A day in the life

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Pinball in Asbury Park, NJ - Plunger, by Bob Jagendorf on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

Another feature of this “living with cancer” thing: Feeling like I am always lying in wait for the next big storm. And I can’t possibly know where it will come from. An electrical storm, and your body is a whole open field of lightning rods that aren’t grounded. Who knows where it will strike?

A spot – a freckle, really, but kind of large for a freckle – just kind of showed up on the top of my foot a couple weeks ago, and I was a little spooked. My cancer medication can cause skin toxicities, so I’m always supposed to be on the lookout for those. But I have read – probably too much – about metastatic melanoma patients who develop a new primary melanoma elsewhere, so I know that is possible.

I took a photo of it, and sent it to Nurse Practitioner K, who said it seemed like a bruise, but to keep an eye on it. I did. It didn’t grow, but it did get darker. Today I went to see my dermatologist about it. I was hoping he wouldn’t take a biopsy, because it would take a hell of a long time to heal. Indeed, it was nothing – probably vascular, a bruise, something like that. Whew.

But I’ve also got this seemingly endless cold, and a headache that has been with me on and off for several days, and I can’t help having flashbacks to last April’s events. I keep asking my body to remember the headaches from last year, compare how similar or different they feel to the ones I have now. But guess what? You can’t actually do that. Your body is not some reliable pain archive that you can access at will. (Good thing, too, or else most women would stop reproducing after birthing just one kid.)

With each small event, there is the potential for it to escalate to something bigger, more serious, all-encompassing, derailing. Or, it can be nothing. If only I could get access to the person who has their hand on the pinball plunger, ask them to just go easy this time. I have a bike ride to train for. I have a trip to Italy to plan for, be excited about, and actually take. Also, my boys need to graduate high school and maybe college too and find careers and even have babies, before I am ready to disappear. Also I kind of was hoping to have a real job again one day, before the end. Just one real job, with a paycheck that doesn’t make me laugh, and also something really crazy, a desk that isn’t in my house.

Tomorrow I go for a routine, previously scheduled checkup with Dr P. I’ll let you know.

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2 thoughts on “A day in the life

  1. All the best to you on your routine exam and the rest. Life is so unpredictable, we take it for granted and lose touch with what really matters. For you, it is like you are always in touch with what is the most important in life. You live a mindful life. May your bike ride and Italy trip go as scheduled and bring you more love and health in life!

    Liked by 1 person

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