Surgery NUMBER TEN is HISTORY!!! And, moreover, so are my bubbles! At least, we think they are. Dr. Bauer confirmed that the expanders he removed last Thursday should be my last. Time will tell, but it was good to hear that after 2 1/2 years of continuous surgeries.
I am doing great, as always, and have since just hours after surgery. My surgery was at 1:00 p.m. and we were able to leave the hospital later that night. Indeed, by about 6 p.m. I was asking for pancakes and sausage, and was already saying that I had "no owies."
On Friday, I was a little sore, so we played it low key. But by Saturday I was raring to go again, and even asking to play on a jungle gym at the Legoland Discovery Center. Yep, I bounce back nicely, that's for sure. On Sunday evening I was having fun chasing my sister around the hotel courtyard, and mom had to repeatedly stop me from running! I'm sure you guessed it -- my activity level hasn't dwindled at all since this surgery. I still can't sit or bend real well, but I'm taking it easy where that's concerned, and I don't complain about it at all.
So, where do things stand??? Well I am happy to report that I am about 90-95% Giant Congenital Melanocytic Nevus free. I will never be entirely nevus free -- I will have satellites, I will have scars, and I will have NCM. But with my giant nevus practically gone, we pray that the risk of melanoma I was facing has reduced as well. And we pray that my NCM remains asymptomatic. With that, I am ready to start living the life that we've dreamed of.
Ok, I'm sure you want to check out Dr. B's handiwork. So here you go -- the first collage is a picture of me as a baby, before any medical treatment on my nevus, next to a picture of me one day post-op last week. And the second collage shows a little bit of how the nevus had wrapped around my sides, along with current pictures of how the nevus was removed from the sides. Keep in mind, it took 10 surgeries to get me here. But it was well worth it!
Yup, we think it looks pretty great. Spectacular, actually. We couldn't be happier with the progress here, and with the love, care, and amazing medical treatment I've gotten from Dr. Bauer and his staff. And for sure, God has had his hands on me, protecting me and producing the results we were hoping for. Thank you for all of your prayers through this journey. He is listening!
Are you wondering where we go from here? Ah, the options. Option #1 is to stop. There is little nevus left, and much of it is not visible. You can see the patch at the top of the buttock, and there is some still in the perineal area as well. Option #2 is to attempt to wrap this up with one final surgery. Wanna guess which option we are going for??? Yup, Option #2. We've come so far, and invested so much, it would be silly to stop now. Dr. Bauer may not be able to get every last square inch of nevus, but we see no reason not to try. With the nevus he removes on the skin, he removes the cells below the skin. And we believe that is where he reduces the melanoma risk. So, at this point, we look forward to November 22 as my next, and hopefully FINAL surgery.
In about 10 days, I will go into the OR again to have my sutures removed. For now, my incisions are stable and healing nicely. There are some indications of stress, but they have yet to split open, unlike they have in the past, and despite my active nature. We hope they remain intact for the duration of my healing. We will post an update in a few weeks, when the healing has progressed a bit.
And now it is time to enjoy life. The way we should be.