...to a clean bill of health.
Yesterday Derek underwent surgery to more fully remove the forearm skin and tissue that would have potentially carried melanoma cells, as well as a lymph node in his right armpit. Prior to surgery he was injected all around the original "mole" area with a radioactive chemical to track to any potentially affected lymph nodes. The tracer did lead to that single lymph node and we will find out in 10 days whether there was any cancerous activity in that node, as well. Obviously we're hoping that it was caught early enough to not have spread to the node. If there was spreading, then there is likelihood that chemo would be the next step, but we're optimistic that this will not be the case. From everything I've been told by others who are familiar with melanoma it sounds like we caught this very early. For the time being we're breathing a little easier.
Surgery went well. It took a bit longer than expected, mostly because Derek's lymph nodes appear to be pretty buried in his armpit. On the way home he started getting queasy and not long after we arrive home he made a sacrifice to the porcelain god (I had that same reaction after my first experience with general anesthesia and asked for anti-nausea meds the next time around--worked like a charm). After that he was hungry and binged on Fruit Loops and Ritz crackers. Today he's felt much better and practically begged to run to the store to combat a mild case of cabin fever.
The day before his surgery we had a marvelous, albeit windy, bike ride in the afternoon (DH took a half day off). We rode 43 miles--my longest ride ever by nearly 10 miles. It kicked my ass a little, but I was surprised by how strong my legs felt just hours after finishing the ride. By yesterday AM my legs felt 100% strong. Tonite I ran 6 miles and aside from the heat (seriously...80º on April 2?!) and wind I had a strong run...though my fartlek workout was really more wind-sprints into some very strong, gusting wind. I'm feeling well recovered from last weekend's brutal 15k race of endless hills. Tomorrow 13 miles are on the agenda, likely in 60º rain. That sounds kinda dreamy...and we desperately need the rain.
Today a recent online order from ZombieRunner.com arrived. I ordered my usual 2toms SportShield and BlisterShield, but also some nylon UV protection MOEBEN sleeves for both Derek and I. His are plain white...mine are a bit more girly and fun. I tried them on and found that they felt really cool. Hopefully I can wear these in the Summer while biking and not overheat. I may try them for running, too, though it's easy to overheat while running, even with very minimal clothing. In that instance I may simply continue to slather up with plenty of high SPF sunblock and do my best to choose shadier routes and run earlier or later in the day.