Yesterday (Monday) I had a follow-up appointment with the surgeon. It was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. We left about 8:00 a.m. to allow for traffic tie-ups, but there weren’t any so we were at his office by 11:30. I checked in and was glad to hear they could take me right then. First came going downstairs for an x-ray, then back upstairs to talk to Dr. Alzate. He showed me the picture and said everything was going well, no surgical issues. (He also reminded me that the cancer was still there, something I’ve been reminding myself, i.e., that any possible long-term remission is still the big challenge. Heidi sent out a link to a blog post that echoes some of my own feelings about that, it’s http://open.salon.com/blog/cancerdancer/2012/02/23/dont_scare_the_newbie.)
He also said I could go home whenever I felt ready, and to take my collar off to eat and shower so my neck muscles will have opportunities to strengthen. As for the collar — 6 more weeks!! He didn’t make another appointment with me, though, so apparently he’s confident that if I follow his instructions my neck will be ready to function normally by then.
It’s amazing how much various body movement in the lower regions can affect neck muscles. I’m pretty much able to do stuff for myself now, and have my little arsenal of tools to help with challenges like not being able to bend down to put on socks, so I’m ready to go home and see if I’ll be OK there. Probably today , if Heidi and I can get to the store(s) to re-stock my kitchen. (I originally went up north expecting to have chemo and be back home in two days!) Dr. Alzate said I should do whatever I felt ready to do, but also counseled me to have help during the first couple days after chemo. That will probably mean staying at Heidi’s house again for at least one day next week, since I go back north on March 7 to see my oncologist and resume chemo treatment.
Many thanks to Amy Felty, my co-grandma, for driving me to Libertyville yesterday and all that involved. And to all of you for your prayers.