Yesterday was the visit with the oncologist to go over the pathology report and to decide on what course we should take now that I’ve been fileted and stitched back together.
One out of two isn’t bad.
The pathology report says the margins are clear, the lymph node is unremarkable, and so forth, just as we’d heard verbally previously when the oncologist popped into the hospital room to visit for a few minutes. The question as to how to proceed from here is not quite as clear cut, and revolves mainly around whether this lesion was a (very slow) metasasis from the original cancer five years ago, or a new primary lesion – that is, if it’s a groupie or a new act entirely. His reading of things leans him in the direction of it being related to the first cancer rather than a new primary occurrence. As he pointed out, I already had one very rare thing, and to have yet another very rare thing, similar to the first but in a totally different area – well, let’s just say I should be winning the lottery with those sorts of odds working for me.
They sent my tissue out for DNA sampling to try to make the determination. If it is related to the first, then we’re done: the surgery removed it, the margins are clear, and there doesn’t seem to be any lymphatic involvement. If it’s a new primary, then we’re going to have to chart a course, whether that means going back in and removing the entire upper lobe (since wedge removals for primary lung cancers have a higher recurrence rate) and/or radiation and/or chemo. With the former, we’d go back to monitoring, with CAT scans every three months to see if anything else makes an appearance. With the latter, I’d be out of commission again, with another long recovery in front of me. So, we’re hoping for the easier route, especially since I’m healing very well and recovering quickly from the surgery.
The visiting nurse removed my staples today, and except for a couple of tiny tugs here and there toward the end of the incision, I barely felt any of the 31 staples she pulled out, because it’s healing fantastically. In addition, she indicated she heard breath sounds in the upper lobe, and my lungs overall were clear. Those are great indicators that my recovery is very strong. My mom insisted on putting honey over the incision where the little holes from the staples were, as honey is a great curative, so I have a couple of drain bandages on over the butterflies the nurse put in place. It stung a little at first, mostly near the lower end of the incision, since that is both more sensitive skin and and also a bit more ragged, skin-wise, but that has faded into a dull overall ache as the skin begins to slowly stretch from its release.
Last night I made crab stuffed mushrooms with leftover crab meat from yet another seafood night here on Saturday. Not a ton of work, and quite tasty although I had to give up on the mushrooms themselves after two and just eat the stuffing because I kept getting pieces of mushroom hung up everywhere. Tonight, continuing to use up the leftover meat, I made crab and artichoke dip (cream cheese, sour cream, parmiggiano, white cheddar, salt, pepper, garlic, diced onion, smoked paprika, a couple of shots of hot sauce, lemon juice, crab, artichoke, and a couple shots of worcestershire sauce, mixed and baked at 350 until warmed through). Quite good, and it will reheat well for midnight snacking.
Tomorrow: roasted red pepper soup. I am utterly convinced that getting back into the kitchen does wonders for recovery.