I am having surgery (update)

So something has happened to me and I thought I would talk about it.

A few weeks ago I noticed a little marble sized hard growth on my back. At first I thought it might be an ingrown hair on my back, but I wasn’t sure if it was anything I needed to worry about. I didn’t go to the doctor because the clinic we go to was having issues finding a doctor that would stay long enough to allow me to check in with them.

I was going to call them, but they called us asking if we would come see their new doctor because they wanted to introduce her to some of the less neurotic clients lol. I’m occasionally on the neurotic side. but I’m usually very calm, so I was a safe bet.

So we went and she looked at it and said it was probably an ingrown hair, which hello, I nailed. She gave me a antibiotic and said when you are finished in 7 days, we will refer you to someone to have it lanced and drained. Well, 7 days pass and I call them to let them know it’s time. By the way, it grew from that little marble and now it’s twice as long as it was.

I went to this general surgeon and was expecting him to lance it and drain it in that visit, but he told me that it looks like I have Kaposi Sarcoma. I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but it sounded bad and I went from excited to have this thing gone to feeling sudden dread. He couldn’t lance it or drain it, instead he told me they would need to do surgery to remove it, which will be this week on Thursday.

The next day the new doctor at the clinic called and wanted to know what he told me and I told her he said it was Kaposi Sarcoma. She told me that he didn’t write anything in his report about that, just that it needed surgery to remove.

Kaposi Sarcoma causes purple blotches on your skin and is a very rare cancer usually only seen in AIDS patients. Well, I do have the AIDS virus. I was diagnosed with  HIV in 1991, and then 2 years later I was diagnosed with Pneumocystis pneumonia, which the doctors said was a symptom of AIDS. Gradually over the years from 1993 to 2000 my t-cells had dropped to 50 and I was essentially dying slowly. When we moved to Bakersfield, the HIV/AIDS specialist doctor at the clinic I currently still go to changed my medicine. I was still taking AZT in 2001 believe it or not. Anyway, they changed my medicine and my t-cells gradually raised and I’m still alive and today my t-cells are in the 900 range and my viral load has been undetectable for years.

I told you that because the new doctor at the clinic told me that a patient who has a viral load and t-cells in the 50 range would be more likely to get Kaposi Sarcoma than me, so it’s unlikely that I have this rare type of cancer. Plus my back doesn’t have any strange colors. There is bruising on the skin over the lump, but that’s to be expected considering my skin has stretched a tiny amount and that this lump has caused a bit of trauma to the cell structure of the skin where the hair is grown. That spot has a open cell where the hair grows. I know this because I tried squeezing what I thought was pus out, and some did come out, but it was too hard and it hurt too much to come out.

So there are still a few more days until surgery and I will update this post if it’s a small enough update, but if it’s a lot to talk about then I will start a new blog post. Otherwise, I will keep you posted on the progress when it’s all over.

Update: Today is Thursday 8/31/2017 and I had my surgery. The doctor looked at the area that needed to be removed and noticed that the bruising was gone, and told me that he thought it was kaposi sarcoma due to the fact that he saw the purple color of the skin, and he realizes now that it was a bruise from the growth which was injuring my skin and causing it to bruise. So now he knows it is not kaposi sarcoma. So that’s awesome that he doesn’t think I have cancer.

He did the surgery and I am in a lot of pain, as I should be considering I had surgery lol. He said he will send it to a lab and find out what it was and he will let me know next time I see him. In the meantime, I’m not allowed to lift any weight or exercise for 2 weeks and I can’t shower for 2 days, which will be extremely difficult for me since it’s so hot and when it’s this hot, I usually take up to 3 showers a day. I absolutely cannot stand being sticky, sweaty and stinky. Luckily the right guard lasts a long time. We have some surgery wipes that I can use to at least clean my body.

So when I find out what the issue is, I will edit this post again with another update.

Update: Wednesday 9/6/2017

My follow up appointment with the doctor revealed that it wasn’t an ingrown hair, it wasn’t Kaposi sarcoma, it was an infected sweat gland. Who knew? So that’s a relief that it’s not cancer.

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Kenmore Sewing Machine

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I want to say about 10 years or so ago my partner and I were at Sears buying bags for our vacuum cleaner. The vacuum cleaners are with the microwaves and sewing machines, so while we were there, he decided I needed a sewing machine. I want to laugh because that sounded funny to me.

So he bought me this sewing machine and I used a piece of paper to check out what the patterns are that you could sew, but as far as me learning how to actually sew something, it was hopeless. The sewing machine basically just sat in the hallway closet until recently. I wrote a blog post about The Enchanted Cottage recently, and I shared some pictures of a Zafu cover and Zabuton that I made with the sewing machine.

I bought a box of 11 sewing machine feet from Wish, which you can see in the picture above next to the sewing machine, but here is a close up of those feet. They all fit my sewing machine with the exception of the 2nd from the left on the top row. That is a zipper foot, but the sewing machine came with a zipper foot so I didn’t really need this one.

Sewing machine feet

Now that I’ve made the Zafu and Zabuton, I’ve decided I wanted to make more things. My partner basically lives on the couch and he uses a bed sheet which I’m always seeing him adjust, so I would love to either cut up some of our old sheets that we never use to make him a fitted sheet, or buy some new fabric to make the fitted sheet. I also took an old dog shirt that never really fit our dog and took out the stitches so I can use as a template to make her some clothes from our old t-shirts. I can print some dog images on iron-on paper to decorate the shirts so they’re not plain. Of course I will start with our old t-shirts as practice, but I’d love to buy fleece or flannel fabric for winter clothing.

I figured while I’m learning to make clothing for the dog and fitted sheets, I might as well learn to make actual clothing that we can wear. They sell patterns at thrift stores that I can use to practice.

I attend YouTube University (heh a phrase my aunt used the other day) and I learn from watching videos. Today I learned how to make little bags with zippers and I also learned to make grocery bags for the store. I would love to learn to make wallets because my wallet is falling apart and my partner’s wallet is also falling apart. His wallet has a zipper on it and I would love if mine also had a zipper.

It took 10 years for me to get excited about using a sewing machine, but at least I got there. What’s funny is that I was excited about getting it until we actually got it and I realized I had no clue what I was doing, then I guess I rejected it. Well, that excitement has been renewed, and that’s good.

The Enchanted Cottage – Zen Mindfulness Meditation

Enchanted CottageAbout 4 years ago I received a friend request from a guy named Bruce. I didn’t know him, but he’s active in the gay community here in Bakersfield, which is how I believe he found me on Facebook since I am somewhat active on Facebook. He told me that he owned a metaphysical shop, and I’m sure he told me the name, but I didn’t remember.

 

Earlier this year in April I was walking on H St. to the post office, which is right at the corner of Brundage and H. I noticed this shop called The Enchanted Cottage, which I have literally walked or driven (as a passenger, I don’t drive) past a thousand times in the 17 years we’ve lived here. When I came home, it occurred to me that this might be the place Bruce told me about, so I got on Facebook and sent him a message asking him and he said “yes, this is the shop that my partner Stan and I own.” I walked there again to say hi and to see what the place was about, since I have literally been curious since he sent me that friend request. Yes, I’ve been looking for this shop for 4 years, and it was 2 blocks from my house this entire time.

I became curious because I saw a Facebook event for a Zen Mindfulness Meditation class, and so when I went over there, I asked them about it and he said it was that night. In fact, it’s every Wednesday night from 5:30 to 6:30 p. m. I’ve attended their weekly meditation ever since.

Zen Mindfulness Meditation

The Zen Mindfulness Meditation class by Tracy is a full hour and she does 3 different meditation styles. Half of the hour is a guided meditation and if you’re new, she’ll explain what she does and answer questions before she begins, otherwise she’ll get right to it. She is very gentle and mindful of everyone’s feelings and she is a very good teacher. The 2nd part is a walking meditation. We walk outside when the weather doesn’t try to melt our skin, so when it’s too hot outside, we walk in the classroom, and I’m sure when the weather turns cold we will walk inside. The final part of the meditation which can be from 10-15 minutes is usually a silent meditation. At the end we take refuge in The Three Jewels which are the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

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You might see people meditate on a round pillow, that is called a Zafu. They actually started selling those at the Enchanted Cottage a month or so ago and I put one on layaway and bought it with sales from my Etsy shop. I was lucky that I didn’t have to have it on layaway for too long.

When I bought my Zafu, I brought a blanket for the ground, because people who sit on a Zafu cushion to Meditate also have something called a Zabuton, which is a larger square pillow that you place under the Zafu. I paid $100 for the Zafu, I couldn’t afford to buy the Zabuton from a company. Unfortunately, a month after I bought the Zafu, it began to snag and some red thread started to come apart, which is not good. I don’t blame the Enchanted Cottage for it, but I let them know it was happening so they could complain to the people they bought it from. I didn’t ask for a refund or exchange, instead I removed the cover and we went to Beverly’s for some fabric so I could make a Zabuton and so I could make a cover for the Zafu. I actually tried to repair the Zafu, but failed miserably. I will try again another time.

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Not too long after that I decided I wanted to change the fabric, because I mainly just wanted the option to change it like you would change a pillowcase on your pillow, so this is the way it looks now.

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And yes, the bottom of the Zafu covers have elastic all the way around the bottom so it’s like a fitted sheet.

The meditation is $5 per week, and I usually set aside $20 a month for entertainment, and I figured this is a good use of that money. Why do I attend a weekly class when I can do it at home for free? Why do people go to church every Sunday when they can pray at home for free?

I am an Indigo, and one of the things I was told to do as an Indigo is meditate. I also get to get out of the house and say hi to people and I get to form friendships and I am learning more about myself as not only an Indigo, but also my psychic abilities. Yes, I am a psychic medium. My third eye is open, but I have no connection with my spirit guide, so I’m not a very good psychic medium, but that’s why I’m going to the Enchanted Cottage, to learn and connect. One of the things I need to do to help myself with this aspect of my life is to meditate. So that’s why I go there. Another reason is I have panic attacks, and this helps me. In fact, my doctor suggested meditation as opposed to medication, so this is basically doctor prescribed. Take 2 quartz and call me in the morning.