Dodging the bear

bear“Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you”

Today was one of those days. Hot and muggy in the northeast but pleasantly summer.

There was routine stuff to do — follow-up doctor appointment; move dying plant; break up frog fights (seriously there is too much testosterone in that pond!).

Nothing to dread.

At the doctor’s appointment with my “face” nurse, she zapped (for the second time) two red spots I had on my face. She said, “I don’t like the way they’re flaking. This could be precancerous.” She gave them another zap (ouch!) for good measure and told me to come back in a month for a look-see. It wasn’t an optional return as in “come back if it doesn’t improve.” It was “come back I want to see it no matter what you think.”

I am not overly concerned about it. I am the Queen of Denial (unless I’m in the middle of an attack of hypochondria). Despite having cancer before, I don’t think I have it now. I never do. However, it did rattle my brain just a little.

The other (much more logical) reason is that many people my age (which is not old) get pre-cancerous spots which respond to zapping. The beloved husband has boogers taken off his face and body every year.

Perhaps the scarier thing was that the first zap didn’t work. (Still not worried.)

The second call was the worst (although still not fatal). My recent bone density test shows less density than last time. The doc wants me back on those nasty bone-building drugs.

Anyone who has been on estrogen-repressing drugs is at risk or has osteoporosis. There are a number of drugs that help to stabilize your bones. I have been on most of the oral ones. They all make me sick.

Barfy sick. Very barfy sick.

I was pleased after the drug treatment phase was over that I could take a “drug holiday” from all of them. Looks like my holiday is over. Goodbye Paris! (Oops! I forgot to go there!)

It’s a few weeks until my appointment so I have time to research and investigate and interrogate.

First up — what is covered by insurance and what are the costs? Yikes! Not all of them and expensive are the answers. (Why am I not surprised?)

I have a month to weed through the treatments, cost them out and search the brains of anyone I know who takes them.

The good news? I already do all the other stuff to protect my bones. The bad news? It wasn’t enough.

Mom always said things come in threes so I am anxiously awaiting the third piece of bad news. Hope it’s not the frogs.

Here they are later in the day after the wine and Barry White music.

A little to the right. Yes, that's the spot!

A little to the right. Yes, that’s the spot!

 

50 thoughts on “Dodging the bear

  1. Hope all turns out well, Kate. Your post is a reminder I need to make appointments for eye doctor and physical. I haven’t had a bone density scan yet but think I’m of the age. Hope they’ve discovered a medication that won’t make you sick.

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  2. I hope you find the magic meds that have no side effects. I am fighting a similar battle only for controlling blood glucose levels. Seems that avoiding doctors is the only way to avoid pills. It’s all they know. 🙂

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    • How I know. It’s the year of the bi-annual procto checkup. Not excited about that. Haven’t made appointment. That’s one place I don’t want to hear that anything is wrong. I am fortunate (really I am fairly healthy) that I don’t have any issues with blood pressure or cholesterol. Good luck with your glucose. Glad I don’t have that because I believe it involves carbs. You can’t separate me from my carbs!

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  3. Hope all works out okay, Kate. I think health stuff is why I just can’t get happy with summer. Every Spring and Summer CH and/or I have some kind of health scare and June is the month for a couple of our annual tests. As a couple of people in comments here said… it’s always something.

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      • Well, I know I like to skate happily through Fall and Winter because it is my favorite time of year. I used to get my yearly things done in the Fall but with the insurance regs that say you have to wait a year and a day they all eventually moved on to summer… bah to anytime of the year.

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        • I also hate the year and a day rule. I don’t know why you can’t do it any day in the same month. Makes more sense to me. My gyn exam used to be in April. Slowly it moved later and later. This year it’s in August because we had to schedule around her vacation. I couldn’t have it early in July because of that stupid rule.

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  4. Dear Kate, I admire your composure over that of your doctor, and believe your approach to this new threat to your health is probably best. A positive and upbeat attitude—many health professionals claim—can do wonders for your health. It seems the medical community is not ever happy unless they find something wrong with us, but then that’s their job. I also think that’s because they need the money, but for some reason though, they don’t seem to understand that we need ours! Still, its great they’re looking after your health and have your best interest at heart.

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  5. Actually, I try to look at the bright side of these spots. They found mine when it was pre-cancerous (stage 0 which is really the only kind of cancer to have in my book!). So do go back. Getting on base is not good when you’re talking skin spots (I cannot believe I made a terrible baseball analogy — I blame my husband who is going back and forth between two games)

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  6. The frogs are beyond adorable. Super adorable. I’m sorry you’re having all these health annoyances. Yes, go back even if it looks ok. After a biopsy of a skin thingie my skin healed, but it was still basal cell.

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  7. Keep on eating bear, Kate. Your frogs look great. I hope your skin and bones do just as well. I’ve had one bit of skin cancer so far. With all the unsightly spots on my body, I’m surprised it’s not more. I don’t know how many sunburns I’ve had, starting in childhood all the way through twenty years in the tropics. It doesn’t take much sun to give me a sunburn.

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  8. There’s always something, isn’t there? You attitude is good and that always helps. I hope you can find meds that help without being too sick. I have a few “spots” I probably should have checked. The frogs are adorable!

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  9. Sorry to hear about the drugs, love that you are so mellow about potentially precancerous spots.

    So much research nowadays. I mean, it’s good to be an informed patient, but it’s almost like another job!

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    • Today there are drug tiers and some drugs aren’t covered at all. You need to understand your options before you go to the doctor. My doc is very knowledgeable but I like to be sure of the costs before I commit. It is like a job! And there isn’t an easy app to find the right answers. I’m very cautious about the sun so I take very good care of my skin. I don’t think it’s pre-cancerous but I’ll follow through to be sure.

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  10. Sorry to hear about your bad news. I sure hope you can find an alternative to the expensive drugs that make you sick.

    I’m working on a post about skin cancer – it’s a VERY BIG DEAL here in Southern California and I’ve been touched by it personally. Nothing to mess around with so I’m glad your dermatologist is monitoring you closely.

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  11. Hope that you’re doing okay despite all of the ridiculousness you’ve put up with. I will say that this post is why I avoid doctors. They always find something wrong with you, then leave you hanging about what to do about it. Then insurance starts playing the weasel game… and there you are. Eaten by the bear. 😉

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