adultery, affair, Betrayal, Christianity, divorce, Healing, melanoma, separation, unfaithfulness

Physically Challenged Summer

I moved yet again on August 1, 2017.  Three moves in two years–exhausting, stressful and expensive.  My landlord wanted to do some renovations to the place I had been living in order to add an extra suite to his home and he was also considering selling.  He informed me as well that he would need to raise my rent from $1750 to a yet undetermined amount for what was really a 2-bedroom basement suite and  a tiny extra room with no window that housed my older daughter’s single bed and a desk and computer.

I had met a male friend in February who was not enjoying condo living and sharing walls.  The only way both of us could get more space for less money was to rent a home together.  We researched what was available, included my kids in the process, included God and prayer in the process and feel like the perfect place for us was provided.

Just prior to our move I had to have my melanoma surgery on the left side of my back.  My new friend is a trauma paramedic so they allowed him to come into the surgery room and be with me for the procedure.  He said he was shocked at how much they had to cut.  One centimeter around the cancer site and one centimeter deep.  This melanoma had a deeper root than my last one so it required an additional 5 mm cut than around the cancer site than what was required for the one on my right arm last year.  It doesn’t seem like a lot until they draw it out on your back and you realize it isn’t a cm straight line but a circle.  My friend said the chunk they took was large enough to BBQ.

The requirement after that was no lifting or carrying for 2 weeks.   Because my new roommate saw how serious the surgery was he was very protective and strict with me that obey orders and not pull stitches or cause damage or impede healing. Not at all ideal when you are trying to move.  My kids and my older daughter’s boyfriend along with 3 of his friends were invaluable to me during this time.  My new roommate and his son and girlfriend also made sure we got moved in.  Although, we are still in the process of actually emptying our moving boxes.  My roommate ended up having his own health issues.  It became a stark realization that if anything happened to either of us, the other would not be able to afford to continue to live in our new place.  One day at time living without ruminating about the past or projecting worry and doubt about the future is how I am learning to live. Trusting God will provide and direct is all I can do.

Just when my 2 weeks were up and I was able to start to use both arms again to lift and carry, the very next day I was bit by a Bull Mastiff.  This 200 lb animal fractured my left hand.  My dog was being attacked and if I had not intervened I am convinced my dog would be dead.  I had to have emergency surgery with pins as my 5th metacarpal was displaced and it was an opened wound.  All of the puncture wounds were opened up further and irrigated. I had stitches and was prescribed antibiotics and painkillers.

I just had the pins taken out yesterday and started at the Hand Therapy Clinic today.  It will still be another 2 to 3 weeks before I can lift and carry with my left hand but I am so excited to be out of the cast and have the pins out.  After one treatment at the Hand Clinic today I am amazed that I am able to type with both hands (part of my homework). It is difficult and a little painful but I am doing it.

I feel like with everything that has happened to me and with all the unrest in the world right now between crazy weather, terrorism, war,  nuclear threats, acts of violence/hatred, etc. that I am being prepared for something even more difficult.  My world of what I thought was love, peace, comfort, stability and security has been rocked forever with infidelity but now I am undergoing further levels of being toughened up, challenged, changed, and forced to rethink my priorities and purpose for my life.  I am not afraid of what is to come.   With every circumstance I handle, endure, over-come, let be, or fight I am realizing more and more that my character is real.  I am a confident, independent, brave, tough, faithful and loving woman in good times and in hard times.

 

Photos are hand condition at 2 weeks post surgery getting stitches removed.

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Cancer, melanoma, sun exposure

Lucky Friday the 13th

On Friday, I received a call from my doctor.  She proclaimed to me twice, “You are one lucky lady.”

The third pathology report had just been received in her office and there is no more residual melanoma around the tumour site.  She commented to me again that she had treated smaller moles/marks caught earlier that ended up being fatal.

I have a referral to the melanoma specialist on June 13, 2016.  He will examine my entire body to see if there are any other areas of concern.  I was advised that I am at risk for further occurrences so it is imperative that I be vigilant with monitoring and sun protection/avoidance. Genetic testing will likely be recommended for both me and my daughters.

 

 

 

 

 

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adultery, affair, Betrayal, Cancer, cheating, Christianity, divorce, faith, God, melanoma, separatiion, Spirituality, the other woman

A Spreading Cancer and a beautiful Crater

I met with the doctor on Friday afternoon, last week.  She was held up in the operating room at the hospital so she was late getting back to her office. There were two patients for her to see before me so it was close to 3:30 when I finally got to meet with her.

The melanoma in my right arm has spread beyond the 5 mm perimeter on one side.  Therefore, I require more surgery. My doctor wanted me to come in on Sunday.  I told her I was leaving in the morning for March break. I was leaving with a girlfriend and her two daughters along with my daughter for a road trip. We had reservations at the Running Y Ranch Resort in Klamath Falls, Oregon for Saturday.  We booked to stay for the week (an amazing deal of only $150/week for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo) but we planned on leaving Thursday to go to Portland as our girls are in a dance competition.  It would be a 1 1/2 hour ferry ride from Victoria to Port Angeles and then another 10 hour drive to our destination so I really couldn’t delay the trip for 2 days without disappointing 4 other people.

We discussed the risks of waiting.  My doctor said if it was a basal cell carcinoma she would say it was okay to wait but she reminded me we are dealing with melanoma and “ideally” it should come out today.  She said there were two benefits of waiting.  Firstly, the scar on my arm is very tight.  The longer it has to heal the more chance there is skin for her to pull back over my wound.  She also said waiting until I get back would give her time to try and see if she could order a small batch of skin bond glue.  It is very expensive and I will have to pay for it.  She said she would see if she could order just enough for my procedure.  It will cost about $50.

So I made the decision to carry on with my trip. I booked my surgery for the first available appointment my doctor had after Easter which is the end of March break.

I do not regret my decision, at this point anyway. We are having an amazing time.  The resort was beautiful.  We made a lot of use out of the huge pool that we had to ourselves a lot of the time.  We enjoyed the Shriner circus, shopped, explored the lava beds in California, the Wildlife Refuge, climbed mountains, descended into caves, went on self-guided nature walks, visited Petroglyphs and learned a lot about the Madoc and Klamath Indian battles with the white settlers.

The highlight was being able to experience the awe of Crater Lake. We had wanted to go early in the week but due to snow storms there was no visibility even if we could make the drive up there.  We were able to view the webcams around the lake from our resort lobby. There was no visibility. It was fogged in.  The road was completely snow packed. The road had been closed the entire time we were in Klamath Falls but we heard that you could snow shoe from the Visitor Station to the rim in about 30 minutes. We decided to chance it on our way back towards Portland. It was a clear, sunny and warm day. It turns out that the road reopened just two hours before we arrived so we were able to drive up to the rim.

It was a very spiritual experience for me. The half million years it took for Mount Mazama to form.  Then the battle that was brewing inside it until it’s final eruption 7,700 years ago. So violent was that eruption that the foundation cracked in a complete circle and the entire mountain collapsed in destruction. When all that was left was the empty, scarred caldera it became filled with melted snow to form the deepest lake in the United States and possibly the purest source of water in the world. It was a real reminder to me of how the most difficult and traumatic experiences in our life that completely leave us depleted can be filled with everything good and pure and turn our lives into the most beautiful, unimaginable creations.

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adultery, affair, Cancer, divorce, infidelity, melanoma, separation

Cancer Update

Last Thursday, I contacted my specialist’s office as I was surprised I still hadn’t received any information about the pathology report following removal of the malignant melanoma tumour in my right shoulder. I was told that it had not been received and they too were anxiously awaiting the report and would call as soon as it came in.

Today, I was contacted that the report has now been received.  When I went in to have the stitches removed it was my understanding that if the surgery was successful and there was no more sign of cancer there would be no need to return.  I would just be referred to the Melanoma expert for ongoing monitoring and genetic testing for me and my girls.

I was hoping that my specialist would call directly again saying that there was good news this time.  I wanted her to call and say that the cancer had all been removed and that I didn’t need to go back. I thought she would confirm the referral to Dr. Patrick Kenny’s office and tell me that his office would call me with my first appointment date.

Instead, I was contacted by my specialist’s assistant. She told me that the doctor needed me to come in so she could go over the pathology results with me directly.  She asked if I could come in on Thursday or Friday.

My appointment is Friday at 2:30.

 

 

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adultery, affair, Cancer, control, divorce, infidelity, marriage, melanoma, narcissism, parenting after separation

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good: (Me)

I had my tumor removed yesterday and the doctor felt that it went well.  She also took out a 5 mm perimeter around the tumor and went 5 mm deep.  That sample is off to pathology. I am being referred to a cancer specialist who’s expertise is melanoma.

The Good:  (Dave)

On February 1 Dave paid me the increase in my support payment as per the court order and a couple of hundred more to start covering the additional court order for arrears and court costs.  On February 2 he sent me a payment of $3000 toward this amount and he said that he will send me another $3000 today and a payment tomorrow to resolve this order.

The Bad:  (Me)

The doctor was frank and told me that she has seen marks smaller than mine caught earlier than mine be fatal.  My Irish background has the strongest genetic disposition for melanoma and thinks that I will be advised to have genetic testing.  She said that I need to eventually have a discussion with my girls about my diagnosis as they need to be aware for themselves and should also have genetic testing.  She told me that Bob Marley died of melanoma. Obviously he has a very different skin type than me. His was on his foot and it was just thought to be a wart. The feet is apparently the worst place to have melanoma as it tends to be the most aggressive.

The Bad: (Dave)

Dave has confirmed he is going to go to send us to court again over pet expenses, the dance expenses and some other outstanding special expenses he doesn’t want to pay.  He, also, claimed our older daughter on his taxes as a dependent for his 2014 return when she lived most the time during that year (8 out of the 12 months) with me.  He didn’t even pay child support during that period.  He knows that wasn’t right but it is more to his tax advantage.  That doesn’t matter and now I am being taxed $732 for rightfully claiming her.  I told Dave that he can pay me that amount if his tax savings is more and it has to be by February 5 so I don’t have to pay interest or this will become another Revenue Canada (he can be reassessed and have to pay more plus interest) and another legal issue.  He said he isn’t paying and is going to fight his support payments because he thinks he missed something in mediation in my documentation that may have affected what he is paying.

The Ugly:  (Me)

The cancerous mark on my right upper shoulder is actually called an “ugly duckling”. I am attaching a picture just so you can see what it looks like in case you ever see this on your body or some one else’s body.

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The Ugly: (Dave)

I am getting very adept at identifying the unreasonable, misplaced anger, blame and threatening dialogue of my ex.

He has been fairly consistent at picking up our daughter on Thursday night to take her to get dinner. He usually picks her up at 5:30 and drops her off by 7:30 at the latest, but usually earlier.

I contacted him on Tuesday to say that our daughter wasn’t able to meet him this Thursday so would he like to see her Friday night or Saturday instead. I don’t think that she has ever cancelled a Thursday night.

He said that wasn’t acceptable because he made plans for her to have dinner with his parents who are visiting for the month of February. He texted her and she told him that she was going to an open house that was being held at one of the high schools she is interested in attending in September.

I told Dave that she was sick too (she is off school today) so that might prevent her from doing anything.  His response: “Oh but you can plan to take her to Claremont when you know my parents are here…big surprise.”

I told him that I have no control over when high schools hold their open house.  It runs from 6 – 8 and she has a cavity to get filled before that at 4:30 p.m.  Again, if she still feels like she does, she might not attend anything. I reminded him that his parents are here for a month and they can see her whenever she isn’t at school or dance practice or have plans that are important to her.

His response: “Oh thanks…as usual you do your own thing around your schedule not others. If (daughter) isn’t coming for dinner then there is no reason for me to be up the peninsula so she will have to wait until Saturday to get the raffle tickets and money.”

 

 

 

 

 

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adultery, affair, Betrayal, Cancer, cheating, children, Christianity, divorce, ex spouse, family, infidelity, melanoma

Cancer

Sometime in 2012, when I was under the illusion that I was happily married, I noticed a dark mark on my right upper arm.  At first I thought it was my vaccination mark.  Then I realized that my vaccination is on my left arm and that it looked the same as always.  This was something new.

That summer I went to my doctor’s office to have it checked.  My doctor was on vacation so I consulted the locum taking her place.  She examined the mark but felt that it was nothing and suggested that I just watch it for changes.

Fast forward 3 1/2 years now that my life has finally settled enough for me to consider my own health.  I went to my doctor for my first physical since my separation.  I showed my doctor the mark and she was concerned.  She said she was sure it was a basal cell carcinoma, the best kind of skin cancer to have, but that it needed to be removed. She referred me to a specialist.

The specialist had a different concern.  She looked at the cells through a special microscope and said that she didn’t like what she was seeing.  She was surprised at how large the mark was and said that it was too big for her to remove without leaving terrible scarring.  She was going on holidays at the end of the week but wanted it biopsied before she left. She asked her nurse to book time for me, even if it meant she had to stay late one night because we needed to see what we were dealing with as quickly as possible.

She cut out an elliptical cross-section of the mark.  She sewed the skin back up with dissolving stitches in the under layers and nylon stitches on top.  I returned 2 weeks later to have the top stitches removed but the pathology report still wasn’t in.  She said she was going to follow up directly with the lab to get the report.

Tonight I received a call from the specialist from her home after hours.  The pathology report confirms that I have the aggressive and most dangerous skin cancer, melanoma.  I have to call her office tomorrow to make an appointment to go back in next week to determine the next steps.

Melanoma is the least common of skin cancers but it causes the most deaths.  If it is not treated early enough it can spread through the blood stream to other parts of the body making it difficult to treat.  I feel like close to 4 years of this growth on my body is not early intervention.

I am disappointed with myself for not following my gut that this was something that needed to be removed when I first found it.  I am also being compassionate with myself though.  It is very fresh in my mind the last 3 years of hell that have been my reality. Especially because many aspects of that daily battle still exist. When I reflect back on what I was dealing with emotionally and the tasks that I had to perform physically and mentally, all by myself, just surviving each day was a victory in itself.  The worry and stress I carried for me and my children and the responsibilities that were now solely dumped on me along with the impact of the consequences of my husband bailing on his family buried me. It is no wonder that my own physical well-being fell so low on the priority list.

So as I read an email that Dave just sent addressed to “Robo McBlobo” I am reminded that I have strength of character, perseverance, faith, hope and trust in a greater purpose that will allow me to deal with whatever this cancer has in store for me.

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