My wound broke through the stitches and reopened. Dr. Walsh just called me – on a Sunday, when she is out of town, mind you – to talk to me about this. Basically, since radiation literally burns my skin, this skin shrinks down to the exact size of the expander and leaves no wiggle room. It ends up getting so thin that it tears as easily as paper might, which is why even closing the wound with stitches doesn’t always work.
Here is the game plan, as we know it:
* Tomorrow at 11:00am, I go under for a surgical procedure. They are going in to inspect the area and then hopefully do nothing more than clean the wound, swap out the expander for a smaller one, and stitch me back up. If they find pus when they go in, that changes everything, and I might end up having to get the expander removed … and the worst case scenario stemming from THAT decision is that I can not get reconstructive surgery on that side. PLEASE. GODDESS. NO.
* I continue to get IV antibiotics three times a day – a higher dosage of Vancomycin (you know, the one that causes Red Man Syndrome) and a new one: Zosyn. Dr. Walsh is going to talk to the hospital and see if there is any way I can be sent home with IV antibiotics, to decrease the number of days I would have to stay here. PLEASE. GODDESS. YES.
* I will continue daily HBO treatments, even after I am released from the hospital. I need a total of 20 in a row. So far, I have completed 3. My job is so inflexible that they won’t let me leave work early to go to chemotherapy, but *this* treatment team is willing to come in on WEEKENDS, as well as EXTEND their weekday hours just to make sure I can get in for sessions. ADJC’s HR staff should take some goddamned lessons from this department on how to be fucking human beings in times of a crisis. It *can* be done, ADJC. I promise. I see it every week, with people who AREN’T you.
* This whole situation changes everything as far as my reconstructive surgery is concerned. Pending I don’t lose the right side completely, my surgery will now get bumped up a few months earlier than planned, to right after my HBO therapy ends. That part is still up in the air.