Tag: melanoma

Stitch Life

I guess it’s fitting that my favorite Disney character is Stitch.

I had my second melanoma procedure on Wednesday and now possess a lovely row of stitches on my back. Basically just below my sports bra line. Yay. They told me to basically do nothing for 3 days and then nothing strenuous until the stitches come out. Is running strenuous? Haha.

I figured out a way to pick heavy things up at work that didn’t pull my back and I took 4 days off running. Which 2020 me would just call a normal week but I am trying to stick to my training plan here.

On Sunday, I started by just trying to put on a sports bra. Success! Then I tried for a run. Ok, things were a little uncomfortable. Combine that with the surprise 82 degree weather and I decided to be smart. I walked it all. At this point, my only real goal for CDA half is to finish it and maybe faster than the sh*t show that was Napa in 2020.

Walking let me enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. I also chose a different path then the same old one I’ve been running lately and found a tiny sliver of green and trails hidden in the houses. And unexpected water crossings! I miss dirt. I miss trails. That said, I still completed my “long run” for the week, all 5 miles of it.

Other things I learned in the last few days- I have the swallowing capacity of someone twice my age and it’s a problem. Well, I have been choking on food for the last 4 years but no doctors would believe me. Grrrr. So now I am seeing a speech therapist twice a week for what essentially equates to PT for my throat. Part of me feels it is needed and the other part wonders if I am getting scammed. Hmmm. Can’t decide which one yet.

Sunday night was the best, I had no alarm to set for Monday morning- I’m on vacation! Woo hoo!

Catching Up

I’ve become so lacksadasical with my writing that by the time I hit publish I am almost 2 weeks behind on training.

I’m over it. So brief recap of last week- I escaped stitches for a brief moment, ran all 3 of my scheduled runs- though I did shorten one and lazed about a bit. Or a lot. Oh and finally had the swallow test I have been trying to schedule for the last 6 months.

Ok, this week has been rough. Seriously, Monday felt like a week all by itself. I knew I had another procedure on Wednesday so I had the bright idea to try and front load my miles. I am not at that fitness point yet.

Monday’s run wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either. I usually skip Monday’s. It’s not what almost every “motivational” or “real” runner says but it what works for me. Mondays are always crazy and tire me out so I usually just head for home. But I wasn’t sure about how I would feel later in the week, so Monday running it was. I was tired and I felt it in my run. Plus I shouldn’t have worn the same shoes as the days before. Oops. But I did my 3.5 miles.

I headed back out Tuesday for another 3.5 miles. I also had new shoes to try out, yay! Except I was still tired and I wore the wrong damn pants. I recently bought a pair of crops from Kohls, thinking I would save some money versus Lulu or Athleta… nope, there is a reason they cost a pretty penny. This was my third time trying them and they just need to be burned. I ended up just walking 2 miles trying to pull my pants up.

Wednesday was another melanoma procedure. I now have a row of lovely stitches on my back torso. I am not sure I can put on a sports bra yet. That is TBD, which makes me a little concerned about my upcoming training.

Oh and that swallowing test? Not great, I apparently have the swallowing level of someone much older in age- in other words, not good. So, now I get to see a speech therapist, do lots of weird exercises and only eat certain things for the next 10 weeks. Who dared 2021 to match 2020?

Ok, enough boo hoo’ing- as of Friday afternoon I am on vacation!!!! I might not be able to do the things I had originally hoped for but I don’t have to set an alarm for almost a whole week! It’s the little things. Oh and did I mention new shoes???

How is your week?

Brake Check

Melanoma.

Not a word you want to hear your doctor say. Then for them to say it again… and in the plural. And in that tone of voice.

I was cocky going into my biopsy appointment. At this point, I have had more biopsies than I can count and have become a little numb to it all. I hate needles, can’t stand them but a scalpel? Why not? Makes no sense at all.

I wear sunblock. Most of the time. I wear high necked tank tops to run in. Most of the time. I wear hats to cover my head and my ears. All of the time. I’ve worn some form on SPF on my face EVERY day since my first biopsy at 16 in high school. Was I perfect? No. Did I like some color on my arms and legs? Yes.

After the call from the doctor came- telling me that both biopsies came back as melanoma, I went a little numb. I think I faded out on the phone call as well. And while I have good insurance, it does require hoop jumping. One of those hoops is that my next procedure couldn’t be scheduled for 2 weeks. 2 weeks of the unknown, fear and worry. But no Google. I knew if I went down that road, it wasn’t going to be pretty.

It’s been weeks of stress, poor sleep, worry, stress eating, emotional shopping, doubt and worry. I think I repeated myself. Did I get lazy and not use enough sunscreen in the last few years? Probably. I missed my annual checkup in 2020 due to COVID, would that have made a difference? Doubt and hindsight go hand in hand until they drive you crazy.

Some of my coworkers know exactly what is wrong, others just know something is wrong. Actually my mother has told more people than I have. Thanks mom.

What gets me is that I know what to look for, I know all about the ABC’s of skin cancer. and the pictures they show you as examples. Hell, this isn’t my first post about my history. Often what the doc takes to biopsy looks nothing like those pictures and it’s a spot I’ve barely even noticed before. Both of these were exactly like that. I had to hunt through running pictures just to find one that showed the mole on my left arm. It doesn’t look like anything! And yet, it is the worst of the two.

Yeah, my angles suck.

I had my secondary appointment a week ago and they went back for more. I am now owner of a fun row of internal and external stitches that pull and itch as well as the now painful realization of how damn often I use my left arm. I drive with my left arm, use my mouse with my left arm. Desk phone at work is on the left side as is the printer. The table next to my comfy chair for tv watching is on the left side- full Yeti’s are heavy! But pain for a short period of time, I can handle that for a good response.

I don’t have all the answers nor do I even know all the questions. I’ve moved a little from stress and chaos into trying to just deal with whatever comes… oh and trying to find the humor in things. There are multiple appointments in the weeks to come and I need all the positivity I can get. But I can say it out loud now and even type it as well. That’s something, right?

Oh and wear your damn sunscreen!!!!!