July 2012


Good news from Dr. Convit today - we can plan to go on vacation! We need to go back to see him next week, and by then he should be ready to cut us loose. Now all we have to do is figure out where/when to go.

The skin graft is mostly healed now, and the stubborn patch is beginning to close up since we started putting silver sulfadiazine on it (instead of bacitracyn) last week. The graft donor site is healed and just needs to be softened with some skin lotion. As of today Robert is cleared to drive, and after one more week he can get back on his bike.

Back on the wagon!

I was surprised when I got on the scale this morning and saw that, in the last two weeks, I had gained back two of the 27 pounds I had lost during the previous year. I should not have been surprised, as I have been snacking to my heart's content. What was I thinking?!

Current considerations

As we near the time for our visit with Dr. Sharfman at Johns Hopkins next Monday afternoon, we are trying to clarify our thoughts and figure out what questions and information gaps we need to address before decision-time. I hope writing this blog post will help me do some of that on my own. I’ll start with a synopsis.

Learning about retirement

I’m amazed at how little I knew about Social Security before I applied for retirement benefits earlier this week. For example, I knew that there were limits on how much earned income you could receive while drawing your full SS benefit if you retire before your “full retirement” age – in my case, 66. What I didn’t know is that once you reach full retirement age, they give you back all the money they docked you during that time. I had pretty much decided already to file, but that knowledge tipped me over the edge.

Forward and back

I haven't had much to say over the last 10 days - we are still waiting for the appointment at Hopkins, and with Allison et al. visiting I haven't taken time to concentrate on melanoma. That was a welcome relief! But it doesn't mean nothing's been happening ... so here's an update.