Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cancer Free!!

Mom's finger may not win any beauty contests, but she is cancer free. The pathology report was negative for cancer in her lymph nodes! It may come back in the future, but we have great news now! Hooray for my mom!!

The picture is of Mom's finger after the stitches were removed on Tuesday. The doctor said it will start to look much better once the swelling goes down and the scabs heal. I am so grateful the cancer is gone!

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Different Kind of Boo-boo

Mom's finger is healing, and she's starting to be able to use her hand more and more. We're still waiting on the pathology report, and everyone is still saying that the later the better. She is always in our prayers! When I look at her new boo-boo, I'm still so thankful for the dermatologist who figured out why the old boo-boo didn't heal. I'm also thankful for the doctors at Emory who have been treating her so well. We sure do love Cricket!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Mom had her surgery last Thursday, and according to the surgeon, it went well. He amputated her right index finger to the second joint and removed two lymph nodes under her right arm. Mom said the process to determine which nodes to remove was the most pain she's ever felt. The doctor injected radioactive fluid into the end of her finger three times. They could not give her any pain medication because it would interfere with the flow of the fluid. The finger was already very sensitive because of the melanoma and the sore, and I'm sure the fluid would be painful anyway.

The surgery only took about an hour, and they had her in post-op for an hour after that. When we were finally able to see her, she looked frail and small. It was sad to see her that way, but it was also a huge relief to know that the melanoma was gone from her body. She was already in pain from the anesthesia wearing off and started asking for more pain medication. This is very rare for my mom as she never takes anything for pain unless it's bad. They made her eat some applesauce and graham crackers, and my brother and I were able to help her. She ate, took the medicine, got dressed, and we left for home. She did great on the way home and slept a little bit.

It was a very emotional day for me. I could see the anxiety in my mom but couldn't do anything to make it better. She ended up being concerned about me! Maybe it was a little distraction from the stress she was feeling. She never admitted she was nervous or fearful until last night. Even then, she only said it was a tough day for her. I can't imagine what she must have been feeling. I know I was pretty scared.

My brother, Christopher stayed with her through Saturday, and she came to stay with us Saturday night. I was relieved to have her here with me. My brother kept her on the pain medication, and I followed up with the same. She started wanting the meds out of her system on Monday, and she didn't have any pain until Tuesday morning. It was pretty amazing considering she had a finger removed! She's took a half of the prescription medicine last night and another one this morning. She's determined to manage the pain with ibuprofen.

We go tomorrow morning for the follow-up appointment. The doctor will remove the bandage and hopefully give us the pathology report on her lymph nodes. We're praying that the nodes are healthy. If all is good, she'll continue with check-ups for the next several years. If not, we'll learn more about next steps.

I continue to be amazed that 2 other doctors failed to do a biopsy when fungal medicine didn't clear up the sore. Three years were wasted. I'm comforted that her surgeon said we caught it fairly early and am hopeful. I'm so grateful for the dermatologist in Blairsville who wouldn't give up until he figured out what was wrong.