Hello, All. I hope you are having an enjoyable holiday season around the people you want to be around doing the things you want to do with as little stress as possible. The update from here is a good one. I don’t know if it rises to Christmas Miracle, but it was definitely a welcome turn of events and its proximity to Christmas is certainly noted.
I went in for plastic surgery at 6 in the morning on Monday with no real idea of what was in store for me. When I met with the plastic surgeon at the beginning of December she wasn’t sure what she would be able to do or what she would have to work with by the time surgery rolled around. At that point I still hadn’t had my first Mohs surgery. In addition to not knowing how much would get cut out during that surgery there was also the possibility that I would have to go in for a second round to get all of the cancer out. When the plastic surgeon prepared me for the range of possibilities she might have to do, one of the things she mentioned was having to stitch my lower eyelid to my eyebrow for 1-2 weeks to stop my eyelid from being pulled down by the healing wound.
Thankfully I only had to do the first round of Mohs surgery and I was very diligent about the wound care (daily bandage change, Vaseline, etc.). If you’ve been watching the progress in the gallery, you may have noticed that the wound was healing like a champ (our bodies are marvels) to the point where it wasn’t exactly pleasant to look at, but it wasn’t the ghoulish spectacle of the post Mohs surgery photographs. So when the plastic surgeon inspected what she had to work with on Monday she was pleasantly surprised.
“This is healing really well.”
Cool. So I can just go home now?
It wasn’t that good, but she told me she wasn’t going to take extreme measures and that her guiding plan would be Less is More. She didn’t have to ask me twice – I was certainly good with that. By 7:30 I had an IV hooked up and was getting wheeled into the operating room. By 8:30 I was back in the recovery room. By 9:30 I was on my way back to my parents’ house.
So what did she end up doing? You’ll have to forgive me for not having a super scientific or medically coherent explanation, but basically she was able to use a miracle powder that stimulates cell growth in the wound. (This may or may not be the exact stuff, but it’s close enough to give you an idea of what I’m talking about) It’s relatively new technology and I am thankful for it. To keep the powder in place and doing what it should be doing I had a protective patch stitched to my face that I need to keep on until a follow up appointment during the first week of January. I can’t lift things or exert myself in any real way which is a bummer, but so much better than it could be. I can wait.
Of all the possible outcomes I was told about after the initial melanoma diagnosis, I don’t know that I could have asked for a better process. I feel extremely fortunate for all of the outstanding medical personnel who did the work and even more so for all of the wonderful people in my life (including you) who have chimed in with support over the last couple of months.
I’m hoping to rocket my way into 2020 and that I’ll have an opportunity to see many of your smiling faces and that we can find adventure together. Please remember to wear your sunscreen and know that I love you for all that you bring to the world.
Yr Pal Ben