A visit to the Oncology “Super Nurse”March 20, 2008
This afternoon we met with the Oncology “Super” Nurse. She promised us last Tuesday when we made this appointment that she would try to have a chat with the Neuro-Surgeon to change my priority. The first thing she told us when we came in that she had done so and that she would contact us on Tuesday with the outcome. She believes that my priority indeed can be raised.
The second reason we wanted to visit her was to ask her about the surgery procedure and the recovery period. She told us about the long time the surgery will take (approximately 8 hours) and that my spouse and family will be informed at the end. The Craniotomy is expertly explained here.
I will be equipped with intravenous drips and drain tubes, the latter will be inserted to monitor the pressure of my my brain. A biopsy of the tumor tissue will be taken and send to a lab to find out what grade it is: grade 2 (no or limited chemotherapy), 3 (extensive chemotherapy) and 4 (extensive radiotherapy possibly in combination with chemotherapy). It will take a few days before the results are back. She told us not to be afraid of chemotherapy: the dreaded chemo drip seems to have been replaced by pills and they seem to be able to also suppress the nauseous effect of the chemo nowadays.
I will be taken to a recovery room (PACU) to recover from the anesthesia and then I’ll be off to a medium care unit. Here I’ll be constantly watched. I’ll be wearing a turban for the first days. If well, I will be allowed to drink and eat the next day and sit out of bed. The intravenous drips and drain tubes will be removed after about 48 hours and stitches (or staples) will be taken out between 2 and 10 days later.
For operations on the front of the head (my case), the muscle which opens the mouth is cut (and reconnected of course) and this can leave the jaw stiff and hard to open wide. This usually recovers within a few weeks. Recovery is aided by eating tough meat (yeah .. that helps :-). When everyone considers that I should be able to move on I will be discharged, but will be seen for further follow-up. I may be discharged to home or a revalidation centre.