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Aug 02

Surgery Update

I wrote a few emails to different people, but didn’t really have the energy to write any more, so thought I’d use this site’s blog role to make a quick post.

Yesterday I had a lymphocintography (aka lymphosintography, aka lymphosyntography) where they injected radioactive die into the site of the melanoma and took xrays of the lymph node that the ink drained to.

The theory is that if the sentinel (first) lymph node doesn’t contain melanoma then none of the others will. I had about four injections of the radioactive dye, the injections were ok, but the pain came when the dye was pushed out from the needle, pretty bad, but ultimately worthwhile. The dye clearly drained to one lymph node.

Today I went under the knife. I think I was the first on the list, so had to be there at 7am and was conscious by about 10am. The whole experience was great, a little unsettling, but the nurses were really nice and helpful.

I actually never saw a surgeon. I don’t think they were there when I was wheeled into the operating room, and they didn’t see me after I woke up. But I got the necessary info. They only took one lymph node, which means that when they tested it, it didn’t contain any melanoma cells.

They have to do some more tests, but I think only about 15% of the time are they wrong on the initial diagnosis.

So now it’s just a matter of spending 24 hours getting over the anesthetic. I’m pretty tired, unstable on my feet and nauseous. I’ve also pretty much lost my appetite.

Tomorrow I should be pretty much back to normal and my life will just include regular checkups, and constant awareness of the need to keep an eye out for masses.

For all those who were praying for me, thanks for your prayers. I had a great day, and I believe that God’s protecting hand was over me today.

Now I’d better stop typing and go do something else or I’ll fall asleep. Later.

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