Posts Tagged ‘skin cancer’

It’s Not Cancer

March 28, 2015

It’s eczema.

Bahahaha.

Oh.

That’s so awesome, I cannot even tell you.

And the fasting, well, broke that as soon as I could, but it went a lot better than I thought it would.

Although by the time I was due to leave work I was plenty wonky and light-headed.

My doctor and I did a full work up since I had not been in to see her in about a year.

Three full vials of blood drawn.

I’m not exactly squeamish, have you seen how many tattoos I have?

However, I am not a fan of watching blood being drawn.

Especially three vials.

Then I got to do the infamous pee in a cup thing.

Which was nearly clear, since I had drunk water all day.

I had coffee with unsweetened vanilla almond milk this morning around 7 a.m. and that was it until 4p.m today.

My first “meal” of the day was the snack I had packed in my bag–an Aztec Fuji apple from BiRite and one piece of low-fat string cheese–and an apple juice box that the lab technicians gave me as soon as the blood draw was done.

I had thought to foil the fast by getting to the appointment early, however, I had to have the test re-ordered, it, the one I had been avoiding since I had no desire when it was previously requested to fast, had been over a year.

So the doctor had to re-request the lab test.

And since I was there, she also had them check STD’s, HIV, and the general round-up of those goodies.  I had unprotected sex with my ex boyfriend (he was clean and had a vasectomy), but since she offered and I want to be able to walk into my next relationship with absolutely no doubts about my status, I said go ahead and run the panel.

It didn’t cost anything, aside from some light-headedness all day and the inability to focus on tasks.

Although a couple of times, things were so bright and clear I felt a little high.

I remember staring at a flowering purple bush, while walking to the park this morning with my charge, the vine was blooming out and how green the leaves were and the stamens and pistils were flagrant with color and the blooms iridescent with sunshine.

I felt like I was on a light acid trip.

“Carmen! Carmen! Carmen!”

My little guy chimed up, “why we stopping?”

Um.

Because I’m entranced with this plant.

Oops.

My doctor also ordered an anemia panel and admonished me to keep taking my iron supplement, which I had stopped doing for a while, then noticed that I was getting light-headed at work about a month ago and re-upped my iron.

Plus, two back to back days, well, not today, but Wednesday and Thursday, of spinach and kale salads.

A trend I will continue through the weekend.

“I’m jealous of your blood pressure, it’s amazingly low,” my doctor also said.

And my weight is the lowest it’s been since I had my crazy food relapse a year and a half ago.

I’m within ten pounds of my nutritionists recommended weight.

With the slight tweaking of my snack, that should balance it’s self out with out too much stress in the next four to five months.

I also realized that the weight was probably a by-product of two things–first, the ankle injury I sustained last June, though I was abstinent the entire time, I was off my ankle and not exercising for a month, unless you count hobbling around on crutches a work out.

Plus, I didn’t really get back into the swing of riding my bicycle until I started my current job.

The other?

The ex boyfriend.

He was an eat out kind of guy, which was nice, but I cook very simple foods and despite being very careful when I eat out, there are often hidden calories in things that you don’t think about.

For instance, I don’t cook with butter, but butter is a mainstay in a lot of restaurants.

Anyway, it was actually nice to get on the scale.

And I won’t be doing it again for a while.

I can get obsessive with weighing myself.

I know what I weigh and I am fine with it.

I like my dress size and I don’t expect it will change either.

I am a happy, perfect size 10.

So much nicer than the 22/24 I used to run.

Ugh.

So grateful that is no longer the case for me.

My doctor took one look at the red patch on my cheek and said, “oh definitely not skin cancer, it looks like eczema.  Have you ever had eczema before?”

“No,” I said, surprised, happily.

“Hydrocotisone will clear it right up, over the counter any pharmacy you pop into.”  She continued, “now let’s check the knees.

And there are some issues there.

However, perhaps not as bad as I had feared, certainly not as bad as I had feared.

“You seem to have the most problems with your knee caps, the left one is a little lose and wobbly, describe the pain again,” she said and rotated my knees around.

“It’s not the cartilage, although I can hear it crunching and popping, which is actually not something to be worried about,” she continued the exam.

I told her when it hurt and expressed my concern with riding my bicycle.

“Nope, it’s not your bicycle, in fact, it’s great that you ride so much as riding a bicycle is a rehabilitative exercise often prescribed for knee strengthening.”

“However, you may need to do some stretching in your quads and hamstrings, you may be pulling your knees off balance, so I am going to refer you to the Physical Therapy Department.”

Because I have such developed legs from bicycling, I may have to do strengthening on the back of the muscles, and so, I’ll be seeing a physical therapist.

Cool.

All in all some really nice news.

And I will take eczema hands down over skin cancer everyday.

I’ll be reloading on sunblock anyway when I go pick up the hydrocortisone.

Better safe then sorry.

And no more fasting.

EVER.

 

Self-Care Stress

March 16, 2015

Oh the things I write about.

Oh the things I don’t write about.

Or the things that I don’t talk about.

Or the ways in which I have to do the things that I suggest to ladies that I work with.

In the spirit of so doing I confessed a few things today that I have not been doing so well with.

All of it comes down to fear and a lack of belief, still, a core lack of belief that I am unworthy of caring for myself.

The thing is, after ten years of doing this work, I know when the gig is up for me and I know when I don’t want to tell someone something, in effect, tell on myself, then there’s something to be worried about.

I was asked this afternoon over a nice roast chicken lunch with vegetables at the Firewood Cafe, when the last time I had gone to the dentist was.

I balked.

I stumbled.

I made some waving motion with my fork.

“Awhile.”

That was the best I could come up with and I don’t even want to write this down, I’m already seeing your face, and yours, and oh yeah, yours too, when I say, I have not been to see a dentist since I lived at 23rd and Capp Street.

Which means that I haven’t been to the dentist in oh, um, gah, six or even seven years.

Is that possible?

Ugh.

The real thirteenth step.

Going to the dentist.

I have really good teeth and I am really lucky.

And there’s nothing wrong with them.

I brush them three times a day and floss once a day with dental tape.

I don’t smoke, although I probably do have some discoloration from coffee, my teeth are really in quite good shape.

But my knees.

Not so much.

That was also something I did not want to talk about.

My knees have been bothering me over the last few weeks.

Years.

Forever.

But I have definitely noticed a more marked discomfort and sometimes absolute screaming pain that makes me literal gasp and tear up, when I am walking.

And once in a while when I am riding my bicycle.

Fear is ruling the life.

I am afraid, in no particular order, of not being able to ride my bicycle any longer, needing to have knee surgery, not being able to work, losing my home, not being taken care of, not being able to ride my bicycle.

I know I listed that twice, but that is a big fear.

So, like any good crazy person, instead of addressing the issue, I have been trying to skirt it.

Not wearing shoes that I now exacerbate the issue more than once a week.

AKA.

My Converse.

Which, grr, I don’t want to admit either, like I’m fucking super woman or something, hurt my left ankle when I wear them too much anyhow.

Like right now.

My ankle is sore.

I wore Converse yesterday and today.

And despite not riding my bicycle yesterday and taking MUNI, I could feel both my knees and my ankle hurting a bit by the end of my walk, a short walk, a dwadling walk, from the North Berkeley BART to the baby shower, about eleven minutes, and I was tender.

Same today.

But today I did ride my bike, to the Castro and back.

Sometimes I know that my legs, mostly my quads and occasionally my calves (they cramp at night, no fun) need rest from the constant riding.

Today, though, it was my ankle and I told on myself.

It took a minute.

But I did.

“Girl, are you trying to become your mother?” My person asked.

Oh sweet Jesus.

I am.

Damn it.

Let us not to bond over my accomplishments, but over my lack of self-care to my body.

Why?

Because that was how I was fucking trained, ignore it until you are in the emergency room in scathing pain.

Then, if it doesn’t interfere with work, then go to the doctor.

I looked him in his very blue, very compassionate eyes, and said, “no, I don’t want to become my mother, and I knew I didn’t want to tell you because then I knew I would have to do something about it.”

“What are you afraid of?” He asked, folding his hands and putting down the salad fork, giving me full attention.

“Oh geeze, where to start?  Um, that I won’t have enough money to cover what ever is wrong with me, that I will need surgery, that I will lose my job, that if I chose to go to the doctor I’m going to eat into my vacation time, thereby losing money, thereby, um, not being able to pay my rent, not be able to go to Burning Man, not be able to afford going to Atlanta, being homeless and destitute.”

I had no idea.

I mean.

I did.

But still.

“I suggest you make an appointment with your doctor, just a regular appointment, and tell her what you what you are experiencing, and not make decisions based on information that is not true.” He said, “capisce?”

“Yes.” I sighed, though, in relief.

I really have been wanting to deal with this, it does scare me, but I also know that running away from the problem, hobbling at this point, I can’t imagine running, that I will only make the problem worse.

There is probably a very simple solution.

Or not.

But I won’t know until I go.

I also have to ask about a patch on my face that I suspect might be skin cancer or pre-cancerous.

There, I let that cat out of the bag too.

I have a reddish patch of dry skin on my right cheek that won’t heal.

It will get dry, peel and leave red skin and I think it’s going away, then it does the cycle over again.

I over heard someone say to another person, “oh you should get that checked out, it could be pre-cancerous.”

Ugh.

I looked at myself in the mirror and wondered.

This patch of dry, reddish skin has not heeled in how long?

Too long.

I, more admissions, noticed it over a year ago.

I know!

I know.

REALLY.

I do.

I just didn’t really think anything of it until I overheard that conversation last week.

And yes.

I am doing plenty about it.

I googled dental student cleanings and I will sign up for that as soon as I see my regular doctor.

I made an appointment to go in and see her next Friday at Kaiser on Geary.

I’m doing the deal.

Even when I have to drag myself to do it, even when I don’t want to admit that I need help, even when I am in fear.

False.

Evidence.

Appearing.

Real.

I took some actions and I’ll be seeing the doctor next week.

Sigh.

Self-care you nagging whore.

I mean.

Self-care, you wonderful woman, look at how you are learning how to take care of the beautiful body that God has given you to walk around in.

At least, hopefully, for a while yet to come.

 


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