I was told the surgery could take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.
Our first stop today before surgery was to Nuclear Medicine. Here the surgeons go to a dimly lit room and play with Sharpies and make marks on Kevin’s neck.
They shoot him up with radioactive stuff, right at the lesion’s site, to see where the radioactive stuff goes. The lymph nodes it heads to get removed and biopsied. If others are found with cancer, they too will be removed. This isn’t done all at one time – just the sentinel nodes today. BUT – If they send him back to surgery again to remove even more lymph nodes, this is when I’d like another opinion, since there’s no clear evidence this helps with melanoma, and especially near the neck it can be dangerous or debilitating.
It took nearly three hours to locate the sentinel nodes on his neck. We were relieved they were behind the salivary gland and behind his shoulder muscle, rather than an artery or near facial nerves. You can see them where the small “X’s” are marked on Kevin’s neck. Good thing he didn’t have tattoos! Good thing also I didn’t decide to also draw on Kevin’s neck!
Kevin said he was a bit nervous, but I told him he wouldn’t mind at all once they put him under! I worry a bit about him having low blood pressure issues from the anesthesia (I sometimes have that same reaction). Otherwise, he’s very healthy and should be fine.
The gowns look pretty nice on him! Here’s a photo of our shoes together. I like taking pictures of our feet when we go somewhere special, or have a big event.
I always ask my grandmother (Mama) to send me some irises as a sign when she’s near. The waiting room was extremely crowded, so after purchasing a sandwich, I found a place in the corner to sit near an outlet for my laptop. I settled in, took a big bite of the crescent and chicken salad sandwich, looked up and saw this huge print of an iris!
Kind of odd, given that I didn’t notice the picture until I sat down. I was thinking of my grandparents in the elevator as I headed up to the waiting room, since we had all taken turns watching over them at the Univesity of Iowa when they were ill. Perhaps it was a little sign to say that now they were here for us?