Post Second Surgery Update

by Brian Rigby, MS, CISSN

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Quick

My second surgery this part Thursday went well. The surgeons were able to remove almost all of the remaining tumor, with only a little bit left on the carotid artery, which will need to be irradiated. That’ll be discussed further in the coming months.

In the meantime, I have another recovery period, which feels both easier and harder this time around. My wound is certainly more noticeable (photo below), which isn’t surprising since the last wound was in my sinus (and a slit below the belly button)! It’s easier to sleep, as well, since my nose isn’t clogged. I feel like I have more energy, too, compared to last time. On the other hand, I can’t hear well out of the left ear due to fluid surrounding those structures, there’s more pain, and the extra energy makes me want to get outside and do active stuff. So, some tradeoffs.

There was also a scary moment after surgery when I realized I couldn’t laterally raise my right arm. All other function was present, I just couldn’t lift a straight arm above my hips or so. The surgeons believe this was due to positioning during surgery pinching a nerve (stroke and skeletal/muscular problems were ruled out), and thankfully most function had returned. It still feels a little tender and slightly less coordinated than normal, but I have no doubt it’ll be normal again by the time I can use it!

The surgeons didn’t need to cut into the dura this time, so the risk of post-surgery complications is much lower—fingers crossed no meningitis! A few weeks, and hopefully I’ll be back on the wall, lightly at least. A couple months and my hearing should normal again. Then, after radiation, this chapter should be closed 🙂

Cheers everyone! There’ll be another article this week (New Year Goals), then back to “regular” articles the week after.

-Brian

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