Posted 6/24/2015 6:45 PM (GMT -8)
Wow, past three days a blur for me. Found out my face surgery was scheduled for 0630 on Tuesday. So we drove Monday evening to Columbia and stayed at the downtown Marriot. In my world, being somewhere that early is unthinkable, as I am not usually asleep till well after 4 AM.
They have 6 operating rooms, and I was one of the six in the first slot. Was well impressed with how well staffed they were in the OR prep and OR areas. Everyone polite and very professional with their various parts.
Just prior to being injected with the "happy juice", they brought in the entire OR team assigned to me, there were 7 people in front of me.
I vaguely remember being pushed into the OR, and being asked to slide over onto the operating table. Last thing I remember, was oxygen tubes gently pushing into my nose. Next blink of my eyes, was being asked to wake up in recovery. I actually love being put under, I find it kind of soothing. Yes, I am nuts.
Well, my surgeon's hunch was correct. There was a large odd growth/tumor that was growing and complete wrapped around a major artery in my face. For whatever reason my own long term oncologist failed to find it important and basically dismissed my concern. The VA's ENT team was right on top of it.
Instead of cutting vertical as I assumed, as the growth was vertical, he went sideways, and made an incision perhaps 2" long at most. He told my wife he believe he got it all, and that whatever it was/is, it didn't belong there.
It's having pathology at the local level first, and unless he's totally convinced its benign, he intends to send it to the VA's national pathology lab, didn't say where that was. So it may be 10 days or more before I get results.
Instead of conventional stitching, he used these newer super glues, said it would reduce scarring. Right now, its kind of black/blue and swollen, hurt about a 3 to 4, not real severe.
When I got back to the VA next Monday, he will look at it to see how its healing. Spent about an hour or so in recovery. He had estimated 30-40 minutes surgery time, but it took a bit over an hour, due to how it was wrapping around the artery.
We were back home before 1 PM that day. My wife drove of course, and I barely remember the 2 hour plus trip home. Rested in bed most of the rest of the day.
Just glad the VA took my concern seriously. Have no complaints about the experience, I was well taken care of by all their staff, from the surgeon down to the guy that pushed me in a wheel chair at the end.
Now I am waiting for that pathology plus the pathology from the biopsy that was down the week before on the growth on my scalp. It will be a miracle if they both come back clean from cancer. Doctors feel its unlikely, but possible. I need to dodge these two bullets.
Tomorrow, I see my urologist for the first time in over a year, I am bleeding more and more into my Urostomy bag, and its not coming from the stoma itself. And I have a deep pain in the area of my right kidney, really hoping its some advance UTI, and not some sign of kidney failure. Without a working bladder, its much harder to dx. and detect.
Always something over my head. Never an end to this "journey". Just one trial after the next. Still scheduled to pick up my finished dentures at the local VA on Friday, but surgeon said my mouth is too swollen from the surgery to consider using them. He advised waiting at least 2 more weeks.