[nfb-talk] Update on cancer

qubit lauraeaves at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 19 10:45:55 CDT 2010

Hi Joseph --
I'm sorry to hear about the more grusome parts of your treatment, but am 
happy the cancer appears not to have spread!  I have never had cancer, but 
did have a big infection after they removed my appendix.  Turned out, to get 
rid of the infection, I also had to have one of those big open wounds that 
had to be repacked with medicated gause twice a day for a couple of weeks. 
It was quite awful looking, but fortunately in my case, the area was all 
numb so it didn't hurt.
I hope your wounds heal quickly and you're back to your normal activities 
Take care. Prayers and well wishes.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "T. Joseph Carter" <carter.tjoseph at gmail.com>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Saturday, July 17, 2010 10:30 AM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Update on cancer


I've got one of the largest families a person can have, since it
includes the entire NFB!  *smile*  That's a great support in times
like these.

The way the incision site is closed is pretty interesting.  The very
squeamish might want to forego reading the rest of this email, though
I will try to be gentle in my description.  *grin*

Basically, since they cut out such a very large chunk of Joseph, I
have a very long incision site.  They couldn't just sew it shut and
walk away because there would be too much fluid building up inside
the wound for proper healing.  So what they did was sew up the ends,
and leave the middle part open.

Into the middle part, they put this sponge.  That's covered over with
this plastic material, creating an air tight seal.  Over the top of
the sponge there's a tube that comes out of the plastic seal, and
that goes to a machine that pulls a vacuum to drain the fluid.  It's
a pretty cool setup.

The downside is that this dressing needs to be changed two or three
times a week.  There is a nerve near the edge of the incision site,
so the only word that can describe a dressing change is pain, though
that seems so inadequate a word!  The first change, which is always
the worst, was the most excruciatingly painful thing I've ever felt,
despite 15mg of oxycodone AND 1mg of hydromorphone.  They could have
gassed me to do it, but then my body would not have begun to learn to
tolerate the vac dressing changes and the second change would've been
almost as bad as the first.

The second dressing change went much more quickly, though I did not
have the hydromorphone and it was almost as painful as the first.
The third was done yesterday by a home health nurse who does a lot of
these things, and blessedly the trend is continuing—this one was
almost bearable on 15mg.

Visually speaking, it looks as though I'm now equipped with a reddish
zipper.  In the center of the zipper, it looks as though someone
filled a pothole with some tar (that's the sponge, compressed by the
vac).  I've since seen a picture of it up close since being given
that description, and I have got to say that my godmother did a
fantastic job describing it that way.

Again, thanks for all the prayers and support!


On Fri, Jul 16, 2010 at 11:11:57PM -0400, d m gina wrote:
>Hi there,
>I am glad they found that you are OK over all.
>I hope they can get this closed and you will be OK.
>We are here for you when you feel you can write.
>This is one thing about using a computer, so many persons are out
>there different times of the day and threw out the night.
>You are never alone.
>Blessings always,
>skype: dmgina23
> FB: dmgina
>every saint has a past
>every sinner has a future
>Email services provided by the System Access Mobile Network.  Visit
>www.serotek.com to learn more about accessibility anywhere.
>nfb-talk mailing list
>nfb-talk at nfbnet.org

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