Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Don't Wanna...

I have decided I
do NOT want to do this tomorrow.

I am tired of being in pain. I am tired of the scars. I am tired of doctors, and needles, and blood pressure cuffs. But, I know this surgery is the best thing for me.

Someone asked me tonight exactly what this surgery is for so I figured I would do a quick explanation. During my last surgery, Dr. Pink removed lymphnodes in 4 areas--both armpits, both sides of my neck. Out of all four areas, he only removed 9 nodes. It has been confirmed twice that the nodes in my left armpit and the right side of my neck were positive for melanoma.

Standard procedure is to go back into those positive areas and remove the rest of the lymphnodes. There is no way of knowing how many nodes will be removed...could be ten, could be twenty in each area. A pathologist will then study each and every node to find out if there is more cancer in those affected areas. 

There may be more cancer. There may not be any more cancer.

Either way, I will find out for sure... No more guessing!

This surgery will require quite a few new incisions, plus two fashionable drains, nerves will be cut, fat will be removed, and it will leave me with little ability to lift my arms, etc. Physical therapy may be needed.

However, it will give me a peace of mind. If there is more cancer in my body, I want it out of me.

Let's say the nodes are negative. What happens? Possibly nothing. We will continue to have scans every 3 months, remain best friends with my doctors, and hope that we never have an issue again.

If the node are positive? That is OK, too. Of course I hope for a negative report; however, I will not lose hope if it comes back with a few positive nodes. If this is the case, I will be eligible for Ipi. If you have been doing your research on melanoma, you will know that this drug will hopefully be FDA approved very soon.

Confession time: I am terrified.

I guess because I had no idea the amount of pain I would feel after the last surgery, I was no where near this nervous. This time I am scared about how this surgery will leave me. I am thankful I am spending a few days in the hospital because the nurses can monitor my pain, medicines, and teach me how to care for the drains.

Remember how I had hoped for a private room? Wellllllllllllllllllllll....that is an additional $500 per day.

Guess who will have a roommate?

I am scheduled to arrive at the main hospital at noon tomorrow. My surgery is scheduled to begin at 2 PM. I should be in my hospital room around 8 PM...just in time to tell my family goodnight.

A part of me is thankful I will not be getting to my room until late. Maybe that way I will actually sleep through the night? Wishful thinking? Probably.

I am going to try to get my last night of comfortable sleeping...As you go to bed tonight, please pray for my friend Christina. She is going for her 3 month scan tomorrow. We are all hoping, praying, wishing that all is clear. She is, yet another, young beautiful mother...fighting against melanoma.

Girls, as I keep saying, that "gorgeous tan" is so not worth it.


mylittlemini said...

Chelsea, you are bathed in the prayers and love surrounding you. Even in your fears, that love undergirds you. Go into Thursday knowing that YOU are our prayer this day. Peace and healing, Rev Nancy

Chelsea said...

Thank you both so much.