Me and my fucking tumours.
No sooner do I get over this Shoulder Thing (never mentioned it here, but suffice to say, my shoulder hates me) than I get confirmation from my ENT doc that yes indeed, I will be needing surgery again, for the new tumour (which I have named Bjorn). First the requisite pre-surgery CT scan and MRI, of course, to give said doc a better idea of exactly where Bjorn has set up house, and then surgery. Woo. I knew it was coming, both because he told me it’d likely be necessary and because, once again, it’s getting difficult to sleep on my left side (where both tumours reside(d)) without losing the ability to breathe through my nose in that nostril. I’m also getting more migraine headaches and sneezing more often.
Best part? Like the inverted papilloma (George), this exophytic papilloma (Bjorn) dwells in the soft tissue of my left maxillary sinus. Since this is the fourth surgery, there’s not a whole hell of a lot of soft tissue left there (Dr F had to remove nearly all of the soft tissue on the floor of the sinus; there’s little more than naked bone there now); he told me he’ll have to “figure out how to remove it all without taking too much of the underlying tissue. I want to get good margins to prevent it from coming back, but I have to be careful because if too much is removed it’ll start to affect the shape of your nose and lead to unnecessary scarring…” That… well, there’s no way to spin that so that it’s not unnerving.
On the bright side, Bjorn is much smaller than George, and less insidious: whereas there’s a 10-15% chance of maligancy (cancer) whenever George is around, Bjorn by nature doesn’t generally become cancerous, and usually doesn’t recur the way George does. It’s not lost on me that the tumour that does usually come back again and again so far hasn’t after a full year (a great sign, so I’m told; if it were going to come back, it probably would have by now), while the one that usually doesn’t recur might not be totally removable right now: if Dr F can’t fully excise it without deformation, he might have to get what he can and… maintain it as necessary.
If that last bit sounds familiar, there’s a reason: that’s exactly what Dr W, my last ENT doc, told me about George: not possible to remove in total, must do partial resection every few years. slkdlskjdlksjdlkj. Obviously, I’m hoping it can get it all.
At any rate, this surgery’s less of an ordeal — no removal of bone this time — so I should be able to go home “that night.” That he said “that night” irks me, because if I have to sit in the damn post-op room for hours and hours again I am going to be pissed. If I have to sit around, I’d rather do it in a private (or even semi-private) room or go the hell home. With Dr W, I was in and out in four hours. After my first surgery with Dr F, I’d bled so much (mostly due to the removal of that inferior turbinate/concha) he kept me overnight. That combined with “go home that night,” when the surgery’s scheduled for 7:30am…
I’m going with the assumption I’ll have to stay overnight. If I don’t, well, better to have and not need than need and not have, right? Because I didn’t know I’d be staying overnight last time, I had to have my mother go feed the cats and grab the essentials: hairbrush, laptop, phone charger, something to read, etc. This time I’m bringing all that with me and leaving it in the trunk of the car; if I stay overnight, mom can run out and bring it in for me. I’m also bringing a box of some kind of single-serve juices; last time I had to keep waking up my mom to go get me juice to salve the horrendous sore throat I always get after surgery (thanks to the way my intubation tubes rub against the back of my throat). That and popsicles. Lots and lots of popsicles. And Frostys from the Wendy’s downstairs, of course. I’ll probably bring along one of my external hard-drives, the one I store movies and TV episodes on. Hopefully all this preparation will turn out to have been useless, but again, better to be prepared than not.
The thing I’m dreading most of all about this is how I have to cover my nose (usually with a scarf) whenever I leave the house, because cold air in ravaged, healing sinuses (it’s not feasible to dress or cover the wounds [to get decent margins he has to remove some healthy tissue. Imagine having the first 1-2 layers of skin from a patch of your arm removed] so it’s basically an open wound) is very, very painful. I swore after the last round I’d never have surgery in winter again, but Bjorn clearly disagreed.
I hate my goddamned sinuses.