Sunday, April 19, 2009

I have a lot of time to knit.

I finished the knee socks after I came home from my surgery on Wednesday. I worked on them in the waiting room, and would have knitted during recovery except that the doctor forgot to ask Steve to bring them back like I'd asked. But anyways, socks are done! When I finally am able to try them on, I'll have what appears to be a 2.5 inch long vertical scar straight up my right kneecap. (I won't actually be able to see the scar until next week, when the rest of the surgical dressings come off at my post-op appointment.)

I wrote some stuff here about the surgery, but I'm just going to replace it with this: it was scary, I cried, and the nurses were really nice. I fortunately don't remember the surgery, as the anesthesiologist put something in my IV that made everything go blank. My leg didn't hurt until the next day.

Right now it only really hurts for a few minutes every time I stand up, and I'm supposed to spend as much time as possible sitting with my leg elevated. No bending the knee, and no unnecessary walking. So far I've finished the knee socks, started a sweater for mom, made a felted box for Steve, and crocheted an apple, three apple slices, a mushroom, and an ice cream sandwich for a set of play food I'm making. Not bad for three days...

I can't wait to be able to bend my knee again.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers regarding my surgery. I'm very glad they didn't have to do a skin graft or tissue rearrangement. I don't even want to think about how much more it would have hurt. I'm still waiting for the pathology report on my knee area, and I have oncology and other appointments lined up for the next few weeks.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A proud day.

I am the #1 search result for zap with 17 z's.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Earthquakes, peanuts, and oncologist appointments

1) I bought this bookcase from Ikea's as-is department two weekends ago, and we covered it's imperfections with beautiful fabric. So pretty!

The bookcase was only $40, and it is close to 7' tall. That is one tallll bookcase. So I did something I've not done before- I asked Steve to secure it to the wall in case of earthquake. I even said, "I know we're probably not going to have an earthquake, but it would make me feel better."

So I was pretty surprised when THE NEXT MORNING I was teaching math and suddenly.... shaking. As soon as it started, I said, "Boys and girls, I think we're having an earthquake. ...Yep... an earthquake. Duck and cover, everyone." Pretty long earthquake for me to say all that eh?

If you live outside of CA and think earthquakes are pretty common here you might not realize how strange this is. This is only the second earthquake I've felt in the last 10 years. [Edit- Actually, it was the third, because there was a decent aftershock the day after earthquake #1. I was sitting at my desk after school and it started bumping against my tummy and the school walls were creaking.] We really don't have them very often. This earthquake was a 4.3., and was centered less than 5 miles from where I work, which explains why it felt so strong. You could feel it in San Fran., I hear. That was certainly a strange coincidence.

2) Evidently my husband has taken to eating peanuts, shell and all. That is all I can say about that. It's weird, right?

3) I spent three hours in appointments today about my stupid knee cancer. I had a physical, talked to some other lady, went to the hospital and was... pre admitted or something. (Plus they gave me this paper so I can sign up to have someone in charge of making decisions for me if I'm unable. It also has checkboxes for things like... ______ person can request an autopsy be done! [!!]) After that I went to the dermatologist and had my stitches out, confirmed that I had an allergic reaction to Neosporin, scheduled a biopsy on this other mole on my back, and got an oncologist referral.

Then I was off to the medical secretary, where I got a copy of my pathology report. As the nice lady pointed out, my report mentions that my case was shared at the Department Consensus Conference. I'm famous? I understand most of the report, but will forward it on to a family member who is a doctor. The strangest thing about my pathology report is the words "Malignant Melanoma" and the description of the mole... "pale tan." Look here for a little melanoma checklist. Asymmetry? Nope- looked like the "ordinary mole" photo. Borders? Regular, unlike the melanoma picture. Color, Diameter... my mole is like the normal example! The only off thing was that it grew quickly. ("Evolution.") Get it? ABCDE. Mine didn't look like a melanoma at all. My severe pre-melanoma when I was 14 looked more like a melanoma than this one did, which I really don't get.

Okay, no more looking at medical pages for me. This one is scary. 95% five year survival, even if I have the best case scenario at this point, which is Stage 1A. (I'm beyond the 100% curable "In-situ") Uck. 1 in 20 chance of being dead by 31? No thank you. Which brings me to...

4) I have an appointment with the oncologist at the beginning of May. After that they'll arrange blood tests for cancer and probably some body scans. (MRI, CAT.. stuff like that.) I think these are to make sure I don't have stage 3 or 4 melanoma somewhere else in my body from another melanoma lurking.... somewhere. No one has actually said this to me, but that is what I think the real reason is. Again, uck. Trying not to think about this. It makes me feel barfy. These tests will also give us final staging information, along with the pathology reports on the additional tissue they remove in the surgery. I don't think there will be a final say on the stage until June. I still expect it to come back as Stage 1, but then again I expected the mole to be pre-cancerous at worst.

5) I'm knitting myself crazy stripy knee socks. I think they may be slightly symbolic although I didn't do that on purpose. You can see the first one in the sidebar. I now have about 6" of the second one done and hope to finish the pair before my surgery on April 15th. This might not be possible, but I'll try!

I almost forgot to mention this, but I asked the nurse who was doing my pre-op physical whether she was a knitter, as she was wearing hand-knit socks. She was, so I pulled my completed knee high out of the bag I had with me. The nurse was so excited about them she went out of the exam room with the sock, showing all her coworkers. My surgery scheduler is a knitter too- she had yarn and projects falling out of her purse in the office we were in.