Yesterday I had the Mohs surgery for the skin cancer on my neck.
The appointment was at 8 a.m. in Boston, so Joe drove me to Margaret's Wednesday afternoon and I spent the night. Margaret drove me downtown yesterday and then Joe picked me up at Dana-Farber, where I had a checkup in the afternoon.
Margaret surprised me with an early birthday party, complete with cake, candles, singing and a present. I was getting a little nervous about the next day, and it was the perfect antidote.
The procedure went well; the doctor got clean margins in the first pass. A nurse patched me up, gave me a bag of gauze pads and supplies for keeping the site clean, and told me a little oozing was normal.
I walked a couple of blocks to get the shuttle from Mass. General to Brigham and Women's and after a short ride set out to walk the few blocks to Dana-Farber. It was then that I felt something dripping down my neck. I reached up and, looking at my hand, saw blood. I put a gauze pad on and applied pressure, but the blood came right through. I've been pretty stoic about a lot that has happened to me, but this was just too much. The tears started flowing along with the blood. Blood, sweat and tears on Boston streets.
When I got to Dana-Farber and handed my ID card to the check-in person, she didn't blink an eye at the blood. I guess she had seen worse. I walked the short distance to phlebotomy and asked to see a nurse. One came out in a few minutes and took me in. She said the bleeding had basically stopped but added more gauze. Then the phlebotomist cleaned me up like I was a little child. That made me feel better.
All my counts were good, but at 125 and 5'8", I'm still too thin. Such a problem, I know. They want me to try extra-hard to eat high calorie foods. I'm also supposed to keep a calorie log and send it to them. I saw Dr. Alyea and Melissa. They asked me if I was depressed, since weight loss can be a sign of depression. I said I'm depressed now while my injuries keep me from tennis and running. But I felt good back in April when the weight loss started.
With the wad of gauze on my neck, I didn't think I looked very good, so I was happy to hear Dr. Alyea say I look "Fan-tastic."
Meanwhile, on the way home as the numbing medication wore off on my neck, the site of the surgery started to hurt like hell. I guess that's to be expected when you have a little hole in your neck. I didn't have any pain medication with me, and once again, stoicism went out the window. I whimpered like the dog until I got home and took an oxycodone.
6 hours ago