Archive for March, 2010

just for the record, cancer still sucks

March 15, 2010

and it is a big time suck, too. I’ve had three days off of work, and really thought I might be able to get “a little caught up” in the time between appointments, before appointments or after appointments.  Caught up on all the “task” kind of paperwork I need to do for work, for insurance, for home, for kids, for myself……….but no…..  I’m barely there. 

Last week I had a disatisfying appointment with my PS.  I hate it when a favorite person, in this case, my favorite doc, says things that knocks him off the pedestal I’d placed him on….   On Friday, the boobwithamindofherown had been kind of stable for a few days.  Only increasing in size by a mere 1/4″ here and there for the previous three days.  Former favorite doc suggested, “It’s your perception of what is going on” and then made a few other comments that just……seemed not right.  Hell yes it’s my perception, and I’ve had this damn implant inside of me for over 9 months, and I know her quite well.  I know how she moves, how she like to be slept on how, the movements she doesn’t like, and basically the detailed minutae of the ergonomics of this particular boob.  Know it well.  And when she increased in size, I knew that, too.  I just don’t know WHY the things have changed, and I want a better answer than I have received.  And I wanna get that answer from my favorite doc.  I really don’t want to get another opinion, or go anywhere else for more information, but apparently, I may have to do that.  Big sigh on this one………  And how many days off of work is THIS going to require?

Today 3/15/10

7:15 am.  Overslept.  Made it to Hickman Cancer Center 10 minutes late for Radiation Onco Man.  Love this guy.  Asks lots of questions.  Lots of people, including other docs ask him lots of questions.  He is interrupted in my time with him, about 5, 6, 7 times?  Love him even though he thinks doing a reconstruction is not medically necessary, so why do it?  

Immediately after Onco-Man, I hustled off to the blood suckers to have 3 vials of blood removed, and then the nurses kindly let me pick out my own spot for the transfusion, even though it would be another 20-30 minutes before my labs would be back and they would decide if I had a green light for the Zometa infusion.  I love my new nurse here.  When she tucks me in with two warmed blankies, I half expect her to kiss the top of my head and bring me warm milk and read me a story, thats how nice she is.  Instead I got some peanut butter and grahm crackers and a cup of herbal tea.  Not a bad snack while waiting for the green light for the infusion.  Eventually the labs come back, and the numbers, which I actually kind of understand now look good, so now it was just a wait for the pharmacy to mix up the Zometa cocktail just for me. 

During this wait, I realize I am the youngest person BY FAR in the entire infusion center.  Not that I like young people with cancer or big deal health problems, I just hate being the youngest one there, because my “whatthehellamIdoinghere?” demons begin to rear their ugly heads.  I begin to think I’m too young for this, when I clearly know it is an equal opportunity …..ummm….killer.  Not that it’s going to kill me or anything, at least not yet.  At least thats my plan.  Finally I get the little bag of Zometa, they throw in a free cup of chicken and rice soup, and manage to convince me to order lunch as I’ll surely be there  for that too.  I doze off a little, eat a little lunch, and become a little anxious that I’ll miss my Victory Center appointment, and I almost do, too.  Zometa is fianlly done at 12:20, and my appointment with Tom at TVC, a 15 minute drive away is at 12:30.

What a blessing The Victory Center is.  Of course I was late, but no matter….Tom is mellow, and had the right tuning forks ready, and worked his magic in the form of the sound therapy and the reiki.  Lucky me.  I am able to “drop off” the edge of normal consciousness pretty quickly now, and into a realm where time and space have different meanings.  Thank goodness.

Still had one more appointment.  Had to leave another vial of blood at the Quest lab for my standing order for the estradial levels.  This one barely dripped out.  What’s that mean?

Came back to Perrysburg, stopped by superneighbors, Faye and John, they helped me enter about 750 grades………..whew………then licketysplit just like that, it was time to go home and pick up Louie for Dog Training class, and take him where…..?  You guessed it, right back to Toledo, almost the same street I was on for the last blood draw.  Finally got home around 7:30 pm.

Busy days.  Cancer sucks.  Can’t wait for Spring Break.  Cancer better not mess up this Spring break this year, or I’ll REALLY be a pain to deal with.


three for thursday

March 11, 2010

the boobwithamindofherown has only expanded 1/4″ laterally and 1/8″vertically overnight.  thankfully. 

Just consumed 28 fl.oz. water, will have a pelvic ultrasound in 45 minutes.

After that I get to go to an appointment atThe Victory Center with Veronica…maybe she’ll play the music that gets you “stoned” again.  Lucky me.

After that I go to get a Dexascan.  Check out my bones.

After that I go to the grocery store, and fill my Mother Hubbard bare cupboards.  Also try to find jeans that “picky son who is blowing out the knees” will wear.

Somewhere in there I MUST grade 4″ stack of Junior High papers.

Believe it or not, at this moment in time I actually feel kind of good, except for the swollen glands right up under my chin.  Gotta make a call on that (along with my other list of 4 medical phone calls to make today)

More later.

so bizarre………

March 10, 2010

Monday morning

“Really.  I usually don’t have so much ‘drama’ in my life”  I found my self saying to Dr. B about the crazy amazing expanding boob of mine.  But what is happening?”

His response, “I don’t know.  Let’s remove 50 cc’s from the expander implant”

Really?  That’s the answer?  Seemed like a temporary fix to me. It did relieve the pressure on the skin significantly.  OK that was good.  But WHY does this implant side of me seem to ‘grow”?

I’ve started a growth chart of sorts.  Made 4 sharpie marks on the skin and will chart this week to see how things “develop”.  From Monday to Tuesday, about a half inch expansion laterally and 1/4″ vertically, but the good news is, from Tuesday at 10:30 pm to Wednesday at 5:15 am, the growth is less than 1/4 inch. 

Maybe I can scare that boob into submission.

6:15 am monday

March 8, 2010

little worried.  taking things to school, students prizewinning project to go into the showcase window and lesson plans for sub.

Then driving to Dr. B’s office to see what he thinks of boob with a mind of her own.  Lou found a medical journal with information sounding kind of worrisome.  indicated removal of impant for symptms such as I have.

wish me luck.


March 6, 2010

Well, today is a cancerversary of sorts.  On May 6, 2009, Dr. Butler told me, while she was inspecting the sample she removed during the biopsy, “Well if that doesn’t come back positive, I’m going to do it again.”  I had no idea what she meant.  Positive for what?  Bad juju?  Positive for negative stuff?  Oh the days of such naiveté!!

Now, exactly one year to the day later, I have an unexplained swelling under/over or in my expander implant on my right side that is getting big enough to pull the skin on my chest, including the irradiated skin which doesn’t stretch, so I can feel the pulling clear around on my back on the left side.  It is creepy, uncomfortable, and scary.  I’ve talked to the nurses from my radiation oncologist, and plastic surgeon and as long as there is no sign of infection, the best they can offer me is appointments next week.  Sigh………… That does not seem like a good enough answer.

In the mean time, I am completely exhausted…… apparently this is from the new issue, Thyroid problems, from which Dr. E, my G.P. has prescribed Levothyroxin.  Apparently this malady makes you very tired.  Check mark that.  I’m exhausted.  I managed to assist one student early this morning with an extracurricular competition at Four County Vocational School in Archbold OH in the student organization FCCLA (Family, Career, Community Leaders of America…..the updated new millenium version of FHA, Future Homemakers of America) and lucky for both of us, he received a good enough score to move on to the next level of competition, the State competition….while I am just trying to figure out how in the hell I am going to move out of bed right now.  How am I going to grade papers this weekend?  It is officially Saturday night and I’ve only graded about a half of an inch of papers in a 3 inch pile?  How am I going to get some decent lesson plans in order for my substitute for at least the 2 -3 days I’ll be off next week for Dr. appointments? 

I’m just having a hard time thinking through all of it.  Current conditions: Exhausted.  Hard time thinking, processing cognitively.  Extremely uncomfortable expanding “expander implant”  side boob.  Skin uncomfortable. Pressure on lungs making deep breathing difficult.  Very hoarse voice.  Slurred speech when talking for any length of time.  Extremely dry skin.  Hands uncomfortable.  Yellowish skin tint in hands. Swelling in eyes.  

I sure hope I feel well enough to go hang with the Unitarians tomorrow.  I especially hope and pray that this current business clears up soon and does not interfere with my vacation plans for Spring Break.  I don’t even want to think about that……

Wish I knew what to do next.

6:00 am Friday 3/5/10

March 5, 2010

and I am still BIG on the right side.  OK.  Now I am trying not to be worried about it, but I am wondering how I will make it through the weekend if I continue to “grow”.  If there is no sign of infection but I continue to get bigger…..then what?!

thoughts while driving to appointment today…

March 4, 2010

If your breast expands exponentially and independently will you eventually explode? 

Thats what I found scrawled on the scrap of paper I keep in the car while I drove to my hastily arranged ultrasound appointment this afternoon.  Last night I got to see one of my “guys”, Dr. B, about my big and getting bigger boob, right side.  Getting bigger as in: seeming bigger, seeming to settle down….then getting bigger, and seeming to settle down.  Or at least that is what it has been doing for the last week or so.  Except for the last three days.  Getting big…..getting bigger…..bigger…..even bigger….  On Wednesday the boob-with-a-mind-of-it’s-own started  pulling the special bra, the one that holds the “foob” on the left side in place…over to the right side.  Last night in the middle of the night I woke up feeling like some crazy PS snuck into my room and expanded me 200+cc’s.  Not very funny was my first thought…..whichever brain cell decided to sneak that one in doesn’t know about my particular distaste for nasty misogynist horror films.

Anyways, B’s nurse managed to get an appointment for me today at 2:00 to receive a little ultrasound view of whats happening.  Except I got some kind of Buffy the technician sonographer who told me she worked at Stanford for a year until she came back to Toledo.   OK, I thought, I trusted you up until then….  Of course she saw “nothing”.  No doc came into the room at all.  Apparently he looked at the images remotely and also saw nothing.  They really did not care that I told them it is definitely “something”. 

Right now at 10 pm I think it is even bigger than it was today.  I can feel the boob-with-a-mind-of-it’s-own now pulling on the radiated skin on the flat scary-scar-ry -side -of-my-chest.  Now that’s a definate sensation of creepy and not comfortable.  Who ya gonna call?  Wish I knew.

And as if that weren’t bad enough, Dr. Evans, G.P. called and told me the blood test last monday showed EXTREMELY hypothroid.  And NO WONDER you feel tired with results like these!  Should be in the 4-5 range, but my number is way, way, WAY higher.

Now it’s not that I want to be sick, but when you do feel crappy, it’s nice to have those feelings validated in reality. 

Tooo tired to write anymore……….let’s wait and see what tomorrow brings.

back to bed.

March 1, 2010

….just for the record, when you have three blood tests in one poke, you need to drink more water during the day.  I know this.  I have no excuses, except I forgot to carry my water bottle into work.  I just am trying to eliminate the number of needle pokes in my only “pokable arm”, the right side.  This afternoon was a complete washout.  I was “good for nothing” after the lab visit.

Doesn’t really explain the recent recurrant swelling of the left hand and the expander implant right breast side. 

Seems as if things are moving around under some strange force of nature, and not letting me in on “the plan”.   I’m not real thrilled about all of this, and would like it to stop.  I really don’t have time for more medical appointments even if they are with my wonderful docs.

I’m going back to bed, and it is before 9 pm!

Stupid cancer.