I haven’t written much this week because there hasn’t been too much to say. Just a lot of taking it easy and getting better everyday. I finally got most of my bandages off today, so I can turn my head again and move without as much tape pulling.
Last night, the surgeon called with the results of the lymph node biopsy. The good news was that the original mole was not any deeper than the original biopsy (1.02mm). The bad news is that they found micrometastisis in one of the sentinel lymph nodes. This means we now have to continue further down the treatment chain, unfortunately.
So the next step is more surgery. The plastic surgeon I saw for my forehead will not do the next surgery, because this new surgery will be in my neck and cheek region and need more of a specialist. The ENT who monitored my facial nerve during the last surgery will do this next surgery, so there is a little continuity of care there.
The surgery is going to be considerably more involved than the last one. In 2-3 weeks, they will do a parotidectomy and a radical neck dissection (which sounds like the least fun surgery I’ve ever heard of). The parotidectomy takes about 6 hours because it goes through a very delicate area where the facial nerve runs, so they have to be very careful.
At first, the plastic surgeon was talking about scary things like early induction and c-section, but today we were able to talk to my OB and he was able to talk more sensibly about things. I’m still going to get steroid shots on Monday and Tuesday to help boost baby’s lung development just in case something happens during surgery. Since the surgery is so long, I think there is an increased risk of needing to have an emergency c-section during surgery, but it’s still unlikely to happen. There will be a high-risk OB monitoring me and baby through the whole surgery as well. I’m meeting with a high-risk OB on Monday just to talk about things, although it doesn’t sound like I’ll need to actually be followed by her, and if the surgery goes well, I should be able to still continue with our normal plan for baby.
Yes, this is crappy and scary news, but we’re taking this one day at a time and are still hopeful for the best. Prayers, love and good thoughts are the best things for us right now, and we just need to pray that what they found in the one lymph node is the only thing that spread and that we’ll have gotten everything after the next surgery. And of course, lots of prayers that baby does great during surgery and stays cooking until she’s ready to come out!
Shannon and Peter