Wohoo! The surgery was a success! The hardest part was actually just getting an IV in me. I apparently have tiny veins that twist and turn when you try to stick needles in them. After two failed attempts they finally had success using a pediatric needle… Now I just look like a really well put-together IV drug user when I walk around in public. Actually I lied, the hardest part was the 15 hours of forced fasting before the surgery. I cannot tell you how excited I was to be put to sleep, knowing I would wake up and finally be able to eat/drink again. I should really apologize to my parents who had to deal with me at my most cranky/hangry. Sorry guys, you’re the best. Anyway, a little after 3 they finally put me out of my misery and it was smooooth sailing from then on. They positioned me on my left side so they could get to both of the sites they needed to without moving me mid-surgery. The last thing I remember was they kept telling me to keep my right arm up, but I was lights out after that.
I woke up to the surgeon saying something along the lines of “alright Elana, we’re all finished.” I don’t even know how I got the words out but the first thing I responded was, “can I play ultimate next weekend?” AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT HE SAID?!?! HE SAID YES!!! He also mentioned there might be some bleeding and grilled me on what I would do. I said put pressure on it and that seemed to be enough for him. Thanks to all the lovely sedative drugs, It wasn’t until after my family came in that I knew this exchange between the surgeon and I had actually occurred in real life. I was pretty sure it was a dream because I thought it was too good to be true! Apparently the surgeon was laughing as he explained our exchange to my parents/Lege and they were just as surprised as I was by his response. If you ask Lege, I am sure he will show you the video of me loopy post-op. So now I will officially be flying to Colorado with my team next weekend to compete in the Pro-Elite Tournament Challenge. Can’t wait!
In case you didn’t read my earlier posts – the surgeries I had yesterday are called wide local (re)-excisions (see pics below). They remove a bunch of skin and tissue around where I had the old lesion on my back and tumor under my arm. They take out extra wide margins around the lesion in an attempt to get all remaining microscopic cancer cells out of there to reduce recurrence of Melanie in the same spots. There are 3 layers of stitches in the spot under my arm, which I think is pretty cool. I am not allowed to shower until Sunday, so sorry anybody who smells me before then. I also get to take the bandages off on Sunday too. I can’t wait because the plastic is really ITCHYYYY.
The other good news is I am tolerating all this really well post-op. I went home around 7pm last night and stopped at whole foods hot bar and filled half of my plate with mac & cheese, Lege and I watched movies and iced. I actually slept better last night than I did the night before the surgery. I am just taking tylenol around the clock for pain (don’t worry medical professionals I am keeping track of the daily limits). I have a prescription for narcotics but haven’t needed to take them at all! Not allowed to start running until I call the surgeon on Monday to get more details about my physical limits. Overall I am doing great; waay better than expected. A huge thank you to everyone’s text, emails, calls, posts, and letters of support. I love you all and will continue to kick Melanie’s sorry ass to the curb.
Please enjoy a few pics of me pre/post op. That was the best cup of apple juice I have ever had.
I will follow up with the surgeon in about 10 days and from there I will get more information about when I will be starting the clinical trial. I’ll keep you all posted. Love you all!
-schwambomb, schwamy, Elana, Lani