Emily received her final report card. She made straight B’s! I’m proud of her, she worked hard for it. She feels confident that she can handle public school again, so… that’s what she wants to do this year. I messaged Brad, and he was all for it. So, she’s now registered. School starts August 16th, and at that point… I’ll have time to write! Time that is uninterrupted, and of which I have none, at the moment. I haven’t had uninterrupted time in the past year, come to think of it. Wow. No wonder it took me five months to finish and release Lochlan Museum!
Pandy gave us a scare last week. She was severely nauseous in response to food, and stopped eating entirely. There was a lot of vomiting bile, in addition to that. Obviously, she had to go to the vet! A cat can’t go long without food, or permanent liver damage is the result. I knew that, and knew the clock was ticking. The vet’s office was great, and got us an appointment for that afternoon. The next step, was getting her there.
It wasn’t that I needed Miles’ assistance in putting her in the carrier. Em did that easily. I didn’t need a soundproof force field to shield our ears from yowling, either. Pandy did not complain, she merely inquired a couple of times. No, the problem was that I already had two other appointments scheduled that day. The dental cleanings for me and Em weren’t likely to interfere. I figured we’d be out in time to pick up Pandy and get her to the vet. So that wasn’t of much concern. It was the minor surgery I was scheduled for that morning, that had me wondering if I could pull all this off.
In June, I felt a twinge on the back of my right shoulder. It really hurt! I couldn’t imagine what caused it, and of course, I felt of my shoulder. It was wet, and when I looked at my fingers, I realized they were covered in blood. Since my neck doesn’t have the swivel power of an owl, I used a hand mirror and the bathroom mirror, to look at the back of my shoulder and determine the cause of the bleeding. There was none. None! So what in the world?
In my experience, God uses unexpected means to get my attention, and show me what I need to see. So while I’m puzzling over my shoulder, and finding nothing, it was a whole different story with my spine. There was a spot, the like of which, I have only seen in warning ads “get this checked out!”
And so, I spent the rest of the day, and part of the next, arguing with myself. The side that positively loathes going to the doctor, and the side that hates wasting time and money, were firmly set on ignoring it. But then there was the side that went ahead and told Brad, and then called my doctor’s office and got the number for a dermatologist, and then called and made an appointment. It was kind of crazy, it was like a battle going on inside, and I kept wondering, why am I calling? This is stupid! There’s nothing wrong, everything’s fine, and yet I’m making a big deal over nothing, because I have no control here!
But, it was something. It wasn’t melanoma, I’m thankful to be able to say. It was severely abnormal, which is a step away. The others that my doctor biopsied at the same time, because she thought they looked suspicious, were mildly abnormal. So, on Thursday the 13th, I went back and had a minor surgical procedure to remove the tissue surrounding the severely abnormal mole on my spine, to make sure there were no margins left behind. I walked out with two inches worth of stitches on my back, and a set of wound care instructions, and figured that would be the end of it.
It was not.
So, one week after the first surgery, I had the second. The surgery itself was no big deal, because they made absolutely sure the area was so numbed up, I didn’t feel a thing. I knew I wouldn’t, after having the first surgery. I also knew once that wore off, it would hurt. A lot! Aside from the cauterizing, internal, and external stitches, there’s the skin that’s tightly stretched to accommodate what’s sent off to the pathology lab. Skin is stretched pretty tight across the back to begin with, so losing a 2 1/2 inch section may not seem like much, but it is. As long as this surgery got all the margins, I won’t have to have actual surgery and possibly a skin graft, to get the rest. I’m praying it’s all off my back now, and at the lab.
By the time I got out of the office, I had to race home, peel into the driveway, run inside, yell at Emily “We’ve got to go–NOW!” Then back to my vehicle, and the dentist’s office. We did make it. And I didn’t do too bad leaning back in the dental chair at first, but then the anesthetic began wearing off. It got worse and worse after that, but the appointment was over, and I managed to drive home without leaning against the driver’s seat. Em loaded Pandy in her carrier, carted her out and loaded her in the vehicle, and to the vet we went.
I was concerned for Pandy, that’s for certain. But I’m sure I looked as though a failure to return her to health, would be equal to the end of the world. Pain and anxiety can look very similar, and I had plenty of pain. I couldn’t lean against anything, so I sat on the edge of our bench and willed the vet to get to us. I don’t think we had to wait long, but at the time, it felt like an eternity. Once we were shown to an exam room, Pandy was taken back and examined and tests run. All her blood work turned out great, which was awesome. She wasn’t dehydrated–she’d been drinking, just not eating–so she was given an anti-nausea injection, and we were given instructions to call the next day if she didn’t improve, and the next step would be x-rays.
Fortunately, she did start eating. Not a lot, but she’s eating. She acts like she’s perfectly healthy, which cats tend to do, regardless. She does really seem better though. She’s napping because she’s a cat, not because she doesn’t have the strength to do anything else.
So whatever it was that ailed her, we’re glad to have it behind us. And am I ever glad to have that day behind me! Spending an entire eight hours at the dentist getting teeth prepped for crowning, was nothing by comparison.
If there’s a moral to this story, it’s to pay attention to one’s skin. I wasn’t, and I’m thankful that in a borderline literal sense, God had my back. Do I even have to say it’s better to prevent, than to end up dealing with skin cancer? So… be the person who goes to the doctor and finds out they’ve got nothing to worry about. Or the one who finds they would’ve had something to worry about, but now they won’t, because it was taken care of in time. Don’t be the one who waits until symptoms start to show.
Disengaged, book 3 in the Terms of Engagement series, is on page 248. I hope to have it out… when it’s finished. I don’t expect it to take five months, not since I’ll soon have several uninterrupted hours every day. If I can, I’d like to have the next Mystery Lane book out in October. Can I do it? I have no idea! Not a single page has been written yet, all I’ve got are notes. So… we’ll see.
Happy reading, and now I’m going to get back to writing!