The First Follow Up

Today I went back to the surgeon for my follow up visit. I’ve been improving daily, but every time I have an outing, like to my primary care doctor last Friday, or lunch with Ian and his dad Wednesday, I’ve been paying for it with excessive pain later that day and most of the next.

Then there was my first post-op sneeze on Monday morning: agony. I’ve stifled them since, without fail. But as we all know, nothing feels like a good sneeze, and I’m longing for the day that I’m brave enough to try again.

We brought a walker because while I was confident I could make it there, I didn’t know how long it would take and how tired I’d be by the time we were done. I almost feel like my old self with the walker; it supports my right arm enough that it takes two or three times the distance for my incision to start hurting badly.

It ended up taking only an hour, but I’m still glad we brought it.

After I was all checked in and vitals taken and history updated, the nurse griped at me for using the walker while taking us to an exam room. When she handed me a gown and told me to put it on open to the front, Ian realized that she thought I’d had the easy surgery, thoracoscopic, with several small incisions and a couple weeks’ recovery time. I’m doing well enough to fool a surgery clinic nurse!

I saw both residents and the surgeon who operated on me. They were all thrilled with my progress. A medical student removed the suture from one of my chest tube wounds and the resident who pulled them removed the other, then he pulled the tape that’s been covering the dermabond on my surgical incision. I should have asked to see that to really see how long it is; I’ll eventually grab a measuring tape and ask Ian to measure. The worst part was him picking off the sticky residue; it was worse than the suture removal.

They all repeated “extremely rare cancer” several times and were happy to hear that I see the oncologist next week. There are no known risk factors for leiomyosarcoma. I just hit the cancer lottery. Why not the actual lottery? Who knows. Probably because I didn’t buy a ticket.

My surgeon said he’ll see me back in a month, and he fully expects to discharge me from his care at that time. I fully expect to be back at work well before then, albeit without the heavy lifting.

After the clinic visit I got a chest X-ray, and we were all done.

It is amazing how much better my wounds look without the sutures and tape. I haven’t gotten a good look yet, just a bit in the bathroom mirror, but I’m impressed. I still have a ton of sticky residue on my back and side, but we’re getting there. I’ll have to find some adhesive remover. My poor skin has been punished enough.

So tldr, I’m doing well. Thank you guys for all of your support!


11 Comments on “The First Follow Up”

  1. Stephanie says:

    Glad to hear you’re doing better! I hope your recovery keeps going smoothly 🙂

  2. susieshy45 says:

    Dear Girl,
    I am glad and thankful you are doing well. The days after a surgery are the worst and the sneeze or the the sneeze which becomes a cough, I know it- so painful. And the tube removal is bad. Glad you remembered it all to write it down. You are a fighter, girl.
    Prayers and hugs,
    Susie

  3. LRose says:

    I don’t have anything to say, except … well… I realize now I’ve not actually got a care in the world. Why? Because, all I am concerned about in my life is a bit of pain in my hip, and in a finger when I grasp an object, and why I feel a bit unsteady on stairs these days, and when the Shingles rash I’ve had this last month will finally clear. Just sayin’, hang in, dear girl. Just, hang in.

    • April says:

      Ugh, I hope that shingles clears up soon! Talk about misery. You be careful on the stairs, tho, alright? I’ll come all the way out there and lecture you if I have to. Much love.

  4. jjiraffe says:

    To quote one of my favorite movies–Groundhog Day–“Gosh, you’re an upbeat lady!” And I mean that in the best possible way. Sending lots of healing vibes your way.

    • April says:

      Thank you so much! It’s actually such a humongous relief to finally know what’s going on and what the next steps are. The past couple years of “it’s grown a little, let’s scan you again in six months” have been even more stressful than I realized.

  5. abbiosbiston says:

    So glad you are healing so well!


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