We arrived home from Washington Hospital Center at about 2 p.m. - hungry, tired, grumpy. A bowl of soup, and now the patient gets to rest while I go out to do the things that need to be done.
The surgery lasted about 2 1/2 hours. The smiling, reassuring plastic surgeon, Dr. Rafael Convit, and the excellent oncological surgeon, Dr. Marc Boisvert, came to talk with me in the waiting room a little after noon. They decided to take out all five nodes that "lit up" on the nuclear medicine exam - one on each side at the base of the skull, and three smaller nodes further down the neck on the right. Robert's head is wrapped with a pressure bandage covering all his hair (what there is of it!) and the bald patch on top, where the skin graft was done. He also has an incision on his abdomen where they took the skin needed for the graft.
The pathology is being done at two different labs - the lymph nodes are being sent to Boston University, and the scalp skin will be read locally. I'm not sure the reason they aren't all going to Boston ... I think it has something to do with the kind of stains they want to do on the samples of the lymph nodes.
Robert recovered fairly quickly - he had regained some color and was able to get dressed by around 1 p.m. Our trip home was uneventful, and now he's reading. He thanks everyone for the good wishes you've sent - as do I.