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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Gush a Lil Blood on Someone's Keyboard & They Act Like You Killed Baby Jebus

I'm going to apologize in advance for this post. I've got too much on my mind and this post is not going to be entertaining nor funny. Just sayin...

I had planned on posting an update the same day I got back from the doctors office but couldn't bring myself to do it. Somehow it felt like putting how the appointment went into words made it more real and I was not ready to do that.

So I put it off.

I had a test scheduled for first thing Thursday morning, the day right after my pre-surgery consult, to find out for sure if what the doctor suspected was what was actually going on. That night I was up most of the night worrying about what those results would mean. I woke up Thursday morning and panicked. Couldn't do it.

So I put it off.

(I'm nothing if not consistent!)

The news I received from the surgeon was not all bad. He did have some good news for me. The one tumor they'd been following on my thyroid since 2006 that they were most concerned about is gone. Just disappeared. He said that does happen in 22% of cases like mine so that was a bonus. Score one for... Well, for whatever the hell happened! He also said that the new tumors appear more cyst like in the ultrasound but he couldn't be sure unless he biopsied them. They also thought the current tumors I have now were more "cyst like" as well until they biopsied them and found out they were not cyst like when they tried jabbing them with needles. That was good times.

For the bad news... He has not taken thyroid cancer off the table yet but he has shelved surgery for a second until more test results come back. He is more concerned about throat cancer.

I know right?!?!?!

My first thought was: How the hell would I have throat cancer? I don't smoke! Don't only smokers get throat cancer?? Obviously not! He went on to explain how throat cancer symptoms mimic many other illnesses so it's hard to pin them all down and point them at throat cancer. But when you add them all up, bam, there it is! Or, there it could be. Here's a list I grabbed off the net which is what he explained in his office:

Common throat cancer symptoms include:
  • A lump or sore that does not heal (mine is a lump-1st complained of in 2001)
  • Sore throat or cough that does not go away (I have a sore throat all the time, cough usually in the morning)
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing (I have both-1st complained of in 2001)
  • A change in your voice such as a new hoarseness in your voice (1st noticed around 2002)
  • Trouble breathing (I started noticing this getting worse over the last year)
  • Difficulty speaking (check)
  • Pain in the ears and frequent headaches (absolutely! suffered from for years though)
  • Blocked sinuses that will not clear (Have had problems with since 2003)
  • Bleeding through the nose (Started having nosebleeds in 2002; never had problems with before)
  • Pain in the upper teeth (yes! Dr once told me this was because of chronic sinus infections)
  • Headaches (Chronic sufferer)
  • Swelling in the eyes (This is the only thing I haven't noticed though doc says otherwise)
  • Chronic sinus infections that do not go away when treated with antibiotics (Have had problems with since 2003)
Throat cancer is a pretty wide term doctors use to cover cancers of the head and neck. I've been doing a lot of research on it and it's not sounding good. With thyroid cancer, there was no chemo to deal with. Just surgery. Maybe iodine treatment of some kind. That was it. If this is some sort of throat cancer, it's a huge deal. There is major, major surgery IF they can remove the tumor and survival rate for this is really not good when it's not caught early enough. And since I first complained of having this feeling in my throat that I couldn't swallow half the time, a feeling of having something stuck in my windpipe all the way back before B was born in 2001, I could be screwed. Royally screwed. Like, without lube screwed.

And I KNOW it's not a diagnosis and I KNOW it's not for sure and I KNOW he's only running tests to find out but this is what he said to me: "I'm afraid that while we've been focusing on thyroid cancer, we may not have been looking at the bigger picture. You can have a lump feeling in your throat if you do have GERD or chronic heartburn. But, since you're missing the main symptom of that, which is the burning sensation that is heartburn, I'm thinking that is not it. I'm thinking there is a blockage in your throat that we need to address. Which is where throat cancer comes in." Obviously that's not word for word because I didn't record him but that was the gist of it.

I may have down played what he said a bit to my family so as not to freak them out. I know, not exactly honest, but with Mr Man's mom dying of cancer right now, I can't exactly put this on him as well. I did try and explain a little of this to him earlier tonight but he was a little distracted and I don't think he heard me. I figured I'll wait until i know more and then let him know for sure.

He did a procedure at the appointment where they stuck a scope and camera up my nose down my throat to collect some cells to send off to be biopsied. (I may have twittered during the appointment. I may also have made the nurse wait while I finished sending a tweet so she could spray the numbing stuff up my nose. She may also not have been very happy about it! lol) They said my nose would get numb but they failed to mention all of my teeth would also. Oh, and they also forgot to mention I would get a bloody nose afterwards. It didn't happen right after the procedure like you would think. It happened 40 minutes later when I was sent down to the lab at the hospital to have some blood drawn for other tests he wanted to run. I bent over the admins desk to hand her my insurance information and it gushed out like Niagra Falls. The woman behind the desk freaked out. Geez, gush a little blood on someones keyboard and they act like you just killed baby Jebus...

It's 1:00 A.M. and I'm currently fasting for the hospital test I'm going for tomorrow morning. I will be drinking barium while they take xrays to find any blockages between my throat and stomach. As soon as my surgeon has the results back from all of the tests, I'm supposed to go back to his office to discuss all the results and make a "plan of attack" with him as he puts it.

So, I guess think happy thoughts. With rainbows and unicorns dancing on a candy covered lawn. Or throw back a few shots for me. Ya know, whichever feels appropriate to you. I'd choose the shots if it were me. Just sayin...

Hopefully my next post will be more upbeat. I make no promises at this point.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Ugh Dr Appt This AM

Just wanted to let everyone know I'm heading for my pre-surgery consult this morning. This surgeon is the one who's been following the tumors on my thyroid and the thyroid growth for a year and a half now. Tumors have been growing for over 3 years now but he's fairly new to the tumor scene in my body. He's an awesome specialist and surgeon and I feel confident he knows what he's talking about.

I, of course, reserve the right to change my opinion at any time should I not like what he has to say this morning. lol

Is it sad that I am more concerned that I'm having trouble breathing and swallowing more then the threat of thyroid cancer at this point? Well, that and the scar and the recovery. The recovery from the surgery is freaking me out of course. Big time!

Anyways, I will let everyone know as soon as I have information to share. Other then the tumors, my biggest concern is how much the right and left thyroid lobes have grown since 2007. I have all my test results compiled like a good little patient and will be heading out in 10 minutes...

Wish me luck!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Almost Dying Really Sucks on a Holiday Weekend!

I bet your Memorial Day weekends were filled with sun, fun, bbq's and good times right? Mine? Ya, not so much.

Mine started out with a near death experience. Literally.

When I was a lot younger, ya know, back when there were no wrinkles on my forehead and I had no idea the power that cleavage had, I stepped on a bee walking barefoot in the grass. My foot swelled up to the size of a football. I was just told I should be very careful around bees because I'd had a "bad allergic reaction" to the sting.

I've always been really careful since then. Never been stung again.

Fast forward to Saturday morning. I was waiting for my sister to pick me up for our weekly sister bonding time. My sis is my BFF. We have so much fun together and every Saturday while Mr Man is at work, we hang out all day. Go to breakfast, run errands, go shopping. You know, drag the kids around and do all the things that they hate getting dragged around to.

So anywho, I'm sitting on my couch, thinking for once I should actually blog since it's been awhile, and I was on twitter being my usual twitter whore self when I see this bee or wasp inside my house. It's buzzing around the window right next to my head. I, of course, in girly fashion, immediately go into hysterics, screaming for Mr Man to come kill it. Only, he's not here! The 6 year old is, lets face it, only 6, so he's useless in rescuing his damsel in distress mother from the killer bee she's freaking out over. So what do I do?

I so grabbed the tv remote to kill the damn thing! Granted, in hindsight, it PROBABLY wasn't the smartest idea since the remote was a really expensive remote to our flat screen tv that Mr Man loves more then me and B put together. (Seriously, if there were a fire, and he could only grab one thing, he would try and carry that mo' fo out of the house while it burned around him! Ok, first he would yell to me to grab B to get out of the house WHILE he grabbed the flat screen. Just sayin') Now if I would have broken it trying to smash the damn bee to pieces, Mr Man probably would have sold *ME* to buy a new one.

I saw it staring right at me a few times as I swung the remote at it. I think I even saw it crack it's knuckles and throw it's head back to laugh at me as it flew out of my way and landed on the window pane thinking it had gotten away from me, little bastard. It took me quite a few swings to smash the damn furry, buzzing beast of death but in the end, I won!

You would think this would be a happy ending right? I was smart enough to kill the bee before I got stung with it right?

Right?

Ya, fat chance! If only I were that smart.

I told B to get me some tissue so I could clean up the carnage. Which was smart right? So I wouldn't accidentally step on the dead body right? WRONG!

I cleaned up the body with the tissue from the window and the window pane. Set the tissue on the coffee table to get up. Then the damn dog started barking and I got distracted. Left the room, did something (I don't know what), let the dog out, yadda, yadda, yadda. Came back in the room and picked up the tissue forgetting what was inside of it and... Yes, you guessed it... STUNG MYSELF.... With the DEAD bee.

I know right? How stupid is that? And I of course, was still twittering with people online and ImWendy and I of course, laughed at my stupidity that I still stung myself with the dead bee. Rightfully so, cuz I was a dumbass. Then IamDebra was asking me questions about how I was feeling, the swelling, etc. Sent me a link to webmd.com about the allergic reaction I was having. My finger instantly swelled up but that was it. No other swelling but my lips were tingling really bad. That was it.

At first.

Then I started having trouble breathing. My sister got there and gave me 2 Benedryl but as we drove, it was getting harder and harder to breathe. My chest was hurting really bad. My hands and feet and lips had this buzzing/tingling feeling. I was really dizzy and I was starting to panic and I just remember telling my sister "Something's wrong!" So she drove me to the Urgent Care where my mom works. As she was driving I just remember it getting dark like my vision was fading and I couldn't see very clearly. My sister said I fell asleep, (which is also code for "passed ou"t according to the doctor I saw) a few times on the way there which means I was pretty bad off by the time we reached urgent care. My sister said she kept yelling at me to wake up and kept shaking me and I'd wake up for a second then pass back out.

By the time we got there, I could hardly breathe and it was as if I could hear everyone talking to me but I couldn't speak and couldn't move. They had to help me out of the car and put me in a wheelchair to get me inside the building. I do remember being so embarassed that I cried. I remember that much. I remember being rushed down the hall and nurses running. I remember getting stabbed in the arm with a shot of Epi and my heart feeling like it was going to jump out of my chest and go flying out of the room.

I remember my poor, sweet 6 year old being so terrified and scared at what I was going through & he was crying so hysterically that he made himself throw up. My poor mom was running out of the room to find him one of those plastic bins to get sick in. Poor baby. And I'm just laying there on the table like a slab of meat trying to get my wits about me, unable to comfort him. Huge FAIL as a mom! At least my mom works there and my sister had brought me so both were there to love on him.

After the Epi shot and a breathing treatment, the doctor came in to talk to me again. Sounded like I had started going into anaphylactic shock from the bee sting. Which I guess is fairly serious since you can be dead within minutes if you don't get treatment right away. And I guess each time you get stung, the allergic reaction is worse each time. So the next time I get stung will be worse then this time. Yikes!

The doctor said the epinephrine, the breathing treatment, and the steroids I had to take would all make me feel pretty wired and out of it for a couple of days. And believe me, Mr Man's been hovering over me all weekend to make sure I was ok. The meds did wire me but it was the crash from all of those that made me feel like someone had let the air out of my tires. I imagine this is what crack whores feel like when they're looking for their next fix. Seriously, it was that bad!

I now have to carry 2 Epipens with me at all times and make sure everyone I hang out with regulary knows how to use them in the event of an emergency.

Ya know... Should I ever decide to get stung again...

By a DEAD bee!

What a way to spend Memorial Day weekend!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tumors, Surgery, and Hair...Oh My!

Life has continued to be surprising, busy, and craptastic. I've started lots of blog posts and not finished any of them. Yes, again. They've all been too negative to post to I've kept them to myself.

Again, you're welcome! lol

Had a nice Mothers Day though. Brunch with my little family and my sister and her 2 kids. Here's 2 pics of me and B at the restaurant. Bunny ears courtesy of Mr. Man...

Here's a better pic, sans bunny ears...


After brunch I sent Mr Man and B over to my in-laws to visit his mom and dad while I went for a haircut. Every other summer I chop all my hair off and donate it to Locks of Love. I normally wait until June or July but this spring I've been dying to get rid of it all and just didn't want to wait another 2 months.

It started at a family reunion while we were camping, many moons ago, with my cousin who is an amazing hair stylist. I've NEVER had short hair and he convinced me to chop it all off and donate it. He explained how this company takes the hair that's donated and makes hair pieces for children of low income families who've lost their hair due to long term medical illnesses. So even though I've had long hair all my life, I'm a sucker for kids so I let him go to it! That first time was 8 years ago, and I donated almost 16 inches of hair.

Here's a pic of what the back of my hair looked like a couple of weeks ago before I went in to donate it:


Here's a pic of the of the ponytail that was chopped off for the donation. Doesn't look very long but it was almost a foot long. Over 11 1/2 inches!


And now, here's a couple pics of my sassy new 'do:

I haven't had time to ask anyone to take an *actual* picture of me so these are all pictures I've had to take with my blackberry. And yes, they're taken from my car lol

This one looks kind of Farrah Fawcett'ish huh?


And that's the good news for the week.

For the bad news... Ultrasound results came back. 2 new tumors showed up for a total of 6 tumors that they can actually see on or near my thyroid. I am scheduled for pre-surgery consult for May 27th.

Surgery. Ugh...

I felt a lump near my collar bone a few years ago. Started having routine tests to monitor my thyroid. Over the course of the next couple of years, the tumors started multiplying like Gremlins in the rain. Found out a year and a half ago, maybe 2 years ago, from my dad who lives in New York (and who I haven't spent much time with growing up), that his side of the family has a ton of thyroid cancer history.

I've had countless tests, ultrasounds, CT scans, 2 biopsies, and one surgery, so far. They removed a lymph node near my neck that was encased in a tumor that had cancer characteristics but the final report ultimately proved it was fine.

I had one endocrinologist who was following the tumors in 2007 who I hated. You know the kind of doctor who acts like you're wasting his precious time? Ya, that kind. My mother in law told me about the surgeon who handled her thyroid removal surgery when she had thyroid cancer for the 2nd time. I started seeing him in 2008 and he is amazing.

At my appointment last year he said that with tumors popping up at such an "alarming rate" and with my family history of thyroid cancer, I have an extremely high chance of having thyroid cancer in my life (if I don't already). So, we have 2 options:

1. We could continue to monitor my thyroid and these tumors and anymore that pop up for the rest of my life. Got that? REST. OF. MY. LIFE. Which means ultrasounds, CT scans, biopsy's done with very long, sharp needles by inept 1st year residents who don't know what the hell they're doing, etc every 6 months.

2. We could do surgery and remove all the tumors and remove the thyroid gland all together. And be done with it!

Yes, I would be taking thyroid replacement meds for the rest of my life but that would be much less invasive then what seems to feel like a ticking time bomb. Because in all honesty, my surgeon thinks it's only a matter of time, before the cancer strikes. If there were no problems with my thyroid, and no tumors at all, we wouldn't be worrying. But there are, so we are.

In 2008 we agreed to give it one more year as a test to see if these tumors would stabilize before committing to surgery. The year is up. New tumors have arrived. Moment of truth is here.

I'm not looking forward to surgery but I'm thinking that the alternative would be more stress for me, which in turn, makes all my other health problems so much more worse. I don't want to spend the next 10 or 15 years stressing every 6 months about test results and wondering if *this* test will be the one that comes back showing I need to have immediate surgery.

Could be a moot point. I could have cancer now. The surgery could be non negotiable anyways. But even though I'm not looking forward to the surgery, I do feel confident it's the best choice for me at this point in the game.

Is it sad one of my bigger concerns is the scar it'll leave? I can't rock hot cleavage with an ugly scar on my neck!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Oh Ya, the Cat's in Heat Too!

"Craptastic life, party of one, your table is ready!"

Ya, that would be me. Well, officially the last couple of months sucked pretty hard but who's counting right? I'd like to share just the last few weeks with you so here we go...

Should we do it by bullet point? I think this much heinousness deserves some bullet points for effect...
  • B broke his wrist. Jumping off the swingset in our backyard. To be fair, he didn't do it while pretending to be Superman or Flash or whatever superhero crap is big these days (which I would know nothing about because I try to ignore as much of that as possible being the only girl in the house. It's bad enough half the time the toilet seat is left up. A girl can get a rude awakening in the middle of the night. Just sayin'!) There was 20 little kids in the backyard since they all congregate at our house, his friend was pushing him too high, he was yelling "stop!" and the kid said he didn't hear him with all the noise with the other kids, so B jumped off. Snapped one of the bones in his wrist.
  • For some reason the ER where we took him the night he broke his wrist put a splint on him and asked us to come back in 3 days for a cast. There. To the ER.
Now if you have never really broken a bone in your life, like me, you would take this advice at face value. When a doctor who seems to know what he's talking about, tells you what to do, you do it right? Sounded reasonable. I didn't know any better. (Plus his name was Dr. Heck (no joke) and he was very handsome. Handsome doctors *always* know what they're talking about right? Just watch Greys Anatomy! Having the ER put on the cast was a huge FAIL. Poor B suffered through having the cast on for almost 2 1/2 weeks when I found out something a little strange...

I had picked him up from my mom & I said to him (from the front seat where I was driving) "Little dude, I can smell the stink from your rotting skin under your cast all the way from the back seat!" To which my smart, intelligent son says (from the backseat) "It can't smell that bad gorgeous, beautiful mother o' mine! I took the cast off today and washed my skin!" Well, ok, he didn't say the "gorgeous" part but you get the gist. Here's me doing a double take in the rear view mirror! "Wha...? Huh? What do you mean you took OFF your cast???" My son explains that he could take the cast completely off and had been able to since it was PUT ON. Ya, oops. Guess the ER didn't know what they were doing. Since B has never had a cast, and we fail as parents, no one really explained to the poor kid, ya, you probably shouldn't be able to do that.
  • We took B in to an actual Ortho Specialist/Surgeon last week as soon as I realized he had on a faux cast. Loved the new office/doc who we were referred to, B was happy because he got to choose a red cast (the last one was white since that's all the ER carries), and all was fine right? Wrong! That very afternoon when we picked B up from school, B once again tells us that this 2nd cast ALSO comes off. This one is more loose then the first one. Yes, he's now on his THIRD cast. Not only that but he has to be in the cast again for ANOTHER 3+ weeks to see if he's healed yet since the last one did not give him proper support. Ya, he's thrilled about that. You shoulda seen the poor kids face...
  • Over the past 2 weeks we've had to replace 6 tires between my car and our truck. To the tune of $850! Want to know how many purses I could buy with $850?? (Shuddup... We all have our own addictions. Some people drink. Ok, I drink too but I get my rocks off on the all the pretty purses I can find!)
  • Someone took offense to my post I'd written on Iowa's ruling to allow same sex marriages. (No, it was not someone gay. Had nothing to do with that). Someone felt I poked fun at their expense, was very upset about it, and I've now been forbidden from talking about them anymore online. FORBIDDEN! This includes my blog, Twitter, and Facebook. I didn't see what the big deal was, and felt this person blew it all out of proportion but their feelings are their feelings. Now, you guys know I never do what I'm told and when someone tells me I HAVE TO do something, I always do the opposite right? But this time, since I care about them, I will respect their wishes. I won't like it, but I'll do it. pfftttt
There is actually more that happened, like, oh I don't know, the fact that I'm stuck on my couch with my back locked up, and something happened at work yesterday that involved my boss finding me on the floor breathing in to a paper sack. But I'll leave that for another day.

Whew! I feel much better that I've unloaded on all of you. I know it's been a long time since I've posted and I've missed it. Someone has to tell me their month has been worse then mine! Come on.. Spill it.... Make me feel better!

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