thud, thud the whole way there. Extraordinary in Georgia. Sleet is much more common.

So we spent the night in the 2nd to last room available at the Mariott, a suite. But it was close enough to walk to the surgeon's office if it was slippery icy in the morning. When I got up I went out and checked and it was still pretty with the snow all over the cars and the grass / trees, but at exactly a temperature of 32 degrees, the roads were not a problem.

We talked to the surgeon today. Mostly she oogled and ahhhhed over Jewel, but there was discussion about where the incision would be, what it would be like, and so forth. I asked for a minimum of pleats and craters, but was told that the surgical outcome was greatly influenced by how the fat tissue was deposited and that healing patterns were unpredictable to a great degree.

The really funny thing was the knot on my arm that my oncologist speculates is a lymph node. Two different breast surgeons looked at it and both speculated, "I have no idea what the heck that is." The oncologist though she would surgically remove it. The surgeon goes, "I don't surgically remove things I don't know what they are." So she asked me to go to a hand surgeon to see what s/he thought about it and potentially have it removed. They did ultrasound it to see if it might be a thrombosis (blood clot) or try to discern if it was lymph tissue, but ultimately the answer was, "What the heck is that?"

The surgery for the removal of both of the girls will be January 28th at Northside Hospital. Elvira has shrunken down from 2.3 cm before chemotherapy to an impressive 0.9 cm now. So it is less than 1/2 it's original size as a result of blasting it with the chemo. With luck it will make it easier for the surgeon to remove any and all cancer with the mastectomies. The mastectomies will be "simple mastectomies." No removal of chest wall or muscles like in the old fashioned radical mastectomies. I'll only be in the hospital a day or two, maybe three at the most.

We went by the Women's Shop in the hospital and when I'm IN the hospital recooperating, they will come to my room and fit me for the compression bra and camisols that help hold the surgical drains and so forth. That's a nice service. Later, when things are more healed I get to buy whatever kind of breast prosthesis I like the best, but it's also influenced by the smoothness (or lack of it) of the healed skin. So everyone think positive thoughts for smooth results with the least amount of puckering and cratering possible. My personal level of fatitude does make it more challenging for the surgeon.

I'm really, really, really, really tired tonight, so I'll write more tomorrow. We spent six hours between the doc, the hsopital's various departments, etc. We were able to get all pre-ops done today so that we don't have to go back for another trip up there just for that. YEAH!



Anonymous said...

So glad the weather wasn't an issue for you. Will pray for a really smooooooth experience and outcome! Missing you on the listserver but understanding...
Love you, Ann.

Susan said...

It sounds like you had a very busy and productive day! So glad you have good family support. Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Good idea on the Marriot. I am praying you will have a real smooth surgery.
Love you