Today is the visit to the plastic surgeon that I have been anticipating / dreading since I met the surgical oncologist on June 24th. He is supposed to tell me if I'll be needing a skin graft on my leg, or if he thinks he'll be able to close the incision with sutures. This will make a huge difference in my recovery, as all accounts seem to say that skin grafts are not a walk in the park.
I'm trying not to be pessimistic, but I have a gut feeling that I'm going to need a skin graft. When I met the surgeon, he tapped around at my leg and said "Well...it's going to be a big incision and this are is pretty tight. Let's see what the plastic surgeon thinks when he meets you." In my experience with doctors, it always seems that they say "cautious" things like this when they expect the news to be unpleasant. Sort of like my dermatologist when he said "Maybe this ISN'T melanoma, let's hope it isn't." He knew, and he did not try to get my hopes up, which I appreciate as I was able to use that time to do a lot of learning. Guess what? Since meeting the surgical oncologist, I think I've read every single page on the internet about skin grafts.
Here's a little plastic surgery humor to keep us busy while I wait for the appointment to happen at 4:00 today.
4:00 Plastic Surgeon Appointment
Doctor is very nice and efficient, and does his best to put my mind at ease. If the hospital at the Loyola Medical Center is anything like the doctors' visits, I'm going to be fine.
The surgeon tells me he will "try" to close with a "flap incision", which will involve "moving some flesh around" from another part of my thigh, and will result in a jagged, crooked incision, sort of like the "shark bite" I've been expecting. He asks me to be prepared for a skin graft, as he can't rule it out until he sees the actual situation. He also asks me to be prepared for an overnight stay because of IV pain meds.
As for recovery, he says I will be on "restroom only" bedrest for two weeks and then we'll see what happens after that.
So, that's what I know. It's not great, but it could be worse.
Two more days of waiting...