I was admitted into hospital on the 22nd May 2001, the day before the operation. They had to mark which lymph node was the sentinel node. This involved injecting a radioactive marker into the site of the tumour and identifying which node collected it. The four injections were perhaps the most painful experience of my life. Fortunately, it was over quickly.
The operation to remove the area around the tumour (orthopaedic surgeon), plus the sentinel node (nuclear medicine), and to replace the material with the Latissimus Dorsi flap (plastic surgeon) took the team of doctors something like 10 hours. I don’t exactly know how long. I was asleep. Initially, they had estimated 3-4 hours, but the plastic surgeon said that young people’s blood vessels are much finer and therefore take longer to stitch under microscope.