Well, the surgery is done! I'm recovering well, thanks to excellent post-op care and a healthy dose of T-3's :). Having the surgery in Victoria, a truly beautiful city, I felt a little like a dog who was being tricked into going to the vet...come on boy, it will fun..wanna go for a ride!!
My surgery day went very quickly (for me anyway). I arrived at nuclear medicine at 10:20 to receive a series of radioactive dye injections just below my right eye. After being injected, I was put into a very small machine where I lay for about 2 hours. There was about 1 inch between my nose and the roof, and, of course, the itching started early. The technician watched the screen the whole time, tracking where the dye traveled. When it reached its destination, I was marked with a couple 'x's, then taken up to the surgical ward.
I said goodbye to Roz and my parents at that point, and then changed into my hospital gown. I'm getting pretty good with those now, so there were no major incidents. A very fast-talking (but wonderful) nurse explained what I should expect after I woke up. I met the surgeon, who explained a few more details, then was wheeled to the OR. It was like a surprise party in there! The room was packed with people and equipment. They lifted me from my bed to the operating table, and started the IV. I woke up in the recovery room a few hours later. After a couple more hours of dozing, I was taken to my 'room'...one wall and three curtains to be exact.
Roz and my parents visited with me for about 30 minutes, then I was ready to sleep again. A shot of morphine and I felt like I was at the Westin! I was discharged the next morning and am currently being waited on hand and foot by an amazing team. Thanks Roz, mom and dad!
We were uncertain of the extent of the surgery prior to the injection of the dye. I ended up having my parotid glad (main saliva gland) and 2 lymph nodes removed. The surgeon also took a wide margin around my original cancer site to minimize the chance of future spread. The lymph nodes will be examined for cancer cells. We will have the results in a couple of weeks. The 2 major risks of the surgery were blindness (the incision is through my eyelid) and facial paralysis. So far, things are looking good (literally!), but I have no feeling in the surface of my right cheek or ear. With the number of stitches I have, that's actually quite a blessing :). The surgeon said that this would most likely be the case and that we'll know that if it is permanent after a few weeks.
Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers, we truly felt them all.
I posted some pre and post op pictures for those that are interested. They are rather 'medical', so viewer discretion is advised.