Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Today's Adventure

I'm returning from the hospital to report that things went okay.

The first thing they did was the search for the sentinel node. For this I got several injections of some slightly radioactive substance (not as radioactive as for the PET/CT scan) near the site of the original melanoma. After a short wait I was positioned on a machine that looked a bit like the PET/CT setup.

It took a while for them to get me adjusted to an angle that allowed them to see the sentinel node more clearly. I was on my back, on my side, at various angles in between; arm up, arm down. But they finally found a decent picture to take.

I forget which one they said it was -- I thought I'd heard suprascapular, but I think later perhaps lateral, which after looking it up sounds like it might have been a subscapular axillary node in the lateral group. But what do I know. They drew a spot on me between my neck and my shoulder.

After they finally got the good picture, the got me prepped for the surgery. I was having a bit of fun with all the questions they were asking:
Do you smoke?
Do you drink?
More than I should.
Street drugs?
Uh, no thanks.
I got in a little earlier than my 3:30 time slot, I believe. And apparently all went well and it took about an hour. Angie said that Dr. Economou told her that all went well, that the node had a little crud in it but looked pretty good. The results of the excision should be coming in a couple days.

Right now the meds are wearing off a bit, so I'm starting to figure out where things are going to hurt. From the excision, the skin in that area seems tight, but doesn't really hurt. I believe they had to do some digging for the node, so that part is probably going to be the one that will hurt most. At least that's what it seems like right now.

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