Sorry it's been so long but things have been so crazy, between giving myself my meds 3 times a day, lack of sleep, wound care, trips to the hospital, and taking care of kids the past weeks have been a bit of a blur. So I thought I'd give an update for those following along with my story.
Yesterday was a good appt. They ended up taking another panoramic x-ray b/c the dr wanted to make sure that all was well with the graft before he signed off to have my PICC line removed Sat. He was very happy and he said there is still so much bone in there and the graft looks good. So now we are playing the waiting game until probably about April. If all looks good by then (and I can manage to stay infection-free) then we will proceed to the next surgery. I still have at least 4 to go, maybe more but those will all be simpler than this one. One surgery to put an implant to hold the shape of my chin (when the swelling goes down it will cave in again b/c theres no more fat/cartilege in there since they took it w/ the tumor) and they will also have to 'release' my lip. Basically it is pulled in and they have to go in and release it by cutting up the scar tissue that is pulling it inwards. Then 2-3 more surgeries to do the teeth implants if all goes as planned. I dont even care about those surgeries b/c from what I understand they are a drop in the bucket compared to what I have been through with all these bone grafts.
So Friday at 10 pm is my last dose of the IV antibiotics which means they will send someone out on Sat if they can, if not then Mon to have my Groshong removed. Then I can shower again, I am so looking forward to it. The incision in my neck is almost closed, they are having me leave it uncovered now which is kinda yucky (some stuff still comes out of it every once in a while, ew) but I am dealing. They said it will help it to close all the way if its not all bandaged up 24/7. They did one last cauterization yesterday, and I didnt wear a bandage all day. Nothing came out of the wound, and I was so happy and liberated. Then last night I was on the computer and heard something *drip* onto the chair...well, there was some fluid coming out which is totally normal- it is still an open wound but it freaked me out and I started crying. I realized it just brings up memories of the day the infection came to light, where I laid down for a nap and stuff just started running out of my neck. Then I ended up in the hospital and it was all such a nightmare for me, I think I am still traumatized from that experience. I've never felt so out of control of my life as I did that week. So I bandaged myself up for the night and now I am not wearing one today, so hopefully it closes up quickly. I hate having to worry about fluid shooting out of my neck in public (isnt that a great picture?!), its certainly not conducive to making friends :).
That's about it for now. After the PICC line is removed I will still make trips to the hospital twice a week until my wound is closed, then we go to waiting and waiting until we know for sure that the graft has solidifed. I am taking multivitamins and supplements to help my body out with nutrition so it doesnt absorb the graft due to deficiencies in my diet which is still a fluid/soft diet by the way, ugh.
I also sat down and compiled a few pictures which I believe are in order (they were not organized well) that I have taken from the beginning to show the progression of the swelling going down. It still has some ways to go, especially underneath where the infection was, but that will go down too eventually with more time.