I’ll start with the good news.
The good news is that when we come to MD Anderson, I get to eat this:
I’m telling you…IT IS GOOOOOOOOD! Peanut butter, chocolate, carmel heaven.
The bad news starts with the fact that I am here another night.
Dr. Kronowitz came to see us this morning. Unfortunately, there are two things we are worrying about right now: 1) the infection and 2) the fact that the skin on the underside of my expander has gotten very thin.
He had requested that the Infectious Disease Department (doesn’t that sound horrifying?) come see me today. Basically, they look at my history of infection and all of the meds I’ve been on, then make any recommendations to help. They are well-versed in what type of bacterial infections are going around right now and what concoction of drugs will best treat them.
In the meantime, Kronowitz left us with two options:
1) Take the expander out right now. He’d pair this with the surgery for my lymph node removal. Pros: We will able to get rid of this infection. Cons: This leaves us no other option, but to use my abdominal tissue for reconstruction. Two sub-cons to that are that the abdominal surgery is much more intense. It will be a 10-12 hour surgery with a 5-day hospital stay. Also, during our initial visit with him, he said that the amount of tissue available isn’t enough to get me back to my original size. This would mean I have to have a reduction on the left side. Seriously? A year and a half of this crap only to come out smaller than I started? Icing on the cake is that the cosmetic outcome of the surgery will be less aesthetic. Awesome.
2) Leave the expander in. He would put me back on IV antibiotics and work with Infectious Disease to get rid of the infection. Pros: I keep my options open for reconstruction. Cons: I’ll be on antibiotics for awhile which is not good for me. Potential Cons: The thinning of the skin might get worse, ultimately exposing the expander. They seem to think that this risk is highest during radiation. If that happened, I’d have to stop radiation for a week, have surgery to remove the expander and lose the skin anyway.
Katie, his P.A., removed about 100 cc from my expander to reduce the pressure being put on my skin, and then we waited for Infectious Disease to visit.
Dr. V., from Infectious Disease, came by late this afternoon. He said that, even though there is not a lot of fluid collection, he feels it is best to drain it anyway. This would clear it out a bit, and also allow them to test the fluid for what it is that is infecting me. If they know that, they can use more targeted medications to get rid of it.
Next step: Waiting.
Dr. V. will talk to Dr. Kronowitz about his recommendation. We are waiting to hear Dr. Kronowitz’s decision on that tomorrow.
We are waiting on the breast surgeon to reschedule the axillary dissection surgery that I was supposed to have today.
We are waiting to hear when we can go home.
(My fancy room’s little nook for my visitors – including a foldout couch and a separate TV)
Oh, and right now (9:30 pm), I’m waiting to get moved to a new room. I’m getting booted out of my luxury hospital room. I have a HUGE room that is intended for people who are staying for four to six weeks. It is really nice. I have a sneaking suspicion that my new room won’t be so fancy.
We are accepting any and all prayers that I get out of here soon. I want to go home and get ready for Christmas.