Thursday, March 15, 2012

Don't Let Sleeping People Eat

Well, well, well! Is the glass half empty or half full? I'm going to have to lean towards b.{ the half full side today.

For all of you that have fallen on swords, I'm feeling your pain. I now know what it feels like to be skewered like a Shish Kabob. I was only in for a biopsy to have a look-round and see what these spots of 'Activity' were - but my amazing Dr. D sussed 'em out visually. He saw they were cancerous and scooped the offending spots out of me like they were choice scoops of ice cream. Thanks Dr. D!

I have to give nods to my anesthesiology team too! They didn't give me gas this time to put me out, which is the ticket to dreamland for me! I wasn't nauseous one bit coming out of it. The only scary thing about that, was I kept nodding out, mid sentence, and mid chew.   I'd wake up and realize I had been eating a fig newton, or a bite of hamburger and nodded off while the mashed food was trapped between my molars. I was lucky I didn't choke. Moral: Don't Let Sleeping People Eat.

I'm so happy that these cancerous spots didn't get any further down the road than they did. If they were left longer, they could have taken over my lungs, and then where would I be?  I'm very lucky that Dr. D didn't have to take my left lung as previously thought. He was worried that because of the placement of one of the cancers, he would have to take my whole left lung. That didn't happen. That glass is getting fuller on thoughts like that!

I suppose I'll find out what happens for me soon. I'm sure I'll have a new path of treatment. I just really wish I could be part my first Doctor's clinical trial. He ran out of funding and needs about 20K to finish it out. I've been racking my brain on how to raise money for him. I gave him a long list of places where he can apply for grants - I'm sure he's contacted most of them already. I thought about  some kind of Kickstarter program to get the money - but I'd have to think about how to work that one.

Anyway, I'm resting at home spending time with my wonderful loving husband, and sweet little bird who stands on my chest looking me in the face, seeming to say, "Come on mom. Get up, I want to play. Why aren't you getting up? OK I'll just sleep here on your chest, just in case you decide to get up. I love you Mom!"

Ahhh, what a family!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Live Long And Prosper

Well, here I am again to let you all know about yesterday's consultation with Doctor 'D, my Thoracic surgeon.

I had been warned that he had the bedside mannor of Mr. Spock, and when he walked into the waiting room I thought, hmmm, he looks like Spock too! Thin and looming. I was trying to turn on the charm, and trying to get to an ego boost in on this Doctor, before we got down to brass tacks, but I was thrown by the extension of his hand to me. (I once heard a friend of mine say that Dr 'D withdrew his hand from her while she tried to introduce herself at a cocktail party; his hand withered toward his chest and he said he'd 'just washed') I was expecting the same treatment, whereas he actually shook my hand and seemed genuinely concerned about me. I felt at ease and sort of goofy. (During a consultation with a highly regarded Surgeon is not a good time to get goofy.)

I listened to his plan.
He told me how he would make two incisions, one on my side under my arm, and the other under my left breast (that's the good breast!) From there he could take a partial part of the largest inferior lymph node. I asked if he could just take the whole thing? He dryly said if he took the whole node he'd have to take the whole lung. Ha! That's a good one Doc! You really got me on that one Doc! I thought during the long drawn out silence. He was unchanged in his relaxed, lean-backed pose in his chair. I said to him, 'You're joking right?" I was still in a dwindling chuckle when he said dryly, 'The placement of the node wouldn't allow anything but a partial removal. If it turns out to be cancerous then we'll have to talk about the removal of the left lung or an other course of action with your oncologist.' I was like 'What!!!!"

He said the only way to tell if it was cancerous was to do the biopsy. He also said that it wasn't impossible for this thing to be giving me breathing problems.  Of course you all must know what I'm dreaming! I'm dreaming of a prednisone induced inflammation of non cancerous lung nodes! Really wouldn't that be everyones dream in my situation?

So again, it's a wait and see kinda thing again.

After this last lung disease (NOT) thing - I'm going to just try my best to do what ever to keep my mind off this whole cancerous thing and do some painting.

Come Sunday night I'll have to do all the prep work of washing with the most disgusting antibiotic soap soaked in a scratchy cheap pink sponge. No eating, not drinking, no aspirin - Geez I really know the drill.

So here we have me again asking for all your well wishes - they really do seem to work, and I appreciate them greatly. I do know you all make a big difference in how I feel. I gain power and strength from you all. I thank you from the bottom of my heart! Oh and Lung!

Love to you all! I'll keep you posted on the outcome of the biopsy! I should have the news by mid next week.


 On finding a solution to my breathing issues, and my theory of it being prednisone:

Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
--SPOCK, Star Trek (2009)

Also More Originally, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle(Sherlock Holmes) The Sign of Four, 1890

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I Got The Call!

Hooray! I was told yesterday that

 I do NOT- repeat- do NOT have lung disease! I can't express the relief I feel.

Woe is me! I thought it was the beginning of the end. You know, it's hard enough to know there are some unidentified solid objects smack dab in the middle of my chest, threatening (in my worst imaginings) to seep through the walls of my lungs to take over completely, squeezing the life and breath out of me; finishing me off with some 'chokeslam' to the ground. But, then on top of that, to be told the likelihood of me having lung disease as a probable cause of the 20% decrease in my breathing abilities (after looking at x-rays and PET scans) is high on the list! How horrible is that!

This is not me, the breast are to perky for someone my age.

I can't tell you how scared Dan and I have been. It's really hard to wait for results when you don't know what to expect anymore. I haven't been feeling my best lately, so I was bracing myself for the very worst. Last week I had gone in for an Echo Cardiogram and a specialized chest CT scan. Thank god for that, because it's a lot easier to lay down in a tube while holding my breath than having a slice of lung cut out for biopsies!

Thank god! I'm so relieved! I've been getting used to the feeling of things being heaped up on me. 'Oh sure she can take it! Let's really pile it on'. But that lung disease thing was just over the mark. I know the doctors are trying their best to look out for me - but they also don't listen to me. They discount my prednisone theory as the cause of my shortness of breath, and are very into delving deeper into some complicated scientific issue to find a cause.

I still have to have a biopsy of one of the spots in my chest; so sometime after the 12th of March, I'll find out if that's something cancerous; and if so It'll mean a whole new road of treatment and surgery and god knows what. But if the biopsy turns out to be something like inflammation - then I'll have to grab my doctors by the scruff of their necks and rub their noses in my Prednisone theory, like naughty little puppies that have gotten into something they shouldn't have. Like my chest!

You know, I wasn't wrong about the Yervoy swelling my Pituitary. Had I been taken off the Yervoy earlier, the swelling would have gone down and I wouldn't have had to have a biopsy up my nose and in my brain; and I wouldn't have had all the adrenal, thyroid, and growth hormone issues I have now.

But, about the up coming biopsy; It'll be done by one of the leading Thoracic surgeons in the nation according to US News World and Report. I'll be in good hands and I suppose it's better to know what I'm dealing with, than not knowing. So sometime Mid March I'll be posting again - hopefully with great news.

I want to thank everyone for being so supportive. It has meant so much to me from the beginning of this shit. I plan on plugging on for eternity! So plan on reading a lot more posts from me!

Love you all!
You won't find me in a chokeslam!