Moh’s surgery finished — 5 stitches, one cut and I was finished!

Yea! Done with the Moh’s surgery. I told her I could still feel burning on my lip (and this burning I don’t feel anywhere else on my lip), it’s also the same burning I had with when the bump was there, so I think she took a chunk out of my lip. I made it clear to the doctor, I didn’t went her to hold back — it was more important to get it out — and she took that to heart 😍👍.

Doctor was pretty convinced this Squamous cell has nothing to do with my balance and dizzy issues, but I’m not so convinced…my sister called Dr. Chow while I was in surgery, and he’s being so nice, he’s squeezing me in tomorrow!! ❤️.

Walking around with my cane today, it occurred to me the severity of these balance and dizzy issues could also be from a stroke from the IVIg — I’m actually hoping that’s what’s causing these symptoms…stroke much better than brain mets 🤔.

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Round 1 of Moh’s surgery finished!

Round 1 of MOH’s surgery finished! Waiting for the results from the lab to see if I’m gonna need a round 2. 👍

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I have squamous cell on my lip — maybe that lymph node in my neck isn’t so innocent (?)

It turns out I have Squamous cell, on the corner of my lip (I had many sun burns as a child), but now it’s making me think that the lymph node in my neck (which is on the same side as the cancer) might be related.

What’s worse, is that I’ve developed strange balance and weakness issues over the last few weeks (I even take a cane with me when I go places). I’m going to go see a neurologist to get another brain mri.

Today I’m going to see Dr. Teresa Soriano at UCLA to do the Moh’s surgery in a few hours, but given these new balance and weakness issues,

I’m wondering if I need to be admitted for a more thorough workup at UCLA.

(Dr. sherman is in Israel for a few weeks for vacation.)

I remember you warned me in your office many months ago that this lymph node might be dangerous…I just assumed it was connected to the infection.

What’s particularly interesting, is that Dr. Soriano was pretty convinced that the bump on my lip *wasnt* cancer when she looked at two weeks ago — I told her I was pretty sure that it was cancer, given my family history of cancer and my immune deficiency, but she was pretty sure it wasn’t.

I’m wondering now if the reason she didn’t think it was cancer, was because my bump didn’t look like a normal person bump who has cancer — remember that sliver I had in my toe back in June 2013, and my toe didn’t look like it had a sliver in it at all? (And the podiatrist said she had never seen anything like that in 20 years of practicing medicine?) I’m wondering if this is similar—

These new balance and weakness — symptoms I’ve *never* experienced before in my life — I really didn’t know what to make of them, I thought it might be MS related, but now I’m thinking it could be related to this Squamous cell problem—

Thanks for everything 🙂 Even if this is the worst case scenario, and this weakness and balance issues are brain mets, please always know how grateful I am for everything you’ve done for me and Noah. Please push anyone you can to get the answer for Noah, and watch out for him. Maybe I should go to the UCLA ER? I’ll talk with Dr. Soriano in a few hours—

I really appreciate everything—

Warmly,
Tara

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I think my balance and weakness problems might be brain mets…

I have a bad sinking feeling that my balance and weakness problems that have been developing over the last couple of weeks might be brain mets…I really really hope not, I’m not having any headaches, but then again I usually don’t get a lot of pain when you’re supposed to have pain…

(Ie—the sliver in my toe June 2013–)

Keeping fingers crossed this is *not* the case…I’ll definitely call Dr. Chow’s office soon…

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I can’t sleep…I know I shouldn’t be nervous :)

It’s weird to be nervous about this, because it ain’t that big of a deal…my sister got out of the hospital, so she’s going to go with me, odds are everything is gonna be okay…

Squamous call caught early usually isn’t that serious, I might have some issues because it’s so close to my lip, I’ll find out in a few hours 🙂

Enjoy your Trailers from Hell day and have a great trip—

Love,
Tara 🙂

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Cookie’s face is priceless

“Mommy, what exactly is that on your head??” 🤔

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The Power of Music: Sometimes my heart rips out of my chest I miss my father so much

So I was watching ‘The Blacklist’…a fairly entertaining show that I’m mostly drawn to because of the relationship between the two lead characters, Agent Elizabeth Keen and Raymond Reddington, whose dynamic echoed my relationship with my own father…

I’m in a fairly boring sequence of episodes, just half paying attention hoping the show is going to get interesting again (end of season 3/early season 4),

And all of a sudden this song comes on that just grabs my heart —

I mean,

This song just rips at my soul and instantly brings me back to being a little girl with my father,

(who loved music),

And I can’t remember where or why or how his song is ripping at my heart so hard —

So I Shazam the song, while it’s playing through the visual montage at the end of an episode, and sure enough, it’s

“If you could read my mind” by Gordon Lightfoot—

Gordon Lightfoot…Gordon Lightfoot…

That name is ringing major bells—

Did I meet him when I was little, from my father’s music business days in Ottawa?

So I google him — greatest Canadian songwriter — okay, check, but that isn’t it —

What is it about him that screams such a bell into my soul?

And you know who I want so desperately to call and ask?

My father of course. And I can’t. (Though I may be able to ask him myself soon enough if my health doesn’t improve soon.)

And with one stroke, I felt this gutting, like a punch in my stomach, of how much I miss my father. How much I want to talk to him about so many things.

How much I want to apologize for letting go of the gift he left behind for me, that I understand why it was so important but I just couldn’t get it together in time…though I know he would understand…

This neck infection is gonna kill me. I’m trying my best to ward it off, but it’s as raw and sore as the days after the surgery.

Now I’m just trying to stay afloat as long as I can…the best I can…

But this song…at the end of Season 4, episode 2…out of nowhere just brought me to my knees…

And I can’t remember…I can’t remember why…I must have heard it a lot when I was a kid, my parents must have played it when they were still together…

Since my father controlled the music scene in Ottawa in the late 1960s/1970s, maybe I met him…maybe I met Gordon Lightfoot at some point…many musicians remember my father from back in those days…the absolutely brilliant but ruthless music manager who booked every major act in Ottawa for over a decade…

Until he got too sick…the part of the story that no one else understands but me…the tragic part of the story that his friends assume was just falling to booze and cocaine, when he was actually stumbling from chronic pain and debilitating health problems…

I wonder what people who knew me from bald in the day think of me…what were the reasons for my downfall….motherhood? Depression? Laziness? as my reasons for falling apart?

I miss you so much Paw. Thanks for holding on as long as you did, I know it was lonely and painful for many years,

But you were an essential part of the story in my quest to build a better life for Noah, a life that doesn’t get crippled by debilitating health problems,

And you staying alive all those years in spite of all of this pain and frustration gave us pieces of the puzzle I’m able to leave behind for Noah—

And I will be eternally grateful…

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