This time a year ago I was preparing for my Lymph node Transfer or as I called it “My Lymph Node Transplant”… March 14th 2013 was surgery day. Things did not run as smoothly as I had hoped, after nearly nine hours of surgery I returned to my room, bloated all over, in pain and very uncomfortable, ready to fight all the staff due to the effects of anaesthetic!! Tubes out of everywhere, drains in the surgery sites and still nil by mouth till the next morning, so I could go back to surgery if there was no blood supply to the transferred tissue!!! My daughter wrote about this long day while my family and friends waited for news in the post called “The Big Day” . These are such clear memories for me. I remember laying there thinking, What have I done to myself? Why was I so crazy as to put myself through this? I am all swollen up I have made my Lymphoedema worse!! all these thoughts were buzzing round my head. Then on the second day my temperature went up and the area round the newly implanted nodes was red and hot, cellulitis had hit!!! This was very scary as the infection could destroy the transferred tissue and enclosed nodes. There followed a two-week stay in hospital on IV antibiotics and when I was allowed home another month of oral antibiotics. Three months after my surgery I had an ultrasound to see if any nodes had survived the infection. I was so thrilled when it showed one and maybe a second one… Phewwwww!! It was difficult for the technicians to see as there was still a lot of surgical swelling.
Then we come to today, as this is nearly one year post surgery, I was due another ultrasound. I had felt there was some improvement in my lower leg but I have lost all perspective as to what my leg was like. I thought maybe I was just imagining changes!! I am always anxious before any scans or tests and these are no different, especially when this was elective surgery and if there are no nodes then it would all be for nothing. The technician was quite serious and said, “Do you know this is experimental surgery?” I thought oh no he is preparing me for bad news, then his face lit up and he said, “There is one and there is a second and maybe that could be a third.” He did look quite amazed and me I wanted to burst in to tears I was so relieved and happy!! This year has been such an emotional roller coaster it was good to have positive news.
My Lymph Node Transfer / Transplant is on track. The nodes will continue to grow and create new Lymphatic vessels. It is just so very exciting that this new surgery will shine a light at the end of the tunnel for everyone with Lymphoedema. The more surgery and more experience these surgeons have the better this will become. Thanks Dr Quan Ngo for allowing me this opportunity and to Macquarie University Hospital for allowing me to be part of their research. I see Quan next week and will have measures done and an L-Dex reading as part of the research program. At 18 months and 2 year I will have more measures and scans to check progress.. It is a slow process but this is heading in the right direction!!
I would also like to thank EVERYONE who has and is supporting me, my friends and family. To Jennifer who had her Transfer done over a year ahead of me, she has been my guiding light each step of the way. Jennifer was able to tell me what to expect, when I got dishearten she would say, ” Just wait it will be ok!!” To all my friends who have Lymphoedema, you are the people I talk to and you really understand where I am coming from!! To those who have had surgery after me, “Yeh it works!” To my Husband for putting up with some major mood swings over the past year, a big hug to you. ❤❤ To everyone who reads my blog and has helped it to grow and become something very special to me..
Copyright © 2013-2014 by Helensamia. All rights Reserved.
Feel free to share with others. It can be distributed via social media, reblogged or added to websites. Please do not change the original content and provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name and a link to this blog.