Monday, March 7, 2011

Youth was serving: fresh-faced plastic surgeons lend hand in cancer comeback

Maybe they grow plastic surgeons real young around here. Or maybe they practice face lifts on each other.
Or maybe I am firmly an old fart.
Whatever the reason, my eighth surgery, a "flap," to help close the wound in my back, has made me aware of how many apparent young phenoms work in plastics at VGH. We've met a handful of surgeons leading up to and following my operation last Tuesday and, to be honest, I was continually left making Doogie Howser references. Of course, I made them only to myself and Carol-Ann, since this group probably never saw the TV show, which was in production from 1989-93.
In interest of full disclosure (my old favourite line makes a return), the treatment we've received from the plastics (as they are called)has been top shelf. They were very good about letting us know their A plan and their fallback strategy in case things didn't work initially.
Luckily for Carol-Ann and I, their idea came together on the first go. In fact, Carol-Ann says that plastics surgeon Dr. Boyle told her, "Things couldn't have gone better."
To Steve-it-down, the doctors took parts of my trapezius muscles and folded them to fill a void in the middle of my back, which was created by three infection washout surgeries. The infection was a result of needing a back reconstruction surgery just days after completing my 20th radiation treatment, which was due to a Solitary Plasmacytoma tumor camping out in my T-2 vertebrae. (My good friend Carla McAloney says that I don't have to mention the Solitary Plasmacytoma every blog. I say, "What does she have against a Solitary Plasmacytoma?" Or maybe
she doesn't appreciate new readers, ones who haven't heard about my Solitary Plasmacytoma? Or maybe doesn't like big words, like Solitary Plasmacytoma? Oh, Carla.)
Our spine surgeon, Dr. Robert Lee, tried to get the wound to close, but the combination of radiated skin and nothing behind it to stitch to made it impossible.
For what it is worth, this likely the most pain I've been in since the early stages of the Solitary Plasmacytoma (Take that, Snarla). The plastics say it's completely normal.
I should go back to GF Strong for a third try at rehab later this week hopefully.

1 comment:

  1. Steve, I can see it now: You'll get mighty soon after you get to GF Strong. It's often true that everything is closer than we think. And your positive attitude will continue to be a blessing.