Thursday, December 13, 2012

Full circle

Today is Thursday, I am out of the hospital and my second surgery is done.  Thank heavens!  As promised, the gravity of this surgery was much less than the first and I am grateful for that.  They went up through my nose and cut a hole through my sinus and retrieved as much of the tumor as they were able.  They then made an incision under my upper lip and accessed the sinus from there and removed the rest.  I am a little swollen and with all those holes in my sinuses things aren't draining quite right yet.  In the process of getting out the tumor they destroyed my maxillary nerve so I am really numb on the upper right including my palate.  Like dental anesthesia times 10.  I kind of doubt that will come back.  To be honest, I know it needs to be done, but I'm getting kind of tired of being "whittled" on.  Each time there is a little less of me after.  I guess I will have better empathy for my patients when they are numb now.

It was quite strange, while preparing for surgery they took me to the exact same bay as last year to await my turn.  After the surgery I was assigned to the same hospital room as last year for recovery.  Wow, that brought back memories.  It seems I have come full circle.  As always, the nurses and everyone else was great.  They are so professional and careful at Mayo.

Bad Boy tattoo 
I'm feeling pretty rebellious these days.  My bald head makes me look like a "bad guy" and after the surgeon signed my neck it looked like I had some low budget tattoo.  Then they told me that they used cocaine to numb my nose during surgery.  Really it is a slippery slope.

Today I am hoping to hear back about the pathology of the tumor they removed.  We are also meeting with radiation oncology this morning.  The nature of the remaining tumor may influence how they go about the radiation.  I don't think that I mentioned but we have decided to have our radiation done in Utah.  We have a doctor there who is willing to work with the radiation oncologist here to design a treatment plan.  It was a matter of deep thought but being in Utah will allow me to be close to my family, to continue to work and teach and of course the cost will be radically less if we do it in Utah.  After praying about it and going to the temple we feel okay about that decision.  Dr. Foote here is wiling to oversee the procedure remotely and that made us feel better.  We meet with him today.