Friday, August 29, 2008

Visits done.

I survived three days of visiting medical facilities. I also burned up a lot of expensive gasoline!! In those three days, I managed to put 100 miles on my vehicle.

The first trip was to the Medical Center downtown to visit the plastic surgeon. I think I'm going to be really sore for a while after he gets through with me, but according to him this is an easy one to recuperate from. I so wanted to retort that it wasn't HIS body!!

The next trip was to the local medical center where I got all my chemo and radiation, and if fact has the mastectomy. That was for the bone scan and shoulder x-ray. I was to be there at 9:30 (for paper work). I was worried about parking because this place has only been open since about January 2007. I think they thought the place was plenty big, but it has become so popular the entire place is bursting at the seams. Parking is a premium! They have added parking once, and now are building a parking garage. They are also building a second professional building. My worries were for naught however. There was a handcapped place - at the door!

I filled out the paper work. I HATE filling out the medication form. I wish they could find my records and just up date them, but it never works that way. It is always a generic check in. But it went well all things considered.

I was taken back to get the injection of the radioactive substance. Since only the left arm can be used now, I was, as always, a little apprehensive. I'm so afraid that someday, somehow, that vein will be blown - forever. They tried to reassure me with the fact that it was just a little butterfly. I don't care - it's a needle and it hurts! And it did, but all went well. I was to return at 1.

Before that I had to get my x-ray. The technician was a really handsome young man who was very soft spoken. That's not good for a person who taught junior high school for almost all 29 years of teaching, and played the organ for church (it had no external speakers - only the ones under the keyboards). I AM a little hard of hearing. But he began to realize this and spoke a little louder as we went on. After we were through, he came back in. He asked why I was having the x-ray, and I told him for possible restaging my cancer. He said the funniest thing then - he said "then you know you have breast cancer." It was all I could do to keep from bursting out in laughter. He was so earnest I just couldn't have made a joke out of it!

Yesterday I was up late since Simone had another sick spell on Wednesday night, and I spent the night up with her. I decided since it was already so late I would make the trek to the hospital where I will have surgery. It is not close, but it was the best choice from the ones where plastic guy does surgery. I didn't go fasting last time, and they were concerned with the blood sugar. So this time, I would not eat until I was back.

My timing was really terrible. There was still a room full of people waiting for their loved ones to get out of surgery. I finally got in to register, and they didn't need any labs on me since I had been there in May! Mixed feelings about that!!

But my treks are over for a while. Now I can concentrate on Gustav. I tend to make fun of the weather people here, but there is a great deal of uncertainty with this storm. We really need to be prepared I think.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

August 28, 1912

Happy 96th birthday Daddy. How I wish you were here.

I really thought I would finally be over you not being here, it's not happening. It may happen someday, but I don't know when. But you are still alive in my heart.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This and that

Now the real waiting begins. The bone scan is done. I just have to wait for the results.

I was rather amused however. When the first part of the scan was over, the technician asked if my knees, ankles, and feet hurt. Um - yeah! Apparently that arthritis came through like a beacon. I knew the knees were bad, but not I know ankles and feet are too.

Tomorrow I head over to the hospital where my surgery will be done to pre-register. I was going to go fasting, but I looked at the orders. NO WHERE on those orders does it indicate I should be fasting. I'll take my last report with me though. They can make a copy.

Our local news is going nuts with Gustav out there. They started several days ago, but now it is the lead off story on each newscast. I love it when they say that they only have an idea where it will go until Friday, but after that. Oops - he just said we have a 5% chance here. Oh, they are going to be so disappointed with that!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A little relief

I met with the plastic surgeon for my pre-op with him. I shared the topic of the last PET scan. He made me feel better about it and more positive about the bone scan tomorrow.

His opinion is that the test is over a year old and if there were mets to the bone, there would be more symptoms now. He feel pretty sure it's arthritis.

He also said the bone scan should show that it is really arthritis. I like those words.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I hate waiting!!

Waiting has never been one of my strong suits. I remember waiting for Christmas as a child. It was terrible. My mom would begin putting presents under the tree. I would sneak in and carefully pull open the tape. I just couldn't stand them sitting there hiding their secrets from me.

Now I find myself waiting again, but this time it is something much more important. I can't even get the bone scan until Wednesday, and then it will be about four days before I could find out any results. I really don't think the results will be conclusive. I also am not sure his nurse will give me the results over the phone. So that means more waiting.

I really am not going to have extensive surgery on the 8th if I have mets. There is no reason for it. I;ll have about 3 inches of excess tissue removed around the reconstruction that has been left over the previous surgeries. That will mean another drain, and it will be painful. I am looking at an incision about six inches long. I won't be able to sleep on that side.

I am not sure how much pain I will have from the reduction on the left. I'm sure there will be pain since there will be a nipple relocation. Of course, the surgeon thinks this will be easy. It's not his body!!

G, deep down, wants me to find another oncologists. He has never liked Dr Poison. Neither of us knows exactly how to go about this. I am not sure another oncologist would be willing to take the case. I feel really let down by BOTH the oncologist and the radiation oncologist to allow this report sit since June 27, 2007.

All I can say it I hope that the radiation doctors felt there was nothing to it, but Dr Poison is all upset - now. I think he would like me to have had an MRI like Friday! At this point, time is no longer of the essence.

SO tomorrow is my pre-op with the plastic guy. I will share all this with him, and tell him of my decision. Well see what happens.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Letting things fall out

My feelings settled? No so much. I have the appointment for the bone scan. It will be Wednesday. I could have had it on Tuesday, but I have the appointment with the plastic surgeon. I wish I could have the results of the scan before this appointment with the surgeon.

I think I can get results before surgery. Dr Poison said I could call after about four days for results. I won't see him again until September 16. If they appear to be bad, I really think I am going to modify my plans. I think I'll just have the implant put in and forget the rest. I can't see going through all that if, well, you know.

So now I am left to wonder. Is the pains I have because of the aggravation of the arthritis due to Lipitor and Femara, or has bone cancer spread throughout my body. All I know is I am much worse off than I was even last year.

The "little c" is threatening to become the "big c" again. I guess more prayer is called for.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

So now what?

I had my appointment with the oncologist today. It was a horrible appointment, and I am left with all sorts of unanswered questions. The only up side is that I see him again on the 16th. That should tell you things are not good.

He read the report from my blood tests. The markers that I always worry about were fine, but then he said something about another being elevated. He THEN asked about when I had my last colonoscopy. That put me on edge.

He then started reading the report from my last PET. That was before I started radiation. It showed some masses in the upper humerus and in some of the thoracic vertebrae. It was suggested that I have an MRI to further determine if they were masses or arthritis.

As I was going to tell him that I didn't think I am a candidate for an MRI, he was called to the telephone. He was gone quite a while. I also read the report then.

That brought another puzzling thing. My blood sugar (and I don't remember blood being taken at the time) was 165. So the report said that the elevate blood sugar could have had an effect on the reading. In my labs from the cardio doc, the blood sugar was also slightly elevated. Great - another problem.

So now we are going for a bone scan and x-ray of the right shoulder. The bone scan won't be definite. It will show tumors as well as arthritis. So now my thoughts are ok, is my arthritis that much worse or do I have metastasis to the bone? Why did it take a year and two months to read that report from the PET?

My mood is not real good right now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I think I goofed - agan

I have been going over Saturday night's dinner with family in my mind, and I think I have royally goofed - again.

We were talking about G's aunts (the remaining two) who live here in Swampland. I was asked about the oldest one who is taking all the deaths in the family so hard. We are all really worried about her mental state.

I made the remark that I call her frequently. Oops. I think I said the wrong thing. MIL had put B on a guilt trip about not coming to see her, and we don't either. The Alamo City is out of the way when we go to the SSB, and when we return on Monday a stop there would put us here in the teeth of rush hour(s).

G doesn't even call her. He called on Mother's Day, and the conversation lasted about five mnutes with neither one talking. So he doesn't call.

He has long known that he was not the precious child for either of his parents, but mom made it abundantly clear. Her dislike of her first born carried over to his family. The cousins were preferred to my kids. She has verbally attacked me on two occasions. I trust her like I trust a cornered rattlesnake.

I'm surprised she didn't take offense, and perhaps she did. I call Aunt W because we truly love each other and care about how the other is doing. This may sound really cold, but I am not going to lose any sleep over a possible snub to MIL. You get what you give.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Soap opera weekend.

This was certainly an interesting weekend. Things didn't go at all as expected.

We were planning to go to Wide Spot Community Club. There were four hosts for said event - which was to be he ice cream social. Ok. Last year, there was dinner before the ice cream. This year the four people only got the bowls, spoons, ice tea, and some cookies. Gee that was so difficult. When we were hosts (G's brother and sister-in-law and us), we had a meal plus dessert. And neither of us live in the area. We all have to drive in. I told another neighbor, who also was expecting food, that the times to host are the covered dish supper and the ice cream social. You don't have to do anything.

Lady Bug had a great time. Before her second cousin arrived, she was with an 18 month old little girl. They had a famous time! It was just as well. When cousin arrived, he seemed to be a little distant. I didn't know at the time this was a foreshadowing of what was to come.

I was greatly surprised that my MIL was present. She usually backs out. I guess she was so tired of being at her Independent Living place that she would make the 2+ hour trip. She was going to stay with P and M instead of her daughter. Hmmmm. That made me wonder, but it was later explained.

We went to P and M's house for dinner Saturday. I got the low down on little sister. We were able to talk without MIL hearing because we don't know just how much she knows about that situation. More elephants in the rooms!!!

As dinner approached, Cousin became belligerent. He was going to have cookies and ice cream for dinner. Nothing more to be said. M is a psychologist, so she removed him from the situation for a discussion. When he returned, the same scene played out again. He put himself in time out and dinner proceeded. Lady Bug sat at the bar and ate well (it was spaghetti - surprise!).

Lady Bug finished her dinner and went to play with Cousin. After a bit, she came out and had a strange look on her face. We asked what was wrong, and she replied that Cousin had hit her in the stomach several times. He had a complete meltdown. He became uncontrollable, and was crying uncontrollably. We had OUR ice cream for dessert, and decided that it was time to leave.

Sunday night we had little sister over for dinner. She had taken MIL home, and I thought she wouldn't have to worry about dinner that way. I had learned that her 17 year old son had left home. This is rather amazing because little sister has been divorced for at least 10 years, and son had been kicked out of dad's house! So he came to Little Town to live.

For the first couple of months, he was great, but he soon found friends (some were 22) who weren't good for him. At least he completed the school year, but he was soon fired from his job. He quit coming home, didn't call, etc. I noticed this behavior when we were last there five weeks ago.

He tore up the Jeep Cherokee little sister was giving him. He also verbally abused him. She still tried to find him and get him in line. The Sheriff told her that he couldn't do anything because son was 17. When dad called last week, Sheriff immediately jumped and found the boy to turn over to dad.

At least I know that son is no longer in the area. I worry since there are two houses right there that are empty most of the time. I don't, and haven't for a long time, trusted that boy. At least he is back a couple of hours away again, and it was made clear neither he nor his father was welcome. Yeah! I'm so glad they are both banned. They were trouble, especially during the hunting season.

This weekend really had the trappings of a soap opera!

Friday, August 15, 2008


This is a day of the good and bad. There is, fortunately, no ugly!!

The good is we are headed off the the SSB with Lady Bug in tow. That will be fun - I hope. I just got an email from my SIL, and she will have their grandson, who is madly in love with Lady Bug. It will be good for both of them. No parents, just grandparents.

The bad is I have apparently contracted a cold. My throat is scratchy, and I am a little congested. It could be an allergy. I went out yesterday to get some ultra-suede that was on sale (50% off so I'm getting more on Tuesday!!) and got my hair cut off. I don't know where I could have picked up the cold virus, but I'm not feeling too well.

Have a great weekend. I'll try to check in on Tiesday.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It's the same stuff

Things around here are the same. Nothing really changes from day to day. All of my complaints are the same as they were last week and the week before.

The only difference is I am in the midst of periodic check-ups with various physicians. Last week was the cardio doc. My blood pressure is up - as is my weight! The lab lost my blood work though! What a bummer.

Tuesday I had an appointment with the radiation oncologist. I need lab work for the oncologist next week (see a pattern here ??) so I decided I would kill two birds with one stone - both requests were used. I'm sure the cardio doc will send me the results when he gets them. I doubt I will have to go in, unless there is a big problem with my liver or something from the cholesterol drugs.

Next week is the appointment I am really waiting for. It is with Dr Poison, my oncologist. I really want to see what the CA25,27 markers read. I friend who had colon cancer several years ago told me that as the time span gets greater for check-ups, the anxiety grows. That is a true statement. I've been waiting for this for quite a while now.

On the 26th I see the plastic surgeon for the pre-op appointment. I am hoping that I WILL have a copy of my labs from the cardio doc. That may save me another draw at the hospital for the surgery on September 8.

Isn't my life exciting. Getting old - what a blast, especially when you add cancer to the mix!

Monday, August 11, 2008

I am still here!

Due to a multitude of events, I have been away! First, my ongoing battle with Comcast has finally been solved - at least for now. For months I have been not wanting to call for help because several of my neighbors had unsecured WiFi. How dare they!! Well, last week that changed. One completely disappeared. I don't know what they did, unless they are the new secured connection. I doubt that however because that new connection was unsecured for a couple of days, and it was too weak to connect. But then that's how they began to fade.

Anyway, I called my favorite company. They were going to send a repairman out the next day. I turned on the albatross of a desk top that the router has to come off. It takes it about 30 minutes to load - no joke. I know the mother board is going, but once again I am so tired of talking to the IT people in India who have me taking boards out of that computer that I just don't call. That's really stupid too because I paid to have the service go longer.

I happened to look at the screen, and I could tell that it had connected to the internet. The repair guy had not gotten here. Hummmm. It was working perfectly. When the guy got here, he was as amazed as I. Then I found that they had gone the way of the phone company. If you don't pay them insurance (in house protection), it is a charge for them to come repair their sh*t!! I hate Comcast.

I tried the two routers I had here (my old one and K's extra). Neither worked. In the meantime, G developed chest pains Wednesday night. So that was a trip to the ER, and he was admitted. He stayed overnight. That is another whole story for another time.

I ended going to the local computer store. I bought a new router (for about twice as much as I could have gotten it at Office Depot or some other place), but I am now back in business.

We also celebrated our 40th anniversary yesterday. The celebration meant that we went to K and S's house instead of me preparing the weekend family dinner. That's not a big deal. That celebration was just fine with me.

More tales from the past eleven days later.

Friday, August 01, 2008


I guess I just have too much time on my hands. I spend a lot of it second guessing myself.

I decided to put off the second reconstruction surgery until September with the idea that I would be able to swim most of this season. Well, guess what - I haven't put a toe in the pool so far. What a surprise. I must be a candidate for the new exercise pill I just heard about.

I am getting feeling back. That is good and bad. I like the idea that I am getting feeling back, and I am really afraid I won't have it once I have the second surgery and a big hunk of tissue removed. I have given up all hopes of ever having feeling under my arm however.

The bad thing about having feeling back is that I realize that this tissue expander is not soft. It is very hard around the edges, and it hurts. Any pressure on the area is really a bit painful. I love to sleep on my right side. That isn't the preferential position now. Just as well I guess. I won't be able to do it for several weeks after the next surgery.

My quandary about surgery is just as confused now as it has ever been, I just have more doubts. I know I have to have it done for two good reasons. One is to be more balanced. I still am large on the left. The other is to get rid of this blasted expander. I just wonder if I should have been scheduled for an earlier date.