The worst summer I can ever remember

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 829
   Posted 10/14/2007 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi from the little house on the prairie but there are no funny stories this time. In fact, I'm thinking about getting rip roaring drunk.

I got sick in mid-June and was in bed to mid-July, not getting any better. Then in the hospital for a week and in bed for another 5-6 weeks. Despite heavy spring-time rains, I got my garden in in May but it didn't matter since I was too sick to take care of it. Then came the typical Texas summer heat and my yard went to Hades.

All the while, I am noticing something on my arm that is new. Of course, it is my lymphodemic arm, too. My daughter said I was over-reacting but it kept getting worse. I mentioned it to my new primary dr and he said he didn't like it. He said it had to come out and when he described how he wanted it out, I knew he meant clean margins. The dermatologist he sent me to said they could see me in late Nov. Right, like I want to wait any more.

A call to my onc sent me to the same surgeon who did the stent in my carotid in 2001. He saw me in less than a week but I didn't realize that he was going to do the surgery right there in his office. That was on the 4th. I've got 5 stitches in my arm and they won't come out until the 19th. That's when he will give me the full path report. However, he left a message for me on the 9th that has the same three words we have all come to abhor. "You have cancer."

I have two friends who are giving advice but I don't want to do anything until I find out what kind of skin cancer it is. I promised myself I wouldn't look on the net but I did. I waited until last to do melanoma and that's where I found what I had seen on my arm. I also have at least one, and possibly two, more spots coming out.

The best thing I can say is that I am disgusted and more depressed than usual. I'm not surprised though. I have heard that the skin never forgets and never forgives. As a Florida sun-worshiping native, it was always in the back of my mind. However, we all know how it feels when it's real.

I'm in the hurry and wait mode but I have a feeling that the onc already knows what's up and has whatever treatment, if any, planned. That's the way they were with the b/c. I know that things could be worse. I have actually lived 11 years longer than they said I would so I have a lot to be thankful for, 5 grandchildren I wouldn't have seen.

But, I do have a bottle of wine calling my name. I can hear it whispering from the kitchen. I said if the b/c came back again, I'd buy a carton of cigarettes and a huge chocolate cake. Screw the coughing and the diabetes. I'm now trying to decide if this new cancer entitles me to them.

What next?

Love from the Texas prairie, Jo-Ann, planning her pity party.

Addendum: I just smoked a cigarette I got from my neighbor. That shot 6 1/2 years right to hëll. We can rule out buying a carton. It tasted terrible. I'll wait for tomorrow for the big chocolate cake. I'll get the $3.98 special from WalMart. I know I'll like that.
A good friend will bail you out of jail...
but a true friend will be sitting
next to you saying,
"Dâmn... that was fun!".

Post Edited (Jo-Ann) : 10/14/2007 5:04:54 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1106
   Posted 10/14/2007 4:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh Jo-Ann!!! I am SO sorry you are again facing this!! I have been thinking about you and wondering how you have been doing as MK had said you were sick. I am praying for you and please keep us updated. darn I HATE THIS DISEASE!!!!
Gotta say I am glad you hated the cigarette. As for the cake, I don't blame you!!
I love you dear friend.
  It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.
Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 169
   Posted 10/15/2007 4:57 AM (GMT -7)   
My heart lterally goes out to you.
I know exactly how you feel about the wine and smokes .
The day after my masect., my dad died, I lit up on my way down to Alabama from chicago to claim his body.
What the hell....I have a sister-in -law who never smoked, ate all greens exercised daily.....and got BC.
So, enjoy what you want at the time is my new way of thinking.
As far as the wine.....I asked my docotor how long can I drink the night b-4 surgery..he said midnight, I said "does that include Margaritas?????????lololol And he said ABSOLUTLY!!!!!!! SO I had a couple.

I am 3 weeks post op....and one weekpost op from beginning of resecction, I am so tierd of laying around complaining I can puke.
Maybe if I have a few margaritas now, it will ease the pain and make me feel better!
The pain meds make me sick if they are too high, and don't do crap if they are too weak.
So what is one to do.?????????????????????
Just keep fighting, take on one problem at a time, including the pain. It is so frusturating.
I also have Crohns and prior to being dx'd with BC the crohns was kicking!!!! Well now since pain meds, I havn't been able to go to the br for 2 weeks.....and the stool softners arnt working, so I am just a miserable WITCH..I mean 3itch.
But I suppose it is all "normal".
Do what you have to do today to make YOU happy.....Is my new way of thinking.

Many hugs and prayers to you
from one cancer "FIGHTER" to another!
Brain tumor 1981
Dx.Crohns disease 1996 no meds now due to breast canceer
bowel resecction 2001
Thyroid cancer 2001 tons of synthroid
breast cancer .....mastectomy 09-14-2007 waiting on chemo possibility
seizure disorder .....all my life. tegretol, keppra

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 10/15/2007 6:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Jo-Ann and I talked about this on the phone yesterday. I was glad to hear the cigarette tasted lousy. I had one after I quite smoking and it was yukky, too, so I have never tried again. Jo-Ann coughed terribly before she quit, I was so glad when she did. She's right the coughing would not help right now.

I know you really feel defeated, Jo-Ann, after all you have been through this summer, but you did pull through. I wish we lived closer so we could at least have some good visits. I'll talk to you later today.

Hugs MK

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 10/15/2007 9:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Jo-ann:  I can appreciate all your anger and frustration over being sick for so long, and moreover, summon the gratitude for the time you've had with your grandchildren.  I've been thinking about you often.  Having said that, with you being a lady who tells it like it is, I think you'll appreciate my bluntness. 
You ain't dead yet.  Since the beginning of the summer you haven't gotten a medical degree and haven't read the path report, in addition, you've made it past the predicted outcomes so far, what's to say you won't perservere now?  People as ornery as you don't go without a fight, so don't give up.  Also, don't screw with your sugar.  you could faint and something bad could happen, your head could get hit on something, you never know.
another thing:  don't trust that just because the butt tasted bad you won't want another.  I am a disaster relapser.  Smoked on 9-11 after quitting for 7 years and when anyone important died.  I didn't like the first one either, but don't underestimate the power of the addictive substances:  nicotine, alcohol, etc.  Also don't forget WATCH THE SPENDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ok, lecture over.  have one for me, ok?  Oh, and while you're spending, can you pay my taxes?
Keep us posted.  I MEAN IT!!!
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Confucius
Don't knock on Death's Door.  Ring the bell and run.  He hates that.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 10/15/2007 4:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh Jo-Ann...a one two sucker punch. I bet that came out of nowhere! I am so sorry you have to deal with another cancer, just when we were all learning the terminology and science with our BC! Think of it this can draw from your strength. You have been through cancer twice, you know the pitfalls, the fears, the roller coaster that you are about to take off on...we might not speak the melanoma language, but we know cancer....please let us help you through this too.

I have a colleague who is in her early 40's who had a melanoma removed from her arm about a year or so ago, has had several pre-cancerous lesions removed too. She goes every quarter for a head to toe scan and they usually scrape a couple of other suspicious spots as a precaution. SHe is very fair with spots and moles everywhere, and tans through her Rx sunscreen. They gave her a CD of her body so she can compare her spots each month and watch for changes, just like our BSE. Puts her in the driver seat. I know that treatment all depends on the margins, depth, etc. but hold onto hope that the treatment may be just careful surveillance.

Whatever it is, you CAN do this, hoist a glass of wine for me, perhaps a cool crisp reisling?


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 10/16/2007 8:16 PM (GMT -7)   


My heart goes out to you, I understand your thoughts and fears. Please try to stay positive and keep your chin up. Hopefully they will have gotten all of it on the first try and you will be able to put this behind you.

I have been worried about a spot on my hand for some time now, so this has given me the push I need to get back into the onc to have it checked out. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep us posted we love to hear from you!!




Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 10/19/2007 7:31 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello my friend! Wow, I am so sorry to hear this latest news. It sucks!!!!! There are better words to use to describe this but I might get kicked out if I used them. lol

You are allowed some "pity time" but then you have to pick yourself up and face and fight whatever news you receive today. As someone said, we are here for you and please let us help you. You have picked so many of us up when we were down w/ your funny stories and great advice and support. So now it is time for you to let us return the favor.

So let us make you laugh w/ silly stories or be there with open arms to give you big hugs or lean on our shoulders.

Much love and many prayers



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