Posted by: cg00n | May 19, 2008

State of Mind

Today started a bit melancholy.  I didn’t sleep all that well (which is hardly unusual for me) and I got up feeling rather low in spirits.  However, the VON says everything seems to be healing very well which is good.  Then we got an unexpected treat when some friends from the valley came by to check out their summer cabin, which is right next door to our place.  It turns out that both of them have had a brush with cancer.  They are a very outgoing couple so over a glass of wine we had a very candid conversation seasoned with a good deal of black- and other off-colour humour about how we all deal with it.  I am now feeling ready to tackle anything.  This will wear off, of course, but I’m happy to have the boost.

Tomorrow we go to see the surgeon who will remove my stitches and tell us what they found in the lymph nodes.  I am deliberately keeping my expectations low because I have great difficulty dealing with bad news right now.  Anxiety hovers nearby like a dark and malevolent hovering thing.   Therefore I am expecting him to tell me that both lymph nodes were positive for cancer.  Anything better than that will be a bonus.  In any case I have a CT scan scheduled for Wednesday and I’m told I can expect the results of that in a week or so.  Once again I am expecting that they will tell me that there is some infection of other organs but that it is treatable.  I think I am ready for all that.  What I will find shocking is if they tell me it is Really Bad or terminal.  I have no reason to think it is that bad, but you just never know.  Watch this space.

Don’t get the impression from this that my mood is all dark and sombre.  I am just trying to be realistic and avoid nasty stomach-lurching drops. One thing that did lighten my day yesterday was a new and very plausible interpretation of what the surgeon who first broke the news to me said.  My recollection is that he ran down a list of statistics which related melanoma thickness to (and this is where I’m a bit fuzzy) probability of a cure.  By the time he reached a Breslow thickness of 4mm the number was 1/2.  At the time that scared me absolutely senseless:  it sounds as though half of such people die.  However, I now suspect that I was quite wrong about that.  Half of the people are ultimately declared “cured” (No Evidence of Disease) and they remain that way indefinitely.  Of the remaining half some will die, but many will respond to treatment  and may live for quite some time.  This doesn’t sound nearly so bad.  At least it gives me better than even odds that I have a few years left in me yet.

Let there be life 🙂


  1. Hi B, P & A

    I am hoping to get down this coming weekend as it is my weekend off.Probably not till Sat. I am looking forward to some good news, from you. I am glad to hear you entertaining the positive. It’s great to have someone to talk to that has walked a day in your shoes( or sandals). Hope to see you all soon.


  2. Let there be life, indeed, of the benign kind.

    Why do there have to be so many thousands of miles between us?

    I am glad beyond words that you sought me out after years of little to no communication. I thought of you often, but the fun of depression makes me apathetic some days.

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