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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Photo ops continue to take the medical taste out of my mouth

Part One (Monday)

I woke up Monday morning in a bad mood because all of the sudden that feeling of being almost done with the docs shifted. September was my big follow up month. Nothing bad. Just routine appointments with rheumatologist, gynecologist, dermatologist and surgical oncologist. Still, the way those appointments stacked up, one per week, was something of a drag. My surgical oncology appointment was redeemed by a great photo op at the hospital which I've already posted about, followed by an extended photo session on the way home at the botanical garden's art show. So Monday when I woke up grouchy about going to my local hospital for pre-admit stuff prior to a routine colonoscopy next month, I took my camera, hoping I'd get something good out of the visit.The first two pictures in the post were taken in the hospital while I waited to be called back for the interview with the nurse and anesthesiologist. I have no idea what the top howling creature symbolizes but the tree is called the tree of life with leaves having inscriptions for donors to the hospital, some are memorial donations. I thought it was rather pretty. I love the howling dog or wolf in the entranceway and to me he symbolized my irritation at going to the hospital. The colonoscopy was originally going to be this Friday but my insurance wouldn't approve payment until after my 50th birthday so it was bumped to the end of November. That suits me. They still went ahead with the pre-admit stuff today and it wasn't so bad. As a matter of fact the waiting room time was completely filled up with my photo shoot.I didn't even rush out when it was over but snapped some pictures of the plants around the hospital. There were some comical moments during the interview. The hospital admittance person put a hospital band on my arm and said that I could remove it when I got home and they'd have a new one for me when I came for the actual colonoscopy. I said, that's nice to know because this would get pretty grimy over the next 6 weeks. She looked startled and then looked at my chart and said, oh, I see that your test date has been changed. After getting all the information about my melanoma history the nurse asked if I had any problems with my skin. I couldn't resist saying, no, unless you include skin cancer.I realized that since we'd been discussing the melanoma in the context of the lymph node dissection, it didn't have to have started in the skin. Some people have melanoma of unknown primary that is found initially in the nodes and some have a melanoma primary in ocular and mucosal sites and rarely in neural sheaths. However, cutaneous melanoma is far more common, and mine did originate in the skin and subsequently spread to one node. The photograph above of the clouds was taken at a stop light on the way home. Not sure if you will be able to make out the structure in the bottom of the photo on the right, without clicking inside of the picture for an enlargement. I think it looks like an umbrella but it's actually the roof for a KFC/Taco Bell. The metal part that looks like it's sticking out of an umbrella is the car antenna which got into the shot. Kind of hard to compose a shot from the car when you are the driver and are stopped at a stop light.

Part Two (Tuesday)

I woke up this morning, very grouchy and thought, ok, don't you dare forget to take your camera. Today was my routine follow-up with my pain specialist. I've been calling him Dr. Pain on my blog as an abbreviation but I have a new one, PPD. That stands for Pleasant Pain Doc. Poor guy, if I had to see people dealing with pain all day, I'd probably run out the door screaming. Therefore, at this point, I'm ready to give him the benefit of the doubt because beyond our initial consultation, he's been reasonably pleasant. He has a hard job and does his best, I'm sure.
The photographs starting under the Part Two header are from the art walk at the NC Art Museum which I did on my way home from PPD today. I pass the art museum on my way home from PPD and neurology appointments and in my new spirit of taking the medical taste out of my mouth with photo ops, I planned on a quick visit to the outdoor art walk. It was hot and I figured I'd mostly focus on the art in front of the museum as well as the plantings there but that didn't work out. A major expansion of the museum is underway and below is what the front looks like.
Alrighty then, artwalk it was. Sort of seemed like fate that I couldn't shoot the front of the museum because it was a big pile of dirt. Instead, I did the main loop which provided me with a pleasant walk and the cloud cover kept the sun down to a reasonable affect. The first picture from my art walk is of Thomas Sayre's Gyre which was made in 1999 and consists of three ellipses made from concrete, colored with iron oxide, reinforced with steel, and mottled with pebble residue from the earth casting. The second picture is Collapse by Ledelle Moe in 2000 and is made of concrete and steel. The picture below is a wider view of Collapse.
I'm sure I'll post more pictures from my art walk in others posts but for now I'm going to wrap this up because it's a pretty long post. My appointment with PPD went fine. He does his best and I do my best and when all is said and done, my issues are manageable. I wish it were possible for me to get fixed in some way which would mean I could be more active and wouldn't need medications to manage the aftermath of my melanoma dx and groin lymph node dissection. However, when all is said and done, I haven't had a recurrence and I'm able to live an independent life. That's huge.

20 comments:

karoline said...

beautiful photos carver..and such strength you have...

perhaps the howling coyote, referred to as god's dog by the navaho, means that one should place their worry's in gods hands...

hugs

k:)

Stargazer said...

The pics look great! Hope all goes well with your health. Take care

Carver said...

Hi Karoline and Stargazer,

Thanks for visiting and I appreciate your comments. Karoline that's interesting to know about the navaho referring to the howling coyote as god's dog. I wouldn't be surprised at all if that's what the artist had in mind.

dom lawrence, OSB said...

thnks for dropping by my site! and nice meeting you...your photos site are all awesome! what a captivating set of images!...i wanna add you to my bloglinks if you won't mind- can i add you?-i fell in love with your site!
God bless and happy Tuesday....

Carver said...

Thanks Dom Lawrence for your comment. I appreciate you wanting to add my site to your link list and feel free to. I enjoyed visiting your site through weekend snapshot. I'm enjoying that new meme. Take care

Theresa said...

I love how you include your art sitings just as you are going about your routine visit. Love the blue howling dog, but not sure I would of given it a second thought if I needed to be at the hospital to visit the PPD.

Also good title for collaspe- sometimes when I come home thats how I feel when I hit the couch to lay down.

Hope your week gets better
take care

Carver said...

Thanks Theresa. I know what you mean about collapse. I thought about how that showed how I feel when I flop down.

jmb said...

Lovely photos as usual Carver, interspersing the medical story. Funnily enough I heard on TV tonight for the first time that melanoma is a cancer of pigment cells (they were talking about arising in the eye) and here I read what you say about the primary arising in these other sites.
I hope all goes well with these check-ups.

Carver said...

Thanks JMB, I always like for TV shows to give an inkling of the variety of melanomas that people can have. I know I didn't have a clue until after my dx. My eye doctor said melanoma is one of the more common eye cancers which surprised me. To my relief he said it's very rare for someone with cutaneous melanoma to have a eye primary and even more rare for it to spread to the eye from another primary. Eye melanomas are likely to spread to other sites but cutaneous melanoma more commonly spreads to nodes when its not caught early and in advanced cases organs and many sites but rarely to the eye. I'll admit to being squeamish about my eyes so glad it would be very rare for it to go there. Take care, Carver

farmingfriends said...

I love the tree photograph. I hope you are feeling ok. Best Wishes
Sara from farmingfriends

Carver said...

Thanks Sara. I am doing quite well all things considered. In the US we have a public radio show called "all things considered" which is such a great title to me and I borrow it a lot but I actually am doing fine.

Raquel said...

Hi Carver, I hope your follow up check up is doing good.

Nice photos...Carver, I added your link in my personal blog, hope its ok with you.

Btw, my WS is a bit late this week

Carver said...

Thanks Raquel and I appreciate you adding me to your blog links.

SabineM said...

Very nice photos!!! Collapse is an interesting sculpture.
I loved this post. All very interesting and always love photos!
Glad all the routine check ups went well. You made me laugh a few times....Glad that through all this you keep your sense of humor! I think a good attitude is half the battle!

Carver said...

Thanks Sabine,

I thought Collapse was interesting too. I didn't think it was a human form until I started looking at the feet. It's so enormous that it's kind of hard to get perspective on what it is unless you stand at certain places.

AscenderRisesAbove said...

thanks for allowing us to see what your visit is like; the thoughts will there, the pleasant thoughts when other thoughts are too heavy to carry anymore.
and i was thinking most wolves howl at the moon; this one to the sunrise; he marching to a different drummer and all.
I liked the legs of the statue; speculated about the meaning of that.

Voyager said...

Who knew medical appointments could yield such wonderful photos. A silver lining indeed. It reminds me of a time two years ago when I spent 7 weeks in hospital (open heart surgery x 4, complications, blah boring blah) but on a walk through the main hospital foyer I found a little booth where a woman was sellling her hand made jewellery. I saw, and bought, the most exquisite, delicate turquoise earrings. They were a little bright spot representing freedom from my medically focused days.
Take care.

thee said...

Hi Carver! Your photos are wonderful! I particularly like the tree of life...very symbolic.

I surely will come back to visit you and btw, thank you for visiting my first WS entry.

Have a good day!

thess said...

oops, sorry about that...my name is Thess and not 'thee'

Carver said...

Hi Thess, Ascender, and Voyager, Thanks so much for visiting. Ascender, I like the idea of the howling guy marching to another drummer. I've been accused of doing that myself, ha. Voyager, I love your story about buying jewelry in the hospital after your major surgeries. I'm so sorry you had to go through open heart surgery and I hope you are doing well now.