Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's Complicated...

since this is my first post i figured "It's Complicated..." is an excellent title.  if you are reading this its probably because Burnt Out Survivor Story got your attention.  i titled it that for a few reasons... 1-i burnt out a few braincells during my experimental phase of life.  2-because melanoma has been linked to uv exposure (from the sun and tanning beds). 3-melanoma is also where the survivor part comes from.  maybe it was one of the tags i hope to be able to attach to this blog so it can be found on a search that catches your eye.  that, or you are a personal friend of mine already.   but however you found my ramblings you are here... let me warn y'all that i am an odd chick... lmao.  i tend to write in all lowercase since reading ee cummings in highschool, well him and tom wilson (the author of ziggy comics).  i think in circles... so sometimes i jump around or seem to be completely off topic, but in my head i am just following my thought pattern. 

i am writing this blog in hopes it helps me make sense of things.  or maybe helps someone else.   i have so much going on in my life right now like most do.  but the things that truley have me rattled are health issues.  i was diagnosed with malignant melanoma stage 1 in may of this year.  i was pretty frightened and in shock after my diagnosis.  at first i didnt want to learn anything about it.  my mom was already a melanoma survivor and i had managed to be concerned and informed at the time of her diagnosis probably close to a decade prior.  but in reality, a decade prior, i was a mess... i was in the middle of my experimental stage in life.  so i absorbed just enough info to be able to be empathetic and sympathetic for my mom.  so when i was diagnosed i almost instinctively went to "my happy little land of denial" that i had dreamt up during my experimental stage.  back then, it was my way of disconnecting... knowing i was doing something wrong, but submerging myself in "my happy little land of denial" where i could pretend i wasn't.  does that make sense?

since fathers day in 2005 i have been trying to rebuild relationships i damaged in those days.  and i hadn't seriously even considered using "my happy little land of denial" to hide behind... until that diagnosis.  and even then it just happened, pure reaction... not well thought out planned action that i had been trying to actualize for myself the last 6 years.   i will go into further details on that experimental phase in a later post.  since my instinct was to deny i was just diagnosed with cancer a mere three weeks prior to my 32nd birthday, i didn't ask questions.  i simply made the appointment half listening to what the physician assistant was telling me.  not too bright.  because after the shock wore off and i admitted not really remembering much from when my mom went through it i attempted to gather info online.

talk about a bad idea... especially for a person with an overactive imagination like myself.  i scared myself into crazy... granted it wasn't far to go, but still.  my doc performed MOHS surgery to remove the tumor.  i didn't know the name of the procedure until the day it occured.  so again, like an idiot, i researched melanoma online with MOHS as treatment.  i was already well past crazy at this point.  and i found sites that said MOHS is great for most forms of skin cancer, but not melanoma... and i had the surgery on a tuesday, and scheduled reconstruction for the area that friday.  the day of MOHS i asked the doc if it was possible the tumor was deeper than initially thought would that change the stage of the cancer? he said yes.  then started the procedure.  i told him to be liberal in removing it, i wasnt worried about a scar.  he ended up coming back 3 times to take more because there was still evidence of melanoma.  i then asked if it was deeper than biopsy? he said it was, but refused to answer how much deeper.  i later learned that MOHS is performed in a way that doesnt allow him to answer that question, not that he could explain that to me.  he even made the comment that i was more likely to die being hit by a car leaving his office than because of melanoma.  so tuesday night there was no sleeping... only non stop concerns flowing through my mind.  how could a doc say that to me? especially when the internet says how deadly, sneaky, and quickly melanoma can spread. 

by the time i went back for the reconstruction of the area that friday i was a major wreck.  barely any sleep.  concerns i would miss my children growing up, or all dreams for my future were pointless.  i had just finished school for harley davidson motorcycle mechanics program, but wasnt feeling like i would ever do anything with it.  i had just undergone surgery to remove one of the sneakiest forms of cancer.  and i had let my mind get the best of me.  i was thinking things like "if this doc thinks melanoma is something to joke about how can i trust he was aware enough to remove it all?" or "the internet said melanoma can almost be undetectable with MOHS because the procedure freezes sections to be tested and it can appear to be gone when its really present in miniscule amounts." i think at this point i was my own worst enemy... i freaked out on my doc the day of reconstruct and told him his communication skills were awful, to which, he agreed.    he reconstructed the site, and i vowed never to return to his office.  i'll go into more detail on another post someday on how i ended up right back at that docs office.  but for now im trying to explain the complications.

i wish i had just asked my mom more questions instead of frightening myself with the internet. after all i consider my mom one of my closest friends, especially since i had kids of my own. but she has had 4 heart episodes in the recent months, 2 of them requiring a few days stay at the hospital.  and one of those hospital stays was less than 12 hrs after i told her my biopsy came back malignant melanoma.  so i try to protect my mom from stress.  but we did learn that her 3 major arteries to her heart have blockages.  the catch is that insurance doesn't care until the blockages are over 70%, and all three of my mom's were over 60% but under 70%.  so she was given a strict diet to follow.  lower her cholesterol, red meat intake, and salt intake... mom used to salt hot dogs, loved potato chips and almost anything salty.  plus my parents are total meat and potato people, and by meat i mean beef. and given a presciption for excersize.  so i will occasionally blog about moms health too.

i married an amazing man.  but this diagnosis was very hard for him to accept too.  he didnt seem to want to learn anything about what was going on with my treatment.  i learned later that was just his fear.  and i will go into more detail on life as a married woman dealing with newly diagnosed melanoma later in the blog.  thats just too complicated to get into tonight, or this morning.  and since i just noticed its already 3am i think i need to wrap this post up... my son's 5th birthday party is later today at chuck e. cheese.  sorry if i didnt wrap this up very well.. maybe i will get better at that with time, or sleep... lmao.  i will try to post a "It's Complicated 2..." very soon to finish explaining why i am writing, and what i hope to accomplish...  but for now i need to go force some sleep so i can keep up with the kids tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment