Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Today is Starting on a Good Note

First, I saw the physical therapist. In general, except for the area closest to my armpit, the lymphedema was vastly improved in just one day. One area was 3.5 cm smaller, right above the elbow. The elbow was about 1.5 cm smaller. The area nearer my armpit and under the arm may take more active treatment - it is a bit harder, which indicates that the lymph fluid may have created fibroids which are harder to break down. Gentle massage to break up the fibroids will help.

Then, I saw the neurosurgeon. I asked him what symptoms I should worry about if there were brain tumors growing and his answer "headache and nausea - the symptoms you had before surgery". And, I have neither. As for the increased numbness, he saw that the swelling in my brain will fluctuate over the next weeks and that it often takes people 6 weeks to fully recover. It's only been two. So, I won't worry about the numbness just yet. He also says my jitteriness and high heart rate may be related to withdrawing from steroids. As for the lack of ear wax, when I said that the anti-seizure medication causes dry mouth and also nose irritation and dryness, I said maybe lack of ear wax could be related to that and his answer was "that's true theoretically; but I've never heard of a connection".

So, I guess I won't worry about growing brain tumors. I start Tykerb tomorrow, I think.

I'll see the general surgeon later today, after a couple of visits from friends and colleagues.

Joanna suggested maybe we biopsy the two suspicious areas. I'll mention it to him.

I was also able to get a decent night's sleep. I slept from 10-11, then 11-1am, then took an Ambien and slept until 4am, then 4-5, then 5-6. So, 8 hours.

All in all, a good start to the day. Thank you everyone!

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