Cleared From One Doctor’s Appointments

don't forget to smile

This has been a very busy ten months, but things are quieting down now. I’m happy to say that the dermatology surgeon gave me a clear pass today, with no more follow-up appointments with him for now. I’ll continue to see the dermatologist every three months, but the most recent visit with him also gave a clear pass, with two biopsies taken and no cancer found. We’re breathing easier now … still cautious, and staying on top of skin checks, but feeling more positive with each negative biopsy.

It’s funny how medical visits can take over a schedule, and how easily the focus of health priorities can shift. Five years ago, seeking a cause for recurring migraines and shingles and other troubling symptoms I was given a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. That label, and its treatment, was the dominant focus for the following three years. Then depression reared up, and finding doctors to help me address that label and find its right treatment pushed my concerns with MS to the edge of the plate. With talk therapy and medications, I rediscovered my self-respect and discontinued the MS injections, pushing MS nearly off my plate altogether. But within two months of that achievement, the diagnosis of all three forms of skin cancer took center stage. Eight surgeries and more than a hundred sutures later, follow-up visits for malignant melanoma (in two separate primary sites) caused a resurgence of the depression and more adjustment of medications. Rick has patiently been at my side through all of this … he has patiently been at my side through many other challenges aside from my health as well.

The combination of MS treatment and depression ended my career. But with his steady support, and despite the additional element of cancer, I have been able to rediscover what I am capable of. I’ve become the Company Clerk for our local Erie 4 Fire Company … and the Vice President and Local Author Event Coordinator for our Friends of the public Library … and a wordsmith of sorts for the Alliance for Georgetown, working on communications and press releases for its sponsored Business Events … I’ve started my own business Terry’s Thoughts and Threads, as a Quilter and Free Lance Writer and self-published author,  companion to Rick’s own Wooden Toy and Gift. We are both working hard to promote these small businesses in conjunction with other small businesses in town.

We haven’t yet established a ‘routine’ of working hours, as our schedule isn’t yet our own. But as the doctor visits begin to lessen in number and slow in repetition, we’ll begin to see more days as our own. At some points in the past ten months we’ve had as many as four days each week interrupted by different doctor appointments. As the skin surgeries increased, so did the depression appointments. Both now are beginning to fall back to a level I can call ‘occasional’ rather than ‘intense.’ And that is a relief.

Thanks for staying with me here at the blog. I’m happy to say that right now I’m happy, and feeling well. February is my favorite month of the year … no heat and humidity, the amusement of Groundhog Day, the sentiment of Valentine’s Day, the freedom, for many decades of my life, provided by School Vacation Week, and then my birthday. I’m happy to be the age I am, and would have no desire or reason to want to go back for a ‘do-over’ of any I’ve completed.

Next on the agenda will be working on our tax forms for this first full year of retirement income. It will be interesting…

Be well, all. I will, too.

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  1. Congratulations on the clear pass. I know that is such a good feeling. I just finished 14 months of individual therapy for depression.

  2. Oh Terry I am so happy to hear that you have gotten a clear book of health. I’m sure with your determination your routine will come together. I am not happy to say since the diagnosis of SPMS took center stage and leaving behind RRMS I have never been able to find my ‘routine” as of yet which is very frustrating. MS along with other factors have deterred me from a routine but I do not lose hope. Very happy the melanoma is behind you. Always with a kind thought for you and Rick. ~ Liset

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