Archive for the ‘Estradial levels’ Category

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.


back to blood tests

January 12, 2010

Since I am going back to the vampires again tomorrow for my every other week blood test, I thought I’d better have the results of the last blood test, way back in 2009 (12/30, I think.)  Since NP Joan is gone on vacation it was incumbant upon me to call for test results.

This time I didn’t have all the anxiety that zapped me just before Christmas.  Guess I’m finally getting mellow about it all.  Maybe the LACK of estrogen is responsible for my “c’est la vie” attitude.  Yes, the estradial test level came back at 2.  Remember, I need low estrogen levels for my maintainance drug to work properly. 

Arimidex is a little white nondescript pill that I greet every morning with, “you’re gonna go and save my life now little buddy, right?”  God, I hope this works.  Only time will tell I guess.

good news – bad news

December 30, 2009

Well, the good news is that I finally received test results back from my estradial blood test nearly two weeks ago.  Estrogen level was LOW, which, for the maintenance drug to work effectively, is GOOD.  whew……  That was how I started my day, with very very good news.

I also had an appointment with a Promedica nutritionist… was good to discover that I am right on track with my assumptions of what I should be doing nutritionally. Lose a few pounds.  Exercise more.  More fruits and vegetables at every single meal. Meat as a condiment, not the main part of the meal.  Eat a more balanced lunch every single day. Conservative multiple vitamins and fish oil are OK.  However, the shocker was the admonition, “no alcohol”.  I thought the new rule for me was “MODERATE consumption” meaning only 1 glass of wine per day.  Even that is a change from my BBC life (BBC=Before Breast Cancer), and one I can make, but NO alcohol?  I think her exact words were something like: “consuming alcohol is like adding fuel to the fire for a Breast Cancer patient.”  

I can’t even tell you how disappointing that is.  One of my greatest joys in life is to consume a great meal with my husband and friends complimented by a great bottle of wine.  So no wine?  Not even a glass with dinner?  I just don’t know.  I don’t know if I can follow that advice.

Actually, I asked Dr. Rubin this exact question a month ago, and he thought my past moderate alcohol consumption couldn’t have possibly been enough to have caused cancer…….and his recommendation was 1 glass of alcohol per day is acceptable.

But, ya know, once you have been through what I’ve been through this year, you’ll do just about anything to NOT get cancer again.  This suggestion has presented me with a major cognitive dilemma, and one that is not going down easily.

This is now the top question I have for every doc I see as well as all my BC friends. 

more later, I’m falling asleep again at the laptop……….zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

And I have had it with people complaining….

December 14, 2009

You know I really try hard to not whine about things…but when I hear others complaining about how things aren’t working out for them, I have to bite my tongue.   What I want to say is “Get a grip!!  Whatever your problem is, it  is not that important!”  But no, I don’t go there. 

Quick summaries:

Liquid Gold

So last week I saw the plastics guy, my favorite doc.  It had been six weeks since my last radiation and the skin on my chest, while still pretty unattractive, looked a LOT BETTER than it did in the weeks after radiation.  Therefore,  I was kind of surprised when he called in his oncology aesthetician to inspect the skin on my chest to make recommendations on the correct product to prescribe for the burned field.  Remember, we are going to ask a lot of this skin in about six months when I hope to do the breast reconstruction.  Hope to turn the scarred, ribs-showing and tattooed (compliments of the radiators at Hickman Cancer Center) deformed chest wall into something round and smooth and good lookin’ under a t-shirt.   Well.  Let me say this.  It is amazing just how much .o8 oz of a special, special gel (TNS Recovery Complex) costs.  Never in my life have I spent so much on so little.  Also, never in my life did I think I would be so easily won over by a tiny bottle of very expensive product.  Check it out:  I think I might actually buy this little bottle of liquid gold again even after the reconstruction.  Gotta be cheaper than a facelift.

The Estrogen Story

It’s been almost two weeks since my last estradial blood test…this is the blood test I’m doing every two weeks for the forseeable future to be sure the daily dose of arimidex is not in vain in fighting my estrogen loving cancer cells.  Hadn’t heard the results of the last test, and believe it or not, getting the results of your own blood test are not as easy as one might think.  Like you can’t just call the lab for the results.  Privacy issues.  They can’t tell you your own results over the phone.  Unbelievable. 

Anyways, I finally got the results from NP Joan at U of M, she wrote, “the estradial level was at 14, higher than expected”.  YIKES!  Does 14 mean I am not in menopause?  Geez, now I gotta do more research on this.  If I am not in menopause, I have to switch drugs, and begin taking Tamoxifin, which is OK, I just want every day of my life now to be taking the right drug.  Being cancer free depends on the correct drug being in my system 24/7 for the next 5 years.  I feel like I am being a little obsessive about this, but my “new life” definitely has a paranoid edge to it. 

So I will travel up to Toledo again on Wednesday to get another blood test and this time I can’t decide if I smother them with charm or bitch like crazy lady to receive the results of the test within days instead of weeks.  It has been an anxiety wormhole, this menopause/estrogen level puzzle.

What would a week be without a Doctor visit?

Saw my local General Family Practice guy today.  First time I have seen him since my trip into cancerland.  Oh, I like this guy a lot.  He is quite patient and smart and listens.  We had a nice long discussion today, and it was nice to talk with someone knowledgable, who knows about me, yet isn’t taking “sides’.   I was really quite comforted that he was alarmed at the things that alarmed me in my story (remember the chemotherapy decisions?)  as well as agreed with the difficult decisions I’ve made (to take the radiation route).  It was perhaps not a necessary visit, but it made me feel better.  Even better, he invited me back to talk anytime……I always knew I really liked him for a reason.  If you need a GP, let me know.   I’ll give you a referral to this “good guy”.

Just bein’ nice AGAIN!

Those incredible teachers at my school have done it again.  This is our second “Just Be Nice” week.  This time we are focusing our efforts on local families in financial need this holiday season.  I’ll tell you more in a couple days.  The fatigue factor has set in again and I’m nodding off at the keyboard.  Again.