The Biopsy Recovery – Going Home


The nurse came in around 5:00 am to check my vitals, and I didn’t have a temperature.  The new nurse came in at 7:30 am to check on me and to introduce herself and check my vitals again.  I got up again and added another 750ccs to my output.  I then watched some TV and checked messages on my phone.  My breakfast then arrived.  I had eggs, hash browns, bacon, and a blue berry biscuit, along with some orange juice and coffee.  Since I don’t drink coffee, I gave it to my wife.   Once I was done eating it was about 9:00 and my wife had to leave to go home get a shower and then go to work for her first day on a new job.

My internist then came over to check on me, and said that he didn’t have any reports back from the pathology yet, but he would let me know when he did hear anything.  My mother being an certified registered nurse anesthetist knew that the IV tube connection to my arm could be changed and asked the nurse if they could put a port on the iv instead of having to stay hooked up to an empty IV bag.  The nurse took off the tape and then took of the tubing and put on a splice adapter so that I could get up with only a 3 inch line hanging out my arm instead of a 10 foot line and bag.  Once this was changed out, I got up and passed another 800ccs to my output, and then I put on a pair of shorts and sat in a chair and opened up my laptop again and began working again.  I first took care of the static route entry that was requested the previous day and followed up with that via email.  I then did some more research on Lyphoma while waiting around to be release by my doctor.   The internist gave me a call to see if I was still in the hospital as he got a preliminary report back from the pathologist.  My mother then told me that the Doctor who did the surgery got a report back the previous night when the surgery was over that it was a non Hodgkins form of Lyphoma, but no one told me anything about this report.  My internist then showed up and sat down in the chair next to my mother and said that the pathologist just called him following up on me because they recognized my name from talking earlier in the morning and wanted to give him a idea of what they think it is, well at least 99% sure what they think it is, the full results would have to wait to Tuesday or Thursday of next week.  The report from the pathologist was that it was 99% likely to be a Hodgkins Lyphoma.  While it is bad news that it is Lyphoma, the good news is that it is Hodkin’s Lyphoma and therefore easier to put together a treatment plan than trying to figure out which of the 23 different subtypes of Non Hodgkin’s it could be.  We discussed different oncologist and Dr. Yager said that friend’s and family is here and since it is Hodgkins there is no real reason to go all the way to MD Anderson for a treatment plan as this form of Lyphoma is easier to treat.  Dr. Yager then said he would keep me up to date with the reports he got from the Pathologist and be relaying this info to the oncologist he recommended Dr. Thomas Cosgriff.   I telephoned my dad who was at work, and told him the change in diagnosis from last night from Non Hodgkin’s to Hodkin’s Lyphoma.  I then showed my mother the different slides on the internet of how to tell Hodgkin’s Lyphoma by seeing the Reed-Sternberg Cells in the lymphocytes.  However we would have to wait for the final results for complete confirmation.

It was now about 11:30 AM.  I had my mother grab another sandwich from the fridge which was chicken salad along with some graham crackers.  Again another delicious sandwich.

Then Dr. Jacob, the surgeon who did the biopsy came in to check on me and remove the drainage tube and pressure dressings.  He had another surgery that morning, so he was seeing me between surgery’s and office visits so that he could release me.  Before he took care of my wound care he did that he said that he had also talked to the pathologist and it appears that I have Nodular Hodkin’s Lyphoma, which is better than the news that he gave them last night following my surgery.  He said that while its still bad news about me having Lyphoma, the good thing is that the Hodgkin’s side the better one to have.  We talked about oncologist again and while he pushed MD Anderson the previous night with NonHodkin’s he didn’t push it with the Hodkin’s side and said that the many oncologist here at EJGH would be able to effective treat the disease.  He said that I should see him next Wednsday to have the stitches removed.  He then took the dressing off and cut the stitches that were holding the drain line in and pulled out the drain line which didn’t hurt at all.  He then squeezed my neck to make sure that there were no liquids or bleeding under the skin which there was none.  He then had the nurse put on a water tight bandage over the area so that I could get a shower later in the evening.  He said that everything looked great from what he could see following the surgery and that he would see me on Wednesday.  He said he was then going put into the computer that he was releasing me and I was good to go home.  However, after he left I realized that Wednesday is July 4th, so I will be scheduling my stitches to be removed on Thursday instead.  I then waited around to be release.  Lunch came before I was released, so I had some turkey and gravy, some stuffing, some cranberry sauce, mashed sweet potatoes, and pecan pie.  I then started packing up my computer and phone and got everything ready to leave.

The nurse then came in to release me and take the IV out.  She had a bandage and gauze.  She untaped the IV and then pulled the IV out, put the gauze on and put the bandage over the IV.  She was talking to my mother and I about how she works with the oncologist in the treatment center at EJGH.  I was watching where the nurse had taken out the IV and watch the gauze change from white to blood red.  When I realized it wasn’t going to stop bleeding I asked the nurse, should that be doing that pointing to my arm where blood was now leaking out of the gauze, and she said oh no, that should not be doing that.  I hate the site of needles and seeing my own blood when coming from needles, started to make me feel queasy and weak and sorta sick to my stomach.  Its only when seeing my own blood in a medical sense do I feel bad.  I don’t mind seeing my blood if I hurt myself while working with a tool or item, as I just grab a napkin to stop the bleeding and if I need to wrap the wound in electrical tape, I will and be fine to continue working.  Anyways, back to my blood dripping from the gauze through the bandage, my mother grabbed some additional gauze and bandaging from the cart in the hall while the nurse worked on taking off the gauze and dressing that was on my arm.  She applied pressure and my arm was hurting because the blood was now going under my skin.  They worked the blood out from under my skin and help warm compresses to get the blood to stop bleeding.  The nurse said that since I was such a hard stick that they must have got me good when they were trying multiple times to get it started.  Once the bleeding was under control and stopped, they then put a larger gauze on my arm and wrapped my arm in the elastic bandaging nice and tight to prevent any further bleeding.  I then drank two additional apple juices which helped me feel a little better but still a little queasy from the blood.  The nurse then grabbed the paperwork about my stay and had me sign a paper saying that I received the services and a copy of the forms that I had signed.  I was then cleared to go home.  My mother went out to get the CRV and I got into the wheel chair to be rolled out to the third floor of the parking garage where the Outpatient Surgery Center signs were.

I then got into the CRV for the drive home.  Getting into the CRV, I told the nurse that I may see her in the Treatment Center sometime since she rotates around hospital in the different departments.  The clock in the car said 2:35, meaning that I was in the hospital for 24 hours.  That is if I can make it home in one piece.  My mother almost pulled into a truck that tried to fit in between her and a parked car in the parking garage.  Then the ride home wasn’t too much fun either.  It was a very bumpy ride with too much acceleration and turning and stopping that caused discomfort to my neck and to my arm where the IV was.  I had to mention something to her about the discomfort and then she slowed down and took the turns easier.  I was happy to get home and get out the car.  I was a little dizzy but made it to the side door without any issues.  I then just stepped back and soaked up the sun for about 10 minutes.  It felt good to feel the skin tighten under the warmth of the sunlight.  My dog buster, was going crazy to see me after not being home all night.  I ate a salad and then sat in the chair to watch some TV and take a nap.  I then woke up to my sister and her husband coming over to visit from Baton Rouge and my dad getting home from work at the same time.  My sister had brought me a card and some great piroutte’s which were luxury wafers with chocolate creme filling.  My Aunt Estella and Uncle Victor stopped by to see me and brought over some delicious homemade breadpudding.  My wife got home from her first day on her new job, which she enjoyed.  She is a dietary aid, she serves food to the residents of a home and make sure they have their food and drink and anything they may need throughout their meal.  I also talked to my Uncle Frank on the phone and my Aunt Dot on the phone as well.  I followed up on some emails via my laptop and then just rested and watched some TV and fell asleep.

© Craig