Back from Hell Lite

Mikemetz
Mikemetz Member Posts: 465 Member
edited July 2015 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

A year ago I had a left mandible resection, which I described as going to the brink of Hell and back, due to the surgery itself, several added complications, 13 days in hospital and another month at home.  On June 19 I had a radial flap resection, where they took bone and tissue from my left arm and used that as filler for some dead bone that developed from last year's surgery.  This year's procedure is now being called Hell Lite--not as bad or as complicated as last year's, but a long way from a walk in the park.  I was in the OR for 12 hours, in ICU for four days, and then released on June 26th to come home.  I came home with a nasal feeding tube, a trach, and too many stitches and staples to count.  Thanks to my wonderful wife, I am recovering well and have my first big appointment tomorrow--hopefully to get all of that stuff removed  so I can start (slowly) back to oral feeding.  Please send Good Vibes for that to happen.

Mike

 

Comments

  • KTeacher
    KTeacher Member Posts: 1,103
    More than Lite

    Oh what a journey you have been on.  Did they make a brace for your arm?  My arm was very weak for awhile after my surgery, heck it still reminds me that parts are missing there.  So glad that you have an excellent caregiver, wife.  Hope nothing but positive from here on.

  • Noellesmom
    Noellesmom Member Posts: 1,859 Member
    lifting prayers

    For strength.  Tough road but you have come so far!

  • MrsBD
    MrsBD Member Posts: 615 Member
    Prayers

    Wow! You've had one tough journey. I'm praying that your recovery is quick and your future is heavenly. You've had enough of the other place!

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    Mike sorry about Hell 2.0

    We will always keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Good vibes too...............

    Bill

  • debbiejeanne
    debbiejeanne Member Posts: 3,102 Member
    wow, Mike, you have been to

    wow, Mike, you have been to hell and back a few times!  i'm so sorry you had to endure all this but I'm very happy it is now behind you.  I'm sending you good mojo, positive thoughts and a bear hug to help you feel better.  heal on friend.

    dj

  • hwt
    hwt Member Posts: 2,328 Member

    wow, Mike, you have been to

    wow, Mike, you have been to hell and back a few times!  i'm so sorry you had to endure all this but I'm very happy it is now behind you.  I'm sending you good mojo, positive thoughts and a bear hug to help you feel better.  heal on friend.

    dj

    Mike

    Sorry for the rough road. Special prayers for you tonight.

  • Mikemetz
    Mikemetz Member Posts: 465 Member
    KTeacher said:

    More than Lite

    Oh what a journey you have been on.  Did they make a brace for your arm?  My arm was very weak for awhile after my surgery, heck it still reminds me that parts are missing there.  So glad that you have an excellent caregiver, wife.  Hope nothing but positive from here on.

    Plate in arm, mixed bag of news

    A small titanium plate/brace was installed where they took the bone and tissue from my arm.  It's a bit tight there now, but will loosen up as the swelling continues to go down.

    I had a mixed bag of news from the docs today.  All of the stitches and staples were taken out and they capped the trach.  If I have no problems with breathing for a week, the trach will come out the next time.  They were not able to do a barium swallow test (long story), and I could not tolerate the scope up my nose to conduct the alternate test, so the nasal feeding will stay for another few days.  Hopefully out on Wednesday, if I can pass the barium test then.

     

    All in all, I'm making good progress.  Disappointed but not discouraged from today's events/non events.

     

    Thanks to all for your thoughts, prayers, and Good Vibes.

    Mike

     

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    Mikemetz said:

    Plate in arm, mixed bag of news

    A small titanium plate/brace was installed where they took the bone and tissue from my arm.  It's a bit tight there now, but will loosen up as the swelling continues to go down.

    I had a mixed bag of news from the docs today.  All of the stitches and staples were taken out and they capped the trach.  If I have no problems with breathing for a week, the trach will come out the next time.  They were not able to do a barium swallow test (long story), and I could not tolerate the scope up my nose to conduct the alternate test, so the nasal feeding will stay for another few days.  Hopefully out on Wednesday, if I can pass the barium test then.

     

    All in all, I'm making good progress.  Disappointed but not discouraged from today's events/non events.

     

    Thanks to all for your thoughts, prayers, and Good Vibes.

    Mike

     

    I told my doctor.....

    I told my doctor that I was going to study very hard for the swallow test, he just laughed, but I passed it. I hope you do well and get the treach out soon. The hot air coming out and hitting the bottom of my chin was the worst for me to get used to. Mine is perminate, a stoma, but I still can breathe.

    Bill

  • Hondo
    Hondo Member Posts: 6,636 Member
    Hi Mike

    Wow what a trip you been through, I bet you are glad it is all in your rearview mirror now and you are headed the right direction. Now for the healing process to take place and all the staples & stitches to come out then you will be the six million dollar man.

     

    All the best

    Tim

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,721 Member
    lite?

    Mike,

    Kudos to your wife and all caregivers.

    All of this on top of what I call normal side effects, you’re a true warrior, keep moving forward buddy.

    Matt

  • Mikemetz
    Mikemetz Member Posts: 465 Member
    Mikemetz said:

    Plate in arm, mixed bag of news

    A small titanium plate/brace was installed where they took the bone and tissue from my arm.  It's a bit tight there now, but will loosen up as the swelling continues to go down.

    I had a mixed bag of news from the docs today.  All of the stitches and staples were taken out and they capped the trach.  If I have no problems with breathing for a week, the trach will come out the next time.  They were not able to do a barium swallow test (long story), and I could not tolerate the scope up my nose to conduct the alternate test, so the nasal feeding will stay for another few days.  Hopefully out on Wednesday, if I can pass the barium test then.

     

    All in all, I'm making good progress.  Disappointed but not discouraged from today's events/non events.

     

    Thanks to all for your thoughts, prayers, and Good Vibes.

    Mike

     

    Flunked swallow test

    I was able to get the barium swallow test scheduled in just two days, but the results were not good.  The end result of it is that I'll have a PEG tube installed next week, and the nasal tube will come out.  I'll eat through the PEG tube during the needed PT to get my swallowing up to a safe level.  Hopefully, it will get resolved and I can return to eating orally again, but the nurse who did the test was not willing to predict that with any certainty--she thinks there is some chance that the PEG tube will be permanent, or at least there for a long time.  Either way, I may be calling on you tube-feeders out there for advice on how to manage that.  I had a PEG during treatments, but only used the liquid food.  This time I'd like to learn how to take in a wider range of foods.

    Mike