Lent Day Seven And Eight: The Word Of The Day Is Terrified…

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I dug out an oldie for today.  It’s just too cold to go outside and take photographs.  Too cold and too rainy.  Tomorrow is supposed to be worse.  The highs are only in the 40s (yes! That’s cold for Florida), and the lows are supposed to be in the 40s and there is a chance of thunderstorms…

I was so on edge about both the appointment regarding my mole and the surgery.  I guess I should explain my fear regarding the mole.  About two years ago, there was a woman I was very close to while I was active duty named Vern.  I credit her for saving my life and career.  In 2002, I was in a chemical accident.  I got very, very sick.  My husband was deployed, and my Air Force career was in the pits.  After I got orders to Korea and my husband had orders to Germany, I decided to throw in the towel.  Vern was such a kind person.  One night, I was really depressed, and one night I drank a little too much.  I was about to drive home on icy Minot roads.  Vern took my car keys, and would not give them back.  She called a mutual friend Sarah, and she and Sarah made sure that I got home safely.  I didn’t get a DUI (career ending) or killed by driving drunk.  She talked to me.  She was the funniest lady, and her humor was infectious.  In 2012, I got the news that Veronica Hutfles passed away after she fought a long battle with skin cancer.  She found a mole on her neck in 2005.  She thought she had won the battle when I saw her again in 2008.  The cancer came back in 2010, and this time it was aggressive.  It spread to her lungs.  She lost her battle in June of 2012.  So when I found a mole on my back, and I got really, really nervous.

I went in today, and was told that I do not have melanoma, like Vern.  I do, however, have Basal Cell Carcinoma.  It is a common form of skin cancer, and is not likely to spread like melanoma.  I just will need to keep a close eye on it.  It is not likely to be deadly, and I will be going into a dermatologist every six months for cancer checks.  I also will have to be more assertive about using sunscreen.  This form of cancer is common with runners (that’s what my doctor told me), because we are outside, and often times sunscreen comes off when we sweat.  So please runners, use sunscreen, cover areas where moles can form and are not readily visible (along the hairline, or back of the neck — for women with longer hair), and watch any moles grow or change.  Most significantly, if your mole starts to itch, bleed, or peel– go in!

As far as my wisdom teeth go, they are now out, and I am on bed rest for a few days.  The medication I am on is pretty wonky, so pardon this post as it may be rambling and not make much sense…  On a positive note, with no solid food, I lost a good 3-4 pounds, and 48 hours on bed rest has given me ample novel writing opportunity.  I am over half way done with “The Last Man On Earth.”  I may rework the title, and am currently working on the cover.

Lent Day Five

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I found this princess wandering the neighborhood last week.  I don’t know who she belongs to, but she followed me for a few miles until someone drove by and recognized her.  I didn’t want to let her go with them, but found out later that she got home safely.  She’s a Pitbull mix, and was really sweet.

I’m having a little bit of apprehension the last few days.  I go in on Wednesday to have my wisdom teeth removed.  I’m ready to have them out.  They do hurt like the other ones did, though they are not nearly as infected.  My biggest apprehension, though, has nothing to do with my teeth.  A few years ago, a very dear friend of mine passed away from complications due to melanoma.  I found a mole on my back, actually it is a series of moles on my back, in an area that’s hard to reach.  I found them after I noticed that one of them really itches.  I’m prone to hives, my skin is quite sensitive, and it’s dry here. I have many parts that itch at various times during the day/week.  Needless to say, I am going to go into the doctor and have them take a look at the moles.  Of course, I googled the symptoms and discovered, because I figured if I had melanoma (I have not been the most careful with sunscreen), that I would know if it spread.  This is not true.  If cancer becomes stage II or stage III there are often no symptoms.  I strongly urge all runners note any moles they may have on exposed skin (the part of my back is exposed in a bathing suit, and I live in Florida), check them, and if they start changing go to the doctor.  This has been a shadow over my weekend.