Tag Archives: skin cancer

Lesson 1522 – Done (for now)

 

 

I had my surgery last Monday and after having several doctors and nurses telling me that my procedure would be very involved and complicated, it turned out the cancer was removed on the first pass. Absolutely no one (especially me) was expecting this result. This of course meant that I now had the option of having the Mohs surgeon close the wound (fairly complicated but well within his skill set) or go forward with the surgery planned for the next day with the plastic surgeon.

Pros:

  • I get it done then and it’s over.
  • I don’t have to have surgery the next day where it was planned to have me under for 1.5 hours.
  • I don’t have to worry for an entire night about surgery the next day. (trust me, when you’ve had nearly 2 dozen surgeries from a car accident, you can’t help but worry and even fall into a little PTSD about surgery.)

Cons:

  • I may not have the prettiest scar. Although a Mohs surgeon is trained in wound closure, they are not plastic surgeons.

It honestly didn’t take me long to decide.

“Go for it.” I told him.

I came home with a closed wound and the knowledge that I wouldn’t have to go to another operating room any time soon. Win-win in my book.

The first few days were rough, I couldn’t eat hard food and it hurt to talk, yawn, and my kids were under strict orders to not make me laugh.

On Wednesday I graduated to soft food. By Thursday I was driving again and doing a few errands. By Saturday I was at NH’s state capital marching for science.

I just got back from the doc’s office this morning where they removed the stitches. I’m now in phase two of wound care where steri-strips are making sure the incision doesn’t pull apart. Once those strips fall off (5 – 7 days) I’m done.

Well almost.

They insist I use SPF 30 sun block on my face and wear a hat whenever I’m outside for the next year. I’m not really a hat kind of gal.

“On a scale of 1 – 10 how important is it to wear a hat?” I asked.

“1000.”

Okay then. It looks like the retired beach comber look is the winner. In the end, with all things considered, it’s actually a small price to pay.

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1517 – Hey, I tried

On St. Patrick ’s Day we took the kids out to dinner. Our family is not Irish, but because we have so many kids many people assume we are – so I think that kind of makes us honorary Irish.

Anyway, I’m still eating vegan and have discovered that it’s near impossible to order a vegan dish in a restaurant (unless you are happy eating salad and carrots sticks for dinner.) I did the best I could, so while everyone else got dishes like Buffalo chicken mac and cheese, lamb pockets, shrimp scampi, and yes, even a boiled corned beef dinner, I order Spanakopita  – which is a Greek and feta cheese pie.

I know, I know, feta cheese isn’t very vegan but I tried my best and it was lovely (and bonus points for being green.) This morning it’s back to oatmeal, lentils and beans with vegetables, and salads.

In just about a week, I’ll be leaving for Spain and France and veganism be damned, I assure you that I will be trying every new experience and adventure I come across (yes, I’m even determined to try Octopus.) My travel philosophy has always fallen along the lines of “when in Rome…”  Those of you who followed my border-to-border walk know that in the spirit of “Rome” I tried wild boar during that adventure (meh, it was okay, I don’t need to have it again, but that wasn’t the point.)

There will be time (roughly two weeks) after I return from Europe to clean up my diet and return to a vegan plan in order to be ready for my scheduled two (2!) skin cancer surgeries. (I’ll write more about that when I get back, don’t really want to deal with it now.) I firmly believe that nutrition and exercise (and water and hope) play a *huge* role in healing and disease management (whether it be from a chronic disease like Lyme disease or from something traumatic like surgery.)

And I plan to heal quickly so that I can attend a son’s college graduation in mid-May.

 

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Filed under Inspiration, Personal, Points to ponder, The Family

Lesson 1499 – I’m one of those people

I wasn’t going to talk about this yet, but with all that is going on in Washington I feel like I have to.

Two years ago, because my mother was diagnosed with a very aggressive and rare type of skin cancer. I made an appointment with a dermatologist for a baseline examination. I figured – “Let’s see what my skin looks like now so that we can compare it to the future.”

All was well but because of my mother’s cancer I was put on a yearly schedule for checks.

This year, what I had thought was simply a mole on my face (that had been there for years but only recently started to look suspicious) was biopsied and it turned out to be cancerous.

Good news is that it’s basal cell cancer, bad news is that it’s a rare type of basal cell that acts like it’s malignant.

We have insurance. No problem right? Then let’s just go ahead take it out.

Except that because of the location (on the side of my nose) and because of the type of cancer, the Dermatologist surgeon told me that they will need to take a nickel-sized piece of full thickness skin out of my face. (Go ahead and hold a nickel up to the side of your nose and see what that will look like. I did, it’s not pretty.)

Because the hole will be so large, a plastic surgeon also needs to be involved.

Due to scheduling conflicts with the docs and changing of insurance, they are now saying that it looks like I’ll be having the surgery in March. Five months after the cancer was diagnosed.

And that’s with a good solid insurance plan and going to good doctors.

Because I’ll be going to two surgeons in two different facilities, this is going to cost us thousands of dollars out-of-pocket even with our insurance.

I’m fortunate. We can cover this.

If we didn’t have insurance, there would be no way (other than selling the house or taking the kids out of college – something I would never do) that we could afford the bills for two surgeons.

And who knows what is going to happen down the line? Once you have cancer, you tend to get it again.

Cancer is a pretty big pre-existing condition

If the current administration has its way, pre-existing conditions won’t be covered. People will have the option of going broke or living.

I am one of those people.

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Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

Like what you read here? Consider subscribing to this blog so that you’ll never miss a post. And feel free to share with those who may need a little chicken love.

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Filed under Personal, Recipes, Teaching kids, The Family