I got the call last night from my dermatologist telling me the discolored area on my forehead is indeed a serious melanoma. It’s the kind that if caught early has a good survival rate. Unfortunately we have caught this one late. My dermatologist recommended a surgeon to remove the cancer and check my lymph nodes for possibly spreading. I called the surgeon’s office this morning. They did receive the referral but the surgeon is surgery all day today. They are promising to get back to me on Monday or Tuesday of next week.
In the meantime, though shaken, I am planning on continuing to live my life the way i have been living it. This means Eileen and I will be going out to eat this evening and going to hear the Turtle Island String Quartet at Hope.
Eileen and I have always known that she has an actuarial advantage over me, women living longer than men. In addition her genes probably have longevity in them (judging from the length of the life of her Mom and her Grandmother). Me, not so much. My uncle Richard died of a heart attack when he was 57.
Having said that, I have seen that these sort of things don’t always quite work out like you might expect. I knew a woman at Our Lady of the Lake. Marvelous person. She was a microbiologist as well as a decent oboe and flute player. She saw microbes everywhere and was quite paranoid about it. She was killed in a plane crash with her adult daughter. Well, fuck.
I rehearsed with Mike the parishioner this morning (as planned). He is a very interesting young man. His wife is expecting their third child and she is in the beginning stages of labor. He showed up for a rehearsal with me a few weeks ago telling me he had found out that they were closing his company. He was quite shaken.
But today he had good news. The company had transfered everyone to a different building locally. In the mean time he had put out his resume and had a line on a gig in Novi. I didn’t have the heart to mention my melanoma to him.
I have been coaching him on trumpet (and flugelhorn) for a while. Unlike my piano student, who never practices, Mike takes my advise to heart. This means that he takes his mouthpiece with him on business trips to keep his chops up. He works over trumpet technique books. He has taken my advice to count rhythms more carefully and even found an app to help him do so. Today he rocked. It’s satisfying to see someone do what it takes to improve. He is smart as a whip and I enjoy our time together.
I have had supportive phone calls, emails, and texts from family and friends. I will update this blog when I know more as well.
I purchased a bunch of support hose on the advice of my dermatologist. I have some silly ones.
I wash the red ones by hand, the others I did in the washer. Hung them all to dry.
It snowed last night. Eileen took a picture of it this morning.
Eileen and I looked at cars to purchase yesterday. My Mom’s old car has a thrown rod in it and is not long for this world. Eileen does not like to drive her Mini in the snow and has been scoping out another second car for us. We test drove three Subarus. Though none of them was quite the ticket, I’m encouraged that we might get another Subaru since I liked the old one.
In the meantime, I’m coaxing my Mom’s old car around town. We will definitely use it tonight since there is snow on the ground.
Yesterday the workmen Eileen has contracted showed up and installed a door upstairs.
and the kitchen door.
They’ll come back and finish the job. We’re not sure when. We do know we will have to move the pie safe pictured above to give them complete access to the door frame.
I remembered that the wife of a nephew on Eileen’s side of the family put up this picture recently on Facebook.
Although it smacks of the rapture, the comments she and her friends put on it were about the fact that we all end up in line to die.
My nephew-in-law, Tony, (he’s married to Ben, my brother’s son) called me to offer support and love. He asked if I was going to do anything in response to learning about my diagnosis like travel or something. I told him my life was good. I’ve had a good one so far. I would like more if I can get it.