Had a great weekend.
On Saturday, we headed to Kinneal House in Bo’ness. The house is only open to see, on select dates throughout the year, and this wasn’t one of them, but there are 200 acres of grounds to explore.
It’s on the John Muir way, the footpath that crosses Scotland from east to west.
After that, we headed to Blackness Castle, which is one of my favourite historic sites, and one used in the filming of Outlander.
Just for the hell of it, since I haven’t had any actual reason to wear it this year (no weddings or anything) I wore my kilt. The tourists seemed to like it.
So yesterday I had my post-op follow-up with the consultant.
The results of the tests on the lump that they removed confirmed it WAS a rodent ulcer (Basal Cell Carcinoma) and that they managed to completely excise it.
So, in the words of the consultant, “We would say that you are now cured”.
While he said that I might never see another one, as they don’t spread, that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t get another, so just to take care in the sun, plenty of high factor lotion, and at least now, I know what to look for, and can get checked out sooner if anything odd appears.
He also said that the damage that caused it might not have been recent, it could have been due to sun damage when I was a lot younger, and it’s just taken years to manifest.
The scar has healed nicely, so I’ve got a war wound to spin tall tales about now. (see below)
So I had my operation. It was done as an out patient, under a local anaesthetic.
I have to say, the worst part was the anaesthetic, and only because I’m a coward when it comes to needles. It really was painless and easy.
All in, I was in and out in about 1/1.5 hours, it wasn’t long.
Last week I got the stitches out, and the worst part of that was the dressing coming off. (think large plaster over chest hair!)
They put another dressing over the scar (about 65mm long, so reasonably impressive), and I’ve to keep that on for 10 days. After that, it’s just a case of moisturising the scar to help keep it as supple as scar tissue can be.
If you have any blemishes that you are the least concerned about, get it checked out, it might be nothing, but if you think it could be, the peace of mind knowing it isn’t is worth it.
If it is something, then you’ve started the processes to get it sorted, and better getting it over and done with.
This is the basal cell carcinoma prior to surgery (about the size of a penny)
Post surgery. 11 stitches. The incision was about 65mm to ensure it was all removed.
Not posted in a while. A thing has been happening.
I had a blemish on my chest, and went to the GP, who said he didn’t know what it was. He got a colleague in who didn’t either, and asked if I’d burned myself.
Now, I think I might remember burning my chest, so that would be no.
I was sent off with a steroid cream, and an appointment to go back 2 weeks later. If it didn’t clear they would refer me to dermatology.
2 weeks later and no change, so an appointment was made for me at a hospital to see a dermatologist, who took one look and said “It’s a basal cell carcinoma” then expalined why I shouldn’t freak out, and that it was a case of removing it. He booked me in for a biopsy to confirm, and off I trotted with an information sheet about what it was and how it was treated.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and I was back for the biopsy. I’m a wuss with needles so wasn’t looking forward to it, but it was quick, painless and easy, and I got the first stitches I’ve ever had.
A week later the stitches were removed at the GP surgery. Again, painless and easy.
I got a letter in a for an appointment with a consultant at another hospital, and 2 weeks ago, I went along to see him. He had a look, said it was small and would be easy to remove. Talked me through what would happen and made me feel at ease.
I have an appointment for my surgery (out patient, done under a local anaesthetic) at the end of the month. I plan to take before, stitches in, and stitches out, photos. I’ll have my first surgery scar (go me!)
The point of this post is, if you see a skin blemish, get it checked out. It could be nothing, it could be something. The reality of it being something is nowhere near as bad as you build it up in your head, and if it’s nothing, you’ve been stressing yourself needlessly.
Earlier this week, Karen asked me to look through my t-shirts to see if a black jumper she couldn’t find, had got mixed in with my stuff after being washed.
Didn’t find her jumper, but did manage to have a micro clear out, and there are now about half a dozen t-shirts in the charity bag, along with the boardgame Lords of Xidit, which everyone in my gaming group apart from me, thought looked too complicated.
(we play Pandemic FFS! How complicated can Xidit be?)
At yoga recently, we’ve been working on prep for headstands, and trying to actually do them. Last night I finally pulled off one unaided.
To me that’s as big an accomplishment as when I finally managed Urdhva Dhanurasana
(full wheel pose). It’s slow progress, but the fact I can do things at 53 that I couldn’t when I was younger amazes me. I love yoga 🙂
Yesterday I had a mini-clear out and put some things in the bin. I caught myself being tempted to go out and retrieve them, so, to make sure I couldn’t, I cleaned out the cat’s litter tray on top of them. Not tempted now.
I’ve recently got back into running, training with a neighbour, who is in the running club that I was in (apparently I’m a lapsed member, as I never actually resigned from the club).
So in the last couple of weeks we’ve gone from couch (I’ve not been running due to holidays and tendonitis, and he’s also been injured) to 6 miles, averaging 10 mins/mile.
So we’re pretty happy with that.
Last night however, after running my, legs were not happy. I’d been to one of my regular yoga classes at lunchtime, and the legs were just taking a pounding yesterday. That’s when I realised that all my physical activities are/have been leg based. Yoga, running, karate, rock climbing, snowboarding, skateboarding, ice skating, inline skating (and the few days surfing I managed to tick of my bucket list) are all predominately leg based (with the possible exception of yoga, although there’s a hell of a lot of leg work involved).
Last night I went to see UFO on their farewell “Last Orders” tour, which was also their 50th anniversary tour.
When I was at school, UFO were pretty much my favourite band, and I’ve seen them quite a few times over the years, so there was no way I was missing this tour.
They did not disappoint. From the off it was classic song after classic song, until they “buggered off” as Phil Mogg put it, before coming back for a stormer of an encore.
The only complaint I would have was the price of the merchandise. £25 for a tshirt with just the band logo on the front, and £30 for one with the tour dates on the back. This isn’t a gripe I’ve got with them alone, it’s almost standard for any big name group to charge an arm and a leg for merch. Outside the gig was a guy selling bootleg merch, exactly the same designs as the tour merch inside. £10 for a tshirt and £20 for a hoodie.
While I’m not condoning this, it’s understandable why people buy from these guys, and this one seemed to be doing a roaring trade.
Now if they’d charged £15 – £20 for the tshirts inside the gig, more people would have bought them and the money would have been in their pockets.
I know some bands have said their only source of profit is merch, but if they made a smaller profit per shirt, they’d shift more units, and make more money, and the fans would get an official shirt at a reasonable price, and everyone would win.
But I digress.
An excellent gig by an excellent band who have never disappointed me. I’ll be sorry to see them go, but 50 of quality music is an awesome legacy.