Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Scar Tissue

The other night I was sitting on the couch with my left arm bent high behind my head, my ring finger running over the top of my scar.  I was doing it almost subconsciously - not that I do that a lot. I wasn't thinking about Melanoma.  I wasn't thinking about the scar; I was just ever so slightly touching it.  For some reason, in that moment I was completely comforted.

Scar tissue is strange, isn't it?  It's healed, but yet still there.  I guess in a way this whole situation with Melanoma is like a scar.  Physical scars...emotional scars.  What's the difference?  Even though you're "healed", it's always there.  It never goes away. 

The last few months I have mentally been doing really well.  Really, really well.  I feel almost like nothing ever happened; what I mean is I feel like the "old" me. Not a care in the world!  It took me a LONG time to get here.  The first few months were really rough.  Really, really rough. I took a turn to crazy town and I showed my "certifiable" driver's license to get there.  I felt like the doctors missed things, they weren't doing the right tests, there's no way that I was given a golden ticket and of course the doctors were just flat out wrong.  I was completely obsessing.

But, like I said - I am back to normal!  I actually wasn't really thinking of Melanoma much.  Yes, I would see things on Facebook as I 'like' several Melanoma pages.  I would see other warrior's blog postings (which I always love). I would see updates on new treatments for Melanoma (which I always love).  But, that was about it.  I am back to normal!  Or at least I thought I was...

The last couple of weeks though I have backtracked.  I know it's stress; lately I've been just so stressed out.  My intestines started acting up and good lord, that just zaps me of everything positive.  Since I've been zapped of all the positive juice that I've been collecting over the last 5-6 months, my mind has again gone to the dark side.  I'm tearing up writing this because I felt so great being the good 'ol me - it felt good not worrying about every single stupid fucking pain.

I know the pain is from the colitis, but its hurting in places that it has never hurt before and then my WebMD induced brain starts in:  "Well, Amber, if it hasn't hurt there before it's because your Melanoma decided to pay it a visit".  I don't like the WebMD in me, even though I kind of wish that every other MD that I've seen would have some sort of worry in them like I have.  Another shitty thing with colitis is that it mirrors things that would normally peak doctor's curiosity towards further testing: fever, weight loss and sorta high white blood cell count being the main players.  Oh, no big's just colitis.

Anyways.  That's about it.  I'm still trying to get used to things...  I guess it would be weird if I was completely back to normal in a year, right?  I am so over being a zombie to cancer.... And I hate using that word (if you think about it I always use "Melanoma").  But I'm sick of it.  I am sick of CANCER!  ugh.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

One Year Melaversary!

One year ago today, I was being sliced and diced.  Literally, I was rolled back there at 12:00 and woke up at 3:00.  Consider my shock and confusement seeing 3:00pm on the clock when the surgery was supposed to take 45 minutes.  My family was tripping balls!  Today is the day that I will celebrate!  No, not because my family was tripping balls.  I didn't want to celebrate my diagnosis date because it's not something particularly filled with joy. Neither is surgery, but I don't want to mentally celebrate the day the doctor called and told me that I have Melanoma. I will always remember it, I just would rather celebrate the day that Dr. Surgeon cut the rest of the cancer off of my damn back. That is something worth celebrating to me :)

Today is my Melanomaversary...did I just make up a new word??  I think I actually prefer that better than "cancerversary".  We can even shorten it to Melaversary.  Whoah.....I am SO onto something.  I just totally changed the title of this posting to, well - duh, you can see the title :)   I should expect a call from Mr. Dictionary to add these two glorious variations to his book; or at least a call from his cousin Mr. Urban Dictionary.

I took a few photos of my scars now so you can see what a year looks like after the knife.

This was about 2 weeks after surgery last year.

This was today: 04/12/14 :)
Left pitter two weeks after surgery

Left pitter today: 04/12/14
Remember kiddos: Protect the skin you're in!

Monday, April 7, 2014

What a pain in the GUT!

Since I've been venting all over the place about Melanoma I figured that I might as well include my other health nemesis: Ulcerative Colitis.  I've mentioned it here and there and now here is another one to add to the list.

My intestines have been acting up lately and being total brats.  It sucks.  It's hard to explain what it feels like to someone that doesn't know.  I think most of the time people think that I'm exaggerating...but I'm not.  It hurts!  You get cramping, nausea, feeling like your intestines are in knots, complete exhaustion and of course lots of quality bathroom time.  Not to mention the awesome small side effects like joint pain, ulcers in your mouth (not contagious, totally looked that one up), sometimes your eyeballs can swell (that was super fun...) and we can't forget bleeding out your bum! Oh, and then during bathroom time, you get intense, painful cramping mixed with feeling like you're gonna chuck (I've been known to do a little dry heave action) and feeling like you're going to pass out...while you're on the toilet...good times.  Those are the bad days...which isn't technically on a daily basis, though lately it sort of is.  What a pain in the ass, literally.  

This is the reason why I thought I had a high pain tolerance, I deal with pain on some level everyday!  I have some mild achiness daily, which is fine, it's something that I've learned to deal with.  Then there are the "bad-days" - the real shitty bathroom days (pun intended) and the mild aches kick up to medium to strong cramping.  I get SO unbelievably tired...which it doesn't help that I have insomnia (been awake since 1:30am today).  Lethargic is putting it nicely.  The hubs and I had plans with the younger stepson on Saturday; we got to the restaurant and after 5-10 minutes of being there the hubs had to drive me home because the cramping and nausea was so strong.  Super FUN!  

I guess all of my stresses are finally catching up to me.  I can't push those fuckers down any further.  Bastards!  They obviously don't know who they're dealing with...actually they do, they totally have my number.  I put on my brave face and go out in the world, but inside I'm hurting.  The last at least three years have been so tough financially.  And I suppose medically, too. We're definitely doing the know the one step forward and then two back.  I try to ignore things, but that seems to make matters worse and I really need to get a grip on my stress.  I also need to stay on top of my meds, but then I think there are so many other things that I could spend $50 on.  There are so many other things that need monetary attention - it sucks - it's a bummer - I'm over it.  Lets face it - that fifty bucks is WAY better than $450 that they would be without insurance.  But still...

So, since I am literally over this shit, lets end this post with something comical.  During one of my visits to my gastro doc years ago, he gave me a little package of goodies from the med company, which is also comically called.....wait for it......Asacol...  Seriously??  Why didn't they just call it "Your ass is calling"??  Anyways, in this little package were some samples, some how-to-deal pamphlets, I swear there was an inflatable butt donut in there and then this magical card that if ever pulled over for speeding will be the only time it will be used.  I will never, ever, show this to a person where I am trying to use their bathroom.  I might as well say "Hey, dude - I am about to dominate something fierce, let me in!"  Regardless if it gets used or not, it's pure comedy.  

Front of the card
Back of the card