Friday, October 19, 2012

RSVP 2012 – things still haven’t changed

As a follow up to my 2011 post “The Reasons behind RSVP” I have met this feat with great disrespect for the term.  I recently planned my sister’s baby shower, and those of you who have done this have probably gone through the same frustrations as I, especially because we need a headcount for the caterer, the games, the favors, etc.  You are dishing out money for this event so you need to stay on top of everything, you want to make this event special.   Hence why we put RSVP by such-n-such date.  The invites were mailed out about a month in advance, giving everyone ample time to RSVP by email or by phone (by giving people choices I thought would make things easier).  The due date for RSVP came with 10 people we had to follow up on, not entirely bad, but how hard is it for adults to respond yes or no.  I’m sure they’ve been through this before.  Anyway, having to hound people for a response is my forte’, it’s like collecting money, you pay up or you don’t get anything, not that this is the case we just needed an answer.  As one who may have delayed RSVPing to the very last day to some events I’ve been invited to, I can attest that these invites can get lost, misplaced, or just plain forgotten about.  Now what does that say to the person the event is being held for? I don’t think anyone thinks about that – its very disrespectful.  We’re not mind readers either, we’re not going to assume because you live in another state doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t make the trip. 

So had this not been for my sister, had this been a friend of mine (with a sense of humor), or even an event of my own, I would not think twice about checking off an ‘rsvp’ list to those who walk through the door,  “Oh I’m sorry you didn’t RSVP, we don’t have a seat for you.” Now that would teach them.   I do feel sorry for those of us who have to ‘hound’ adults and hold their hand to this simple task.  Either way, my sister is going to have a very special baby shower and I will bite my tongue just this once to those who show but didn’t RSVP.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pre-Cancerous Spot Removal

The official term for removing this mole is called an excision, not quite an exorcism but an excision.  I guess because its half in the body and half out.  I was fairly calm walking into the appointment and having to deal with their computer technical difficulties before the procedure.  One of the release forms I read on a printed piece of paper, but signed via IPad explained all the risks associated with an ‘excisional surgery’ or complications such as scar, bleeding, infection, nerve damage, not so bad, I don’t care about nerve damage on my hip anyway.  Cancer is a lot worse than what they have listed and again, thank god I’m doing this now.  Then I read down to postoperative care (another reason why I checked my first aid stash), not so bad I can handle this. 

Now I’m in the room answering more typical medical questions (the nurse started our introductions with 'Hello, I'm _____, you look nervous as hell') um, heck yeah. Then I clued her in that I thought the doctor would use a cork screw to take it out.  She hands me the typical paper examining robe and the doctor comes back in to mark the spot. He pulls out a black Sharpie and draws an ‘eye’ (yes an actual eye) on the mole using the cornea as the mole itself.  In my opinion it reminded me of those old  ‘color by number’ books we had as kids.   After he leaves she injects the Novocain which felt like the needle was in there forever, it was a cold and warming feeling (thank goodness I emptied my bladder before I got there).  About 10 minutes later the doctor comes back in and here we go.  I felt what I thought were three incisions, the outline of the eyeball and then taking out the middle.  Followed by “you’re going to hear a little buzzing” (um ok), they should have said it would be followed by a burning smell. I asked if it was a laser and he said he quarterized it (he didn’t answer my question or he did and I was just too numb to ‘get it’). Anyway that was it, then he stitched me up and said he was doing them ‘surgically’ to limit how big the scar would be.  (Sure I don’t care, its going to be covered by my underwear waist band anyway.) Then I got dressed, got my next appointment to get the stitches removed in two weeks and off I went to get my meds filled.  I guess when a doctor gives you a script for Percoset it means I’m going to feel some sort of pain afterwards.

I was in the office for 1 hr and 12 minutes for a 5-8 minute procedure not counting the 10 minutes it took to numb me up.  I love it when they say, “You’re going to feel a little pinch” (um ok) and “Let us know if you feel something” (um ok) then what, are you really going to shoot me up again?  I felt the last two stitches go in (it was no more than a ‘little pinch’) and then I took a peek before she put gauze over it.  Nice and straight like train tracks (11 stitches in all). 

Overall I’m glad this is done and over with, except for the part of going back in two weeks to get the stitches removed.  I don’t want to be part of a statistic for fair skinned females getting skin cancer, another reason why it’s important for everyone on a yearly basis to get screened.  Now I have to find all my low rise undees that won’t put any pressure on the wound for two weeks and no swimming in the pool for me!

Spot Removal – Part 2 the final countdown

Finally after almost a month the doctor called with the results of the biopsy they performed on the two moles they semi-removed.  Finally…and I took a breath and listened as she told me “the one on you back came back negative” (whew) “and the one on your hip came back with abnormal cells” (inhale), “that came back as not cancerous” (um ok) “but could turn into something in the future” (um ok) “so we’d like to remove that as a precautionary measure.”  Great…my heart is racing at this point just imagining had I not gone this year, had they not suggested to biopsy these..well let’s not think about what could it be down the line.  I finally exhaled and inhaled again and had her repeat what she said about the mole on my hip, which they want to take the rest of it out, requiring stitches.  “Ok, now how do I do this around softball, I wanted to run the 5k in October” I thought, and then thought about it again from a realistic standpoint to f$%# my schedule - I want this taken care of now. 

I found myself saying ‘no’ to events people are planning ahead for in October, I’ll miss a few games of the fall season.  I won’t run in October in that race, hoping it will be back next year. I said ‘no’ to a race in November, knowing I won’t have time to prepare.  It actually gives me a goal or two to work harder toward in the winter and to get stronger.  Strong enough to do a 10K when this comes around next year.  Strong enough that I made it clear I’m doing the 40 miles in the Grand Fondo bicycle race in 2013. 

But now a week to go and its on my mind. How many stitches? How are they going to remove this? How much pain am I going to be in? Do I have to buy more gauze? (My first aid supply is quite abundant since I had my first bout with stitches 3 years ago.)  Are they going to use a cork screw to take it out?  What’s the over/under for the amount of stitches?  All I know is that I have to come back in 2 weeks to take them out..who knows what kind of, if any pain I’ll be in for that time.