quick update

December 8, 2010

I’ve been remiss in not updating my progress here.  Sorry.  Fulltime work, going to PT and medical appointments along with motherhood and life in general…keeps me busy.

PET Scan – Radiation Oncologist said, “stupid test, too expensive, inconclusive..”  Also said he’d make the appointment for me to see Dr. Butler….the queen of all docs, the “Surgeon” and I say that with a mix of both fear and respect.  Butler has more experience than anyone else in town with breast cancer and has seen plenty of fat necrosis, tumors, and all things foreign in breast tissue.

My appointment with Butler was this past monday, and her opinion on the lump, after a considerable amount of time wielding the ultrasound wand was…………the lump is “rib”.  The lump will not have a needle stuck in it. Too close to the heart and the lungs, and risk of puncturing a lung or worse is too great.  Great…good news, right?  Wish I could get my mind to believe that.  In my heart I don’t believe it, but I guess I have to believe it.   I’ve had Medical Onco, Plastics Guy, Radiation Onco, and now the Surgeon all say, “nah….probably not tumor.” 

My Supreme Surgeon did, however, express great concern with the decision of GP to take me off of blood thinners after only three months.  Concerned enough to insist that I call the Hemetologist/Oncologist at U of M to get another opinion, and while I’m at it (she said in her most authoritarian way) get her opinion on the method and plan for the finish of the reconstruction (which is currently planned for late January.)  She didn’t like the PS plan to just remove the lump….because after all, she thinks it is my rib.  My rib grotesquely contorted out of shape.  From the plastic surgery. 



PET Scan

November 16, 2010

Finally got the PET scan this morning at Flower.  The past week, the anxiety over having to wait for this test was, at times, enough to instigate little mini-anxiety moments.  Not anxiety “atttacks”…..I feel that I possess a miniscule amount of self control to avert the suddenness of anxiety, but rather I would just find myself thinking about how many more days and hours I had until Tuesday morning.

Now Tuesday morning has come and gone, I’ve had my PET scan, and feel utterly drained.  Maybe it’s the radioactive medicine I had directly injected into my bloodstream.  Maybe again, it’s just……….anxiety again, my old friend. 

I had to “fast” for twelve hours to prepare for the test, and this morning as I was getting ready, I was so hungry.  But once the scan was complete, not really all that hungry.  Hungry got bumped for scared.  So there.  I’m scared to receive the results.  My next appointment with R. Onco isn’t until Sunday morning.  Four and a half days from now for my imagination to run wild.

Falling asleep at the laptop….gotta give in to sleep when it comes.  More later.

gut feeling

November 12, 2010

So I went to my GP today and finally had one small amount of good news.  The venous doppler test I had last month to check the status of blood clots showed no clots.  Good news is that I can go off of blood thinners, and just hope and believe that this medical malady is behind me.  Still don’t now what “caused” that problem, but hopefully I am safe without these meds.  I will do a different blood test in two weeks to see if there are any other possible clotting culprits lurking about in my system. 

Other topics of discussion:  No answer for the metal mouth taste I’ve carried around for more than 6 weeks now.  Bleck, yeck, yuck, icky taste in the mouth.  No answer.

No answer for the fatigue, except maybe stress.  I think that’s the answer we came up with.  I didn’t take notes on that part of our conversation and have had a billion intense thoughts since this morning, so that’s all I can remember about that.

Have some other random testing planned, and one big deal test.

Big damn deal test is the PET scan that we scheduled for next Tuesday before I left his office.  I specifically asked, “Am I overreacting about this lump?”  His response, “not given your history, no.”  His recommendation, at the least, a PET scan, or go straight to biopsy.  I didn’t know what to choose, but they were willing to schedule the PET scan immediately, so that’s what we did.  Once I got to school, I called my surgeon’s office, and they asked to see the PET scan before scheduling time with her. 

In a weird way, I feel better with yet another diagnostic test on this big hard lump on my rib.  It’s  just a gut feeling that I need more information.  I’m amazed that I had to go to my GP to get the order.  Thanks Dr. E.

November 4, 2010

tomorrow morning I have an appointment to go to a new PT group, as Dr. Schott had admonished me a few weeks ago to get in with someone well experienced with mastectomy patients.  Fun….at 7:00 a.m.

Then at 10:00 I have my CT scan.  I purposely have not thought about it, because…….um, I am quite frankly very worried about it.  This lump seems to feel bigger every time I probe around it.

Wish me luck.

Compartmentalize this!

October 28, 2010

So yesterday I had a regular checkup with Dr. Barone but of course had my surprise, the big hard lump/bump on my left chest to show him.  I had expected him to kind of brush it off, but he instead gave me an order for a CT scan.  Which I’m afraid to say, is exactly what I wanted.

I’m beginning to feel like a medical junkie.  Like I can’t wait for the next “fix”, the next procedure………..just when I think I’m out of the woods for a weekly medical appointment, something new comes up (this time, literally.)

CT scan is scheduled for next week, November 5th.  So for now, I have to place all the anxious thoughts about this lump in my chest that  seems to change shape weekly and place them in a box out of the way of my conscious mind.  Let’s see how much self control I can impose upon myself for yet another week.

October 19, 2010

It’s been over ten days I’ve beeen living with this super hard mass in my left chest.  Today I had my regular appointment with Dr. Schott, Oncologist at U of M.  She sent me for an ultrasound, and the verdict is……………..!  Right–no real answer.  They are pretty sure it is not a tumor, but no idea of what it is….well. they have an idea.  It might be fat necrosis, none of the docs are 100% sure. 

SO-the plan is to watch it and wait……….

Saturday, 10-9-10

October 9, 2010

I’m a little worried that the big hard mass I can feel in about the “11:00” position on my left chest is something…..uh, something to worry about.  Found this last thursday night.  Friday I saw Plastic Surgeon nurse, who thinks it is just a part of my ribcage.  I was relieved (sorta) that she was not as alarmed as I was.

But I don’t think it is normal bone.

And I think I’ll have to call one of the onco’s to get another opinion on Monday.  Think they work on Columbus Day?

5:30 am

October 7, 2010

This is what I wonder. 

WHY did I forget to take the Arimidex two days in a row?  Realized that error last night.  I’m thinking that is why I woke up two times in the middle of the night.   Punishing myself for this huge error.  (I’ll surely pay for the lack of sleep today…….)

Arimidex is the biggest weapon I have in my fight against reoccurance.  Makes no sense I would forget it.  Sixteen months post chemo, and I’m still missing important connections.

This is what is pissing me off the most.  Then, as soon as that thought goes through my mind, I think of all the people I’ve met in the chemo and radiation waiting areas, at the cancer  benefits etc. who are still in the middle of the big battles, and some of them have even lost the fight.

God, I hate internal conflicts.

brief update

September 30, 2010

yea, I know not much has been posted here lately.   Partly, that’s good news.  Means I’m at least still at work, and not at home recuperating in bed.  I have had lots of news to share, just not the time to write. 

Life seems crazy busy, and I feel as if I’ve been swept onto the fast train.  It’s not all bad.  I’ve had some really cool opportunities come my way and had fun.  But also have new responsibilities both at home and work, and not another minute has been added to the day to get it all done.  I’d be frustrated, but I’m too tired to work up that much energy.

In the meantime, a quick update:  Seems as if the recent ultrasound (ovaries) was OK, but really I’m not completely convinced.  Maybe it’s the cancer apprehension speaking, but I think when I see the U of M onco next month, I’ll schedule the genetic (BRCA1 and BRCA2) testing.  Might as well know those odds.

Reconstruction surgery #2 has been delayed due to DVT, but the plan now is to have that surgery in January.  And speaking of DVT, I’m still on blood thinners and my goal is to be off of them by November.  I’ll be very lucky if that happens, but that’s what I have set in my mind at this point in time.

Just this week during my radiation oncology visit my substitute-doctor told me the weird metal taste I’ve had in my mouth for a week now is Thrush.  Great.  Another medicine.  Another thing to deal with.  But, I guess on the scale of all the things that could happen, I should probably be grateful that I have a stupid fungal infection now.  At least I’m trying to talk myself into that mindset for the now.  But, it also means that my immune system is not where it should be………sigh…….it’s all so disappointing. 

But in the meantime, I just keep getting through each day, and hope that I might actually be seeing a sliver of light at the end of this really crappy tunnel.


September 13, 2010

9 is a very good number when it comes to the CA125 test.  Anything below 30 is considered low risk for ovarian cancer.  So 9 sounds good to me.  However, the most recent research I can find indicates that this specific test will show  elevated levels in only 50% of early tumors. So………. apparently this week I will be on another rollercoaster ride until my docs receive the ultrasound reports and interpret them for me.  Maybe tomorrow.


In the meantime, maybe someone reading this might like to support me, or make a donation for the Komen Race for the Cure in a couple weeks.  Maybe you even wanna join my TEAM!  That would be Team JBN.  Maybe you just want to donate a few dollars.  Or maybe a bunch of dollars ( I still need more than $100.00 to meet my fundraising goal of $400.00)

Heres where you go:

http://nworace10.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=418590&lis=1&kntae418590=C30A281E24DF4FFA8D274253A968B69E&supId=301701420 ( I know this is ridiculous, I don’t know how to make the links easy and cool looking…)

Look for Team JBN if you want to join in (or even join the “Sleep for the Cure” team for heavens sake!).

Look for my name:  Kay-Lynne Schaller if you would like to make a donation.

And, thanks for your support.  I can not express just how much your interest/care/concern has helped me.