As the title says this blog is one man’s effort to make sense out of his journey fighting melanoma. I have enjoyed reading some of my fellow melanoma warriors’ blogs and thought it might be an interesting way to share what this journey has been like for me. If you find this interesting great, if not that’s great also. Selfishly this is more about me getting this out and moving on from being a cancer patient to being a cancer survivor.

Let’s clear up a few things. Yes, I know how to use spell check and no I don’t always use it. I majored in accounting, not english. I have always been a below average writer, which is why I find the therapeutic value of doing this surprising. I think for this blog to make any sense you pretty much have to go to the archive and start from the beginning which is titled “Life Is Good”

I am not a doctor or medial professional of any type. My blog is not endorsed by any medical professional or facility mentioned in it. Every decision I have made about my care was done after careful consultation with my medical team. Decisions I have made were right for me but should not in any instance be considered right for anybody else. I don't recommend taking medical advice from an accountant.


Key West

Key West
Sunset

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dr. D puts on his game face and enjoying a beautiful day.

Yesterday was a great day. The weather was absolutely beautiful. The temperature was in the mid 70’s and not a cloud in the sky.  I had an appointment with my oncologist in the morning and was anxious to see him.  Last week my PET scan came back clear but there was a suspicious spot that they really couldn’t see on the scan.  He told me over the phone that it wasn’t a big deal he wanted to examine me anyway just to be safe plus I hadn’t seen him since I stopped interferon treatments so I wanted to ask him some questions as well. I have learned over many Dr.  visits that Dr. D has a game face that he puts on when things are getting serious.  I had seen his game face a few times before and I recognized it right away when he walked in.  Usually he is really talkative and we visit about whatever before we get to the point of my visit.  My sister actually pointed it out to me on one of my first visits to see him.  So immediately he ask me to remove my shirt so he can examine the area in question which is just under my left arm in the same area that I had surgery in December.  He examines me, looks at my scan, examines me again, sits down at a desk, and lets out a huge sigh of relief.  He tells me that the area in question is the exact same spot that I have had to have drained once before and most likely that is all it is again.  He said he was relieved and that we are still in the driver’s seat which is great news.  It was kind of a moment for me to be honest.  I was so angry at him last week over how long it had taken him to get back to me about my scan but I was reminded that we are a team and the fact that he was so concerned meant something to me.  I wasn’t upset that he didn’t let on last week how concerned he was.  There was nothing that I could have done and there was no need to worry me.  Now this is not great news that I had a spot that was “Hot” on the PET scan but the location is important.  Should it be a tumor it’s in the exact spot when I had it before so it wouldn’t be spreading, it would be leftover from the first occurrence.  It also would be at the very early stages and as he said this is reason why we do scans, to catch things early.   I hope that makes sense.   The worst news I could get is that cancer has spread to another spot on my skin or internally to one of my organs.  That is definitely not the case right now and everything beyond that is just news.  So I have to see my surgeon again in a couple of weeks and see what he thinks.  I seriously doubt he will see the need to open me up again and the fact that Dr. D said it wasn’t any big hurry is an indication that he also doubts it also.  He always remembers that I travel for a living and ask my travel schedule. When I told him I wasn’t scheduled to be home until the week of June 13th he said that would be fine and there was no need to change my schedule.  In the past he has not hesitated to tell me when I needed to change my schedule for a test or procedure.  We ended the appointment with stories about our favorite delis in New York.  He swears the Pastrami at Katz’s deli is the best in the world and if I haven’t been there I haven’t been to the best.  I have always thought of it as a tourist attraction ever since it was in that movie.  Apparently I am very wrong.   Anyway, something else to do on my next trip into the city.  Wonder if Hopstop has directions because if they don’t I won’t find it.  So that’s that latest on the medical front.  I continue to feel great.  I get a little stronger every day my hair has started growing back. I never went bald but my hair thinned considerably to the point I could see my scalp through my hair.  The worst part was the colored hair was all that seemed to fall out.  It’s definitely growing back and my son made my week by saying that it looked like my hair was returning to its old color, even less gray hair than before I started treatment. 
After my Dr appointment I went to have lunch with my daughter Jenny.  We went to one of her favorite places on the Plaza, the Kona Grill. We sat outside and both ate sushi. There is something about hanging out on the plaza on a bright sunny day.  If I worked downtown I swear I would live down there somewhere.  We visited and had a great time.  I have become a big sushi eater and I have Jenny to thank. She got me started on it a few years ago and I love it.  After that I came home and got on my bike.  For those of you who have ridden with me before I did the buffalo route.   I rode out and saw the buffalo and rode back. I  Hardly my old pace and that use to be a good warm up distance.  In the old days I would ride out to see the buffalo and keep going around the lake which is a hilly mother and I love riding out there.   Not only is there a large heard of buffalo but there is also a heard of elk.  In the fall as I am riding around the lake I can hear the elk bugling for miles.  It reminds me of living in Colorado.  And best of all there is almost no traffic so I can zip up and down the hills and not worry about being run off the road. The hills will have to wait but I will be out there soon.  My goal is to ride a little every day while I am home.  I could have ridden the hills yesterday but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to ride today if I did.  On the way home I ran into my son who was jogging and we had a nice visit as well. He is due here pretty soon and we are going to go for a short ride.  Last night was Sara’s last piano recital. Her recital went well and she played beautifully.   Next year I will miss hearing her playing the piano.  I think I am in total denial about Sara these days.  I don’t think it will hit me that she is 18 now and leaving for college until the day comes for her to leave for Ft. Collins.  I have a few more months to pretend she is still 6.