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Something Added, Something Removed

by Tom on July 13th, 2009

We started early today, with a check-in time of 7:30am. My brother woke up really early and made the trip up to be our designated driver.

This weekend we had a moment of doubt; the surgeon (Dr Kent) had recommended that we remove a lymph node from underneath my arm, but the oncologist (Dr Norman) was originally talking about one from the neck. Not knowing whether it was important to stick with the neck, we sent notes and called Dr Norman’s office to get his opinion. This would turn out to be a good move.

They called me in from the waiting area about an hour before I was scheduled to have surgery begin. They started an IV in my hand and I got a visit from one of the anesthesiologists involved. Do I want to be deep under (non-dreaming), medium under (dreaming, still unconscious), or conscious but loopy. Deep under, please!

Next, Dr Kent came by to discuss the operation. The flight plan that he wrote and I signed last week was about the chest port and underarm lymph node removal. Dr Norman called and chatted with him that morning at our prompting to share his intent. Dr Kent decided to revise the flight plan to allow for taking a neck node if necessary. I initialled, and we were ready to go!

They started with giving me Versed, then wheeled me into the operating room. I remember the operating room very briefly, and I seem to remember them asking me to keep telling some random nonsense story. That story part might be some dream from last night. I can’t exactly remember. Versed!

Then I woke up, and I was hurting. I had clear dressing bandages, four in total. Two for the chest port installation, one under my arm, and one on my neck just under my jaw.

It turns out that the underarm node was tougher to reach than expected, and they went for Plan B in the neck. It’ll be a more visible scar, but that’ll just make me look tough.

It’s a good thing we expanded that flight plan!

After waiting in the recovery area for awhile, they wheeled me out to where Mike had pulled the car around. They don’t let you just walk out of there.

We came home, ate food, and napped.

I’m tender in where I got cut open, but there isn’t much as far as constant pain. Gotta leave these dressings on for a day or two though.

And they shaved half of my chest and one of my armpits. I feel so asymmetrical!

From → Diagnostic Phase

One Comment
  1. Karen permalink

    Hey it’s all about symmetry!! That’s why i had the double whammy back in ’99 when i might’ve only need one whammy :) Thanks for the blog Tom, I appreciate getting to read all this stuff! Love, K

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