Reconstructive Surgery – Done!


Kevin’s reconstructive surgery was supposed to be Friday around 1:30 or so. Due to some complications with surgeries taking place before his, he was delayed 6 hours. So we played with our phones and downloaded new apps. Surgery finally began around 6:00 pm, but he was out in a little over 2 hours, in recovery for 2 hours, and finally in his room around midnight. No skin graft required! But an overnight stay was a must. Fortunately this time, Kevin had a private room so I could stay in the lounge chair in the room. Pretty comfortable! (Thanks very much for dog-sitting Hannah!)

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By morning Kevin was making friends with the hospital staff and was ready to have breakfast. Rather than order from the cafeteria, we walked there (he was in a wheelchair). If you’ve been to the U of I, you know it’s incredibly spread out. I think the walk there must have taken 10 minutes! It was nice to get out a bit.

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The surgeon made a serpentine-like suture which nearly completely eliminated the round hole left by the melanoma surgery. Now only a small are remains – about the size of a macadamia nut. We’re told this will take a long time to heal, but the regular sutures should only take a couple of weeks.

They are surprised I take so many photos, and Kevin is so willing for me to do so. But I think our decision to do this is three-fold: as visual artists we want to capture, document, and share these moments. A lot of family members and friends are out of town. And finally, we wanted to do our part to add to information on the web, because we found that helpful.

By morning, Kevin was getting pretty antsy to go home. After a visit from one of the residents who gave Kevin a final look-over and showed us how to fix his dressings, we were ready to go home!

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Later that evening I had a quick visit with Amy & Lisa’s friend, Diego (who is now a family friend, of course) and the some of the kids. Diego is in for 2 weeks from Colombia. Amy & Jon will visit this September in return – their 2nd trip. It was a nice, brief visit – and great to see Diego, who is now working on his Master’s degree in finance/economics. Kevin stayed back with Christopher & Jesse. Today he is doing very well. He sees the surgeon tomorrow for a check up.

Next step is to watch the nodes in his lungs. But otherwise – everything is spectacular!

Here are some pics of the kids.

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Amy and friends Lisa & Diego.

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Brad, Steffi and Hannah.

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2 thoughts on “Reconstructive Surgery – Done!

  1. I wanted to let you know how incredibly inspirational your journey with melanoma has been to me and my husband. On April 2nd, my husband Rich was diagnosed with malignant melanoma (2.3mm) on his scalp. The lesion was larger than a quarter, and he had it for some time before we noticed it changing. I came across your posts when researching like crazy during those tumultuous 6 weeks of waiting between diagnosis, surgeries and results. Like Kevin, Rich had no cancer cells in his lymph nodes. He has one lung nodule which we are having imaged by CT this week. I also borrowed your idea of affirming words on his pill container, which still remains, as he continues to take supplements such as turmeric, reservatrol and theaflavin, which we have learned are supposed to fight melanoma and recurrences. We can’t thank you enough for posting your thoughts on this blog. Please know that it has touched us deeply. All the best….

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    • Amy, thanks so much for this touching reply. This is the very reason Kevin and I decided to post publicly about the journey with melanoma, and it meant a lot to both of us. We truly hope Rich continues to feel great and that the whole ordeal is behind you both. Sending wishes of peace & other good thoughts your way.

      Like

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