Friday, July 10, 2009

That time again

It's coming... scan time. I am scheduled for CT scans and bloodwork on Monday (7/13) and will see Dr. Rini on Wednesday (7/15). I have no reason to believe my scans won't be clear, but then I never did. So far my "scanxiety" isn't too bad; I've been so busy with life that I haven't really had the time to worry. It's easy to say '"don't borrow trouble" but man, is it hard to put into practice all the time.
Plus, my good friend D's ongoing battle with cancer has taken another bad turn. This incredibly strong woman has been fighting breast cancer for 3 years. Mastectomy and chemo were hoped to cure her, and it looked good until she had a seizure in the fall of 2007, and they discovered a brain tumor. Radiosurgery seemed to knock it out and gave her respite throughout 2008, when the damn tumor came back. In 2009, she's had two neurosurgeries and 1 radiosurgery so far. Recently, she has had a few episodes where she kind of "loses" her speech to a degree, and can't read words reliably. At first the doctors thought that her anti-seizure medication dosage needed to be adjusted. But now a MRI has shown "something" in the area where the tumors have been. She had a spinal tap a couple of weeks ago that was clear, but had another yesterday and will get results next week. It is just so unfair that she has to keep going through this. My heart is broken for her and her family. She still has hope, as well as faith, and so do I, though she knows that the situation is not at all good. Fortunately, she left today on a previously scheduled vacation that I pray will be a balm to her and her family's souls. She is planning to continue fighting this beast that has invaded her body, but she absolutely needs a break.
So, this has been on my mind a lot this week. I'm not drawing any parallels between our situations, but it's frightening to witness how something we have no control over can take over our body and life, as well as the lives of our loved ones. I am slowly working on making consistent positive lifestyle choices, but what if they aren't enough, or what if they are "too little, too late"? This kind of thinking wages war in my brain with my persistent sense of hope that somehow I can get rid of all cancer cells in my body. If my scans come back clear, I will buy 3 more months to work on myself, both physically and emotionally. If I get bad news, I will still work on myself, though, I promise.
In other body news, I *still* have a small opening in my incision from my February surgery. It had mostly closed and I wasn't diligent about putting a bandage over it on a daily basis, thinking it didn't need it. A coworker let me know that one of our hospitals (and the closest to my office) has a new wound healing center. I made an appointment and saw them for the first time last week. They were absolutely wonderful. The doctor, who is a plastic surgeon, is very personable, and was really kind. He very tactfully let me know that in his opinion, my surgeon should have put a drain into the wound when they did the surgery, and that would have kept me from being at this point. *sigh* Oh well. At any rate, they gave me a cool purple dressing to use, and a wonderful bandage, that I barely notice. It is silicone based, and doesn't irritate the skin around the area. I went back to the center this week for a two week follow up, to learn that the hole is now healing "too fast". The center is coming up so quickly that the skin will not grow to cover it. They used silver nitrate to "burn it back" a bit, and I will go back next week to be checked and have it done again if needed. If you click on the link for silver nitrate, you can click on a link within the article to 'granulation tissue' that will explain it better; however, if you are squeamish you may not want to linger on the example photo on that link. There is also a photo of a hand with a silver nitrate stain - I have this in my side too, and it looks weird. Hopefully, the whole thing will be closed by the end of the month. The doctor is concerned though, because the incision was made on the very innermost part of a skin fold on my side - not a good place for healing since it's moist and dark. He thinks that I should continue to wear the bandage for a few months after it heals, to give the skin more time to completely heal. This plan sounds like a hassle, except for two things. One, the bandages are truly very comfortable, and if the wound is totally closed and no longer exuding, I can wear one for up to a week. Two - and more important - if the wound opens again, the best way to fix it is surgically. YIKES!!! That is an option I would really, truly, like to avoid if at all possible. The only surgery I would welcome at this point is my fantasy surgery, to remove excess skin upon losing a lot of weight. Like I said, fantasy... But if it happens that way, of course, I will do what I have to. This just gives me yet another reason to lose some weight, so that I don't have so many of these nooks and crannies on my surface.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm sending positive thoughts and prayers your way for clear scans. I'm gonna add in a prayer of thanks for Dr. Rini for
taking good care of my friend!
Your positive attitude and your strength are inspiring (not to mention your sense of humor about your pesky incision!)
:-)
Love ya!
Sherry S.