Thursday, April 27, 2017

Medical matters

Gregg got a call from the dermatologist yesterday. The spot they biopsied on his forehead is indeed basal cell carcinoma, and will need to be removed in the next week or two. The doctor also wants to examine him all over for any other suspicious skin sites. Gregg spent many years getting lots of sun, and as a fair skinned person, that's a really bad idea. Although he's known better (and done better) for the past decade or so, these things take time to pop up. The good news is, they're usually slow growing and when caught early have a super high cure rate. The treatment is likely to be a simple outpatient procedure, thank goodness. He says he's not really worried, and I believe him, but I can tell that the "C" word has cast a pall over his mood. I don't blame him; I don't like it either. I'm just grateful that it should be easily fixed and forgotten this time.

This has driven home the point for me that I need to continue to be picky when looking for a new job. We would be in trouble without proper health insurance, and I carry it through my job. Gregg's work doesn't have the option. So any job I consider has to come with a decent benefits package. I have to say, despite how much I've disliked some parts of my current job, the health coverage has been pretty good and I'm grateful for it. It will be an essential part of my next situation--it has to be.

Speaking of medical matters, Ginger had to go to the vet yesterday for her bi-annual heartworm prevention shot. She's such a good girl. There's barely a need to put a leash on her; she'll almost always do exactly what you want her to do in any situation. The newer vet in the practice saw her, and had the nerve to say my perfect little girl needs to lose some weight!

Ok, maybe a little bit of weight.

The vet suggested a 10% reduction. She's 67 pounds and so about 60ish is what we're shooting for. On the way home I told Ginger not to feel bad. I need to lose 10% of my body weight too! We can do it together! I've been considering taking her for slow jogs when I go for bike rides, and we can both cut back on treats and meal portions. Look out world, the Sparrow Tree Girls are going to get in shape this summer! Haha.

In addition to taking Ginger to the vet yesterday, I had an eye exam. I needed new contact lenses and the clinic I use requires a yearly exam to make sure the prescription hasn't changed. A new eye doctor, who looked about twelve, examined me and said, "You don't need bifocal glasses yet....but maybe by next year. You're in your early 40's now, you know." Jerk!

Happy (belated) birthday Joanna!

Today I'm taking a sick day off from work. I've had colicky pain in my stomach for the past two days, and the over the counter medicine I took for it had an unpleasant (ahem) side effect. (I can't stray far from my bathroom). I have episodes of pain like this every few months. The doctors I've seen have run all sorts of tests, but they can't seem to pinpoint a cause. My gallbladder has been removed (I had terrible gallstones) but it feels a bit like a mild gallbladder attack. Not fun. I'm hoping it will pass very soon this time.


  1. I hope your colicky pain will pass very soon, and I also hope Gregg's operation will be all it takes to remove the carcinoma.
    As I have mentioned before, O.K. has had several moles removed for the same reason, and is monitored twice a year by his doctor, just be on the safe side. After all, his sister died of skin cancer two years ago, so even though O.K. himself is neither fair-skinned nor unreasonably exposing his skin to the sun, it is something to be watched.

    My eye exams on Monday did not go all that well, but it could have been worse.

    1. I'm sorry to hear that, Meike. The only thing I ever see the eye doctor for is a standard exam (I'm terribly nearsighted). I hope everything is going to be okay with your vision.

  2. Relax and enjoy together with the dogs.

  3. Doctors and vets, dentists and optometrist. It is just ongoing, isn't it?
    I have used black salve on a number of skin cancers and get great results. i don't think you look at a BCC in the same way as other cancers, they are almost never a big deal.
    Good luck with it all

  4. I have had quite a few spots and bumps removed over the years. I have had both basil and squamous cell carcinoma removed. Most of them are result of not using any sunscreen when I was younger. It's not a big deal to get them removed especially if they appeared recently.

  5. Oh you two Sparrow Tree girls, exercising together is more fun for sure. I hope your hubby has full success in having the cancer removed. I had a spot removed from the top of my head two years ago, and they check me once a year now. I have always liked hats and now have turned in to a hat lady LOL.

  6. Our Bok was a little overweight so I've put him on 'Pedigree Light' food. He's certainly lost a few pounds, so I'll keep him on it.

  7. The GIF from AbFab made me laugh. So sorry about the biopsy news but so glad you caught it and Chuck is being checked out carefully. I love young doctors but really hate the ones who are insensitive to aging and are almost (well not ALMOST) smug about their youth and my apparent antiquity. "Oh, we just call those barnacles. All older people get them," a medical student told me when I was 55 (I mean 39!!!). I wanted to slap the runt. I hope Ginger wasn't too offended. Thinking good thoughts for you all.

  8. Oh dear... Good health is so precious but when we have it we usually take if for granted. Let's hope there are no other nasty surprises when Gregg gets the full examination.

  9. Those darn forehead spots! I can identify! I'm sure everything will be fine. :)

  10. Jennifer, hoping that you will be feeling much better soon.

    I am sorry to learn of your husband's skin cancer. Beginning over 30 years ago I have had several such diagnoses that required Mohs surgery. On my face. Since then I do cling to the shadows and have worn sun screen every day and have regular check ups multiple times per year.

    Although I like to think that my time on the French Riviera was the catalyst for my basal cell, I think the truth is that I earned it during my Virginia youth when we were encouraged to get a little color and sun screen was not part of the plan.

    Do take care. xo

  11. Hate to tell you this, but I had my gall bladder in 1968, then last year after some pain, they found I had developed gall stones in my pancreas. I won't go into gory details but I went into hospital for an outpatient's procedure, which should have seen me out of the place in 8 hours, (surgery has moved on since 1968 apparently when I was hospitalised for 10 days. This time however, they managed to perforate my pancreas and bile duct, and I didn't get home for seven weeks. (Sigh) As for the skin cancer, my husband and I have both had very successful treatment to remove BCCs. nothing to worry about! honestly! Blessings and peace

  12. Meant to say 'gall bladder removed in 1968'

  13. My sister-in-law is a dermatologist and is constantly gifting my wife creams and lotions. People tend to be so lax with their health. Ginger is beautiful I just want to give her a big hug. Speaking of eye exams, I'm in need of some new glasses. I 've had these frames for far too long. I hope you feel better.