Saturday, June 21, 2008

Yet Another Catch Up Blog

dinner alfresco
Originally uploaded by suzipaw
It's been a busy week and I still have to pack for three glorious days in Burlingame starting tomorrow, so let's just dive right in, shall we? Oh, and dang it's hot.

Commencement recap: I was so focused on party recovery, I neglected to post about the reason for the party--the graduation itself. The ceremony was long enough to feel the gravitas of the moment, but not overly dragging. The valedictorian keep her speech short, former Speaker of the House Dick Gephardt did not, but at least he is quite the accomplished, um, speaker. M received the Labe Lebowitz award, recognition to an individual in the class who has overcome adversity with great aplomb. Guess those hospitalizations for diverticulosis really paid off after all! Thanks to all who came to the ceremony, that meant a lot to M. I'm really big on ceremonies--I think they really help with life transitions.

More family fun continued earlier this week--my dad and stepmom came for a visit for a few days, and it was so nice to have them. My niece was also in town and came over for dinner twice. She, my stepmom, and I also had a gals shopping day, which was quite pleasant. Other activities (see below) kept me from being as quite as chipper as I wanted to be during their visit, but we got a lot of hanging out and catching up done.

On a more serious note, it's been a week of health stuff for me too. I had my first MRI, for a soft tissue lump on my toe. The podiatrist thinks it's probably just a cyst or a lipoma, but she wants to be sure. I'll hear the results of that next week, but I foresee limping in my future. What a weird experience the MRI is. I'm so glad I went in feet first, and not very far in at that.

Much more uncomfortable was my return engagement with the dermatologist. He called Tuesday evening to say that the pathology report had come back positive for melanoma and could I come in at lunch the next day to have more flesh excised? Though he said he did get it all the first time, the medical convention is for a margin to be removed as well. I admit to being a bit of a wuss about the procedure. I didn't exactly cry, but I was fearful and just felt a bit dazed by the whole experience. My new wound is almost twice as long as the first go-round, is only just now feeling itchy rather than also sore and painful, and I'm left with a shallow divot and a couple of bumps at either end of the incision. Oh well, *I* won't have to see it very often, just the rest of you will. I'm soooo not looking forward to the full-body exam for more bad spots later in August. I have some moles in some places even I don't like peering at.

So thank goodness I have health insurance. The dermatologist warned me never to let my insurance lapse, since having a history of melanoma also means I'm apparently uninsurable, which is a little disturbing. The other disturbing part is how random the discovery was. If I hadn't been wearing a sundress at a party with where my stepdad was there to point it out (thank you, Don!), and already planning to see the dermatologist for something that turned out to be completely harmless, that cancer might still be working its way to my lymph nodes yet. So I'm still mentally digesting all of that.

Finally, a little digression into work--one of my employees quit, and Friday was her last day. She departed on relatively cordial terms, but my group just wasn't the right place for her, and I was part of that un-rightness, which gnaws at me. From my point of view, she made some career missteps, and giving her a good-bye hug, I also wanted shake her and tell her not to make those same stupid mistakes I made! But of course, I went ahead and made them when it was my turn, didn't I? And I learned a great deal with just a few regrets from my poor decisions. And who knows, they may not be mistakes for her--and if they are, I'm sure she'll learn a lot, just like I did.

Now, time for a cool shower, cold beer, and packing.

Happy Summer Solstice! And now the days grow shorter, boo…


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