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Thursday, October 27, 2016

A needed laugh

I’m lifting this link from a post on a message board.  It had me laughing on a day when a laugh is appreciated.  Monks try tumbling:

Day to Breathe

Today is my day to get the little things done so I don’t have to think about them while going through the surgery.  I canceled an appointment the day after the surgery as I’m pretty sure I won’t feel up to going to another doctor that day.  I am going through some things here at the RV to take to storage and get them out of the way.  I’m doing a lot of nothing as well. 

Public service announcement part of the entry:

I seem to always have lumps in my breast, the right one.  It was always a cyst, a liquid filled bump I could feel.  When I was in my 40’s I had a doctor that insisted on a second mammogram when the first would find the lump, then the ultrasound that confirmed it as ‘just’ a cyst.  Then she would make me go have it drained.  Twice.  Even the doctor who drained it with a needle and syringe would be asking why I was there, as the cyst was not big deal. After doing that twice I never felt the cysts again.  I got lazy about breast exams, figuring that it was just a cyst if I had felt something.

The lump that is cancerous I cannot feel.  Even though I know it is there, and it is .9x.9x.6 cm, I cannot feel it.

The radiologist last year said she saw ‘calcifications’.  I figured, hey, I’m getting older, no surprise there would be something called calcifications in my breast.  I put off getting the second mammogram until this year.  When I told my Internist this year about what was found last year, he ordered a 3D mammogram.  Once the lump in the right breast was discovered to be cancer, I brushed off the calcifications in the other breast as trivial.  A radiologist looking at my scans from last year did not.

Turns out that calcifications are debris that is thrown off when ‘something’ is going on.  I have not had ‘something’ defined for me yet.  The biopsy yesterday was to determine what that something is.  I was put into a type of mammogram x-ray machine with a window in the plastic for them to access the area of interest.  It was automated far more than the other ultrasound guided biopsy.  It seemed more extensive.  I did not have any real pain with either biopsy, nor has there been any lingering pain afterwards.  I was given small ice packs to use on the area, and that was all that seemed to be needed.  No pain after the numbing used during the biopsies wore off.  Sort of like getting dental work, a bit of pain while the numbing stuff goes in, then nothing.

I get the results of the second biopsy tomorrow.  I believe the only difference in the Monday surgery a finding of cancer there would be is that I’d have ‘lumpectomy’ on both breasts.  That is as much as I know now.

Public service section off.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Cheap Date

I’m on the 10 year plan for colonoscopies.  No polyps.  The person who came up with MoviPrep should be drawn and quartered for the low life scoundrel he/she is.  Other than that it was a nice nap.  In recovery the nurse looked at my chart and declared me a cheap date.  Apparently it did not take much to put me totally out. 

After sleeping most of the afternoon, Mike was restless so we took his truck, which he drove down this time, and took a load of Mom’s stuff up to her.  I just walked over to the U-Haul place and picked up a box truck.  We will hopefully get the rest of the stuff of Mom’s that is in the storage unit moved up to her today.

On Wednesday I have the biopsy on the other breast.  On Thursday I hopefully get the stuff in my small storage unit moved over to the big one where Mom’s stuff will (hopefully) no longer be taking up the room.  Then I can let the small one go.

On Friday I take a friend down to Algodones, MX where we both have dentist appointments.  On Saturday and Sunday I tie up any other loose ends, get groceries, and such.  On Monday is the surgery, barring anything from the second biopsy that changes anything.

That’s how it is supposed to happen, anyway.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A blip in the blip

Around 4pm on Friday as I was driving home from Mom’s I heard my phone ring.  I pulled over and I had missed a call from Mayo.  A voicemail from my primary care doctor said he was leaving a message on the online portal for me.  I checked that (thank you smart phone) and it seems that a radiologist got around to comparing the images from last year that I had dropped off over a week ago with the ones from this year.  The upshot is that this doctor thinks I should STOP EVERYTHING until I can have the other breast looked at.  I guess if it was easy, everyone would want to joint this club (not).  I am hoping that this is just an over reaction on his part.  I had a nice, neat plan.  The upshot now is that with every possibility back on the table again (until proven otherwise) I actually felt myself getting physically ill while reading all the literature they sent home with me that details all the possibilities.  I can’t do anything on the weekend, and have put in pleading messages to my cancer surgeon to make sense of this, and don’t postpone the surgery.  I may know more on Monday.

At 7:45am on Monday I report for my colonoscopy. I am eating soft, white foods today, mostly oatmeal.  Tomorrow it is clear liquids (hopefully coffee counts as clear liquid…) and then I start the cleaning out process in the afternoon.  My life is just a whole bunch of fun right now.

Mike will arrive tomorrow evening, after hopefully helping Mom clear out her rental 5th wheel of everything she hasn’t already moved to the new apartment.  She slept there last night and is really happy right now.  On the way to the clinic  Monday morningI hopefully can call the scheduling folks and see if I can get in for the biopsy on the other breast the primary care doctor wants this week, prior to the surgery.  In reality, I hope my surgeon looks at things and says we don’t need to worry about it right now.

Methinks the fun is just beginning.

Friday, October 21, 2016

If it isn’t one thing, it is another

As I mentioned, October has been medical tests month at Mayo Clinic for me.  I decided to go there because I was not happy with the group I chose last year. Prior to last year I had not been to a doctor for any routine tests in about 15 years. In passing I knew that they found ‘something’ on my routine mammogram last year, but they ALWAYS find ‘something’ which is ALWAYS just cysts.  I had asked to go straight to the ultrasound last year, but the radiologist refused.  I walked out.  I had all I could handle at the time getting my thyroid  issues worked out.  I was honest with the doctor at Mayo this year that there ‘might’ be an issue.  He had me in for the diagnostic 3D mammo on Tuesday last week, which morphed into an immediate ultrasound.  That morphed into a biopsy on Thursday.  Which ended up in a call on Monday telling me that yes, it is cancer.

I had the appointment with the cancer surgeon yesterday.  I’m lucky.  It is a small, ‘well behaved’ little tumor.  I’m having a lumpectomy on 10/31, and will have radiation for a few weeks afterwards.  Basically 2 weeks from mammogram to surgery.  They are efficient at Mayo.  I’m hoping to have a lot to celebrate in December when I have my next birthday.  I am now a member of the Big C club, but it seems that I’m getting off pretty lightly.  I am thankful.

If any of you can send healing thoughts and prayers my way on the 31st, I would appreciate it.  I’ll keep this journal updated as well.  I’m hoping that this will be  a very small blip in my life.

Mom finally gets her apartment today.  So, we will be moving her stuff during all this.  And, I still have my colonoscopy on Monday.  Mike is coming down to help with both events, driving me to and from the test and helping move Mom’s stuff. 

I will admit that it seemed disconcerting to suddenly see ‘Breast Cancer’ everywhere I looked after I got the call that I had it.  Then I realized it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (day? week?) and it made sense.  I thought for awhile the Universe was trying to tell me something.

Fight Like A Girl!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Still here

October has been medical tests month.  I am going to the Mayo Clinic to catch up on all my medical tests that I put off for so many years.  I like going there.  The people are without exception friendly, professional, and caring.  The facilities are top notch.  I described the place as the NPR of hospitals to Mike.  There is instrumental music playing softly in the background, unless there is a musician playing one of the many pianos scattered around in the lobbies.  There is curated artwork and sculptures and plants.  The place speaks in the low-key, moderated voice of an NPR commentator.  So far I enjoy it as much as one can enjoy a place that pokes, prods, and images up close and personal parts of my body.  A few more tests to go.  I am very low on Vitamins B12 and D.  Other minor issues.  I’ll be happy to have it done.  What I like so far the most about the Mayo Clinic is that all my records are in one file, and all the doctors and departments have access to that same file.  No duplication.  No remembering if I’ve mentioned this or that to this particular doctor.  It is all there.

It is still hot in Mesa.  Next year I’ll try to be someplace cooler until November 1.  I do still like this park.  I even went swimming a couple of times.  I have found a cheaper place in Apache Junction to move at the end of the year.  A lot cheaper.  It also has a swimming pool, community room, laundry room, fitness room, etc.  I may look into finding a larger trailer to leave in the Apache Junction spot, and just travel in my car and camp during the summer.  Plans for that are in Jell-O. Once I get through the medical appointments, I’m planning a trip back east to visit family, maybe Rod and Favorite Neighbor.  Those plans are also in Jell-O at the moment.  I’ll need to hire a service to check on the cats while I’m gone now that Mom is not close.  She will get her apartment in the senior housing complex finally in the next week or so, so Mike and I will be helping her move her stuff from storage down here in Mesa to that apartment in Payson.

In between all that I’m getting an eye exam on Friday, and calling tomorrow to get a dentist appointment for myself and a friend who hasn’t done the Mexico dental trip yet.  I’ll need the trip back east just to rest from all these appointments.

Cats are fine, Mom is fine, mostly I’m fine.  I’ll try to keep y’all updated in a more timely manner.  The new blog header photo is one Mike took of me when we were hiking up in northern Arizona a few weeks ago. Notice I have on a fleece.  I’m dying of heat stroke down here in the Valley.  Note again to self:  don’t come back here until November.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Back in Mesa

I am moved back down to the valley, about 6 weeks and 20 degrees of hot too soon.  The original place I thought I had reservations decided they didn’t like the looks of my rig in their snooty park, so they denied me entrance at 2:30pm on a hot afternoon.  I had to have electricity to keep the cats cool with the air conditioning.  Mike had them in the car for the move, but that wouldn’t work for the evening, and I couldn’t boondock and have air conditioning.  I was making frantic calls around for a place for at least one night with power.  At one of the parks when I gave my name I heard “(shadowmoss)!  This is (former office manager where I used to live in the mobile home).  Sure, come on over’.  I was welcomed not just for a night, but they also have a fall special and I’m here until the end of the year.

I will NEVER, EVER stay at a Cal Am resort, no matter what I am living in.

Mesa Spirit is a really nice, friendly park with better facilities and cheaper with all that is included in the base rent.  I won’t be able to afford to stay after the special price ends, but I’m good for now.

I’m hiding waiting for the temperature to drop.  It is still 100* during the day, and unlike Payson there is no shade here.  I came down early because the park in Payson is doing construction and needed me to move.  The cats have forgiven me.  They hate moving.  It didn’t help that I took them to the rabies clinic at TSC for their rabies shots the night before we moved.  Poor Rasta had to deal with a dog in line in front of us that looked at him intently, and it was obvious he was thinking ‘lunch!’.  We all survived.