I apologize for the delay in getting a post on here to let everyone know what the pathology report said. Most of you heard it on Facebook but the surgeon called and said that they got all of the melanoma in my arm and the two lymph nodes were clear. Wahoo ! Tears of joy flowed from Linda and I as Dr. Nicole gave us the news. We were just pulling into our campsite from visiting mom so I was really nervous and wanted to get the car parked, not knowing what emotions I might have when I heard which side of the coin the news came down on. It was all glorious and all our prayers paid off.
I asked the doctor about the numbness I have in my armpit. It’s such a weird sensation (or lack thereof) to rub on deodorant and not feel what you’re doing. She said, “Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that you might have some areas of permanent numbness”. Wow, that’s a big side effect to disclose. She said that most of the feeling should come back but when nerves get cut, it’s hard to tell what areas will stay numb. The numbness I can tolerate…I mean, cause well I don’t feel anything there. The part that really bugs me is the nerve pain that starts about 2” from my elbow and goes almost the whole way to my armpit. It’s been really hard to explain to Linda what it feels like so she can maybe offer up suggestions for what might make it feel better. Then one night, I thought of the perfect analogy.
When I was around 12 or 13, like most pubescent girls, I was starting to get that downy hair on my legs. While it didn’t bother me, I knew that most of the other girls in my class were shaving their legs so I thought that was something I should do. I asked my mother one day if I could start shaving my legs and she said “no”. Well, it must have been at that early age that I adopted the philosophy of “Don’t ask permission, just beg for forgiveness later” (which I’ve used extensively ever since). My mom had one of those clunky, steel razors that when you twist the handle, the razor compartment doors lifted up to reveal the blade inside. I remember being mesmerized by the action of opening and closing that thing. To a wide-eyed young girl like me, it was like gull wing doors opening on a Delorean sports car and it seemed so cool. Knowing that this was back in the early 70’s, it was not a head pivoting, contour following, aloe gel covered, triple action blade razor like we now have. One blade in a fixed, non-forgiving stainless steel instrument. Those weren’t gull wing doors on a Delorean sports car. They were more like Bilco doors on a damn root cellar. So I found myself in the bathtub and this was the day that I would take that rite of passage of clean shaven legs. With that razor in my hand, I started at my ankle and drew it, in one fell swoop, up to my knee. I wouldn’t have to worry about fuzzy legs for quite some time, because that maiming device in my hand had removed every hair follicle from my ankle to my knee. You know that pain you feel when an area of your skin has been ripped raw and is exposed to the air ? That’s what the nerve pain on the underside of my arm feels like. Linda gets it now and I think, like the numbness in my armpit, it will just take a while for it all to settle down and heal. I don’t remember my mothers reaction at learning I had disobeyed her in regards to my attempt to shave my legs. Without telling her, it was pretty evident by my raw shin. I hope that she gave me some lessons on the fine art of doing it but that was many moons ago and I really don’t recall. But I do remember what the pain felt like and now I have a modern day connection to my past. How special is that ? LOL
In other news, we are spending a lot of time at mom’s house. I took her to the doctor earlier this week, because she still has a lot of pain in her hip to knee area. They x-rayed her and nothing is chipped, broken or cracked. They gave her the usual shot she gets in her hip and she’s feeling better most days. We have to remind her to do things in small batches. If you clean the whole house in one day, chances are you’re going to feel it the next day. She is really frustrated that her body is not keeping up with what her mind wants to do. I know how she feels.
Last night Linda and I went to dinner with a group of friends that I haven’t seen in maybe 15 years. It was so great to see familiar faces (I had trouble remembering names) and catch up on what folks have been doing. They are going to try and start getting together each month so we’re hoping that we can be part of that.
We are training a new AGS team this week, here at Bucktail. Anxious to work with Tim and Cindy and get them off to a great start. Hope everyone has a great week. I know we will….every day is such a blessing when you don’t have a serious health concern hanging over your head. I feel very blessed !