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February is the month.  Somehow, over the years, I have managed to get all my annual medical follow-ups clustered around our Valentine’s Day anniversary.

Five and a half years ago, I discovered a small nodule under my left jaw bone.  From Family Practitioner to specialist, CT scans,couldn’t find what we felt, but did find nodules/cysts on my thyroid.  The specialist then sent me for needle biopsies of both the nodule in my jaw and those on my thyroid.  The result was surgery to remove my parotid gland with the non malignant nodule and determined that the thyroid was probably cysts.  This happened just as school closed for the summer, but it put my first followup in February.   Annually, I have to go for a thyroid ultrasound and follow-up with the specialist.

About three years ago, I developed what I thought was another keritosis on my right shin.  Family Practitioner shaved it off and sent it for evaluation as he didn’t think this one was a keritosis and it wasn’t.  It was a squamous cell variant skin cancer and again I sent off to a specialist, this one who specialized in MOH’s surgery.  After visiting with her and finding out how long I would be immobilized, we elected to postpone the surgery until after our annual ski trip to Colorado.  After the trip, back to the surgeon again in February to have the cancer removed fully.  This added an annual trip to the dermatologist for a full body check for the rest of my life.  I was never a sunbather, but did work two summers on the beach as a lifeguard and I’m very careful to stay covered with long sleeves, wide brimmed hat and sunscreen when working in the yard, but my years as a lifeguard are catching up with me now.

In the middle of all of this, we will celebrate 36 wonderful loving years together with a nice dinner out at a local restaurant.

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