Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Toe watch 2012

To recap:  the skin around my left big toenail is slightly reddish and inflamed, and there is some discoloration akin to bruising under the nail.  The podiatrist had no answers but warned about melanomas that start under the toe nail.  The oncologist prescribed a course of antibiotics.  Tomorrow is the last day of oral antibiotics; have they resolved my mysterious toe issue?   

I am having trouble deciding if it's getting better, so the good news is that it is certainly not getting worse.  The reason it is hard to assess improvement is because visually it looks the same.  Everything is still discolored, at approximately equal magnitude.  Also, it is still tender to the touch but otherwise painless.  In short, the original phenotype was so weak and the resolution is so slow that I am struggling to evaluate improvements.

But I emphasize that it is not getting worse.  Huzzah!  I'll take it!

My plan is to give it 2 weeks to get significantly better, if not clear completely.  Then I will go see a dermatologist.  I have made this decision because the podiatrist used the word "melanoma", which puts my possible condition into the realm of a skin doctor.  I will not wait any longer, though, because I recently learned that Bob Marley died of toe cancer.  Well, his cancer started as a toe melanoma before metastasizing to his lungs and brain.  Another important detail is that he chose not to treat his toe cancer.  I assure you that I will choose to treat my toe cancer if I do end up having toe cancer, but the story of Bob Marley's demise has inspired me not to sit (or stand) on my toe problem.  Thanks, Torey.

In other health news, can I just mention how wonderful it is to have hair?  I still hate my haircut and pine for locks long enough to pull out of my face, but I am so glad to not be bald anymore.

Today I drove home from work with the windows down because it is unseasonably warm in the midwest.  The wind was whipping through the car, from driver's side to passenger's side, and taking my hair with it.  I wasn't worried about messing up my hair because I lack so much confidence in my hairdo to begin with.  Besides, I don't recall ever being the type of girl who would worry about her hairdo.  So I simply enjoyed the feeling on my follicles as I executed my daily commute.  

Also, on Monday night I went on a 4-mile walk around a nearby pond.  This was the most exercise I had gotten in weeks and it felt great.  The best part was that I think I could feel my left lung be less constricted.  Perhaps I wasn't working as hard as when I bike, but I didn't experience the shortness of breath that I usually do as a result of the chest wall radiation.

Let's perk this post up with a song!  College friends, I'm sorry I didn't like Ben Folds when you first introduced me to him.  I was naive and foolish.  Please give me another chance, and here's a token of my appreciation:  "Zak and Sara" with an orchestra!!!!  Ian found this on YouTube the other day and I'm momentarily addicted to all of the songs from this set.  But especially this one.


  1. Too little too late, Allen! Don't jump on the bandwagon now just because the Five are getting back together.

    (But glad to hear that all is quiet on the toe front.)

  2. Hmm, I am going to go enjoy the feel of air on my follicles, too. Thanks! And, I have to say, I feel like this blog post went amiss with out any "get-up stand-up" jokes. Anyone? "No toe, no cry?"