another month

went to the doctor today for a follow up appointment. i am now 2 months into this 6 week treatment with at least another 4 weeks to go. I know, the math doesn’t quite work on that – unless you just go with the numbers and not how they are classified. 2+4=6 instead of (2×4)+4doesnot=6.  that might only make sense to me.

the vertigo is pretty constant along with the headache (still) and i feel like someone has taken cotton balls and stuck them in every available nook and cranny that can be found in my brain. and then jammed in 200 more just because. and then there is the feeling that someone has filled my tank with water instead of premium gasoline. but – hopefully – only one more month of this.

20121106-111349.jpgthat’s my good side, we’ve got our fingers crossed that it gets a lot worse.

20121106-111530.jpgthat’s my getting better side. at least it was. i thought i was done treating it. i thought wrong.

cotton-headed ninnymuggins

tonight makes 6 weeks of treatment done!  which means i’m done treating the original spots.  the one under my eye looks fantastic and my cheek is a mix of new spots and old spots and i’m not really sure which is which.  all i am sure of is it looks a lot worse than it did in the last picture.
20121029-214440.jpgi guess that means i’m done treating under my eye.  except there’s two new spots – one on the outside of the area i already treated and one on my nose.  so i’ll keep treating those.  and the rest of my face for  another week.  and then i’ll treat the active spots for another two weeks and then i think i’ll be done.  next week i go see the doctor again, i’m hoping she’s able to give me more concrete instructions so i’m not stuck guessing and thinking.

the nauseousness has been pretty much absent as of late, but it’s been replaced by vertigo.  the headache is still here and my head feels a bit like i’ve got cotton tucked in all around my brain.

wonder if that makes me a cotton-headed ninnymuggins?

ending week four and a new beginning

i’ve completed four weeks and will be taking a week off before completing my last two weeks of treatment. it’s working and it’s working so well that instead of not using the cream for a week i will begin using it on the rest of my face. so that means six more weeks to go. which means i am further from finished than i was this morning before i went to the doctor.


week three

week three is underway. the lesion under my eye is improving, the one on my forehead is no better and no worse, and the ones on my jaw are getting more pronounced and itchy. so all seems to be good. except that the nauseousness has returned. bummer.

and i’ve got another spot on my scalp. you might recall that i had one removed about 2 years ago. the dermatologist treated this one, but it doesn’t seem to have made it go away. i will have it looked at when i return to the doctor in a few weeks.

some threading might be in order

i’ve completed three of 18 treatments and am having pretty good response in two of the three areas i am spot treating and i have a new lesion coming up in the third area. so it seems the lotion is doing its job. go aldara! i am not as nauseous as i was – it comes and goes. the headache is pretty constant, but it isn’t too bad.

look at that eyebrow

turns out the sky is not falling

at least not right now.

today is day 6. i will do another treatment tonight, but as of now all the horrid things google shared with me have not come to fruition.

my skin is reacting, but it’s not yet as bad as i was sure it would be (i know, there is still plenty of time for that to happen). and, besides, scaling and icky-ness are what we want to happen. i am still nauseous and i still have a headache, but those are annoying, not debilitating. the nauseousness is probably more troublesome – it makes it difficult to eat.

and there are good things… i am wearing sunscreen and applying it several times a day. i am also wearing a hat. i have been okay about hat wearing in the past, but now am quite good about it (i know it’s only been six days, but doesn’t that put me 15 away from it becoming a habit?).

20120917-123623.jpgtoday’s hat. so sporty.

i have even created a pinterest board just for hats – and if that doesn’t ooze life change then i don’t know what does.

thanks for all the good wishes, kind words and prayers. you guys keep those coming and i’ll keep updating – just with less doom and gloom.

day 4 – subtle changes

michael has suggested that I try for a less police line up approach to my pictures.  so, for at least today, i’m going to humor him.

it think maybe this one has a bit more of a game show host feel to it.

anyway, the spot on my forehead is definitely reacting the strongest.  it’s discolored and raised and it’s tender.  the other circled places are turning pink – the spot on my jaw that’s turning pink isn’t wear the AK is, but not surprising that I have more than what we could see.  I’m still nauseous and I still have a headache.  I’m also now itchy, but no horrid discomfort.  I know it’s still early days, but so far so good.


Nothing to see here…

Day 3 and no big changes. I’ve only done one treatment, so that’s not surprising. The spot on my forehead is a bit pinker than it was, but other than that I can’t tell any difference. I did wake up Thursday morning with a mild headache and some nauseousness. Both of those have lingered. I figure either it is a side effect or I’ve conveniently managed to catch some bug – time will tell.

Here’s a pic of the nothing that’s going on right now

you follow me and i, i, i follow you

*i would have titled this post alive and kicking, but i’ve already used that title – and it wasn’t all that long ago – so i’m just going with another line from the same song. given enough time i’ll eventually have a post for every line of the song.*

where have i been?  around.  (funny, aren’t i?)  no, actually i’ve just been recovering.  i spent several days in quite a bit of pain and then several more days really, really sore.  but, for the most part, i’m now pain free.  except for the headache i’ve had pretty much nonstop since i was put under.  oh, and the fuzziness i’ve been feeling. which is very frustrating. i feel like i shouldn’t be allowed to make any decisions right now because i can’t think clearly enough to make a good choice.  but those things are supposed to go away – in time.  and i would say the headache is not as painful as they were, now more of a dull distraction as opposed to a constant hammering.  oh, and the itching.  which is a good sign.  the doctor was overjoyed to hear that my scalp was itchy.  he was so excited to tell me all about the cell factory i’ve got working away on top of my head healing up that scar.  and he gave me a very clear warning.  “don’t scratch the factory and no swimming.”  wednesday the stitches come out.  and then another 5 weeks of healing after that and i’ll be good as new.  sort of.  and bonus – it seems i’m a wee bit younger looking.  i’ve had more than one person say that i look younger.  i’m thinking that in order to accomplish the removal of the “dangerous tumor” the doctor couldn’t help giving me a bit of a face lift.

what else has been happening?

we’ve also had a birthday party for s(still)10.  he’ll be 11 next friday saturday (i’m blaming that little error on the fuzziness.)  his birthday is totally on friday.  (i was right the first time, but the fuzzy seems to have won out.) but michael leaves for the states the day after his birthday and s10 figured that if we wanted to get maximum benefit from him being here we should party a little early. but don’t worry, i’m not cheating him out of a birthday post.  i’m just gonna wait until he’s actually s11 to talk about it any more. (my own personal denial).

a13 has started futsal.  it’s a super short season.  started somewhere around the 20th of aug. and ends like the 17th of sept. she’s playing under 16 this year. which seems impossible.

c16 is impatiently waiting to get his motorscooter license.  the whole head thing derailed our plans just a little.  but we’re back on track now and soon enough he’ll have it.  and want to use it.

michael’s leg still isn’t 100%, but it’s closer.  i’ve got to find him some compression socks this week before he heads over the ocean.

and my coolest thailand story to date – at least i think it’s the coolest.  i was headed home from a friend’s house on the motorscooter the other night and stopped for a red light.  the elephant that i was stopped beside patted me on the helmet with his/her trunk.  how cool is that??  (i mean, like it’s not cool enough to say “the elephant i was stopped beside”.)

PSA – unless you wanna get scalped wear sunscreen

*edited to say maybe i should have said wear a hat in the title… but you should wear sunscreen, too,*

where have i been?  occupied.  mostly with getting in the swing of back to school, but also dealing with my own little medical crisis.

about 6 months ago i found a what i thought was a suspicious spot on my head – like the very tippy top of my head.  but because i have a gigantic fear of anything that might be disfiguring on my head i ignored it.  until yesterday.  (the whole ignoring thing is completely stupid because when you ignore things they only get bigger and that can’t be helpful in the scarring arena.)  yesterday i went to see the dermatologist.  he looked at it and thought it looked highly suspicious and that it should probably be removed.  which totally played into my other fear – if it might be cancer get it off of me.  (i know, the whole putting off because it might be scarring and get it off of me fears sort of contradictory, right?)

that’s my head yesterday

but…  he wasn’t comfortable removing it himself.  so he sent me to see the surgeon.  who looked at it, said oh, yeah.  it definitely needs to come off and that he would need to shave a 4″ strip down the middle of my head to remove it.  he scheduled me for about noon.  when we met again, he did a little more feeling around of my scalp.  looked closer at the lesion, tried to see how much my scalp skin would move and declared he really couldn’t do it.  it was just too difficult to do scalps.  so he sent me to the plastic surgeon.

the plastic surgeon took one look at it and declared it a “very bad tumor”.  and that it needed to come off now.  or the next day – which was when he could fit me in.  which brings us to today.

surgery (but i wasn’t really thinking it would be actual surgery, i sort of saw myself in his office having a little “procedure” done) happened about noon today – in the actual operating room.  they knocked me out so i wouldn’t feel any pain.  for 15 minutes i was knocked out.  the pain he didn’t want me to feel was the pain of getting the local anesthetic.  so i came to to tugging sensations on my head and an explanation that he’d found another, but that it could be burned off, because it was small.  and within a few moments the tugging sensations became quite painful.  like i could describe to him what he was doing and where it was doing it and that it hurt like about 200 on a scale of 1 – 10.  so he gave me a little more local anesthetic.  minus the being knocked out.  and it hurt.  really, really bad.  and it never completely knocked out the pain.  he ended up removing a triangle that was about 4 cm on each side (that’s around one and a half inches to my fellow americans).  a scalp will not stretch to cover 4 cm.  but he, being a plastic surgeon and all, knew just how to fix it.  he made a 4 inch incision away from the “very bad tumor” (which he’d taken to calling the “dangerous tumor”) towards my right ear that would allow the skin to shift some.

closest i’ve got to an after pic.  the kids say it’s too gross to photograph.

and then he sowed me up.  and showed me the “dangerous tumor” (it looked like i’d been scalped. just a small part of me, but still…)  the nurses then gave me a hair washing to get out all the goo.  they used very cold water.  which was kind of them.  i headed to recovery for an hour and the doctor came to visit and with his very friendly face he said he didn’t think it would hurt after the local anesthetic wore off.  i found that hard to believe since it was already hurting.  but i’m a fairly optimistic person, so i believed him.  (i don’t anymore.  now i think he’s a big, fat liar, cuz it hurts a lot.)

one big bummer was that as i was coming out of the being under i kept thinking to myself i’ve got to remember to blog about this.  this is amazing.  i’ve got to share this.  but the only thing i remember now is that i wanted to remember that i had to blog about it.  but what it was?  i have no idea.