Sunday, July 9, 2017

Whether to Share, Good News, a Lesson and Knitting

I'm sure that none of use bares all online. I certainly don't want to advertise all my short-comings to the world. Then there is the question of tone; I don't want to be moaning and complaining all the time. Who wants to read that? And often the difficulties in our lives involve other people, so we need to respect their privacy.
I've been thinking about what to share online a lot since early May, when I was diagnosed with a skin cancer, Squamous Cell Carcinoma. This is generally a very treatable cancer that stays on the surface of the skin. However, this lesion on my right thigh was misdiagnosed by a dermatologist a decade ago, so has grown unchecked -- until it bothered me enough to see another dermatologist this past spring.

It took the dermatologist less than a second to look at it and order a biopsy. I knew then that it had to be cancer. The biopsy came back positive and a Mohs procedure was scheduled for July 6. Two months is a long time to wait when you don't know the extent of the cancer, but the rush of the last month of school helped distract me, as did the trip to Copenhagen.

The Mohs procedure went well. The doctor is reasonably confident they removed all the cancer, but she is going to put me on a chemo surface treatment when the incision heals. And the incision is healing beautifully so far! If I get through the next week without any signs of infection, I'll be in the clear.

I should mention that my husband is an amazing nurse, and my incredible daughter flew in from Florida to be around at this time. Of course, my mom is here in Madison, too, to help out.

That's the good news. Here is the lesson: Be paranoid about odd things on your skin! I don't know how the first dermatologist missed that this lesion was cancer, but I sure wish I would have gotten a second opinion! It would have been a much easier procedure when a smaller area was involved.

As for knitting ... the photos are of an Antarktis, my second. Until the surgeon went in with the Mohs, we didn't know how deep the cancer was or what the recovery would be like. In the days before the procedure, I set up this project as a mindless, soothing knitting activity. And it has been perfect.

I'm usually careful about keeping track of ball bands, but somehow I lost this one. What I can tell you is that the yarn comes from one of my favorite (and local!) dyers: Knit Circus. Fortunately, the recovery is going very smoothly and I can also work on other projects, so I won't be boring you with endless photos of this shawl!

I haven't been up to reading blogs and commenting, but I'll be starting that today. I look forward to seeing what you've been up to!

20 comments:

  1. Oh, Deborah...I'm so sorry you had to go through all that. Looks like you have a good doctor and a good prognosis now though. Hope you continue to heal well and can get going on your chemo soon.

    Hugs, hugs, hugs!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so sorry to hear what you are going through but I thank you for sharing with us. We can all learn from this and send you all the positive thoughts you need. And a few hugs. Summer is a good time to recover, glad you are surrounded by people that are taking good care of you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Now I can pray for you!! I'm so glad they got it all! Now Iyou have me aware of the value of a second opinion if I dont thing the doc got it right. Even as a nurse, I get intimidated by doctors . Im interested in the chemo surface treatment as I've never heard of this. Maybe if you want to share it will calm us all if we have to go through a similar situation.
    I LOVE your knitting always.
    I'm sending you big hugs

    ReplyDelete
  4. I certainly hope they got it all and that you can share good news with us very soon. I just got word a couple days ago that someone very dear to me has just been diagnosed with breast cancer, so I am feeling sad and thinking a lot about comfort and hope and the things in life that are truly important.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for sharing your struggles with your blog readers. I'm happy that you sought a second opinion and got the necessary treatment. As you prepare to start the chemo surface treatment, please know that we are all sending positive thoughts and/or prayers your way and wish you a speedy recovery.

    The shawl and yarn are gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh Deborah, so sorry to read this AND so glad you are on the road to recovery. Like Kathy, i'm curious about the surface chemo...have never heard of that. Your knitting is gorgeous and love the yarn colors.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am GLAD you shared this. I think when you tell people things it might save someone. My brother in law is doing all of those treatments for many places on his face, I assume it's all okay and working out.

    I'm such paranoid person that I blurb everything to my doc...all okay, nothing to worry about but I like knowing that I've consulted with a professional.

    I hope your treatment goes well and you are good to go!! I'll add you to my prayer list too :) :) :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sending a hug and appreciating you trusting us with this life ripple.
    I will be praying for your healing and strength during recovery.
    Being introspective and grateful for your life is a good byproduct of this kind of experience! A beautiful yarn and shawl to mark this time!

    ReplyDelete
  9. So sorry to hear this. Hope it all goes well from here on out!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Deciding what to share is tough, but I thank you for sharing your SCC story, as you've reminded all of us to stay vigilant and pay attention. I'm sorry it had a chance to grow for ten years, but very glad that you had the Mohs procedure, that it went well, you've got great help and support, and are healing well. Wishing you all the best, and happy knitting with that gorgeous yarn on that beautiful shawl!

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is good that the cancer was treated now and no more time went by. That is too bad it was not caught earlier, but it is good that it is treated now. I love your shawl so far, it is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So sorry to hear about this, I am glad that it has now been dealt with and that you are getting good care, I hope that all will be well and gone and done with very soon. Take care of yourself in the meantime - and after of course! - and enjoy whatever comes your way. Oh and about the sharing thing, do what is right for you and only you, as and when you want and you will not go wrong!

    ReplyDelete
  13. THANK GOD for your current dermatologist! I'm glad that it's healing well, that in and of itself is a good sign.

    Take care - and enjoy knitting with that so-pretty-blue yarn. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sending you much love and healing thoughts! I think your sharing this will be incredibly helpful! I applaud your bravery in sharing! May the treatment be quick and the recovery even quicker! XO

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm so glad you saw another dermatologist! After years of life-guarding & being from the generation of using baby oil & iodine as 'sunscreen,' skin cancer terrifies me. It doesn't help that my mom almost lost her whole leg to melanoma. Her's would have been a lot less serious if she'd gone to the doctor when she first noticed the spot. She waited until the pool closed for the summer and she was almost too late. SO glad you're doing well. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh Deborah, I'm sorry to hear this, but glad that it sounds as though you are recovering well. I'm glad you felt like you could share, I'm sending lots of hugs from the UK.Your shawl is beautiful, such uplifting colours.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sending lots of healing hugs your way, Deb. It sounds like you now have a good doc and are thankfully on the upward end of this challenge. A good friend of mine had the Mohs procedure and is doing very well and hope you will have the same experience. Love that Yarn and shawl! Take care and be well.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am very sorry you are going through this, Deborah. Thank you for sharing with us, and thank you for the links to the medical info as well as to the pretty yarn info. It is good to know you have care as you heal, and that you have a gorgeous project to work on, too. Last night at midnight I finished the Ruby shawl, and a post is soon forthcoming :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. Your wool and knitting project is beautiful, hoping your recovery continues to go well, hugs

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm so relieved to hear that the news isn't worse! It must have been a very worrying last few months! I hope your recovery is restful and filled with the warm support of family and friends!

    ReplyDelete