First, thank you to those who sent e-mails or made phone calls of encouragement. I did really need them and they really did help.
Today was the next check-up appointment after the news that skin grafts would be needed. My husband and I were hoping to get a few days away before the skin graft surgery, and my surgeon was hoping that we would be able to do this. However, today he told us he is just not liking what he is seeing and even called in his associate for a "second opinion". The verdict today was that the skin grafts are not only needed, but cannot wait. So, quickly arrangements were made to have the surgery scheduled for next Tuesday. Today I had my muga scan, and tomorrow will go for the pre-op testing (yes, have to do it again already since once it is over a month, insurance companies require this), and Friday go to oncologist. WHEW! I feel like I keep going through revolving doctor/hospital doors!
My initial frustration at needing more surgery is now tempered with the fact that my skin is just not "safe" right now. I feel like I am "walking on eggshells" and even the surgeon keeps telling me to "lie low" and don't do anything crazy. For someone who is always on the move and needing to be doing something, this is harder than ever; and a little scary too. I worry about the incision opening up like it did on Monday. So even though it is not the best news, I know it needs to be done and it will ensure a good outcome for the reconstruction. You can't build upon something that has sand for a foundation (hmmm....I remember that VBS song about the "wise man who built his house on rock vs. the foolish man who built his house on sand"...), so we're going for "the rock".
This journey has certainly hit all the highlights and then some! I just about think I have caught up to all the surprises, and then another pops up in front of me. But again, how do folks do this without faith? No matter what surprise appears, I pray for the strength to get through it, and it might take a little while sometimes, but it comes.
My husband asked lots of questions today and even had the surgeon draw on my back where the skin and muscle would come from and how big an area it would be. It is kinda a "leaf" shape and is really more on the side than the back itself. I keep thinking, it's gonna be fun then trying to find a comfortable spot to sleep. I thought it was hard now.....? But again, no choice and there is the need to strengthen the area.
One thing I have been very lucky with is all the people I have met and all the professionals who have been taking care of me. From receptionists and office workers, to nurses, to "chemo ballroom" pals, to oncologists, to hospital personnel, to those who give the scans, to those who take the blood, to doctors and surgeons and all other people I have met on this journey....all of them have been caring, gentle, and concerned and kind. Sometimes the people in the medical profession get a "bad rap", and I want to truly say that they work in a difficult profession, yet can smile and make you feel like everything is going to be OK. And I thank them for that!
So the next road on this journey has been planned and I am getting myself packed and ready to start taking the steps forward. And I know there will be another set of steps right beside me. Yeah, my husband...but also God leading the way.