Friday, November 20, 2009

New Man

I have a new man in my life. His name is Ned. That's short for
No Evidence of Disease

Monday - the mammogram
As the tech was leaving the room after taking a few pictures, I asked that the radiologist return with her to give me the results. I explained that the last time, she returned to the room, she stated that it "was clear". I took that as clear of cancer, yippy, skippy. No; what she meant was the digital films were clear. This time, I wanted to have all the information before leaving the building. The Radiologist came in and said that there was no evidence of cancer. It was clear.

Then why couldn't I yell "yahoo" and dance around the room. I just didn't want to get my hope up until after the MRI on Thursday.

Thursday - the MRI @ 2 p.m.
The MRI went much smoother and easier than last time. Maybe it was the Xanax and Valium I had in my system. :-) It was only about 20 minutes and voila done. We grabbed a bite to eat in the hospital cafeteria, waiting for the 4 p.m. oncologist appointment. Still a little apprehensive until we heard the MRI results from the oncologist as we waited in the exam room. And waited.

I hopped onto the exam table and took a snooze; nice sleepy drugs. And waited. Vic finally went out to the front at 4:45 p.m. and had the oncologist paged. No idea why she took so long.

The MRI radiologist had not entered a report into the computer system, so the Oncologist briefly reviewed the MRI pics. She had stated that she's not trained to read them but went through a few screens and said it looked good. She would call me at work in the morning with the results from the radiologist.

I still could not muster up a lot of joy. Paranoia?

I really wanted to bring in some goodies to work this morning to celebrate NED with my coworkers. They knew about the MRI. I didn't want to say anything until I had heard from the oncologist, at which time I was going to run out to the store. She was going to call my work with the MRI results. I waited.

I had told a few of my female coworkers when I got into work that I was NED and stated that I was still waiting for a call from the oncologist to confirm the MRI. At noon, I decided to share the info with the men of the department in an email. When talking to the guys about the cancer, it seemed their eyes would travel down to the chest area. Were they trying to figure out which one was fake? Ha, , none of them are fake. A little smaller perhaps from the lumpectomy.

At noon, I checked my home's voice mail to discover a message from the MRI clinic. . . it came in at 10:25 a.m. They found a 5mm spot on the lumpectomy breast and a 4mm spot on the other. I needed an ultrasound to check it out . . . but, hey, didn't they tell you that the MRI picks up everything? It's probably nothing, but we want to be overly cautious, said the sweet MRI tech. Umm, nope, no one said a thing about this. She tried to schedule me for next Tuesday. No friggin' way was I waiting until Tuesday. I asked her to find a clinic associated with their hospital, anywhere in the state, that would do the ultrasound TODAY. She was able to get me into a clinic fairly close to our home at 1 p.m.

My sweet husband said he would grab a bus and meet me at the hospital (he works about an hour north of my job). No, honey, it's nothing. I can do this; you've missed enough time from work, blah, blah, blah. I'm fine.

Ultrasound @ 1 pm
Ultrasound on both sides, with the tech reviewing the MRI films. Oh, I so wanted to be Vic, "don't worry about it until they tell you to worry about it". But I'm me. . . . mind you I wasn't sobbing, but the eyes were leaky. Happy thought, happy thought, think happy thoughts! Where are those darn happy thoughts? Bleh. . couldn't get them.

While the tech could see something, she felt confident the spots weren't cancerous. She stepped out of the room to speak with the radiologist. In hindsight, I should have asked that he come back into the room with her after their consultation. When she returned to the room, she stated that the radiologist agreed that the two areas were clear and that we just have to be over-cautious. I'll have another MRI in 6 months.

Walking out into the lobby I saw my hubby. Guess he didn't listen to me. :-) And I'm so glad he didn't.

I called the Oncologist to find out for sure what the ultrasound showed and did it jive with what the tech had told me. I waited. Those of you who have been on this journey know that we do not wait very well. About 5 p.m. the oncology nurse called and said the ultrasound was clear. However, the MRI would be repeated in 6 months. I suggested that we do it in 3 months given the aggressiveness of the cancer. Nurse indicated that the doctor does 3 month checks on certain cases, and where indicated, but would do mine every 6 months. I have news for the nurse - I'll be pushing for a check every 3 months until the mammo, MRI and ultrasound all come back with the same conclusion.

Lesson learned: expect an ultrasound after each MRI.

Regarding the child custody issue - it isn't good. I don't have the whole story from my daughter's hearing today. Just know that our hearts are heavy . . . trying our best to not have them break.

This will be my last entry for a few months. If you want to stay connected, please feel free to click on the Facebook link and add me as a friend. Sister Warriors - I will keep reading your blogs and cheering you on!

Much love and thankfulness for your support,


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hair & Boob Pics

Below - November 2008 . . . .about the 3rd chemo

Below - November 2009 . . . .11 months post chemo

Hoping that the curls stay. Never thought I'd hear myself saying this!
Well, as far as the boob pics go . . . .Gotcha

Tomorrow is a mammogram and blood work. Last blood work was good, mammogram had some architectural distortion.
Thursday, November 19th is the MRI. We went to the hospital yesterday to visit the MRI machine. Who in their right mind visits MRI machines? Me.

The anxiety has lessened somewhat since talking to the MRI tech and seeing the machine. Xanax to get through the days leading up to the MRI and Valium an hour before the MRI . . . . life through chemistry, ain't it grand.

For a number of years, fear of the dentist would send me to this same high level of anxiety. I've been able to work through the fear with two great dentists and hygenists (and a Xanax once in a while). Who knows, maybe I'll get to this same place with MRIs . . . . dentists and MRIs every six months, hmmmm.

We are still working on the daughter and granddaughters situation. I thank you for your words of wisdom, ladies. This has been 10 times worse than the breast cancer diagnosis. I could fight and do something about the cancer, but I can't do anything about this situation.

Talk to you on Thursday.



Saturday, November 7, 2009

October is . . . .

I haven't posted pics of the new hair do because I just can't get it quite right. But my hair was always like that before cancer. A week and a few days after a hair cut would find me fussing, and fussing some more, just to get the hair to go the way I wanted it to go. Too many cowlicks and growth patterns for one head, I do believe. I expect pics to be up soon though.

It has been an extremely difficult week. I won't go into details here, but just say that we need your prayers. My daughter has temporarily lost custody of her girls, ages 6 and 8. This is wrong. Nothing she did warranted this type of treatment by her husband and the legal system. Because he has friends in blue (police) and is part of the legal system, he has used both to leverage his child custody issue. And, now he has 100% control of my daughter like he has wanted. He is a domestic abuser. Flat out, I'll call it what it is.

It has been frustrating to watch my daughter go through this. We feel she should be doing much more to remedy the situation and take control of her life. It may be just too hard for her to see the truth about their relationship. It may be too hard for her to break free of his control. She wants to remain married to him. Classic domestic abuse victim. We have to let her make her choices; this is tough. As her parents and grandparents of two beautiful little girls, we want to "make it all better".

As a grandparent, we have no rights to visitation. We have asked, but he stated he has fears and concerns about letting us see the girls. What B.S. is that? Oh, yeah, the same B.S. that he put on the protection order that he was in fear for his and his children's safety from my daughter.

Did you know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

What is Domestic Violence? Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

Domestic abuse not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members. Children, who grow up witnessing domestic violence, are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life - therefore, increasing their risk of becoming society's next generation of victims and abusers.

Abuse usually gets worse over time. Yep, that has happened . . . . six years of him getting worse have led to this place.

Hey Mr. Husband, we have our fears and concerns as well. Fear that you will do more physical and psychological damage to the three girls in your life that you love so much. Because you know you will - unless you get help.

You've met your match, Mr. Husband. No wait. You've met someone better than you, Mr. Husband - me!