|My new mantra|
Yesterday I had an appointment to find out the next step in my battle with melanoma. I saw Dr. Mark who is a double board certified surgeon- certified in both Head and Neck surgery as well as Plastic Surgery. And as silly as this may sound, I was also excited to hear that he is a runner! Almost 70 years old and he was telling us about running 6 miles the other day and was talking about the amazing feeling of a "runner's high". Hearing that helped me relax a little for some crazy reason. I guess I felt like he "got" me and it was nice that we had this in common.
He told us that our next step would be surgery to remove more of my ear around the area where the spot was. They need to remove a margin of 1cm on all sides. He tends to be very aggressive with melanoma and will do a sentinel node biopsy at the same time (some Dr's don't believe in doing it but he feels we would all feel better doing it and knowing all the information that we can). This involves an injection of radioactive dye around my ear and then waiting 4 hours to see which lymph node the dye drains to and removing that lymph node to see if the cancer has spread. He said that he thinks my prognosis is good- so that made us feel better We still won't know the extent of it until they do the surgery and get the results of the node biopsy. Both my husband and I really liked him and felt like he was straight with us. He told us that radiation doesn't do anything for melanoma so if we would need to do any further treatment it would probably be chemotherapy. He explained that I will have a melanoma team that will consist of: him, Dermatology, and Medical Oncology. He was great about explaining the whole procedure including the reconstruction of my ear. He even gave me his home phone number and cell phone number! He said that he would rather have me call him either place than for me to have questions and to worry about them.
Surgery is scheduled for Jan. 2. With the holiday that was the soonest I could get in. We heard him say to his nurse that we would just have to "bump" the surgery that was already scheduled for that day because "melanoma trumps everything". I guess hearing that also made us feel better because we know that they are doing whatever they can to get on this and not delay it anymore.
I will go in early that morning to Nuclear Medicine where they will do an injection in front of my ear and behind my ear. Then I will wait for four hours. He will start the surgery with finding the lymph node that the dye goes to and he will remove it. He said it is a little like finding an acorn that is buried in the ground but he is confident it will go well. After that he will remove the area on my ear that he needs to and will then reconstruct that area. He said my ear will just be "smaller" than the other one. I have to be honest, I am a little worried about what it is going to look like. I realize it is just an ear but at the same time everyone looks at your face and it is a little hard to hide your ear. I guess at least I have my hair to help hide it. I am sure I will be self-concious of it for a while. Providing that I wake up okay from the anesthesia I will be able to go home the same day. My ear will be all bandaged up and I will have to go back to see him the end of the week. I will have stitches for 5-7 days and will probably be off of work until the stitches come out.
Bad news is that I won't be able to run the S-NO-W Fun Run in Lake Geneva like I had planned. I know it sounds awful in the grand-scheme of things but I was bummed! I am happy that we are moving forward and have a plan in place as to our next step. I know it is only short term and I am grateful for that. It is still going to be hard to not run- that is my stress reliever and my "therapy". Last week when we got the news- going for a run is what felt "right" and is what got me through.
|Be flexible, keep moving forward|
I guess I will just have to blog away my stress and worry for the next couple of weeks. I will have to enjoy all of my blogger friends run reports as if I am out there running with them!
|Something that I need to remember!|
Sorry that my posts have been such "downers" lately! I will have to make sure my next post is more positive. I have not forgotton about The Weekly Chase. I did fairly good with my goals the first week and then with Christmast I kind of fell off on them. I did complete the Squat-athon and loved the challenge of doing it. I also decided that I need to keep doing them because I was really seeing results and could feel a difference in my runs. I don't think I will continue doing 100 at a time each day but I am planning to keep them as a part of the routine.
The run streak was a different story. We did really good up until the blizzard the week before Christmas- then we missed that day and I ended up missing the following day due to getting called into work early. The run streak was great while it lasted and we have tried to do what we can to keep at it even after missing a couple of days. The Weekly Chase will be back next week and I promise to do better with it!