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.