Christine's First Surgery

Potato Pie

It has been quite some time since I have updated the blog. The reason being is that we have been in the healing phase. Christine is doing great, although she easily gets very tired. She finds it more difficult to properly eat solid foods, and is mainly living on smoothies, and soft foods. She does manage to eat small portions of chopped up dinners. Despite this, she has resumed most activities, including driving her car, attending sewing, going to coffee mornings, and attending the odd dinner party.
Christine managed to battle through a traditional Lancashire dish, Potato Pie
Christine's leg 10 weeks on. Ready for a tattoo?

Since the last blog, we have visited Dr Pytinia for a follow-up, and as far as the cancer is concerned she has signed Christine off and doesn't want to see her again until late September.
The lymphedema swelling caused by the removal of her lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment is now being addressed. Every day, Christine has a set of massages to help reduce this swelling. Once the swelling has subsided, then she will be able to have some teeth added.
Learning the lymphedema swelling exercises
Dr Garvey using a tool to measure nerve responsiveness

We visited Dr. Garvey, and Dr. Dhanani today for an update on the surgery site, and establish a plan moving forward. Christine has some problems biting down on the surgery site, so Dr Garvey looked at this. Although consideration was given to cutting the offending bit out, we decided to wait a month to see if it would resolve itself once the lymphedema swelling went down. Although Christine is feeling sensation in her earlobe, Dr. Garvey said that although this was a good sign, this was not anything to do with the cadaver nerve that he inserted. The cadaver nerve, was described as a 7 cm highway in her lip and chin, with no cars on. Christine nerves will grow along this highway at approximately 1 mm a day. Dr Garvey used an interesting set of tools, which were basically different thickness of hair, to see if there was any sensation from the new nerves. Christine was able to feel some sensation on her lips, so they were extremely pleased with this. It is a brand new procedure, so there is great interest as to the success. He called it Cadillac surgery!

As far as the plan moving forward, we will see Dr Garvey again in early September, followed by an appointment with the dental team to determine a date to have the dental implants inserted. They will involve Dr Garvey reopening the gum, and will be done under general anesthetic as an out-patient. If everything goes according to plan this is likely to happen just after Thanksgiving.
Christine, with Mike and Judy McFarland

Christine and I have had lots of visitors, and we are very grateful for all of the support that has been shown. It was great to catch up with Mike and Judy McFarland. With Mike going through a similar surgery, their support through Christine’s ordeal has been fantastic. This was the first time that they have met in the flesh!
Lovely flowers from Nick and Christine, and a finished project (thanks Michelle!)