7:19 am - Tuesday - January 17th - GNHS - 48° F, humidity 70%, wind 4 mph out of the west....crystal clear, blue, sunny skies today (finally) with a forecast high of 62° F. On this date in 2015 our daughter, Sharon was married to Rod....our five kids together in one of the wedding pictures....one of my favorite pictures.....how did they get so grown up?.....↴
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Left to right: Meredith, Kate, Sharon, Chris, & Tim
We awoke Monday to wind and a gentle rain.....really just a minor glimpse of what is going on to the north of us. The rain stopped around 8 am, but the cold wind out of the southeast continued, unabated, into the afternoon. For me it was easy to just take a 'rain day' and relax from all the 'doing' in which I am usually involved. I reposed in my recliner with a hot cup of coffee (a little cream) and a good book....a nice way to spend a stormy, inhospitable day.
Around 2 pm I received an anticipated phone call from my dermatologist, Dr. Jou, advising he had the lab results from my two biopsies from a week ago. Before I proceed with those results let me set the stage.
Three years ago, I had an appointment with Dr. Jou in February 0f 2020 to get a screening, but the Wuhan flu was just becoming national news, and everyone was being encouraged to 'socially distance' (what a farce), so Dr. Jou's office called to cancel my appointment. Well, as you know, it was hard to get in to see a doctor for any type of non emergency situation for a couple of years after that. Even when we were boondocking near Borrego Springs last year I had wanted to get an appointment with Dr. Jou, but the pent up demand after two years was so great I could not get an appointment within the window of time we were here. Now, some might say I should have fond another dermatologist, and that is a valid point, but I did not want to start over again with a new dermatologist. I like Dr. Jou, I trust him, and he has taken care of me quite well, so changing, for me, was out of the question. I knew I was taking a calculated risk, but I'm adult, and that was my choice.
Fast forward to our sojourn this winter at GNHS.....back when we first arrived here in October I began to make phone calls to set up doctor appointments for dental, cardiology, and dermatology, and was able to get all three appointments in a pretty small window of time, including a much needed appointment with Dr. Jou, which took place this past Monday (January 9th) at which time the two aforementioned biopsies were taken. He advised he would have the results in a week, and would call me with them. This is one of the things I like about Dr. Jou....he does what he says he will do, and at precisely 2 pm, one week later he did call me with those results.
Needless to say I was a little nervous these past 7 days, and was feeling like the proverbial cat on a hot tin roof when he called. He advised, just as he had last Monday, that the one on my left upper arm was skin cancer, or basil cell carcinoma, and was not a problem right now, but needed to be excised soon. The second one on the left side of my chest, to which he exclaimed last Monday "I don't like this one!", just below my arm pit, was melanoma, again. As he continued to talk I was just waiting to hear him tell me what stage it was.....no one wants to hear 'STAGE 4', right? That's like the death penalty. So, when he finally uttered the words 'ZERO STAGE' a big wave of relief swept over me just as it did over three and one half years ago, the last time I had a diagnosis of melanoma. All that remained now was for his scheduling secretary to call me and set appointments for excision of each cancer. Of course the melanoma will come first, and that will be excised on January 30th, and the the basil cell one will be excised on February 13th, two weeks later. No further treatment will be necessary for either.
The last time I had a melanoma excised it took almost a month for it to heal completely, as they cut out a pretty big chunk of skin, so I am expecting a similar recovery time this time around, but life goes on, and I'm good to go for another year.....WHEW! I will never wait that long again. Of course, I was not the only one relieved.....TLE was quite relieved, too.
All of our kids knew my situation, and were also awaiting the news, so when I sent them a group text with the news on each biopsy they responded quite quickly with words of love, celebration, relief, and promises to set up their own screening appointments. Both of my sons have already had their screenings within the past 3 months, and are fine.
Thanks for stopping by!