Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Blessings

Yesterday afternoon I had a wide excision on the upper arm to get rid of the rest of any Liposarcoma lurking around, and give us a nice margin. I went in at one, and was out by four. I cannot thank Peter Mac and the awesome staff there for getting me in two days after the final results came through, and by-and-large being awesome. I wasn't completely put under, it was a twilight anesthesia, and I've had problems with Local anesthetics before, so they were looking for me to tell them if and when I had issues with the local, which I did, briefly, but they were on top of it. They sent me home after a bit of a rest, with instructions to take Panadol six hourly.

They gave me a long-lasting Local, so the pain didn't kick in until about 8pm, but when it did, Boy, did it kick in. My arm started swelling, so I was straight onto the number for patient liaison, who clucked at me being given nothing but Panadol, and advised me to see my GP in the morning if I could last that long, or the hospital if I couldn't. I went into the Doc first thing and he all but laughed at Panadol being prescribed, and wrote out two scripts for something stronger. It took the first two doses to get on top of the pain, but now that I have, it's bearable. Moving is still painful, but as long as I rest, it's bearable.

More than anything, I'm glad it's gone. And that I've got such a supportive partner and family. What a Christmas present!

I hope everyone who celebrates gets what they need this Christmas, whether that's a particular present or time with their loved ones, and those who don't - enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pace is the Trick

If you're wondering why there's been no news on the Exploding Arm CancerTM*, it's because we're basically in a holding pattern. Our Exploding Arm Cancer Doc, because of the rarity, doesn't trust anyone but his pathologists to give him a clear picture of what we're dealing with. Fair enough, says I. So far this has been looked at by no fewer than four TEAMS of pathologists. There's bits of me growing in labs in three states now.

That DOES make me slightly edgy in terms of delay. It's still in my fricking arm, but I'm sure that they wouldn't leave it in there unless there was damn good reason to. Basically, if they take it out and it turns out they should have done something first, they're going to have put us far further behind than if we wait another few weeks. We're still operating under the assumption that it's only going to be a slash and stitch job, and that this'll be done early next year, but it just depends what the final pathology turns up. Unfortunately it looks like this hasn't been seen before in every doctor who has seen it so far.

So, we're basically at Hurry Up And Wait. Most days - unless it's a day where my arm is incredibly itchy or we're expecting results back - I forget about it. The fact that I know we've got the very best looking into it, and I've got the best chaserer-upperer in the business fielding the phone calls in Jeremy means I've been able to be pretty chill about it. After all, they wouldn't be leaving it in there if there was a danger to my health beyond the obvious.

*Exploding Arm Cancer is Jeremy's name for it. Personally, I've found it helps to make as light of it as we hope it will be. Particularly when it's incredibly itchy or gets sore, which can be worrying. Since there was no margin we're also operating at the assumption that it's still in there since my Doc only took out what looked like a cyst, and it's highly unlikely that got it all, but as we caught it so early we can afford to be conservative in terms of treatment.