A Long, Hot Summer

Three more skin cancer sites this summer: malignant melanoma on my shin and chest, and squamous on my left thumb. So, three more surgeries, and after care left up to me. Apparently visiting nurses are not available for just skin cancer wounds care.

The weather for the month of July here in New England has been horrendous (to me) as we have had numerous heat waves, with temperatures staying in the nineties and humidity staying in the seventies for as long as ten days, and more often for at least two to three days. I have felt my mood affected by both the weather and the returning cancer and the absence of professional after care. I began wondering why I continue to halt the malignancy by agreeing to surgical removal. I’ve been lucky that I haven’t had to agree to chemo or radiation, as the surgeon keeps cutting until he reaches clear margins. I am told I am lucky. I don’t feel lucky. This makes ten different sites: four melanoma, three squamous, and three basal, all treated surgically, and dozens of early cancer sites treated with ‘cryo-surgery’ : freezing the site with a liquid nitrogen squirt that burns as much as the lidocaine injections for the surgery do.

I’m lethargic in the heat, and confused and depressed by my ongoing cancer attacks. I feel very alone, getting through these procedures, and handling the wound care twice a day for weeks after each surgery. I’ve just finished the third week of the third site, and it is almost time to go back to the dermatologist to allow him to look for and biopsy more sites.  Do I want to do that? Or do I just want to take a passive response, stop looking for and treating these sites, and let mother nature take her course …

The psychiatrist has decided, with me, that this depression is deepening … that my grief is a complicated grief, and that my continuing wish to rejoin Rick in the hereafter is a clear indication that my current dose of medication is not sufficient. I failed last winter in my attempt to rejoin Rick, as first responders interrupted the process. My family and friends all told me it wasn’t my time …  they didn’t want me to rejoin him. So I am here, but I’m not sure why, or what to do while I am. I won’t try that again, as I would no doubt be disappointing those who don’t want me to do that again. So I will begin a gradual increase in my meds, and I will see the doctor now every other week rather than monthly, while still seeing the counselor every week. They are both trying to help me see life as livable. I trust them. They are good people. I don’t want to disappoint.

I’ll also see another doctor this month: the endocrinologist who monitors the cyst on my thyroid and checks my blood levels for continuing osteoporosis treatments. I see him once a year, and usually have either a bone density test, or an infusion treatment, along with blood tests. The nurses who administer the infusion are very attentive, and I am not at all bothered by the procedure.

But I am exhausted. I am tired of medical visits. I am without any goals, and wish only to sleep in peace. But I toss and turn each night … I have vivid dreams in which time sequences and locations and personalities are all mixed up and make no sense. And Rick is not here to help me understand. I do not understand why I am still here, without him. It makes no sense. Why would God want me to have to live like this, without Rick? We belong together.



  1. Kit

    I am not surprised that you tried to leave to find Rick. It would break my heart, but I understand.

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