More Pain

I had another trip to Boston yesterday that had me going under the knife yet again. The appointment was called a “closure”, meaning they were trying to remove any further stitches and begin reconstructing my nose. My skin cancer removal three weeks ago ventured through the left nostril of my nose, leaving a gaping hole that needed to be filled. Yesterday they removed some of the grafted skin and cartilage and stitched it back together to more perfectly resemble my original nose. Not fun! I’ll wind up with another black eye, pain, oozing at the surgery site and more sutures to remove a week from Feb 20.

The VA dermatologists who are doing all of this certainly know what they’re doing and make sure I have enough pain killer injected to numb everything thoroughly. Still, it’s a long, drawn out affair. My whole face is covered in sterile cloths that also covered my eyes so I couldn’t see a thing. Once complete I was told to follow the same regimen I had followed on the earlier surgery three weeks ago. I’ll need lots or ice for pain, Vaseline for keeping all the wounds lubricated and plenty of bandage supplies. I now have enough of those supplies to last me for years.

Today is the morning after the reconstructive surgery. I’m in a fair amount of pain so I needed to get up to take a couple of Aleve caplets. I ran out of the codeine tablets from the first surgery. That’s good as it is addictive from what they told me. Aleve has always worked well for me for pain and swelling.

So as I type this, waiting for the Aleve to kick in, I have a fresh new black eye, swollen cheek and very sore nose. I’ll survive but just don’t ask me to smile! LOL

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13 Years of Living With Bob

Looking through my collection of “selfies” I chuckled seeing the last 13 years of my life. These shots represent the first day I moved from South Carolina to Beaverton, OR all the way to my current location in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. As the man said, “I is what I is”!

Just Bob.jpg

Elizabeth Warren For President – NOT

I saw on TV today that the Democratic Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, has thrown her name into the growing list of candidates for president in 2020. Not over my dead body! I get just one vote but it will not be for her, it will be for Donald Trump, again.

I’m not returning to high unemployment rates, high taxes and the stock market in the dumpster. I can’t vote for a party that compromises our country’s security or who supports, gay rights, abortion after birth (murder) or allows the United States to be used by countries to fill their pockets with our good will. NO way Warren! Not on my watch!

Cancer Progress Report

The surgery to remove the basal cell carcinoma skin cancer was a total success. It took them 5 hours to complete the surgery and reconstruction but I’m on the mend. One week later on Feb 06 I completed a post op regimen to have the stitches removed and a thorough cleaning done. I look like Frankenstein but I’m all in one piece. I now have a 3rd appointment to finish the whole procedure. I actually don’t know what the next visit on Feb 20 will seek to accomplish.

Since I will have most of the dermatology staff caring for me I’ll bring up the growth on my left foot and see if I can push them to deal with that next. The folks in that department passed the buck on my first appointment dealing with the foot growth. Now that I have the big guns paying attention maybe I can light a fire under somebody and get the 10 year old growth removed permanently. 🙂

Meanwhile the stitches and bandages are gone and my wounds are healing in open air. I’m still taking it easy and occasionally still feel a little queasy. The constant smell of blood, cauterized incisions and a blocked nasal passage would sicken most people. Rest is the answer so I’m playing my role as a healing hermit well.

Recovering From Surgery

Today is the very first day after major cancer surgery Wednesday. I had a large basal cell carcinoma removed next to my nose. A team of 5-6 medical staff in Dermatology worked on me for nearly 5 hours. It took that long to remove all the cancer, have it checked under a microscope & then removed a bit more to get it all out of me. Then the reconstructive surgery began. A piece of cartilage was removed from my left ear lobe along with a strip of skin from my cheek to plug a hole resulting from the cancer removal. I received a bunch of Novocaine throughout the afternoon.

The whole procedure took so much longer than originally expected that the staff released the VA shuttle bus I’d arrived in and provided an independent contractor to take me to my car for my return drive home. I must have looked like the Mummy with all the dressings covering my face, nose and ear. I’m glad the Novocaine didn’t wear off until I managed to get home. It was nearly 8:00 p.m. by that time.

The doctors were pleased that they were able to remove all the cancerous parts. It will take awhile for the skin graft I received to heal properly. I have a post op appointment one week from the original surgery date. They will cut all the stitches and do some cleanup work.

I’m still going to take it really easy the next 4-5 days, doctor’s orders. I don’t want to tear any stitches shoveling snow or carrying anything over 5 pounds. My main goal is to get enough sleep as my nose doesn’t allow me to breathe yet. I’ve never been able to get to sleep easily breathing through my mouth.

So know that all went well and I look forward to watching the New England Patriots win yet another Super Bowl. Go Pats!!!!

3 Degrees With A High of 6

Me thinks Winter has arrived! Living in New England has its advantages, such as the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox, but Winter weather isn’t the best this time of year.

I’m grateful for my housing community with its brand new boilers and hot water heaters. I’m thankful for the new roofs they put on every building 3 years ago and the 4 new entrance/storm door we all got. We need all these wonderful heat saving things to survive these Winters.

We’ve only had one major storm and that happened just yesterday as the area is covered in snow, sleet, and ice with outside temperatures plummeting until we’ve all become hermits. Still, life goes on for my senior housing community. Nobody living here must shovel snow or scrape ice off the sidewalks. The maintenance staff was out all day and night staying ahead to that chore. I heard them scraping the parking lots at 2:00 a.m. in the morning yesterday.

So, I stayed home and watched the “lucky” Patriots win the championship that sends them, yet again, to the Superbowl in February. Never doubt that the road there runs through New England. 🙂 Go Pats!

A Picture Is NOT Worth 1,000 Words

I’m sure you’ve heard that old saying, “A picture is worth 1,000 words”. I’m here to declare that’s not always true. I just received an order from Amazon for oval shaped bandaids that look just the right size for my nickel sized growth on the bottom of my left foot. I’m not sure what I’ll do with 100 bandaids that won’t cover a small zit. LOL Oh well, $6 wasted. I ordered another box with 100 oval shaped 2″x4″ bandages.

oval bandage

Looks big enough to do the job! Actual size of the pad is 1/2″x1″. 😦

Chores For The New Year

January is always a month that requires attention. My car inspection is due. My prescription drug reimbursement program must be renewed, requiring proof of income, rent and medical prescription costs. It’s worth the time it takes to cough up all this paperwork because the program, run by my tiny town for resident veterans, puts over $1,000 a year back in my pocket. I’ve lived here 3 years now so I know the routine. The last paperwork I need must come from Boeing Aircraft showing what my two pension checks are each month for life. I try to light a fire under them as this paperwork is due in 10 days on the 14th.

My first Social Security check of 2019 arrives this coming Wednesday, Jan 09. In that check I’ll get my 2.8% COLA adjustment bringing me up to $1538 a month. Added to my $268 pension checks I’m now over $1800 a month. Woo Hoo! In full disclosure I do live in Senior Subsidized government housing that includes utilities all for $531 a month, a bargain for sure. I can actually survive living on Social Security and my small pension. I know a lot of folks living on a lot less! 😦

So the new year starts anew, fresh. The sun is shining and there’s no snow like we had this time last year. We had 5 Nor’Easter blizzards in a one month period last Winter. We’re due for a MILD Winter!