Monday, August 26, 2013

Bits and Pieces & Luke Update

A fall wreath is in the planning stages.
     It seems as if I have been busier than usual lately. Since my kids left home, I tend to have one or two things a week to do and pretty much stay on schedule...the past couple of weeks have been hectic and this week will be the same I think. I thought I would do one of those posts that answers a few questions I've been asked recently and I also have a "public service announcement"!
     Yesterday, we went to a "Thank You" party that was put on by our little friend Luke's parents. He has continued to have cancer-free, excellent check-ups since the bone marrow transplant and is once again a thriving little boy. Their family is building a beautiful new home and other than frequent check-ups, things are getting back to normal for this wonderful young family.
Luke leading the pack at his party yesterday.
     I have been asked how my dad is doing. He is great. In fact, he is on a road trip to my part of the world right now. He was here on his way to Wisconsin weekend before last and will be here for a few days this week. He turned 87 this month, so part of me really worries about him taking a 2000 mile plus trip, but a) he wouldn't listen to me if I told him not to; b) they seem to enjoy themselves and c) if something is going to happen to him, I'd rather have it happen when he is having fun rather than sitting in a rocking chair! I truly think he has more energy than I do. I only hope that I inherited a bit of what he has.
     I was told that I needed to update the progress my daughter and I have made with our "new lifestyle" of eating and exercising. We are both doing very well. I reached a place that felt comfortable for me and so I have spent the past few weeks trying to adjust to maintaining the progress I made. I still work out 5 days a week most of the time, I still hate it. I have continued to log in what I eat, even if I have a day where I eat things that aren't good for me. I also still weigh daily. That is what works for me. I am usually up a pound or so after a weekend, but I go right back to it on Monday and so far so good. My daughter continues to lose weight. It is a slow process right now for her because she doesn't have much to lose and she is so busy at work. She is almost at 50 pounds off and is certainly working on her last 10 pound goal. It really has become a way of life for both of us (my husband too). We all 3 feel better, look better and notice now just how awful we feel if we have a high fat or greasy meal. That doesn't mean we don't do it now and then, but we pay for it!
     Last week was doctor week for me. I know I'm getting old when I make several appointments at once. I had an eye appointment (new frames-fun), a dentist appointment (no cavities-yay) and an appointment with the dermatologist (this one has the public service announcement). Sometime around Christmas, I noticed I had a spot on my chest that itched. It was a tiny little red spot and I didn't worry about it. When it was still itching in February, I called my dermatologist. I couldn't get in to see her for months, so I saw a nurse practitioner. I spent much of my youth in the sun, so I have a yearly screening and because my dad has had melanoma as well as both other skin cancers, I watch very carefully for anything unusual.
     The nurse practitioner said she thought it might be a pre-cancer and she froze the spot. I waited several weeks and it was still itching, although it didn't look like much of anything...just a tiny red spot. I went back in July, again I couldn't see my doctor and the nurse practitioner said it was fine. I knew it wasn't. I thought it was a rash or something. So, I called again and told them I would wait until I could see my doctor to come in and guess what, they got me in. Now, months after the first pre-cancer suggestion, it has had time to become skin cancer. It is a basal cell carcinoma, which isn't all that serious and I'm not freaking out about it at all. However, it looks like nothing. I have always watched for brown spots, changing moles etc. This doesn't look like anything even now except maybe a flat red mosquito bite, I can barely feel it and no one would even notice it, except it itches! I am on a 6 week treatment with a cream and then wait 6 more weeks for a re-check to see if it is gone or if I have to have it cut out.
    I am only discussing this because many of my readers probably also have a bit of sun damage, often on our chests. Many of us were in the sun long before SPF 30 existed! If I had listened to the "this is nothing" appointment and not pushed to see my doctor, this would only have gotten worse. As it is, I wasted several months by not getting to see my doctor. So, please, be aware that something very tiny, red and itchy can be skin cancer. I didn't know, now you do!
     We were shopping on Saturday and fall has hit the stores. I am going to try to decorate with things I already have this year, with a few small exceptions. Fall is my favorite season, I love the weather and I love the clothes. I only wish the longer daylight hours would last as well. It won't be long before it is time for jeans, sweaters and boots! It is time to savor the long, hot days of summer before they are gone!


NanaDiana said...

Sue- I had a basal cell carcinoma, too. It was a white spot the size of a pin head that just did not go away- it kept flaking off and finally when it flaked it would bleed just a little bit. It tested positive and they cut it out about 10 years ago. It was on my face but is not too noticeable. Good luck with your follow up- xo Diana

Jenny said...

Oh Sue!

I love your rainbow at the end of your post!

You have such a kind and lovely heart.

I know you are always looking for these lovely omens of peace and joy.

I hope one is shining over you today!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Congratulations on sticking to your healthier life style! Wish I could say I am doing the same. :/
I know exactly what you are saying about the waiting to see the dermatologist, etc. - going thru that now. I also am a product of the error of no spf, played out in the sun, no one worried about us and the dermatologists are making a fortune off of us now. Have seen the same one for years and still have to wait months for an appointment.

Barbara F. said...

Such a great post, glad you took care of the itchy red spot. I was wondering how wedding plans were going for your daughter. And your puppy, how is she? Looking forward to the wreath. xo

Low Tide High Style said...

So glad things are still going well with your father, and with your eating plan and that you and your daughter are continuing to feel great! And even more glad that you followed your gut and are taking care of the skin cancer! I need to schedule my annual check up too...thanks for the nudge to do that!


Relyn Lawson said...

That is going to be a gorgeous wreath. So glad for all your good news.