Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Banishing the Melanoma

I am sitting here at my desk illicitly.  I am supposed to have my leg elevated all the time above my heart.  That's OK if a person is lying down, but in my chair watching TV, that would mean my leg would need to be at almost a 90 degree angle and who can do THAT with your knee next to your lips?  I COULD do it, thanks to yoga, water aerobics and zumba, but not for a whole week and all the TV shows would be ruined with a giant leg in the middle of the screen.  A giant leg with a lumpy white bandage right in the middle.  So I'm sneaking a computer break.  I didn't want to get bed sores from lying around for hours at a time.  I do not languish well.
 
The operation went well.  The needles were the worst.  The nurse tried to get my attention off what she was doing by asking me questions, but Neal was in the room with me then and he kept answering them because he was as nervous as I was due to the fact he had a clear view to the savagery and I had to peer over my chest, so we foiled her plans.  Besides, that trick stuff never works on me anyway.  Most of the time I know exactly why people are doing what they are doing.  Neal told the nurse her tactics would not work on me because I was FOCUSED.  On the needles.
 
She said her shots would not hurt as much as the ones for the biopsy had.  That was .09% true.  I think I got eight shots all together.  I was busy blowing out breaths as the numbing agent was being squirted in so I lost count.  I was so tense my back was out of the chair and my blood pressure was 132/70 when it's usually 110. 
 
After the shots started taking effect, she told Neal she would walk with him out of the room, a nice way to say get out of here and he was very, very glad to go because he almost fainted from all the shot giving.  He grabbed up his book and coat and my purse and coat in one fell swoop and jetted from the room.  If anyone gave a prize for room-getting-out-of, he would've won.
 
The doctor came in and also a resident.  He asked me if I minded if he made the chair go back and relief flooded me.  He said that way I wouldn't have to see his handiwork.  I said I thought that was a super idea.  I could feel it and that was enough.  The cutting didn't take long but the stitching did.  When he was finished, he moved the chair back to sitting and I saw the incision which is about four inches long.  Then he showed me what he took out of my leg.  It's about the size of the plug that fits in the bottom of a bar sink.  I looked at it quickly and said, "Yeah.  Wow."  He left.
 
The nurse moved the chair down so I could get out of it and then she left to go get something, so I picked up the jar and sneaked another peek at the piece of leg.  Specimens are so interesting, even your own.  I almost dropped it.  I don't know what miracle saved me.  I would have been so embarrassed. 
 
When she returned, I got all the instructions of what to do and not do.  She said, "You look confused."  Well, duh. 
 
I said, "I'm trying to remember everything."  She said, "Oh, don't bother.  I'm giving you these sheets so you'll have everything written down.  I just wanted you to hear it all, too."  Whew.  I'm not too good at remembering things after my blood pressure's been up around 132 and a chunk of my leg is floating in a jar. 
 
I have ice on the incision now.  I have chanted through one healing CD and read the newest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book so I'm all mellowed and laughed out.   I did not have to cook dinner.  Thank heaven for small favors.
 
One of the lines on the instructions reads, "This incision should not be painful."  Huh?  I hope to heck that's true.  It itches right now.  Another line reads, "No strenuous exercise."  Darn!  That's what I'd had planned for tomorrow.  Now all that's on my to-do list is 1) lie in bed, 2) read books, 3) watch movies, 4) take shower at 2:30 because I have to wait that long. 
 
"Have a nice Absolut Ruby Red vodka and tonic" is not on the list because another line on the instruction sheet reads, "No alcohol."  Darn again!
 
From all indications I have made it through my little surgery successfully and should know results in a week.  I go back on the 29th for inspection.  In the meantime, I am gluing my knee to my ear.  Elevate, elevate.
 
(Also remember, if you have a mole or skin coloration mark that changes shape or color, hie thee to a dermatologist, pronto!)
 

1 comment:

atronslin said...

Sorry for your pain, Karen. Hope they got it all. Only you could make this sound funny!

Andrea