Monday, July 28, 2014

Thinking about that spot and lab results

Today I went out to lunch and to a movie with a dear friend [hi sweetie!].  We had originally planned to go to the zoo today but it's been both hot and humid here so we decided air conditioning was a better option.  I love spending time with girlfriends because we get the opportunity to talk, whether serious or not so much, and just laughing.  We went and saw that new movie, Sex Tape, with Cameron Diaz and Jason Seigel.  We wanted something funny and it definitely delivered.  As we were getting our tickets to go inside, the guy at the box office asked me which movie and I told him, in a normal-level voice, "Sex Tape."  Apparently he didn't hear me, so he asked me to repeat it and I said, with emphasis, "SEX TAPE!"  I felt like I was announcing it to everyone in line.  I know I especially appreciate humor because things can be all too serious a lot of the time.  This past week for me is a perfect representation of that.

As I wrote about in my last post, my primary care doctor found a new, dark mole on my foot.  I will need to have another biopsy done on that, but I can't get in to see my dermatologist until next Monday.  This will be my eighth biopsy, I believe.  I know the drill by now ... the doctor does an inspection to determine necessity, injects Lidocaine to numb the area, shaves off the mole and then my body goes into recovery with a treatment of ointment and bandages for a week or two.  The results usually come in the mail, except for the phone call I received telling me I had cancer.  When I had cancer, that mole was bleeding and painful, but all the others have not been.  They have all been precautionary measures taken to ensure I was still in remission.  However, this mole I'm dealing with now feels different.  It's not big by any means, but it's new, it's dark and the area it's on hurts.  There's also another layer to this, actually two.

First, I'm on the road to bariatric surgery and so if this is something serious, that all will have to be put on hold.  Of course I know how almost shallow that thinking is.  I don't know, maybe it is, maybe it's not.  Choosing to have this surgery was extremely difficult and has taken the greater part of a year to prepare for.  I have had to wrap my brain around the fact that, after the surgery, my body will forever be altered and my relationship with food will completely change.  I have already arranged for the time off of work and a substitute is lined up at my high school.   My next step in the process is to receive the authorization to call and make the consultation appointments, which should be coming in any day now.  To have all of this put on hold is something that obviously I would do if necessary, but it also messes with my head at the same time.

Second, the mole is on my foot.  As a diabetic, I have always been taught by my doctor and all the research I have done that I should avoid getting cuts on my feet in case they do not heal properly.  If that is the case, it is possible to lose my foot to amputation.  By having the biopsy done, I'm deliberately having my foot cut.  If the cancer has returned, that means I will need surgery on my foot.  When I had melanoma, the surgeon cut into my back from the bottom of my shoulder blade almost down to my waist.  What would that mean for my foot?

I know you're reading this and probably saying something to yourself like, "Kathy, don't worry about it.  You're projecting into the future.  You just need to relax about it."

I know that is what I should be doing, but it's hard not to think about cancer because I already had it.  I am a faithful person and have a strong relationship with God.  I know He will give me the strength to deal with whatever is in front of me, but I'm scared.  I'm a human being and I'm scared because, like I said earlier, this one feels different.  I am praying for help through this fear and to take things one day at a time.  For the most part, I'm not thinking about it all the time.  There have been a couple of times, though, that I became overwhelmed when the "what if" thoughts entered my head.  Yesterday, for example, I was working out at home and became upset.  I don't know what set me off but I ended up on my knees in tears.  In the moment, I let myself cry and I prayed for help to get me through the difficult emotions I am experiencing.  There's no right or wrong to the feelings I am having.  I pray everything will be fine, but I also have to honor how I'm feeling, otherwise I'll eat over it.  I am writing about it here and talking to friends, which is an important part of my process.

To top off these emotions, I had some lab results come back from when I had blood work done for the surgeon.  Most of my lab results were fabulous - my cholesterol is fantastic, blood count is great.  One of the results, though, shows a high uric acid count.  This typically is an indicator of gout.  My mother and brother both have gout, so I immediately sent a message to my doctor.  I have some symptoms and, coupled with the family history and high uric acid count, my doctor wants me to come in to see her so that I can be tested.  Of course this can be treated, but it just felt like one more thing being piled on.  So next Monday, I will be seeing her in the morning to test for gout and then seeing my dermatologist in the afternoon to have my foot biopsied.

I know that we all have challenges in our lives, some lesser or more significant than others.  For me, it just feels like a lot right now.  I have chronic pain in my left leg and back every waking moment, diabetes, depression, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and I take a lot of medication.  I'm dealing with another biopsy and bariatric surgery to come within the next month or two.  There's too much stuff on my plate.  Seriously.  Seriously. Yet, I am reminded that I'm a blessed person.  In the moments of physical or emotional pain, I think I forget that.  I have wonderful friends and family that will hold my hand through anything, who love me for just being me.  Although I have pain in my body, I can still walk, I can still breathe on my own and I have a lovely roof over my head.  I am choosing to deal with all of the things I have written about today, even if the emotions have led me to tears.  I know God has a wonderful plan for me, even if I don't know what that is right now.

Okay, there, I feel better now.


happyinca said...

Kathy, I'm sending healing and calming prayers your way. I'm sorry for all of the health "piles" that you are dealing with at this time. Try and take them one at a time and just take smaller steps up that big old hill and you will reach the top. Once the bariatric surgery is completed, so many of these complications will go away. I'm so happy for you for being brave enough to face all of this with strength and faith.

Kathy said...


Thank you for your incredibly caring and sweet message. I'm taking things one day at a time and that certainly is helping a lot.

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