Monday, December 28, 2020

When I said 'nose,' maybe the dermatologist heard 'toes'

I went to Boston to the Mohs surgery center for what I thought would be removal of something on my nose. Instead, the doctor said to apply Efudex/calcipotriene, dermatology's "dynamic duo," to my face for five days, to in effect burn off this and other spots. Instead, she had the resident cut away part of my toenail and biopsy the dark area underneath it, "just to make sure it isn't melanoma." This was kind of as an aside. I have shown this gross big toe to many people who haven't had much to say about the dark area under it along one side. The consensus has been that it is scar tissue from my toe banging up against my shoe while running. She is the first person who seemed to give it a second thought.
When I said nose, maybe she heard toes...

The resident said not to worry. What, me worry? 
Here is something I wrote about being a worry wart.

It was not a pleasant experience and really hurt even more when the anesthesia wore off. I have not gotten the results yet. Boyfriend had to stand by when I took the Band Aid off in case I fell over in shock at the sight of it a partial toenail and hit my head.

A friend pointed out that it wasn't a good idea to write in October that my hypochondriac tendencies had led me to suspect pancreatic cancer...and then disappear.

I started a couple of times, as you can see if you scroll down to a post I wrote last month, and then I had blogger block, a version of writer's block that occurs when you are not sure why you are writing a blog. Also, I like to add photos, and my photos disappeared from my Mac. It took conversations with several Apple experts to get them back.

The pandemic has made it hard enough to concentrate on paid work. So I have put my energy into work that pays. I thought of revisiting the blog, however, when I wanted to look up one of the crazy things that happened to me and found it in my blog. It was the years that I had ferritin overload due to having so many blood transfusions, and having to drink a disgusting medicine, Exjade, to get the number to get down to normal. I found the blog, put in "ferritin," and voila, the posts came up. So maybe it is at least useful. Still, I got tired of hearing myself talk about myself. I'm not sure what I am going to do, but I thought I would at least check in and update.

Here is something about the increased mental health risks during the pandemic for those who have seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, and tips for coping. And here is another pandemic-related story, about the need for cancer treatments and screenings to continue. 

Here is what I started: 

Here we are with my Aunt Marge on her 100th birthday. I was very attached to her. My mother said that when I was three or so, and my head didn't reach the counter in a coffee shop, and my aunt hadn't gotten served, I said, as if out of nowhere, ""Please give my Aunt Marge  cup of coffee." 

When I moved to Western Mass for my job at the T-T (Transcript-Telegram), I stayed with her in Greenfield for a while. She was gracious, even when my dog Simon took a chomp at their little dog when he messed with Simon's food. Over the years when she lived in New York, I visited as much as I could. 

This photo  at left turned up during cleanup, in an envelope of old photos. Warren in front, my mother on the left, and Marge on the right...with the same sweet face.
As Bruce wrote in a beautiful tribute on Facebook, when Marge died on Oct. 19th, "she spent 101 years and 9 months on this planet and came in on a pandemic and left on a pandemic."
Bruce Byers photo, Lynne and Marge

Saying that I was sad when she died is an understatement. It is more than being the last link to the generation, to my mother. It is the love I felt for her. And not being able to go down to New York makes it worse. I have thought of doing it and would love to see Jeanne, Bruce, and Amanda, but it doesn't make sense now with the surge. 

The two of them were sooooo close. They called each other Bren. It came from an act that two sisters, Brenda and Cobina, did, which would start like this: "Brenda!" "What is it Cobina?" They apparently did this for a while and then when they forgot which one was which, they just simply called each other Bren.

Hopefully will all make it through and can get together in New York to celebrate a wonderful life. 

Here is another start. 

It sounds like an ordinary, tennis, Odyssey bookstore on Small Business Saturday, coffee with a friend, dog walk... and in a way though part of it would have seemed abnormal pre-pandemic, it is the version that I have gotten used to. It was virtual yoga on the living room floor, for starters. Tennis, still at the Canoe Club, wasn't any different than in the past except for knowing that it is nearing the end because I decided not to go inside. At The Odyssey, one-way traffic, hand sanitizer, and a placard to take so they can keep track of, and limit, the number of people inside. And coffee sipped behind the mask, reminding me of how I did it after all of my transplants .