Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Big sigh of relief

Based on past history I figured I would get a phone call if there was something to worry about and since I hadn't gotten that dreaded phone call yet a week after my biopsy,  I allowed myself to relax a little over Easter weekend. When my worry/anxiety would try to sneak in I stopped it by telling myself that there was a letter with good news somewhere in the US Postal System. But, as a worrier, I still needed that confirmation before I could completely relax and fully believe it. Late Sunday night, after a long day of traveling home from visiting my dad and stepmom in Missouri, I was grateful to find the letter waiting for me. This letter brought with it good news and a great big sigh of relief!

I feel very lucky and incredibly grateful for such great news and also for all of the wonderful people in my life who sent messages of thoughts/concern/support over the past couple of weeks. I am blessed to have so many wonderful people by my side helping me through tough times like this!

So, now that I am able to put that scare behind me, it is time to move on to "fun" stuff.

We had a great time in Missouri and I will have more to share on that once I have an opportunity to get my pictures off my camera. That hasn't happened yet because we have been busy enjoying the beautiful spring days that we have been blessed with the past few days (and the fact that I was only working 6 hour shifts- a coworker and I split our Monday and Tuesday shifts up to help each of us out).

Monday the kids were off of school so I hustled home from work (grateful to be off after 6 hours) so that we could go hiking with some friends. We had a lot of fun exploring some new trails in the area. It was a beautiful day and was nice to catch up with a friend while being active with our boys.

According to Aidan we hiked to the top of the world.
Tuesday the kids were back in school so I was able to get back to my normal Tuesday morning routine of heading to the Y after dropping them off. I was able to get in a 5k run on the dreadmill before heading to my favorite yoga class. I have worked the past several Tuesdays so it felt so good to get back to that class. The stretching was just what I needed and helped me find some balance again.

When I walked out of The Y I couldn't believe how nice it was outside and I started to regret running earlier. On my drive home I decided that I had just enough time (and energy) left to head out for a couple more miles before having to get ready for work. It turned out that was also just what I needed. It felt so good to run outside after a week off (due to work and traveling). It was nice enough that I was comfortable in a tank top and my leggings and I was able to "take in" and appreciate the wonderful morning while my favorite songs played in my ear. It was glorious and really helped me embrace my inner blue flower.

This is a flower that I have not always felt I connected with but am really working on this year and  I think I was successful in doing just that on Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Pesky little rogue cells

Just because this picture makes me smile:)
Dang! Where did the past month + go? The only explanation is work, work, and more work with a little fun thrown in on the side. We had someone leave at work so I have been working lots of extra hours since my last post. It is amazing how fast time goes when you are working extra and have a lot going on outside of work! I will get to all of that in my next post. First I have another post that I need to get off my mind before I gain a bunch of weight by eating my fear/emotions. Typing my feelings seems to be a good way for me to understand what is going on in my head and in my heart so here goes...

Last Friday (3/18), I had my 6 month dermatology follow-up. For a week or more I had been feeling pretty emotional but couldn't put my finger on it. It dawned on me on my way to the clinic that this tends to be a pattern for me leading up to these appointments. Once I started to acknowledge this pattern and really think about why they would make me emotional I realized that deep down they scare the crap out of me! I have always acknowledged the fact that they make me uncomfortable (who would like to have their skin examined from head to toe every) but they also scare the crap out of me!

Usually they are very easy appointments and I am in and out in minutes- it usually takes me longer to check in than it does to actually be seen. But they still make be emotional and full of fear. These are all things that I am thinking through as I walk into the clinic and check in because I am finally processing this after all of these visits. Why does this appointment bring me so much fear/emotion?

Well, my appointment on Friday helped me understand exactly why! How ironic that I was thinking about all of this on my way in! USUALLY, I am in and out within minutes but not Friday. It took longer because I had a mole on my shoulder that was a concern and he wanted it gone... then and there! Before I knew it a consent was pushed in front of me to sign and a photographer swooped in to take pictures of this pesky little spot. The room was full of people as a couple of other staff (MAs and/or RNs) came in and began to lay me back and helped get everything ready. My doctor injected lidocaine, to numb the area, and before I knew it those pesky, little rogue cells were gone. I got a small bandage and received instructions on how to care for my new "wound" over the next week. At that point I was also told that I would get a letter or call within 10 days regarding the results. It was such a whirlwind! It wasn't until I got back out to my car that it all started to sink in and I was able to process what had just happened. Then it was full freak out mode... HOLY CRAP... this is why these appointments make me so emotional! It was deja vue... in that moment I was taken back to December 2012... and all I could think was that I could be headed down the crazy path of melanoma again!

So, here I sit... marinating in that fear! Waiting for those darn pathology results to come back! Scared out of my mind but hopeful at the same time. I have been going to dermatology every 6 months for 3 years now. Plus, my family medicine doctor is amazing and keeps a close eye on me and my skin (I should add that he actually commented last fall about keeping a close eye on the spot of concern). I am hopeful that, even though this is concerning, I believe that we served it's eviction notice early enough to not cause bigger issues! I believe the fear comes from the fact that you just never know. I thought the best back in 2012 and was blindsided. Reality is that I could be dealing with this all over again many times in my life. I will probably be dealing with these same feelings again in 6 months when the pesky mole in the middle of my back (that the doctor looked at three times this visit) decides to go rogue and my doctor decides that one needs the boot. I am learning to recognize and acknowledge these feelings instead of stuffing them with a chocolate malt like I have done in the past. Last Friday I pounded it out on a run THEN finished it off with a chocolate malt.. progress not steps!

I guess what I am trying to say here is...
Life can be scary at times. We need to acknowledge the fear but we can't let it consume/control us. We just need to keep on living life the best we can because you just never know! Oh... and sometimes a chocolate malt does make it feel better... for a moment!