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Long Time, No... Post

Well, I havem't posted in a while, largely because I was so drained from talking about the damn cancer all the time. That and I've hit a fairly massive block with Questers, so I haven't had a lot to say on that score.

I meant to post yesterday, but I was distracted by a link rigel_7 gave me. If you have three or four hours on your hands and want to read a fascinating story of lies, betrayal and a PSYCHO in a fandom that makes the Dameon/Rushton debate look like a flower-giving party, check THIS out. Can you say CRAZY?

Okay, let's divide this entry up into little bitty LJ-cutted bits, shall we?

Well, my 20th birthday began with a phonecall from the Maternal Unit in Sydney, whence the Parentals had gone for a funeral. Then, lazy as hell and cocky with the birthday girl power, I went back to sleep.

At 11:15, the Fraternal Unit woke me up to report that thingwithtrees had arrived for birthday celebration and cake baking. Normally, the weekly Cake Day is on Friday, but since Sophie had been sick, we postponed and celebrated Birthday Cake Day instead. Soph had brought the cake mix, in this case a recipe for chocolate muffins filled with white chocolate gooey centres. But first, I had to open the package sitting on the bench. It was from rigel_7. And by now, most of you already know what it was. It was a Cunnin' Hat! Those who aren't avid Browncoats or at the very least Firefly fans will have no idea what I mean, but at any rate, it was a fantastic gift. I shall have to take a photo of me with the hat!

Then Sophie and I made muffins, ate muffins and watched Firefly (I'm showing her the complete series). At one point, James, the Mighty SOSE Teacher of Doom (and Sophie's boyfriend) dropped in on his lunch break (he works at the local school) to say Happy Birthday and because he "thought there might be cake". Hehe.

Then Sophie went home and my parents came home and we had dinner. (Oh, on Sunday night, the Grandmother gave me $50!!! Wow!!!) After dinner, the parentals (who had already bought me the MP3 player) gifted me with a $50 voucher from the hugely expensive, drool making Orgasmic Paper Shop. Mmm... stationary...
From the fraternal, I recieved a handy $20 music download voucher (the process seems to work) and sour worms and... CRUNCHIES!!!

LorFers: Sweet!

Mmm... crunchie.

I got my own birthday thread at Obernet, including a virtual cake shaped like a TOILET from minnn, giver of cakes. AN ACTUAL TOILET!!! It was awesome. My phone was on silent, but there was a message from flippyfrog and there were lots of well wishing messages at Obernet and even a few on individual LJs. *grugs everyone*

So, that was my birthday. I'm 20 now.

Well, the Friday before last (the day after my PET scan of death), I went to a dermatologist. He was a very dour man, and his secretary equally so. Still, he knew his shit. He looked at every (and I mean EVERY) mole on my body, to see if any of them were potentially cancerous or pre-cancerous. None were, but he recommended a few be cut off anyway. I'm kind of getting used to being prodded by doctors, so it wasn't that bad being in there, having every inch of my body micro-examined. It was just FREEZING!

Oh, and I got the results of my PET scan from the dermatologist. Nothing there, apparently. Negative for tumours.

After the happy doctor of fun, on Monday, I went back to my surgeon. He said he was going to send me on to another surgeon. Dr. Barry is a an oncological surgeon, so he knows about cancer and cutting. It took a week to actually get an appointment, but finally, yesterday, off we went. We arrived at the surgery at 12:30 and it was 3:30 when we left! I spent close to an hour actually with the doctor.

There was more prodding and examining of moles. He said he wouldn't cut any off. See, I was under the impression this was an easy appointment. You know, meet the surgeon and he makes sure he knows what he's cutting off or out. Well, no.

Anyway, I have surgery scheduled for Tuesday. First, they will inject me with a sort of "fake melanoma", on either side of the scar from the original surgery. The "fake melanoma" will be examined, to see where it goes along my lymphatic system. By doing that, they can see which lymph glands that area of my body will connect to. From there, they can draw early conclusions and they'll know where to check for cancer in my lymphatic system. They may have to remove a lymph gland or two (apparently, I've got a bunch, so I won't miss them). This "lymphatic mapping" has to be done before my surgery, because once I've had the melanoma excised properly, it's going to change the area, so the lymphatic system will drain differently. Anyway, this will happen on the morning of my surgery, with another hideous camera that I'll have to be dead still for. But I imagine it can't be as bad as the PET.

Anyway, then comes the actual surgery, for which I get a general anaesthetic (no more hearing the surgeon and nurses remark on the size of my growth!). My new surgeon really was very informative, and I'll drawn for ya'll a version of the diagram he drew for me.

Basically, when I had the "cyst" removed, it was removed as though it were an annoying but harmless growth. A big wedge was cut out of my flesh, to remove the lump. But this leaves residual traces lyign around. That's fine for a cyst, but with cancer it means badness, so they have to go back in and cut out a lot more.

As you can see, that means making a much bigger wedge, to be absolutely certain that all the bad cells are cut out. It'll be a lot deeper, and will make my scar rather longer. I'm not bothered by a scar on my neck, so whatever, you know. Worse things happen at sea and so forth.

I thought that would be it, but oh no. Aside from the lymphatic mapping, I also need an ultrasound on the lymph glands in my neck and under my arms. I had no idea before yesterday that there was any danger of the cancer moving into my lymphatic system, but apparently that's how it travels.

After all that, I will need my moles digitally photographed. Then I'll have to have them photographed again and just generally be prodded and poked every three months for two years. If there's a recurrence of cancer, it'll probably be within two years. My chance of another cancer is apparently a bit higher than a person who's just had a primary melanoma, because we already know cancer has a tendency to reproduce in my body. The chance of recurrence is about 15-20%, which while not high, is actually higher than I'd been expecting, based on previous doctors. So, not a lot of fun, that.

Oh, and I'll be referred to an ears, nose and throat doctor, becasue evidently mystery cancers are often in facial cavities. Still, maybe I can get this newest of doctors to look at my constantly blocked right ear. (I told the surgeon about that, and he found it interesting, but didn't seem too concerned. It's really throat and nose that are the problems).

That about brings ya'll up to date with what's going on, anyway.

Lots of pokings, lots of proddings and a doctor with some concern about my lymph glands.

That's all folks. Maybe I'll whinge about that Questers block some other time, eh?

Thanks again for all the birthday wishes!!! *grugs*


( 10 comments! — Make Remark! )
Jun. 28th, 2006 03:50 am (UTC)
My goodness
It sounds like you've been going through a lot of stuff at the moment. Hope you are resting up ok.

*hugs* and am glad to hear you had a happy birthday!!

Thanks for that link as well. I've started reading and now I am hooked...
Jun. 29th, 2006 12:05 pm (UTC)

It's addictive, isn't it? What a strange woman.
Jun. 28th, 2006 04:54 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday!

Cunnin' hats indeed :P

I like the sound of this new doctor too - he seems very thorough, which is a good thing.

and yes... the fandom of death story, I was totally hooked and spent 2 hours reading up on it!
Jun. 28th, 2006 06:56 am (UTC)

But that's not important right now. (Oh, ok, she also says HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Love the hat) New doctor sounds good, and *grugs* for all the proddings!


Jun. 28th, 2006 07:45 am (UTC)
my 20th birthday began with a phonecall from the Maternal Unit in Sydney

Argh! From this I thought you had received a call from a Maternity ward. Ha ha.

Happy birthday, good Kayt!
Jun. 29th, 2006 12:06 pm (UTC)
Hehe! Sorry! Not everyone is up on the Kayt-lingo!
Jun. 28th, 2006 08:15 am (UTC)
Well, it's all sounding good, apart from the constant prodding and poking and waiting around in waiting rooms.

I'm glad you had a lovely day and I look forward to some piccies of the cunnin' hat.
Jun. 28th, 2006 10:09 am (UTC)
I'm riveted by the HP story... Some people are insane...
Jun. 29th, 2006 07:30 am (UTC)
You didn't get my text message then? :( dammit, I must have the wrong number...oh well, rest assured I didn't forget your birthday! glad to hear you had a good day :D
Jun. 29th, 2006 12:06 pm (UTC)
I didn't get it.

We may have to exchange numbers again.
( 10 comments! — Make Remark! )

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