In contrast to my long Sunday night Starbucks-fueled post, this is a quick update of where we are in this process.
--A small melanoma tumor (approx 1.4 cm) was removed from the inside of one of my ribs Monday morning.
--This also required cutting off part of that rib. (An innocuous sounding sentence that carries MUCH wallop behind it!
--We were in an actual room by 6:30 p.m. Monday night, which is a record for us after surgery. Last time, it was 11 p.m. or so.
--Surprisingly, the chest tube came out Tuesday morning early.
--Felt rather good Tuesday morning, such that there was talk of releasing us Tuesday afternoon. Then the pain arrived as the anesthesia fully wore off...(see "cutting off part of that rib"...it only hurt pretty bad every time I breathed in or out, sat, lay down, stood up, or walked. Other than that, it wasn't so bad.
--The nurse agreed w/ us that we should stay the night, and I am *glad* we did! Wed. a.m. about 1:00 was ROUGH! Breathing was VERY shallow & VERY painful.
--But the HUGE good news is this got better once meds were adjusted. Two doses later, & I was like a new man. Able to both inhale and exhale, which are fairly important bodily functions...
--We rolled out Wed. afternoon around 2:00. Lisa had to drive all the way with me being basically in a pain-meds-induced DEEP sleep pretty much the whole way home. Got home around 11:30 (had to stop for me to walk more than usual...plus, there's another post-anesthesia bodily function that we pretty much don't want to do that was required a time or two...*sigh*)
--Steady improvement since! Yesterday afternoon, I spiked a bit of a fever, but some mileposts were passed & it went away to stay, Lord willing.
Right now: (Friday, 7/23, 9:00 a.m.)
Still have full bandages over the chest tube hole & the actual incision. Also, I still have an antibiotic pump attached that feeds to the incision. Hence, the actual pump is worn around my waist like a belt. B.B. King said it best: "The thrill is gone..." *smile*
We're confident of two things: (1) I'm decisively on the mend, and (2) this post-surgery mending process will be longer and much more painful than the previous two were. I'm GREATLY reducing expectations about what I'll be accomplishing in these next 3-4 weeks...*sigh*
Still & all, it is quite amazing that I have this good of a medical prognosis, given that just 2 years ago, I was a stage IV metastatic melanoma patient! I attribute this to the grace of our sovereign Lord working through some amazingly gifted doctors & nurses in response to the prayers of a lot of folks. The whole cancer journey is very humbling, but to me the most humbling part is knowing that so many are praying for Lisa & me specifically. This includes people that I've never met. I'm not a good enough writer to capture the emotions that brings out, so let me just say THANKS!
BTW, Lisa, James & Anne are all three being amazing at bringing me stuff & helping me get around & such. E.g., I can't even lift the tea jug out of the fridge, nor lift this laptop on to my lap!
Thanks so much for your prayers & friendship. They mean SO much to us.
In His Grip,