Thursday, May 28, 2015

May brings new adventures

Oh, it's been so long since I've written, and so much has happened!  

I had a meeting with the oncologist. She ran blood work and it was fine. I'm not really sure why they run this, since the cancer wasn't advanced to where it was in my blood system.  I found out eating mac and cheese for lunch (even with half a can of tuna) 45 minutes before a blood draw probably isn't smart. Never thought of what my blood sugar would look like with the pasta carbs!  

I had to ask the oncologist. No one has ever said how advanced it was.  I had Stage 1 melanoma and it was almost to Stage 2.  It was good to catch it early. She said she normally sees people who have Stage III and IV. (EEK!).

The part I was seeing on the preliminary pathology reports was, "Clark's Level II, Breslow's Depth 0.5mm, nonulcerated.  Radial growth phase is present.  Vertical growth phase is absent. . ."

This made me think it was Stage II, but she said Stage I.  :-)  

I am SO lucky to have had that itch on my foot January 16, 2015!  It's the only reason I looked between the toes.  

It was such a great feeling to walk out of the doctor's office without the stitches!  Unfortunately, getting them removed was a different story.  It looked like I had 5 or 6 stitches. Turns out I had 8 and a couple were sunk in a little bit, one was sunk in even more.  Turns out the scab I kept having show up was where the worst offender was located.

Doc had a student/resident with him again, different one this time (third so far).  The nurse just stood to the side, as did the resident, so I held my pinkie wide open from the ring toe in order for the doc to have access---good think I wore a skort, lol.  I watched him remove most of them, but told him I was being a chicken and couldn't watch him dig for the hidden one. He finally got it and I assume I held the toe and foot steady for him.   I had bleeding afterwards from the hidden stitch and left the office looking like the above in my favorite Born sandals.  Doc commented on the "polish".  I told him I had to do something and since I couldn't use the toe spacers for polish, I opened my Jamberry stash of peel, heat and stick "wraps" for polish.  Above is Cabana.  They stayed on for about a month.

I have to go back in 3 months (not really sure why) to the surgeon.  I had to ask when I can run again and he said to wait at least another week to ensure I don't burst open my new seam.  Hmmm, I think I'll wait a few more weeks!  

Weekend breakfast:  Beelers Bacon, scrambled eggs with a bit of cheddar cheese, fruit, and UDIs whole grain with seedless blackberry jam. 
After the wound cleared up:  The toe had skin peel/exfoliate from the top and bottom.
The skin at the base of the toe is pulled tight. This is where the skin was removed on the interior of the toe webbing in the largest diameter.  
As such, the bottom is pretty painful and I'll have to work up to getting a callus or thicker layer of skin from where the outside layers came loose.  
Don't laugh:  I think my foot looks stained, but that's just how it always looks. 

TA DA!   Running shoes!  I can't get my Injinji toe socks on, so I went with my second best, Fox River no show ankle socks. Love these for under 5 mile runs.  No run today, just a nice long walk.  
May 13:  It felt SO good to get the shoes on. I was PUMPED for a walk. Figured a couple miles. Put on my sunscreen, my waist belt with a 8oz bottle of water and my cell phone and out the door I went. 

Um, yeah, so that didn't go so well. I wanted to turn around a couple blocks away. I made it half a mile away, to the trail head, and turned around to come home. Total time:  30 minutes. Yes, it took me that long because I kept stopping to adjust my left shoe.  Still too much pressure over the toe area. I think I'll sit with the foot propped up for a bit more.
Hubby and I did a new project. We had to move the grape vine fence in about a foot --something about 50 years ago they didn't really survey the property when it was created and the end post was an inch on the other property.  Hubby researched and created a nice tight fence for the vines and we strung them up properly. Then we added some pizzazz to the posts with the copper tops :-)

By "we" I really mean "him".  I should say hubby did this. I pretty much watched from the house. I think I was out on my feet for maybe an hour one night when we were stringing up the vines.

May 15: I decided to try this walking thing again!  One of the local jewelry stores has a treasure hunt contest. It takes the advertising dollars and puts them into cash or store credit and hides them around town on the trail/park system.  I went out looking today for the treasure. Pretty much a very slow walk with lots of stops. I found the following, but no real treasure. I was out longer than I expected (two hours, versus the planned one hour) and the toe was tender, but not completely angry with me. 

May 17 weekend was graduation for my hubby's oldest nephew!  Can't believe M is old enough for graduation, nor that The Mike and I have been together as long as he's been around!  
My sister and niece came to the open house and my niece--while she didn't say this to me--said that she was surprised to see me without a bandage on my foot!  I still was wearing open toed 'dressy' thong/flip flops with ankle strap, but the suture wounds had healed and I was going with no gauze.  It felt good to be that way, and I was surprised anyone noticed!  

After driving home, hubby and I went treasure hunting for a nice walk. Two hours in a car was long enough for my legs/ foot and his sore back.  
Beautiful river sunset.

May 19:  a chilly cold bicycle ride
Hubby laughed at me. . .I don't know why. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Most of my long socks are toe socks, which I still can't wear.  Thus, I wore my Susan Komen breast cancer socks my sister --fighting breast cancer--gave me.  The regular mountain bike cycling shoes are a little hard on the toe area still, so I am wearing my cycling sandals. 
Perfectly formed (okay, the roundest I have made in a long time) Chebe pizza crust with milled chia seed in the mix.  

Memorial Day weekend:  May 23 we worked on replacing our really old fence. Not sure how old it is, but we had it when we bought the house.  The nice older man-backyard neighbor said it had been there about 30 years if not longer.  I have been feeling pretty good about the foot. Friday night The Mike and I were out working on tearing the old fence out and the toe felt good for those three hours in my old ROTC boots. 

Saturday, I wore a cushy pair of my Fox River socks and we were out there for a good solid day--over twelve hours-- with breaks for lunch, dinner, and a few moments where I sat on a bucket.  For the most part the toe felt good. Mostly this was due to the whole foot hurting from being in the boots all day. The feet felt like I'd run a marathon.  The toe was red, but it didn't hurt any more than normal. [Fence is still not done]  
Sunday it rained all day and Monday morning. We spent Memorial Day watching PBS shows on those who Gave All so we can be free. Monday afternoon we went back out to do some tidying up. After about an hour my toe was getting rubbed the wrong way. It felt like a blister had formed at the knuckle/joint with the foot, but there wasn't anything there. I had on different socks I rarely wear and wonder if that played into the pain.  When I started favoring the foot, I called it a day, which was really only an hour after that. 
The toe is healing. 
This is about what the toe looks like most any day. Still red below the toe knuckle. A little weeping still occurs at the one suture site (the red dot if you can see that).  
Beautiful evening for a walk.  
[No, we did not walk along the tracks, nor did we cross the bridge. Safety First!]

This morning, Thursday, I decided to try on my other Born sandals. . .these are obviously a little more tricky to wear than my normal pair. 
First thing, I did GET my foot into the position and it felt okay. 
Second thing I noticed, when I tried to walk I knew that wasn't going to go well.  
Baby steps in the progress. I'm happy to know I can at least get the foot into the straps.  
The strap on top of the toe is going to take a bit longer before it'll be happen for an outing.
Interestingly, the strap between the toes didn't bother me. I wasn't sure since that's the suture site.

I have my dermatologist appointment this afternoon for my three month checkup. I can't believe it's been three months since I found out I had cancer and had my initial full body check for any other abnormalities.  Hopefully he'll give me something for my irritated skin from the Virginia Creeper that was growing on the north side of  the fence.  It's like poison ivy to me.  Even with full length pants, snap full length shirt, gloves and such, I still managed to get a case of the itchies.  It's actually the mildest case I've had though :-) 

Happy days. Explore new foods with the gluten free lifestyle and embrace change: it will happen whether we want it to or not. 

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