Thursday, September 11, 2008

So the news... and a Digi Dare LO...

We'll start with the fact that the appt was for 3pm. I was completely registered and sitting in the waiting room by 2:50pm, and in an exam room by 3:10pm. From there is devolves...

The nurse and her trainee proceeded to ask me almost every question that was in the packet of paperwork I had been asked to fill out prior to the appt. (What was the point if they were going to ask it all again??) They left with a comment that the doctor would be with me shortly...

The resident/assistant doctor finally walked into the exam room at about 4:20pm. (Approximately 1 HOUR after they left - that's shortly????) He had me do a bunch of facial movements to prove my nerve was still functioning normally at this time and asked the normal questions - how long had it been there? was there any pain? etc. He said they were still waiting for the cd files to open so they could revue the CT scan, but he and Dr. Kellman would be back in a few moments.

About 10 minutes later they both walked in. Dr. Kellman took one look, and said something along the lines of "whoa!" He then took out a measurement tool, put it along side my face where the tumor is, and stated "About 6 cm - that's about as big as they get." He then ran through all the possible issues which I all ready knew between internet research and Dr. Hillerman. The big difference was both the internet and Dr. Hillerman had made the worst possible outcome sound like more of a possibility than a probability - Dr. Kellman said the opposite. He doesn't hold much faith that I'll retain much if any use of the left side of my face after they remove the tumor due to the size of it. (Keep in mind as far as I can tell it has been this size for AT LEAST the last 4 yrs.)

Apparently, when growing the tumor tends to stretch the nerve that runs through the middle of the parotid gland. Nerves don't have much elasticity, and this type of nerve also doesn't have a very high regenerative ability. During the surgery they normally have to stretch the nerve a little to remove the tumor, and he's afraid that with the size of my tumor that may snap the nerve (or a part of it) causing weakness and/or paralysis.

While it's difficult to look at this large lump on the side of my face every day I have to imagine it's a sight easier than looking at half a functioning face. However, this is also one of the rare tumors that even if benign originally will eventually turn malignant if not taken care of. I asked to put the surgery off 'til late Oct or early Nov if possible due to work schedule, and the only way he'd agree to that was if I had another FNA biopsy done. They wanted to schedule me to come back for that... I asked if it would be at all possible to get it done now as the drive requires me to take an entire day off of work. Dr. Kellman checked his watch, and said probably not but they'd check as that dept normally closed right now. (It is 4:45pm at this time folks...)

They managed to get a doctor in the FNA dept who said he'd come down and do it for me when he heard I was driving from north of Watertown. I thanked him for be willing to stay as it saved me taking another day off work, and he said it was not a problem. He understands it's a long drive for something like that. The only problem was they used no local anesthetic, and it felt like they were scraping my jaw bone with the needle!! I kid you not my vision started to get dark at the edges and I was naseous for at least 20 minutes when they finished. The pain - not ache - pain didn't go away for at least an hour. Good news is it still came back as benign so they are willing to put the surgery off 'til sometime in Oct. It took another 20 minutes for someone to come back to the exam room to tell me they'll call to let me know when...

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Title: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Photobucket Image Hosting

Credits:
Papers and elements from the Enchanted By You Kit by Connie Prince (aka DigiDiva Designs).
Capital letters from the Watterlogged Alpha by Heather Manning Designs of Digiscrapping.net.
Lowercase letters from the Summer Sky Alpha by Heather Manning Designs of Digiscrapping.net.
"the" from the Who Ate My Alpha Alpha by Heather Manning Designs of Digiscrapping.net. (recolored)
Photos by me.
Fonts: Hypewriter

LO completes Digi Dare #99.
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Gotta' run to get Micaila to school as Mike had to take Brenden to his 4-yr well child checkup. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

:)

4 comments:

.: Kristine :. said...

Oh Cate......what a bloody awful day you had! If it was me I would do the surgery too.A chance of paralysis has GOT to be better than cancer any day...
{{hugs}}

Mojo said...

How miserable a day. Hugs girl I am sure can use them. I am almost always home if you want some one to talk to .

Shannon said...

Aww hun - what a terrible day for you! I'd opt for the surgery too - cancer isn't something I ever want to deal with! (((HUGS)))

Dawne said...

ugh and bigger ugh....I agree with Kristine...get the surgery out of the way.....I'm prayin for ya girl.....{{HUGS}}