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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Bye Bye Thing!

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I could have titled this post NO BIG THING….

But it wasn’t until it was all over, and all was said and done that I stopped worrying about this procedure and how long this uncomfortable process would take.

I’ve been living with The Thing on my forehead for the past couple of years.  I never thought anything of it.  It was just a mole.  Not a dark mole, just one of those “age spot” things – until it wasn’t.

It started to change shape.  It spread.  It got shiny edges, and when Doogie Houser pointed it out and said to go have it looked at, I did.  Right away.

The biopsy was no big deal, but the diagnosis that came in the form of a phone call while boarding a flight to Ohio set me on edge.

“It’s a basal cell carcinoma, very slow growing.” said the nurse on the other end of the line.

And all I could think was “Get it off!  Get it off! Get it off NOW!”  Crazy girl, you’ve been living with this for a couple of years, and since the biopsy you have LESS of it now than you did before.  Calm down, it will be taken care of.

And yesterday was the day.


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Rain had pounded these gorgeous roses to the ground over night!

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NUMB IS MY FRIEND!

The worst part about the whole process is the getting numb part.  Thanks to those who had contacted me about the amount of time this whole thing can take, I came prepared.  I had loaded several episodes of Grace & Frankie on to my tablet.  I had my Bluetooth headset charged and ready to go.  I had the hexie stars English paper piecing at the ready, a bottle of water, and I was ready to settle in.

Mohs surgery is really interested.  They try to be as least invasive as possible, removing only a bit of the lesion at a time, checking it under a microscope after freezing and dying the tissue sample to make sure that all margins are clear before they stitch you back up.  The bandage above is before stitches.

The waiting in between phases can take an hour or more – in my case it was about an hour and a half while I stitched away and giggled myself through 2 episodes.

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My center is ready to applique to a background!

I’m not sure what color yet, but it will likely be either ONE piece of background, or maybe 4 sewn into a large 4 patch for interest surrounded by pieced borders.  Just not sure yet. I didn’t even get time to think about it because they came in and said “Good news!  We got it all!  Time to stitch you up and send you on your way.” 

SO HAPPY!  I had heard from others that this can take 3 or 4 tries to get it all, with all of that waiting time in between the tries.  Color me happy and send me home.

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Numb and smiling.

There are two layers of stitches, and she did a vertical closure instead of a horizontal one, not wanting to raise my eyebrow permanently into a startled expression.  THANK YOU! LOL!  No clown eyebrows required. Any scarring should be minimal and hidden behind my bangs.

While driving home I got the phone call from my other doc’s office with the results of the day’s previous bone scan.  Time to up the calcium and vitamin D –and time to add Fosamax to my weekly regimen.  This getting older thing is just kicking my butt.  Osteopenia.  WHAT?  I eat heathy foods.  I have an active lifestyle, what is with this stuff?

I always heard that after 50 it was mend, mend, mend, patch, patch, patch.  Fish oil for cholesterol, Calcium & Vitamin D for bone density.  Line them all up on the counter, and I’ll take them.  I’ll travel with them, and do what I’m supposed to, but wow.

As for how things feel this morning?  Like I’ve been hit with a hammer.  Or an anvil.  It should improve over the next couple of days, and I don’t have anything big on the agenda so I can just take it easy.

Taking it easy means I’m likely to spend today cleaning out my inbox and just puttering around the studio.  Maybe choosing fabrics for the hexie star?

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Mona’s most recent top finish!

Mona used the String X pattern from the free patterns tab to make this quilt for her guest room bed.  It turned out SO pretty! I had an ulterior motive when I handed her the string bin.  I wanted her to make a dent in it.  Did she?  NOPE!!  Long live the strings – they self-replenish!

TONIGHT!  The drawing for the winner of the March Quilty Box.  Did you get your entry in on that post?

And I think that just about catches me up for now.

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Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage Lone Star Quilt shared by Siobhan.

Keep your heart and your mind open!  I love the vibrant colors in this one!

Have a wonderful day, everyone!


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71 comments:

Sherrill said...

Mona's come a LONG way in a very short time!! She had a fantabulous teacher. And so good your thing is gone and soon forgotten. Yes, getting old ain't for sissies! My friend is dealing with osteopenia now and has already had to have two cracked vertebrae cemented. Keep the supplements and meds going!!

HelenMarie said...

so glad all went well for you! Mona has become an awesome quilter! you are a great teacher!

Robin McGuire said...

Bonnie, so glad it went well for you. I have the same "thing" happening on Friday! We just have to keep on keeping on, right??

Sydney said...

So glad your THING is gone! Rest a bit and know we are all thinking of you! Love Monas' quilt! 🙏🏻💗

Jennifer Nilson said...

Sending good wishes your way. AND... Mona Rocks.

Robby H. said...

Hooray for good news! And your new paper piecing is looking good!

Jeanne in Ohio said...

It's the little things that can get us down, isn't it? I'm glad yours was a relatively simple fix, headaches aside. I especially wanted to comment about your daily quotes. I LOVE them!! I don't remember if you said they were a temporary part of your blog, but I look forward every day to the inspiration. Thank you for all you do! You teach me lots about both quilting AND life!

Linda Rae Mason said...

Love your quote today. Congrats on getting rid of the thing. You aren't anywhere near old. Keep thinking like a youngin' and you never will be. Enjoy your day.

Jan N said...

So glad it's gone and your doing fine. Yep getting older is. not for sissies. My mind says "go" and the body may say "oh no".
Mona's quilt is beautiful. Take care and rest up.

Needled Mom said...

Glad it all went so well. When I go in for my mohs, I always hope they don't call me back right away. The longer I have to wait, the better the chance is that they got it all. It's a good opportunity for guilt free stitching!

Debbie said...

I'm sure you will do this anyway but before you start the Fosamax, calcium, vit D do a little research on side effects and possible natural alternative remedies. Also if you go the calcium route be sure and get the right form of calcium. The wrong form can contribute to heart problems. There is research that phosporus is more important than calcium and a balance needs to be obtained.

Donna Fisher said...

Yeah, getting old isn't for wimps! But staying proactive certainly helps. So glad your "thing" is history. You have made me want to get something on the bridge of my nose checked out.

Do take it easy today. Nap with Sadie and Emmy Lou. I like your latest Addicted to Scraps column block. Positive thoughts coming your way. Donna from Tallahassee.

Cathi Harry said...

Bonnie, glad the surgery outcome was good news. I have some unsolicited advice regarding Fosamax though. I took it for about 7 years ago and about 2 years ago was diagnosed with stage 3 Osteonecrosis of the jaw, which is a possible side effect of bisphonates. It isn't curable. Please give it some serious thought.

Mavis Reynolds said...

Commenting on what Debbie said ... calcium citrate is what you want, not calcium carbonate which can contribute to heart problems.

Glad you got one challenge behind you. Prayers headed your way.

Barbara Peña said...

Hi Bonnie, I was diagnosed with Osteopenia in my early 30s (I'm in my 40s now). Fosomax was prescribed. However my dentist told me that Fosomax can deteriorate the jaw bone in a very few people. I figured I'd end up being one of those few people. My fear of pharmacuticals is based on bad dealings with 10+ years of Depo Provera (which more than likely contributed to my bone loss) So I stopped taking Fosomax. Maybe they've modified the meds now since it's been 10+ years? Anyhow, I'm glad your surgery went well and I hope you heal up fantastically!

Valerie said...

Remember when we used to be the youngest in the room? And rolled our eyes when the older ladies started talking about their ailments? Ha ha ha! I bought three of those 7-day pill boxes at Walgreens -- 99 cents -- for a trip recently. I am going to pick up one more. So now I only have to open the ever-growing line-up of bottles once a month to count out pills. Gotta save that time 'cause ours is getting shorter. LOL! So glad the Thing is gone.

Priscilla said...

Hi Bonnie,
so glad all went well. RE: the Fosamex...do some research...I was told to begin using it too. After 6 months, I said NO MORE!! I know a couple more women who felt the same way. Excercise, weight lifting, diet is very helpful.
I also had a "mole" that grew quietly. After 2 yrs. or so, had it removed, as it was diagnosed as a melanoma! What a shock! It was removed & I'm left with a "patch" inside my knee about 2" wide. The mole was teeny, tiny. At least I'm CA free too.
Good luck with your recovery. All should be fine.

Becky Cameron said...

I swear even through surgery you are piecing busy girl glad your results were good I just finished my third top for this year en Provence January omigosh February Ohio star March and now am starting chunky churn dash ooooh addictive I love them at this rate I may have the top done in a week you make such awesome designs feel better

Mary in Peoria Handmade said...

I'm sorry but I laughed out loud at your first photo in the chair. It sounds like all is good in the end with the surgery and biopsy. I warned my daughter that 40 was a piece of cake but 50 started the run down of health issues. What a pain. I try to improve the calcium and vitamin d issues with diet which worked. The idea of another med sucks and the side effects suck also. I never took the cholestrol meds and got it under control with diet and exercise because those statins caused liver disease in my brother and other side effects. Choose your battles or the lesser of two evils I guess. It's a real game. Mona's quilt is so cool!Hope you feel better soon! mary in Az

Sandi1100 said...

Glad to hear your surgery went well! Mona's quilt is beautiful! You would never know that she hadn't quilted much but then again, she has an awesome teacher!

upnitestx said...

I spent 20 years working in a cancer hospital and as I started falling apart I started complain about it mostly joking. As a lovely gracious patient pointed out to me it was better than the alternative. I am still having lots of aging issues hut I no longer complain.because I am (as i Know you are) grateful for every day. And I never know what people I am speaking to might be facing. So glad you got the 'Thing' taken care of.

Janet Eidem said...

I'm so glad for your being on the other side of this thing. I'm three weeks today on the other side of colon surgery so I'm feeling your pain. Thank God we have wonderful bodies that heal. Osteopenia, I've been there too and it can be improved. We never knew what a friend our youthful estrogen was! Feel better and be kind to yourself Bonnie.

Linda Swanekamp said...

Glad to hear the whole procedure was quicker and more successful than you thought. I would check out the Fosamax. I got off of it due to the side effects. Research shows it does not really help. Just a lot more Vitamin D and keep checking.

Andresa Strahm said...

Glad to hear the THING is gone and will cause no more worries. May I humbly suggest reading this book: Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life, by Kate Rheaume-Bleue. Vitamins A, D3 and K2 work together to have calcium go where it’s supposed to go – into the bones and teeth and not to the arteries. Last year I had 2 cavities at one dental checkup, didn’t get them taken care of, and had a total of 10 cavities at the next checkup six months later. It was only after I had them drilled & filled that I came across this book and started wondering if a deficiency in one or more of these vitamins was the reason for the huge amount of cavities. Plus I’m also in my early 50’s.

mammas pearls said...

Great news! You will be back at it in no time.

terry said...

So glad to hear your "thing" went (off) well. I agree with the negative comments on Fosamax. I too took it and lived thru the side effects until I felt my teeth were becoming loose and not "feeling" right. Stopped Fosamax with a 4 month supply on hand. Now when I refer to Fosamax with others and my doctor they give me a knowing agreement. I now take calcium and Vitamin D for strong bones. Remember the Sally Field commercials for Fosamax - they're now gone. I've yet to hear anyone say anything good about Fosamax. Just be careful and be an informed patient.

Terry in So. Calif.

Elizabeth Buxton said...

So glad the surgery is behind you now and that they know they got it all. What a relief. Take care of yourself, hoping you feel fine again soon. Liz B. in England.

Karen said...

I really love Mona's quilt. It is stunning.
How long has she been quilting?

BerninaGirl said...

Bonnie--
thanks for making us part of the family and keeping us posted on the procedure.
Huge sigh of relieve it is over, and hopefully you can put this behind you.
Love your grace and humor on aging. The bonus is you are loving life and a shining example to all of us on how life should be handled.

Take care of yourself and do what you want to do while you recover.

Jean said...

Hi Bonnie,
So so glad it went well for you and it's done. My parents and in-laws always say/said growing old is not for whimps! Lol... isn't that the truth!
Take care, try to rest and see what you can do with yourself.
Jean C.

QuiltinLibraryLady said...

I'm so glad to hear the THING removal went well. Maybe you could try adding some Policosanol to your supplement regimen for cholesterol. I've had some success with it.

Your friend Mona has become a quilting machine. Her wonderful scrappy quilt SHOULD have made a dent in the string bin....but all quilters know how that goes. LOL

Enjoy your puttering today....it doesn't seem like you ever slow down enough to just putter.

Margaret Dukes said...

So happy your procedure went well! I love your posts about it...humor IS the best medicine! When I read your posts about skin cancers, MOHS procedures and osteopenia, it was like you are living my life.... I've had at least 4-5 procedures on my face because I lived at the beach in my younger days...cooking myself to well-done. Thankfully, I have the MOHS procedures performed as well.
For years (and YEARS), I was on Fosamax for osteopenia. Then, the last time I had a bone scan, my physician informed me that I didn't need it any longer! WOW! I figured that once I was on it, it would be a forever-kinda-thing. So, there's good news in the fact that eventually you might be able to get off the medication!

AEH2 said...

Bonnie, You now belong to the elite group called "Survivors of Cancer". Welcome my friend. I wish you many years of remission, grace, peace and the blessings of our Lord.

Teresa Hoagland, New Braunfels, TX

mgquilts said...

God bless you, Bonnie. The worst part isn't over..and IT is GONE! Hooray!
Luv your stars and Mina's strings. She has come a l-o-n-g way under your tutilage. Tell her GOOD JOB from TX.
Have a blessed, restful day.

lfrihart said...

Love to have good news!

Thankful that you received good care and have a smile on your face.

Did they remind you not to bend over, no lifting.

Mine was removed from the end of my nose 50 years ago. The plastic surgeon was gifted. Sent to him by a good friend's brother (she insisted something wrong and made an appt for me and said go).

Just pamper yourself -- that will be worth many many more happy years.

Lynn Wilson said...

Bonnie, welcome to the world of pesky skin cancers. A tip to prevent scaring that you might ask your doc about. I went straight from MOHs surgery to the plastic surgeon to reconstruct my nose--it sounds worse than it was. Anyway, the plastic surgeon advised me to massage the site several times a day (after the stitches were out.) he said it would prevent scaring. I had two sites--one on my nose and one on my chin. No one notices unless I call their attention to it. So massage, massage, massage!

lindaroo said...

I can understand why you don't tell us these things until after they're taken care of! I'm sure you have a few close friends you confide in for encouragement and a little hand-holding when advised. Thanks for telling us, and for educating us, and for keeping your always-positive attitude! Bless you and your new battle scar!

Mary said...

Glad the "Thing" is gone. Rest easy, Dear Bonnie! Mona's quilt is a great BIG one like you make. She's learning from the master, IMHO.

Gale Yawn said...

Bonnie, so thankful it was easy for you and that they got all of the "thing" first time. I am in California and anxiously waiting right now to hear from my sister in Florida who was in surgery early this morning for the removal of the margins surrounding a cancerous lumpectomy in her breast. Happy healing to you. Take it easy today.

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

I'm glad things went so well for you, Bonnie. Best wishes for quick and easy healing.

P.S. Thanks for the photo of Mona's quilt. What fun she must have had pulling from your string collection.

texasgal2518 said...

praise that they got it all.

Nora said...

Had to chuckle at your "get it off" comment as that's exactly the way I felt when diagnosed with breast cancer (two years ago): TAKE IT OFF! I don't care if I'm lopsided, just get that cancer out of my body. Mine is gone, hope yours is too.

Mary Ellen said...

After treatment for breast cancer 20 years ago, my doctor sent me for a bone scan. Estrogen is protective of our bones, but after chemo I was no longer producing any and could not take it because of the cancer situation. The bone scan showed that I was osteopenic and Fosamax was prescribed. You only take it for a limited number of years. Your doctor is your best source of information about this drug. It was very effective for me with no side effects. A second bone scan showed that my bones were back up to normal density after the Fosamax regimen. Of course I now still have to take calcium with Vitamin D on a daily basis. At least now Fosamax can be taken once a week. Back when I was taking it I had to take it daily. I would not be afraid of taking it again if necessary. There are some bad outcomes as with any drug. But the percentage is very small. The risk of broken bones due to osteoporosis is quite substantial. It is not a risk factor to be ignored. We are living longer than ever which is taking a toll on the calcium in our bones. If only proper diet and exercise could prevent everything, it would be a wonderful world!

Susan said...

Glad it wasn't any more extensive and that you are on the mend. I love Mona's quilt. It is beautiful.

Kerry said...

I hope the surgeon wasn't a quilter or you'll have fancy stitches in your forehead! Or even variegated thread!
So pleased it was successful. Poo to the other bits. We are at that age when the mind is still willing but the body rebels in any way it can. Sneakily sometimes! But on the brighter side at least you know so can take action. :D

mckie2 said...

You also may want to add a magnesium supplement to the calcium and Vit. D. It helps with absorption and kick starts the Vit. D so that it does it's job better. Just a thought.

Agneta quilts said...

So happy to read you got rid of IT!
Like all others I envy Mona for having you as both a friend and a teacher. Her quilt is awesome!

Best wishes from Sweden,
Agneta

Sadie Jumper said...

You look terrific! I looked like I had been hit by a truck- my lesion was on my nose and I ended up with a big hole and a long scar (now barely noticeable). So glad it is over for you!

Kristin said...

So glad that it all went well!

Terry said...

Hooray "good news" first time up is such a relief. Been there done that and have been with you in spirit. Enjoy the next few days at your own pace.

Judy Zoll said...

So many opinions! Listen to your doctor and use the good sense God gave you, you can work out what is best for you. Having said that I am one of those people who could not take fosomax or any of the other drugs they came out with. I am now taking prolia injections twice yearly and so far don't seem to have side effects and bone density is improving. i am several years older than you and it has been a journey getting here.

Anne McKenzie said...

Lucky, my husband's came back malignant melanoma. Luckily we had been watching the area for several years. Last biopsy was positive. Doctor took out a good chunk on his face, but got it all. Sigh of relief!

Amy said...

So glad they got all of THE THING so relatively quickly. At least we have ways of counteracting some of the side effects of living into our later years! Anything to keep us going strong and doing what we love. Take care and keep on keeping on!

Dot said...

I, too, am glad your situation has been resolved successfully. Life isn't fun when you are scared.

Sandy said...

So glad things turned out well. Enjoy your 'down' time and so good to know you will have many happy days and years ahead. We all send our love!

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing about your THING. It's this kind of communication that may make it easier for someone else to address what might be their THING.

Lynn Czar said...

Bonnie, I'm so glad to hear you have a clean bill of health! And yes getting older is not for sissies, with a stout heart and perseverance armed with meds good food and exercise we can accomplish our goals of living longer!!! Not to mention creating all our dreams and ideas of quilts! My imagination stops for no one! LOL

Tell Mona her quilt is a stunner! Great job! And yes there is an underground of activity in the strip box! I do believe that they are multiplying just to keep us active. Enjoy your rest and God bless your good news. Lynn

rcp said...

It was nice to see you smiling and read you were laughing. It made me smile. I am glad things went well. Yes "getting more mature" isn't easy. I have so many supplements to take I had to go buy a daily pill box!!!

Paula DiMattei said...

Hooray! So glad to hear your good news. I hope your healing process is quick as a wink.😉

Laura Roberts said...

I have never had Mohs surgery, but I have witnessed one being done. I was the legal guardian for a mentally challenged senior citizen and the medical staff was afraid she'd freak out during the surgery, so they asked me to sit in the room while it was being done. She did great! I was the one who ended up with the queasy stomach when they called me over to look in the hole. Anticipation is usually worse than the procedure, so glad it is over for you.

robin wood said...

YaY for The Thing results. Take care of you. Mona has been busy and her quilt is stunning. Please love on Sadie for me. Enjoy blessing your new cabin with lots of quilts and we will pray you never have to do it again. I'm excited for your family. Hugs & Blessings

Helen Sekits said...

Isn't MOHS surgery the best? When it is over, you know that all the margins are gone! That in itself is so relieving.
Mona has developed into a wonderful quilter with your guidance.The string quilt is beautiful!
Thank you so much for sharing your daily joys and sorrows, quilts in the works, and wonderful humor. I have enjoyed it all.
Many blessings!

Battle Axe said...

Thanks for the pictures. You make it seem less scary for the likes of me. My calcium was too high and my Vit D too low. I had a tumor on a parathyroid gland. Went to Tampa to get it removed. We had to fly in the height of the ebola scare.
Marcia

Cats said...

please please please ... negative on the fosamax... the way it works to make your bones more dense is to kill off the ability to manufacture bone marrow... osteopenia is merely the beginning stage of thinning bones... cut out all soda (diet and regular), and just keep walking (weight bearing exercise) eating well and check the kind of calcium you're using... do some research...please, please, please.... <3

annieb said...

So glad things went so well for you. Yeah! I have a sad face today because I didn't win the box nor did I get a ruler, but the sun is shinning and you are on your road to recovery, I had a positive visit with the "root canal" doctor. Young enough to be my grandson probably but we liked his character. He is from South Carolina so what's not to like, right.

Joyce in PA said...

At age 67, I'm in my first exercise regimen thanks to my hubby who had a heart attack and began a cardiac exercise plan. I'm following. Between my mess and vitamins, and all his, we needed a shoe box to haul all for our week driving vacation. Yes, getting older does mean life style changes for some, but focus on the good stuff. And laugh at everything funny.

Jennifer said...

I, too, had MOHS surgery on my forehead and the one thing they did not tell me about was regeneration of tiny nerves on the forehead. For me, as they regenerated, they would cause minor spasms and make my eyebrows jumpy for about 5 - 10 seconds several times a day. Very normal, but very startling since I was not expecting it. They just stopped on their own so no long lasting effects, but they were there for about two weeks. Ain't life grand as we mature? As far as I'm concerned, any day upright is a good day! Happy healing.

Suzanne Blair said...

While in the preliminary stages of doctor visits for my left knee replacement, the Ortho Surgeon summed it up quite simply "Once we turn 50, the wheels fall off"!! LOL, That's why they say Old Age isn't for sissies. Glad they got everything - and it's good to get the inspections now and then. Keeps us on our toes.

Sharon said...

Bonnie, I am so blessed for you! So glad with your results. I know you are blessed too.
Please pray for good results for me too.

Paula B said...

Glad they got it all and you're no worse for the wear!
WAY TO GO MONA! I think you created a quilt monster!lol Very Pretty.

eyestitch said...

Sorry, but I am off topic. Bonnie, I am putting together my En Provence quilt top and wondering how you quilted yours, and especially, what color thread you used for the quilting.

If there was a better place to post this, I am sorry. I could not find it.

Mary in Iowa