willowisp: (Baseline)
Andy and I went to see the surgeon today. As a side note, she had nothing to do with the bureaucratic nonsense of last week -- she only got the report on Friday and immediately agreed to see me. Nor did she make any comment about us seeing her instead of a podiatrist; she looked at the wound, checked the pulse in my foot and several places on my leg, checked every other area I pointed out as possibly worrisome, and went over the report with us.

As noted before it's superficial, less than a millimeter deep. It is not even deep enough to warrant the automatic checking of nearby lymph nodes, though she offered us that option. Unfortunately it is a bit spread out on top and current best practice is to excise a centimeter beyond the borders, which means the wound will be a larger area than Andy was expecting. Also, it's on the top of my foot so going a centimeter deep is not feasible. They will need to do a skin graft on the day of surgery. There will be a pathology report and she'll know if she got everything, so if it is worse than she expected we can still deal with it.

They've already given me a surgical boot (This confused me until I saw it, since the podiatrist called my last one a boot. This is more like a boot, while the last one was just a glorified sandal) and crutches. There will also be a small wound vac in the mix, the surgeon believes probably for about a week. The surgery is scheduled for February 19th, which is a month to date after my BSO. Luckily, since the BSO was so recent, they didn't need to do another pre-anesthesia blood test and EKG.
willowisp: (Prickly)
A week ago today my podiatrist found out that a growth on my foot was a melanoma. She was so concerned that I know about this that, since I wasn't home when she called and she was leaving the office, she left her cell phone number on the answering machine. When she returned my call later that evening, we decided it best to contact Oncology within my medical provider to see what they believed would be the best option. At that point the podiatrist was figuring she could do the surgery.

On Monday Oncology got back to her. They advised that she contact General Surgery to do the operation and gave her a list of names. One she recognized from our former conversations, so she told me to call the practice. I would find out later that she had called the GS and they had told her that no referral would be necessary.

Side note: I did have an active referral to the same surgeon to consult about my possible mastectomies.

I called GS and explained the situation, and the scheduler said that I needed to talk to Orthopedics/Podiatry since the melanoma was on my foot. She gave me the number, which I called immediately. The very nice scheduler I spoke with there heard "Melanoma" and told me they couldn't do the surgery, and transferred me to the proper office... which happened to be GS. The second scheduler was far more helpful, found the order (We now believe she saw the breast consult referral and thought it was one from the Podiatrist), but she wanted to make sure so sent a message to the nurse who works with the surgeon.

The nurse called back to clarify some things, but she could only find the breast referral. She said she would call the podiatrist to figure things out. I waited around until it was time to leave the house, then I called and gave the folks my cell phone number. I had not previously because I tend not to have me cell phone with me and charged, but in this case I did.

The call must have come while I was driving, because when I got there I had a missed call message, but no voicemail. I called missed number and it was GS, and there were no notes as to who had called. Except that suddenly there was a note that the nurse had called and left a voicemail. As soon as I got off the phone it buzzed, and there was a message. The GS nurse said she'd talked to the podiatrist's nurse, who had told her to disregard the referral until she could talk to the Podiatrist to find out what was going on, and that further communication should be with the podiatrist's nurse.

I did not receive a call from the podiatrist's nurse during the day, or at least if I did she did't leave a message. I tried calling after getting home from The Yarn Store and just caught the nurse, who was very confused because she didn't realize she was supposed to call me. Since the podiatrist had already left for the day, she said she would try to find out on Wednesday what was going on.

On Wednesday I found out that the podiatrist hadnot told anyone to belay the referral, and that there had been no order because when she called GS they had told her none would be needed. I once again called GS and left a message. The GS nurse returned the call and said that the podiatry nurse had just faxed over the pathology report and the GS would look it over on Thursday and would decide if she would do the surgery.

I had a followup appointment from my surgery on January 19th today (Thursday) and the GS office is downstairs from the followup appointment. I went downstairs afterward to see if there was any news. The nurse was with a patient but said the surgeon had not had a chance to look at the pathology report yet.

I finally just got the call from the GP nurse, who has scheduled an appointment with the surgeon next week to discuss the operation. I just hope that this is a pre-surgery consultation and not one to decide if she'll do it at all. And only a week has elapsed since my podiatrist left her cell phone number so I could be informed and get things rolling as soon as possible.
willowisp: (Tired or sad)
I managed not to have breast cancer (Confirmed via 3D mammogram and breast MRI) or ovarian (Confirmed via biopsy after my surgery on 19 January 2015).

One thing I forgot to mention, and I may go back and add to the re-introduction post, is that I had a severe infection in my right foot which ended up involving hospitalization and removal of part of the bone in my middle toe. I've spent most of September-December healing over the wound(s) the infection left on my right foot. Part of this involved, for the most part, seeing a podiatrist on a weekly basis.

About two years ago, what looked like a birthmark appeared on my left foot. It was small, round, and dark enough brown that it looked black. Last year or so it began to change, lightening in color and becoming slightly raised. Closer to when I had the infection in my other foot it began looking as if it was bubbling up. I mentioned it to the podiatrist several times, but she was more concerned with getting the wound(s) from the infection under control.

In mid-January I had a final appointment just to confirm the wound(s) had healed to the point of no longer needing to be watched. She took a more intense look at the thing on my left foot and decided to do a biopsy, which occurred a few days later. My followup was yesterday on the ten day mark, at which point she was to remove the stitch and review the biopsy results with me.

The stitch removal was painless and quick, but when she tried to access the results online, she found out that there weren't results yet. She left me to deal with another patient while her nurse tried to contact the biopsy people. I'm guessing the sample fell behind a filing cabinet or something, because while I sat and knitted more of Andy's scarf, I overheard the nurse saying they were working on the sample at that moment. The podiatrist sent me home and I went to The Yarn Store at Nob Hill, my home away from home, to hang out.

When I got home there was a message on the machine from the podiatrist, saying the results were back, but she wasn't going to be in the office for the rest of the day or today. After waffling for a bit she left her cell phone number and asked me to call her. I began the game of phone tag and decided to take a nap. She called back and asked if I was sitting down, then told me it was melanoma. She had been expecting a wart, or possibly squamous cell or basal carcinoma. The actual diagnosis blindsided her, and she wanted me to know as soon as possible.

She believes she is the most qualified to excise the melanoma given its location on the foot and the fact that she's a podiatrist, but she also wants to consult some oncologists to make sure she does due diligence. She said it's superficial at this point, but that it should be operated on in the not-too-distant future. I'm inclined to wait at least until after my birthday, which is Tuesday of next week. I'm not sure whether this will be an office procedure or a hospital one and, if the latter, if I will need to wait longer to finish up healing from the surgery on January 19th. I'm also not sure if she planned on calling the oncologist(s) today or waiting until she's back in the office on Monday.

More updates as events warrant.


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