Yesterday my plastic surgeon, Dr. Gerard Mosiello, removed the melanoma and surgically repaired my left ear.
Who knew I would emerge from surgery looking like the lead character in one of the old-time mummy movies!
It was a long day.
It all started innocently enough. I arrived at Moffitt Cancer Center for a M-protein test around 10:30 am.
As usual, the blood draw area was crazy busy. And of course someone had entered the wrong appointment time into the system.
40 minutes later I was on my way to pre-op. My surgery was scheduled for 2 PM, but they asked me to report before noon.
Aside from the fact I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink since before I went to bed the night before, Pattie and I didn’t mind waiting. We read the paper and had a chance to visit and catch-up.
Right on time, an elderly volunteer escorted us back to the surgical suites. But it turns out she had made a mistake; they were running late.
Back to the waiting room we went, exiled for another 45 minutes or so.
When this well meaning, but confused volunteer called-out our names again, she couldn’t find us–even though we were sitting in the exact same place where she met us the first time. Funny!
Once we were back in our assigned pre-op spot, things moved along quickly. I disrobed and donned the obligatory over-sized hospital gown. My nurse painlessly started my IV, first using lidocaine to numb the insertion site.
That was nice!
I met with the anesthesiologist, and the decision was made for to use propofol and a local instead of knocking me out completely, making my recovery a lot easier.
Since I don’t remember anything after the nurses gently moved me onto the operating table, I would say it worked like a charm. I woke up to discover a massive bandage on the left side of my face, held in place by plastic wrap and a surgical stocking cap.
If I would have worn this as part of my Vincent van Gogh costume this past Halloween,
everyone would have thought my costume was too much and “way over the top!” Crazy!
Leaving the hospital around 5 PM, I felt great! But as the local began to wear-off later that evening, it did become painful and uncomfortable.
But not to worry. I have a medicine cabinet stocked full of painkilling options. A”half of this” and “one of those” and I had no trouble sleeping through the night.
I won’t know if Dr. Mosiello’s surgical margins were clean and cancer free for two weeks. If he didn’t get it all, then back I go for round two. He made no promises.
For now, time to give myself a fragmin injection. This is the part I hate about undergoing any type of surgery–adjusting my blood thinners and those darn fragmin (a type of heparin) belly shots that I need until my warfarin tabs kick-in and raise my INR.
But HEY! No worries. The pain is tolerable, no chemo this week while I heel–and as far as I know, Dr. Mosiello didn’t have to chop my left ear off completely. At least I don’t think he did–I haven’t checked under the bandages yet!
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat