Saturday, September 24, 2011

Plight of the Pituitary

The Great Melvin Burkhardt photographed by Joel-Peter Witkin

OK! OK! It's a Pituitary Tumor!

It's getting extracted on Tuesday the 27th! It's upsetting, but it's not the worst thing in the world.  Ninety five percent of the time they are not cancerous and, in my case the Yervoy most likely shook it alive with a little swelling. Which, I have to say in my book is a good thing! What if I never found the stupid peanut? I must say that I'm more than annoyed with the thought of more surgery! This is the first time during this whole cancer thing that I have felt crappy all the time. At least solidly crappy since the beginning of this September.  

The first day I had liquid steroids, instead of Yervoy, I felt like a champ! And the day after...  I was just a streak, almost invisible, running around the house like a Blue Ass Fly. I was out riding a bike, doing projects right and left, cleaning the house. I was unstoppable - till 5:00AM the following morning, when the headache came back. That's it's MO, to strike while I'm sleeping. To shake my brain- with its sharp spiny tendrils, groping around for a spot where it might hurt the most. Arrrgh! I wake up, then get up to take a steroid and an antacid with a bit of food. Then I go back to sleep (it takes a while) and wake up feeling better, usually. The steroid can carry me all the way through the evenings most times - but lately, not.

Great for a brain massage. In my imagination this hand is much thinner and a lot it more spiny!

My oncologist, after discussions with the neurology team, deemed that it was in my body's best interest to continue the Yervoy, and my head-box was going to just have to put up with a few technicalities. I've come this far with the Yervoy and I went in for my third infusion yesterday. I didn't know that the treatment would ratchet up the headaches again. I thought the steroids would keep it all under control.

After a phone consult with my oncologist this morning, on his advice I upped the dose on the steroids. It helped - a lot. But somehow today I just feel a bit gloomy. I'm finding it hard to pick up the paint brush, or work on a really great piece of Tretetam soundscape. I'm not really too worried - I have faith that things are working out, and I just want to get on with feeling like something isn't finger flicking my poor ol' Pituitary Gland like a mini punching bag. The poor dangler!

I also just want to say how important it is for me to have Dan continue on with our NY plans. Thank god I have this surgery early in the week, which will allow Dan to be with me, and to take care of me - (MY ROOSTER!!!!!!) for  a few recovery days. But you see, I don't want to feel that this thing has control of us! God Damn it, I'm fighting it. And that means not letting it take hold of the things that are important to us. We didn't cancel our May tour - and thank god we didn't! That was very special to me. And though I'm not going to NY this time, I will in the future. For right now, Dan will have to be the one standing up to this stuff. We won't let it get us down! I'm calling it, "Business as Usual!!!"

Tomorrow, headache or not, I'm pushing myself to pick up a paint brush, or  I'll make my weekly two loaves of whole wheat bread. That's with no sugar, packed with flax seeds, buckwheat, oatmeal, and sunflower seeds. It's great, and I make it on Sundays! No exceptions!

One more thing - I just want to let people know that I do have another surgery coming up - just so it doesn't look like things keep coming at me. It'll be another breast excision to remove some atypical cells (not cancerous) from the scar tissue of my right breast. It's also not a big deal - it'll be done in Mid-October.

So right now I'm looking at some cancer-free holiday time, and boy am I thankful!


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