Surgery check in was 9:30 am on Thursday and surgery began about 11:30. It lasted a little over two hours. The surgeon reported he removed quite a bit of remaining tissue and at least a few additional lymph nodes.
We left the hospital at 9:30 am Friday to go back to the hotel. She has a drain tube and a catheter that is infusing a numbing medication directly from a pump worn in a pouch held by a shoulder strap. The pain has definitely intensified since being off of the IV meds but she is doing great. This afternoon is the first time she has felt any nausea which is probably from several oral doses of pain pills after leaving hospital today.
The MRI results from Tuesday's scan returned clear. The pathology report from surgery is expected in seven to ten days. We will head home as soon as she feels she can. The surgery follow up will be at home with Dr. Crawford. He will remove the drain tube when drainage is below 30cc in last twenty four hours.
Whether or not there are additional positive nodes from the pathology report will weigh heavily on whether she chooses to go ahead with INTRON A treatment or with observation alone. The MD Anderson surgeon would like to see her in 3 months and then every 6 months thereafter. She will continue to see the local Oncologist in Fort Worth on a very regular basis for the first couple of years. For another set of eyes she will see the MD Anderson Medical Oncologist when making the trip to Houston to see the surgeon every 6 months.
The surgeon told us in Wednesday's pre-op consultation that he expects the pathology report will be negative. He offered that pending those results he personally would not undergo INTRON A therapy as the benefits are very vague for the long list of side effects (he reluctantly discusses this and regularly says he prefers to leave drug therapy topics to the Medical Oncologist). He made the comment that he would support an observation only decision and suggested she get on with life with the attitude that she is cancer free.
Harvey & Erica Braden
Journal of our journey with a Metastatic Melanoma Diagnosis. Erica was diagnosed Stage 3 in January 2010 and then Stage 4 in April 2018.