Archive for the ‘Health issues’ Category

My great aunt, the one we all called Auntie used to say “It is a great life if you don’t weaken”.  Think about it. You have to stay strong to survive or you will be gobbled up by life.  This episode with cancer has really tested me on all – life, pain, fear, and endurance.

It was the day I had many mixed emotions about – the skin graft surgery. I was not afraid of the surgery itself, or the results. I was terrified of the shots that I would be given to numb both areas, the doner site and the area to be repaired. No – there is not an anesthesiologist knocking you out. According to the insurance companies that is now a luxury item and you want it you pay 100% for it. So I was laying there and as with the other surgeries the week before I knew there would be at least six shots of anesthetic to my face and probably as many to the doner site.  There were 14 to be exact. Eight to the face and 6 behind my ear where they got the tissue to graft.  Several of those shots that went into where the cancer was extracted and they were excruciating to put it mildly.  My friend Candy was there and she had me breathing through each one and by the time we were finished I felt like I had given birth! I couldn’t have done it with out her.

Now that I was numb the surgery began. Again I cannot say enough about this surgeon and his staff.  Each were wonderful in their own unique way.  I am home  and waiting 2 weeks for the stitches to come out. During this time I may write a few letters to people in power.

This idea of someone sitting behind their desk playing God with mine or anyone elses life doesn’t set well with me. How dare you!  How dare you make me go through that barbaric torture of all of those shots  because you don’t want to pay for general anesthesia.  How dare you sit there and pick and choose what you are going to pay of my claim when I have faithfully made my payments every month for a policy I can’t afford to begin with. Well I could go on this rant for pages and maybe it will be another topic for posts at a later time.

As for now, I am grateful to God that at this moment, to the best of my knowledge,  I am cancer free and my face was able to be repaired. Also, thank you to friends and family for the support shown to me during this very scary time.  So until next time……..I wish you peace and good health.



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It started July 11th, 2017.  I was having a biopsy for what I originally thought was a bug bite on my chin. I took my friend Candy with me for moral support. I was told it would take 7-10 days for the results to come back. They came back  Friday, July 21st.  The nurse told me I have squamous cell carcinoma!  I always wonder what I would feel like at the time someone tells me I have cancer.  Had the nurse continued and said but the good news is you just won a million dollars…….the only thing I would have heard was cancer. Nothing else.  I was told someone would be calling me on Monday to schedule me for a surgical consult.  The call came and I was told August 15th. The hell you say!!! I calmly asked, if the consult wasn’t until then, when would I have the surgery. I was told they were scheduling around the end of November!  I remained civil as I know this person on the phone was only doing what she was told, but I asked to have some one from the surgical staff call me. What they didn’t know was another growth had come up – close to my lower lip, since the biopsy, AND the original sight was just about double the size since the biopsy.   About 2 hours later someone from the surgical staff called and told me to come in at 1:30 the next day – Tuesday – for the consult and I will be having surgery at 7:10 a.m. Wednesday morning.

At the consult with the doctor it was explained to me that this was going to be done using the MOHS procedure which basically  allows them to take as little skin as possible, but yet had a far better success rate that radiation.

Let the surgery begin!!  Round one not only was removal of cancerous tissue on lesion one, but also biopsy on lesion 2.  I was sent home for a couple of hours while my tissue was examined at the lab. I received a phone call that tissue was not clear and yes lesion 2 was cancerous.  Back for more shots to numb and more tissue to be taken off of both lesions.  Sent home for a couple of hours to wait for the call and it came.  Lesion 1 was clear but more had to taken on lesion 2.  Back to the clinic for more shots and more surgery.  Each time the lesions were dressed as if I wasn’t coming back and hopefully this would be the last time.  I went home and waited for the phone. It rang and now both lesions were all clear.  I was given a time to come in on Thursday so they could stitch up the small lesion.

My concern with the small lesion was that it was so close to my lip line. Was he going to have to take part of my lip to close this.  Honestly as concerned as I was about this, I really would ave gladly made the sacrifice to be cancer free. As it turned out, I am still 100% kissable and these are the tiniest of stitches I have ever seen which means minimal to no scarring. Again, at my age, my looks are not the most important concern anymore. It is called living!!! That is my goal.

Lesion 1 was about as big around as a quarter and about 3/8″ deep.  We are letting the tissue kind of naturally fill in and then in one week he will do a skin graft. The doctor told me he can take the skin from just about anywhere – that he usually takes it from the neck.  I am doing the math…….that is six more shots to the face and about that many to the neck.  I am going to ask if he can take it from my arm, as I am used to having shots there and it is not as tender.  I will let you know.  I wished I could have a couple of martinis before I go! Candy is going with me again – thank you, thank you!

So that is where I am at  as of 7/30/17……..in a holding pattern and waiting for what I hope to be the final surgery.

When I speak to groups regarding care giving for the terminally ill one point of the many that I try to drive home is that don’t let the patient go into the examining room alone.  A second pair of ears is always, always good.  Just as in my case, if the patient hears one bad thing and twelve good things, what do you think they will remember? They will remember the bad thing and not have heard another word. I went through this with my mom.  My mom spent more time riding on the “what if” bus because she didn’t hear the positive things that were said versus one not so good thing. You know that bus……what if this happens, or what if that happens or what if, what if, what if! We have all been on it at one time or another.  It is human nature and ground in our DNA to do that.  I am trying desperately to not get on that bus,but instead get on and enjoy the bus ride and not worry about where the bus might be headed. It is easier said than done – and when you are by yourself it is 100 times harder.

I have every confidence in my surgeon and the place I am going for the care of this.  We are so fortunate in Rockford, Illinois to have someone who does this MOHS procedure. Thank you God!

My Bella has her nurses hat on and she is taking good care of me, and I am blessed with many wonderful friends who are loving and supportive. I hold them all close in my heart.  I will continue to blog this journey so there will be another post coming next weekend. Until then I wish you good health and the strength to endure…………


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