Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hangry Woman

Day four of the forced diet. I have learned one thing...Mexican food is my greatest temptation. Hands down. I wanted to lick the salsa off the chips!! I didn't but I sure as heck wanted to!! I went with the girls from work. I was good, just chatted with them and drank my shake and a Diet Coke (or two!)

I have also picked my oncologist here in town. I talked to the scheduler at the cancer center near the high school here. I told her who had been recommended as doctors (Burns, Sumrall, an Al-Hajj). I told her I feel like I was throwing a dart and not sure if it would matter much who I chose. She asked me what I wanted in a doctor. I DON'T KNOW!! THATS then the tears started...damnit!! I fought through the tears and crackly voice and said I want was a doctor who will give me all the gory details, all the pictures everything. So, the choice she recommends is Sumrall. Ok, I'm good with that. Decision made unless the folks at Mayo say NO.

And I still tear up going over it again...this is so not me. I'm a planner, take charge, make the changes, get it done gal. This? This unknown rattles me to the core. So, I should be better now, right? Hahahaha! Eh, maybe. In time. Maybe never.

This whole thing gets me. Work really pisses me off. It takes THIRTY DAYS to get approved to telework from home. Really? Thirty days? Are you freaking kidding me?? AND I have to have a letter from my doctor with plans, times, etc.

Ok. I can do something about that, Right? Go back to the local idiot, get him to write the letter. Yeah, that didn't work. I had to PAY $20 to turn in the paperwork for them to write the letter. Again, are you freaking kidding me? Ok, whatever. If this will get the letter faster, then that's the faster the process will go because I'm sure my timeline outside of treatment is shrinking. If things go as fast as it dies for some, I could start the week of the 10th...so 15 days away?

Yeah, not a lot of leeway for a chick with only three weeks worth of leave (give or take a few days in there). Yeah, no comments on that from the peanut gallery! I have had a few crowns, kids doctor appointments that, as she's not 18, I still have to attend. Plus, I take care of mom as needed for appointments that require a driver - and honestly I do NOT begrudge those days. It's the reality of what needed to done with minimal mental health days. Only one in the last 6 months or so...that's reasonable, right?

Anyway, it's frustrating to have to deal with paperwork when it's the last thing I need to deal with, ya know? No one should have to fight for the right to work from home while doing chemo. Especially if you will immunocompromised during these types of treatments. It's shameful. And disheartening. And frustrating.

Speaking of planning, I had to sit down with a spreadsheet to figure out when I can do what for the 5th and the 6th as far as food/drink, actions, things to do to prep for FOUR appointments. Now two of these are labs at noon on the 5th. So that's one stop :)

12:00 AM No food fasting lab
1:00 AM No food fasting lab
2:00 AM No food fasting lab
3:00 AM No food fasting lab
4:00 AM No food fasting lab
5:00 AM No food fasting lab
6:00 AM No food fasting lab
7:00 AM No food fasting lab
8:00 AM Enema
9:00 AM No food fasting lab
10:00 AM Enema
11:00 AM No food fasting lab
12:00 PM Labs
1:00 PM No food but water and possibly broth from after lab to 12:50 drink up!!
2:00 PM 2:50 CT
2:00 PM No drink 2 hr prior
3:00 PM No drink 2 hr prior
4:00 PM MRI (4pm)
5:00 PM No shakes!!! CLEAR BROTHS
6:00 PM Moviprep every 15 minutes till gone
7:00 PM No shakes!!! CLEAR BROTHS
8:00 PM No shakes!!! CLEAR BROTHS
9:00 PM No shakes!!! CLEAR BROTHS
10:00 PM No shakes!!! CLEAR BROTHS
11:00 PM No shakes!!! CLEAR BROTHS

12:00 AM No shakes!!! CLEAR BROTHS
1:00 AM No shakes!!! CLEAR BROTHS
2:00 AM No shakes!!! CLEAR BROTHS
3:00 AM No shakes!!! CLEAR BROTHS
4:00 AM No shakes!!! CLEAR BROTHS
5:00 AM No shakes!!! CLEAR BROTHS
6:00 AM No shakes!!! CLEAR BROTHS
7:00 AM No shakes!!! CLEAR BROTHS
8:00 AM 8:30 Oncology
9:00 AM No shakes!!! CLEAR BROTHS
10:00 AM 10:00 Radiology
11:00 AM Clear liquid - maybe?
12:00 PM no drink 2 hr prior
1:00 PM no drink 2 hr prior
2:00 PM 1:30 Colonoscopy

Yeah, you're allowed to laugh at the fact the dirty word ENEMA is seen TWICE again. Yeah, shoot me now, but at least I get this in a hotel is a "plus" this time 😜 No fast food bathroom for me!! Ha. And as I'm not eating anyway, not sure it matters about the Moviprep, but we shall follow instructions. BUT what this means to me? Chinese food broth!! 😀😀😀 Yeah, small things to look forward to, but I'm grasping for silver linings at this point 😳

Monday, June 26, 2017

Angela's Graduation photos

My girlie is sooooo cute, these photos don't do her justice! So I'm not going to order any. On a plus, I did already hire a photo shoot to get the two together in caps and gowns 😀

Funky eye!! Yeah NOT buying these!

And guess who forgot she was to look AT the camera at the bottom of the stairs? Yeah, this girl. I'm laughing here!!

Love this child, hate these photos!!!

Well-differentiated adenocarcinoma.

And here I thought carcinoma wasn't a bad word. Hum. Good theory.

So we wait. The 5th and 6th will show where we go from here. I'm thinking they were on track with the suggested course of treatments already mentioned.

I'm one of the 95% who have colorectal cancer. Not unique. And so the journey begins.

And work. Don't get me started in work. I have to fill out a TON of papers to get medical telework. Until then I can have two days a week at the bosses discretion.

So we work around appointments and getting my tooth looked at. I heard there is no dental (cleaning may be OK) until we're done. This could suck 😜

Pregnancy did my teeth in last time. We'll see how our and our poison does to them! Sigh.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

How to break the news...

How do you tell those you want to tell something that you know they would want to know...but you don't want a fuss about it because a fuss will make you cry and you HATE to cry?

I have cancer. You can get the gory details reading the rest of the blog (and some rambling, so feel free to hit the highlights).

Most folks who see me now if you ask how I am will get "fine". Because really most say it as a greeting not a true heartfelt "how ARE you." I joked with the lab lady who said the same thing "hi, how are you?" "Well, let's see I'm at the Mayo Clinic. Do you really want to know? And how many really answer that honestly?" Ha. Poor gal. I did answer it jokingly but really - in a hospital one would think that wouldn't be the typical greeting...or, the really is Im just too raw right now to be socializing and talking to people in general.

Even my siblings didn't get phone calls with the news because I would have cried and I hate that. Shoot I made Butch tell mom the first time because I couldn't do it. Wouldn't do it is more like it.

This whole thing has me a crying emotional mess and that is SO not me. I'm the strong one. The one who can take a 34 week preemie overseas in a foreign hospital and not bat an eye tough gal (ok cried once on meeting Elizabeth).

Now? I'm a puddle of tears most mornings and I hate it and I haven't even started treatment. Good lord what will be like like then?? Who knows. I try to put my big girl panties on daily and figure it out. Yeah. I think a psychiatrist is in my near future 😜

Anyway. I'm avoiding telling the folks at work because if anyone hugs me it makes me want to cry. Again, do you see a trend? Yeah I DO NOT WANT TO CRY.

I'm leaking the info slowly and tried to hint at it with the "read the blog" posts in Facebook aimed at family and close friends.

Yeah. I found out very few actually read blogs anymore. Literally two of my coworkers - that's it. Cool with that. It lets me know the news really will travel slow and maybe, just maybe I will have repeated this enough times I can get through it without crying. I'm wearing mascara for crying out loud. It's not good for a gal to cry with mascara. I purposely avoided mascara the first three days of work after finding out because anything set me off then. Now? Just random bursts 🤓 I call that a win.

So if you wanna know, read on. If you don't, that's cool too. If you bring it up in person be prepared for jokes and for goodness sakes do NOT hug me at least until I'm fully ensconced in treatment (Or heck maybe not ever - who knows) hugs will crack the resolve then YOU are responsible to help me fix my makeup 😄

Friday, June 23, 2017

Toe woes

So the toe. What happened to my toe?
Well I went to Disney with Liz in May and walked

And walked

And walked

The pedometer said 10 miles.

I'm thinking Liz didn't turn it on until we got all the way INTO the park and had been waking a bit so we estimate adding another mile or so.

My toe started to hurt during the last few miles. :) I hobbled to dinner (OTHER side of the park) at the Moroccan place.

We did sit RIGHT on the water for the fireworks.

So it was worth the pain!!

I then hobbled out of the park and to the hotel. I soaked my feet in ice water. It didn't help.

I got a blood blister under my left toe. Either from just the amount of walking OR the longer toenail. Sigh

Lesson learned. Trim nails on toes before that much walking. Good shoes or not!!

So the toe.

It's ugly.

Look away if you do t want to see it!!

It WAS dark over the whole nail. Dark burgundy.

I had gotten into the pool Thursday night. When I got out I noticed the toenail looked different. It was ghostly through the middle. Hum. I pushed on the nail and herd a squelching watery sound. Yeah, time to get rid of that nail!!

So we trimmed. (Ok you were warned not to keep reading)

And this is what it looks like after Thursday.

Today I got BACK into the pool and the nail softened and separated more. So a bit more trimming and gently working on it and it's looking better!!

Just the outer edge on the right side. I'm sure it will sluff off the rest of the way soon. There is a super thin nail underneath forming already. So it isn't tender. I wore shoes today no issues. All is well in the toe world 🤓

Thursday, June 22, 2017

💩💩 day

OK, yesterday was a VERY bad day... not all together unknown there was a
possibility it could be, but REALLY fully ensconced in denial mode. My thoughts
HAD been to ask if I could go closer to home if it wasn't a "bad"
one... yeah, after he talked those thoughts flew RIGHT out the door.

So, I found out in the package I had to do not one, but two enemas prior my
appointment with Dr. L.  OK, I said never again... but yeah, appears the
butt is fair game from here on out - dang it! So... I do the first at 7am -
prior to the drive.... it all worked out OK... no issues there. Then I knew I
needed to do one a minimum of an hour prior - hum.. yeah, not fun. AND 
not convenient either as I'm on the road... so... I thought who has the best
potties with BIG handicap stalls? I thought and thought on it and finally
figured out we would have to eat before we went in as the appointment was at
2pm... so we may as well combine the two with the timing... so Zaxby's it is!
They have BIG handicap stalls with sinks in most cases.

As luck would have it, we drove to Mayo, then did an "around me"
and found one really close... got lunch, did my business and had a kids meal...
refilled my water and even had time for a 1/2 hour walk around Hobby Lobby. A
friend sent me a text just as we were walking around so I sent her a picture of
Liz and I in the store - ha! 

Yeah she straightened her horrible face before the shot. Thanks Liz! Hahaha

Mayo is very nice - why would I expect any different? Tree lined parking lots
- they also have a garage and valet parking if you choose and want to spend the
$$ on it. We parked in Lot A and walked in - took the long way around as I
discovered later. Oh, well. It was a hot muggy walk, but a good time to stretch
our legs. Then it was just a matter of checking in, getting my MRI scanned
into the system... and heading up to the appointment.

Dr. Landman seems very nice. He wasn't happy with anything the local doc shared
with him, he didn't receive the DVD with the CT scan, but still indicated he
would want to do his own as the folks at the hospital here were not looking for
anything and didn't SEE the large tumor growing in my rectum.

Apparently it's BIG... way bigger than I was anticipating it to be in the
scans, honestly.  

Here is the scan I sent to Butch, I thought it was the area in the yellow
circle... and the bottom  looking into it along the back wall of the
rectum... uhm, yeah, no, It's what's circled in the red. Yep, that whole thing.
I'll see if I can get a better cross section when I get back to the house as I
have a copy of this MRI at the house as well.

Anyway, it's NOT what I thought it
would be... so that was a little shocking. Then I got to do a fun little probe
- manual and with a "flexible" yadayada... I didn't catch its name. I
joked with Liz I should have told the doc at least buy me dinner first... but
I'm sure that wouldn't have gone over well. Sigh... so they did something I
thought was funny as all get out, they held up a sheet to block Liz's view
(**poor Liz was my documenter and my 2nd set of ears) of me dropping my drawers
down to my knees and kneeling at the foot of the lovely table they use... then
the sheet is abandoned and the butt is just hanging out in full moon mode while
the table that I'm now stretched out with my hands above my head, ass in the
air... and facing downward with the tilt of the table.... so, yeah, thanks for
holding that sheet up for the 2 seconds it took to drop my drawers then
proceeding to leave my backside out there for the duration.

Anyway, the procedure wasn't as bad
as the finger "probe" done prior. Yeah, there is no relaxing through
that.. I swear I wanted to ask if he could remove his elbow. Sigh... so there I
am butt in the air, naked from the waist down with a "drape" around
my clothing around my ankle (I this s
sounding like enough of a BAD
position?) "just in case". So, he finally gets his elbow out of my
butt... I mean really. He did comment that he felt it. Yeah, NOT proud of you
for that one bud. So, next is the tool... and the air pump. GOOD LORD!!!
Nothing like the screaming urgent need to defecate to wake you up to what is
going on back there... and the burbling... just shoot me now!!! BUT on the
silver lining part, it was MUCH less "invasive" than the finger (I'm
sure it wasn't just ONE... but no proof as photos and recordings are NOT
allowed (thank GOD at this point!)). So... you know me, I never shut up. I told
them that they need a camera down on the table so that I can see what they are
doing as well. There is a monitor on the wall above my head, but I swear I'm at
a 45 degree angle head down with my drawers around my ankle, hands above your
head - it's probably not that drastic of an angle, but it sure feels like that.
Then you add an air pump and burbles and the feelings... and it's quite
disconcerting to say the least. Yes, never have a colonoscopy while awake, I'm
now 100% positive of this one!! My belly is still rumbling with gas a day
later. UGH.

Again - POOR Liz!!! I told her to
avert her eyes from the moon :) She however, was good to have in the room
because SHE could see the screen on the wall. She got to see the beast that
this is and told me even to her untrained eye it looked like cancer and looked
bad. I didn't get a color description... but she drew me a picture... They took
three biopsies - and I even asked to look at those - they were tiny. Like the
head of a colored sewing pin small. Amazing what they can do with such a little
piece of tissue.

They will be looking at that tissue
for type, genetics and a number of other things. Speaking of genetics, my poor
kids are getting the crappy end of this literally - they get colonoscopies
starting at 35 and then every 5 years instead of 10. All first level relatives
get this... so siblings and kids. Sorry folks!!!! He said this one was growing
in there for like 5 to 10 years. Sigh.

OK, then he said more hateful things
to me - he said chemo radiation, ileostomy, more chemo, then reconstruction.
When he hit ileostomy I lost it... my vision went tunnel vision for a minute
and I teared up... that was it for me... this is NOT the kind of bag lady I
wanted to be, thank you very much. No, NO, NO!!!! ARGE.. all train of thought
left my poor pea brain... He told me the why - there are a lot of case studies
showing that it gives you the BEST chance of non-reoccurrence (yes, please).
Then he added insult to injury. He didn't say it mean or anything, but he
pointed out that my BMI is way too high... well, yeah, I know that... and they
want me to be down a LOT lower before surgery. So they asked to put me on a
medically induced diet. He explained the why... less chance of complications
during surgery, less complications in general, healthier, blah, blah,blah -
again, brain shut down. F*CK. Yeah, this is where the f*cks come out...  So, yeah, it's not a nice diet, it's a liquid
diet. And it's not for a few weeks its for 15 weeks or so... as in NO food..
just replacement shakes...for FIFTEEN WEEKS. ARGE. So... I start to wrap my
head around that....I accused them of not liking me. Then I asked about
alcohol. It was a resounding "NO" I do believe this is when the
"you guys don't f*ing like me" came out... yikes! I mean come on!! I
asked about coffee. The answer was yes, no cream, no sugar. Uh, that's NOT
coffee in my book. BUT we found the silver lining there... they have a vanilla
replacement shake that I can mix with my coffee like a latte. OK, I did tell
her she's not quite as high on the hated list anymore.

BUT on the chemo radiation... I'm
starting to lean that that is the right way from this article:

Basically gives me way better
chances of non-reoccurrence. So - looking like the right thing to do... all of
it's looking like the right thing to do...So... I guess this is the journey I'm
on - may as well toss my hands in the air and squeal a little. It's all
temporary, right? It's a year. A year to add 20 - 40 more? OK, I'm in.

And so we wait to plan and plot and
scheme. I've now heard the worst (or so help me, this sure sounds like the
worst). So today we feast!!! I will be eating WELL for the next few days. I
think this calls for steaks tonight for dinner, what do y'all think? It
actually may be Pizza from our favorite place in Atlanta if Angela will swing
by there and grab one for us on the way home!! If not, maybe Friday evening I
need to drive up and get one... and go to Ikea. THEN start the diet Saturday.
Don't worry I have permission to hold off until then.... 

So the lowdown in a simple format:

1. (** start Saturday) strict liquid
medically monitored diet

2. (** July 5/6 at Mayo) get
re-tested in EVERYHING to include:

   a. Colonoscopy

   b. MRI

   c. CT

   d. Blood work

3. (** July 5) Meet with oncologist
there to get oncologist here...

   a. I think I have found
mine here: http://www.centralgeorgiaradiation.com/ possibly
Dr. Ahmad H. Al-Hajj - He actually came recommended by a physicians wife.

4. Meet oncologist here, set plan in place for treatments

5. start treatments of chemotherapy and radiation for 5 weeks

6. Rest 10 weeks

7. surgery - removal only

8. rest

9. more chemo

10. rest

11. one final surgery - to put humpty back together again

So only the first three have scheduled timelines for them.. but I'm trying my
best to adjust to the idea of being a bag lady in the most awkward sense of the
word... but this too shall pass *(yes, pun intended)


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

MRI - check!!

My sweet mommy came to the hospital to sit with me while I waited for my MRI. I THOUGHT I had an 8:30 appointment. Turns out I put the show time (1/2 hour early) whoops. I was here super early!

So 9:15 ish the finally called me back. 10:40 and I'm OUT waiting for my disk. I had about 45 minutes of non-contrast and 15 minutes of almost solid scan with contrast.

So first impression. Yeah. Yuck! I tried to go in with my arms up. Yeah. NO WAY!!! Creepy feeling. I opted for arms down once I found out I was basically going in up to my neck. I could see out. They REALLY need to put something in the ceilings or something somewhere. Talk about BORING as crap!!

I closed my eyes a lot and tried to concentrate on relaxing my lower back as it was clenching and would NOT let go!! I am stiff and sore and hurting. Ouch. I will sit Indian style tonight to stretch it all out.

AND I feel a distinct difference in heat when it's running vs not running. It's kind of creepy. I wonder just what that is doing to your poor body. I asked him and he said yes, others have said the same thing. He thinks it's body heat. I think it's really my body feeling the assault from the X-ray. Or I have a very vivid imagination 😜

Both are possible!!

So that's done. Waiting on a disk now. Then I'll go home and copy it so I have one for my records and a copy for Mayo. That word is getting easier to say by the way! Not sore if that's good or bad or the natural progression of desensitizing myself.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sunday Funday...and Monday

Sunday we sent Butch off in his work trip to Chicago early in the morning. W celebrated Fathers Day with Butch Saturday night with Korean food brought home (yum!). Sunday was dinner with Dad, mom and the girls at Tapatio and a few gams of RummiKub after. I need to remember to take pictures when we go out! Dang it! Oh well, we had a nice dinner out!

Monday - today I had training all day at work. I got a call before lunch that I ditched out to answer from Mayo. It was for registration. Ok. Done and done! I asked the gal about the request fir the MRI to be done there and I was encouraged to get it done here as we have the order here...uhm, ok. I also overnighted all my hospital records to Mayo at lunch. I'll also pick up a copy of them fir myself to hand carry as well.

I also went to my primary care provider. He had zero results from the hospital OR the colonoscopy. Yep, none. He said they would catch up. So, he's aware and we went over the blood work he had done and nothing was out of sorts wit the known exceptions of cholesterol. Yeah, that's a known. So, nothing would have screamed to him that I needed to rush the colonoscopy. Or indicated cancer for that matter. Can I please be in denial now? Yeah, one can hope without a biopsy Dr H could be very, very wrong. One never knows, right?

In the meantime as I'm in the Drs and running here and there I missed a call from the hospital to schedule my MRI. The GREAT thing about dealing with the hospital is they were open until 7pm, so I called them and have an MRI scheduled for tomorrow at 8:30 in the Perry Hospital. I've heard good things about them even though they are small. Let's face it an MRI is an MRI and if is not good enough Mayo will do another. Yay! So I can carry a copy of that with me to Mayo :). Not ideal in they can't read it prior, but they'll have it. Could be worse!

I also missed a call from Ms L. She's also going through the wringer right now and has to wait a week and a half for a breast biopsy to see if that is where her bone cancer is originated from, then starting treatment for that. All without insurance. I can't even fathom that! I'm sooooo blessed with having two insurances in Blue Cross from my work and Tricare from Butch. Best of both worlds in that I pick my own doctors, but have the added coverage of a Tricare. So very lucky to have those. Right now my only thoughts are that I don't have enough leave to cover all of this. Small price to pay in the long run, I'm sure. Some lost pay for a bit, however blessed in that as well as I will be able to work from home on and off as needed to get through.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fridays update

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm late on that update aren't I? 

Not much to tell, I called the insurance and asked them about pre-approval for MRI.  Guess what?  They are NOT needed - nope, not at all, not needed.  I can just GO.  So has the local MRI place called me to schedule anything?  I waited all Thursday and all Friday just to see if they would call.  NOPE. 

SOOOO I sent in a message to the Mayo to see if I could just get this done there as it would be "real time" as it were - they can do the scans and be done.  I have also sent a message to the group that will be seeing me on Wednesday - I didn't have the epiphany to do that Friday early enough, so they were all out of the office and I got an auto reply that the team will be back at it at 12am Monday.  I'm sure that's not the case, but hey, I put it out there... either way apparently there is no sense of urgency by anyone here to get me in and get me scanned.  If Mayo says get it done locally I will start that search then - I have heard good things about the MRI center in Macon, so we'll see how quickly I can get into one of those.

So, PLUS - calling the insurance was easy to do, they were helpful and nice and sweet.  Bonus!  MINUS - this local stuff is for the birds.

Other than that I have to say that the whole experience of a colposcopy was really not a big deal (sans the shitty news I got).  I don't know if the lack of pooping for DAYS afterwards is just my snail slow system or what... but we're SLOWLY getting back to normal in that department.... as normal as I apparently ever was :)

On those thoughts too - I have been reading - probably WAY too much on what to expect after this surgery... Yeah, yeah, I know... DONT do that.  But I did the same thing on my ear cancer surgery.. remind me to share some thoughts on THAT and breast exams too... BUT I keep seeing what I may possibly NOT be able to do anymore and well, I hit overload this morning... most days are good, today, not so much.  I was sitting on the porch with my coffee and seeing more and more of what others are talking about with sensitive bowels, this and that they can no longer have... and it got to me.  Normally I can have a few hours on the back porch first thing and NO ONE is up.  Today Butch was up... so I had a witness to me losing it.  Sigh.  I hate having witnesses.... well, in person, virtually, I don't care.  Really - folks need to be able to research and find someone/anyone who can relate, who will tell them straight up, "yeah, I now sh*t like a racehorse on diuretics if I eat xyz"  THAT part is what I'm looking for and there is like ONE other woman who has a blog about anything similar and her case is different in the where/why of her surgery, but I do get a kick out of reading her blog! Colon Cancer Chick, Rectalcancermyass, and My colon Cancer; semicolon are a few I'm reading just to "prepare" myself mentally for what could happen.

Why torture myself?  Well, again, it's like the ear thing... I knew I was getting it done, it WAS going to happen.  I didn't know what I was going to face, but damn it, I could get an idea of what SOME of the possibilities could be... then maybe I could get my head wrapped around the possible... and also be quite pleased with what they DID do and the results.  I choose to believe that is what I'm doing right now...not that it doesn't scare the PEE outta me... but I guess this is MY processing way.
So, that leads me to family, kids and dealing with everything.  I know I am mentally preparing for this, but I feat that by acting like it's not a big deal I may have done a disservice to the kids.  I'm just hoping I haven't broken them.  Poor Liz is dealing with her dreams being bent here recently with her not getting to follow through on her dream plans of going to Africa with Peace Corpse and she's having a rough time dealing with that HUGE life change and whammo, oh, by the way your mom has butt cancer... surprise.  Sort of a shitty deal (I REALLY need a new word for how crappy...
9yeah, I'm doomed) horrible, awful this is)   Both to have it and to have to present it to them... but it is what it is... that was what I needed to do Friday was find some counseling for BOTH kids to help them handle this...

So breast exams, ear cancer, you name it... I got the call from the Dr's (Gyn) office Friday that my breast exams were back and they think they are benign - just see us back in 6 months.  I had just gotten my 6 months poke/prod on the 9th or there about (that Friday).  For those that don't know, this is what I have been dealing with for, oh, five years or more (probably more).  One breast will be in rebellion, then the other will join in on the fray... this time it's George (they are Left: Bill, Right: George)  I have no idea why those names, but these are names from college.  Leslie may have to shed light on just WHY they are named.  I'm sure she'll never be able to tell you where the names themselves come from :) but one never knows.  Well, Bill had been the problem child for YEARS, he's on the sorta clean bill of health, but George has joined in on the fray this past 3 exams.  Fun, fun, fun.  So they tell me this and I'm still in sort of shock ... and thinking in the back of my head - is THIS who you tell, "Oh, by the way, you may want to note in my records I have Rectal Cancer, and you MAY want to look at that a LITTLE closer" .. but my brain and my mouth were NOT on speaking terms when that call happened and I basically said, "Ok, thanks" and hung up... all the while still having my brain in overdrive screaming you MAY want to tell the rest of the story....  yeah, never did....

My thought processes on that are this, I'm SOOO glad I went to the Pavilion for my exam this time as they are now part of the hospital system and are on the DVD I will be sending to Mayo.  THEY will see these and know there are visits and they will probably follow up on that one.. need to make a list of things to bring up to them.

Which brings me to ANOTHER thought... Liz is going as my 2nd to Mayo... is that really fair to her?  Should I get someone else to go?  Let the family be family and not care takers?  Is this good practice for her as she wants to be a Dr?  Well, not really as she wants to be a medical examiner, and thanks, but nope, nope, nope.  I'm not going there for a LONG time... maybe missing a few pieces when I get there, but not going there just yet, thank you very much!  I'll ask her again later today if she really does want to go as my 2nd or if she wants to pass that to a stranger who may be able to deal with that part a little better than family... I tried to pry into her head on her plans, thoughts and all that for the future as she's gotten in the job hunt behind the power curve with the Peace Corpse not telling here she wasn't going until 30 days out... so very wrong of them to string her along that long without more warning...  Sigh.

Anyway...that's where we are as of today... and I moved my laptop to the table outside - it's AWESOME OK a bit glaring, but really, blogging while sitting in your swim suit and the breeze - can't beat this!!  Nope, no pictures as I'm on the laptop.  Then I get on a bunny trail trying to find my webcam on this thing...had to download something to install it.  So... called Dad to wish him a happy Fathers Day while waiting for that to download... squirrel!  ha!

Angela came out to visit just as I got the webcam loaded :) 

She's going to go mow the lawn (and NOT in that hoodie!)  She only lasted a few minutes before she bailed to go get some shorts on to come back out in the heat...

and with that I'm getting off the computer and restarting it - then getting back in the water as my suit is almost dry and it's getting more than a little steamy out here :)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Thoughts and random brain misfires

Yeah, maybe it's good that I didn't get that email at home and post it right
to the blog. It was a rambling mess... so speaking of rambling mess, my
thought processes are ALL over the place.

I was asked "when you had the bleed did you immediately think Cancer?" I
got to thinking... I mean really thinking because honestly - I was super
rattled and freaking out, but mostly because I was bleeding from an uncommon
orifice for me.... But did my mind go directly to cancer? Really - no. My
thoughts were along the lines of

* Well, Dad has diverticula and he had one that actually ruptured
and encapsulated... maybe that is what I have a diverticula that has
ruptured and is bleeding

What I really need is a flow chart for this honestly - it's a convoluted
mess from here... so here goes...

* I look up on the internet and see the following: Back pain and
rectal bleeding can be caused by numerous medical conditions including anal
fissures, hemorrhoids, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), polyps,
diverticulitis, intestinal vascular issues and colon cancer.

* OK, maybe I have a hemorrhoid that I was never aware of...

* But there, see that diverticulitis ... yeah, I'm pretty sure with
the commonalities

* I had bouts of back pain, but have always had fleeting thoughts of
kidneys and kidney stones...

o Sibling has mentioned lowered kidney function

o I am always told during urine collections mine is low, so yeah, that is
probably it...

o Then the pain goes away and so does the thought

o Maybe it was just back strain instead - I do bend over to plant in the
yard a lot

* OK, let's look up cancer symptoms.... Search What are the symptoms
of colon cancer in women?

o Blood in stool - nope, nice color most of the time

o diarrhea or constipation - well, sometimes, but not anything that diet
can't explain in my mind

o anemia - that's been an issue on me on and off my life

o weight loss - bwahahahaha - yeah, right, I should BE so lucky right
(yeah, STILL PISSED about that!)

o fatigue - who ISNT tired? But, hey, nothing out of the ordinary - I
view this is crawl into bed when you get home, or stop daily activities...
yeah, not happening

o abdominal pain - NERP...

* OK, that's probably not it...

* Hum... OK, back to the Zen mode I have for my boobs (for those
that aren't aware they are poked and prodded every 6 months and have been
for YEARS!)

* So I'm back to diverticulitis as my main suspect

So, blow me over with a feather when they say the words malignant, tumor,
cancer, chemo, radiation

I mean, really? REALLY???

So, my thoughts are how on EARTH did I miss this one???

NOW we start with the poop talk. It's funny because another gal who does
lunch with me is having bowel issues and has been bleeding for
WEEKS..eeeeeeekkkkkkk! After MY issue and the fact I was seen within a
week, She was MAD. Rightly so - she still hasn't had her colposcopy to find
out what is going on with hers! So, I'm sure I didn't help her stay calm -
sorry P if you're reading this!!!! I encouraged her to press, press, press
because I didn't think twice about mine either and am so glad that I pressed
to know NOW. AND I'm so grateful to have two insurances to give me the
leverage to say "nope, not waiting" and going ahead and getting it done.

Then this morning I'm griping about the stupid email at work not working and
not sending my freaking email to the house last night.... Then getting to
work and it's still on my screen - geeze. Then I go down another bunny
trail of thoughts.... Been talking with K (sorry you're referenced here Miss
K) about her symptoms and such with her chemo and chemo brain and thinking,
shoot, if THAT is what I have to look forward to and I SUCK with memory
anyway, this is gonna be very, very interesting on what I'll remember from
here on out! If I can't remember to hit send (again, can I justify this
with the news that our email at work really IS jacked up and you have to hit
send twice, sometimes three times (likely story, right??))...

Well, this will all prove interesting... and THIS is why I sort of shut down
last night and watched a movie and just chilled.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


I spent the day on and off writing a update, then mailed it to myself only to discover the base email is seriously jacked up. The email never got here....

So the brief highlights.
My bedside manner sucks as bad as Butch's. I blurted out cancer to the girls like it's no big deal. Hopefully they buy that...but they're not dumb...I'm sure they get I'll be sick a while.

My odds are looking 100% good in my mind. CT and x-ray on the 5th from the initial bleed are all clear (read the results myself today!)

I went to work Wednesday and cried most of the day. Not sure what my coworkers think as they were busy putting out fires while I was scrambling for appointments and calling drs offices and crying some more.

I got an appointment with Mayo Clinic in a Jacksonville on the 21st.

I called my docs nurses line and ended up getting my appointment moved up from next Tuesday to today. Pays to cry at times.

I survived the first day at work in one piece! Yay.

Today I did the follow up. I heard condescension. Butch just heard brusk and to the point. Hate to break it to him, it's all about me right now. I rule this one. He didn't like his approach and lack of experience- he's general surgeon, not specialized. Either way, he's out. I'm sure he's fine for general surgery, but that isn't what I need.

So, Mr C (need to name this thing) is round, 5cm long, circumferential (see? Use words like that and I think you're a show off condescending butt!! Say "rounded") and eroded on one side. I recorded the meeting so I can review later. There are NO pictures. Yeah, waiting for the WTF that I think both Butch and I had at that. I thought they all recorded the procedures. Again, one more "nope" vote.

So far we have:
Eroded = bad
Location = good
size = bad
neighborhood not showing signs of equal rebellion ='good.
Jury is still out until we remove and then we get to figure out stage with 100% accuracy.

The next step is MRI. I'm going to call Mayo tomorrow to see if I can get it done there...it just makes more sense. This Docs office is saying I have to wait for insurance approval to schedule. I think that's bunk...but I'll call tomorrow to ask. Quite frankly today I was just got too tired to do more than work...and do a little research.

I made it through most of the Drs meeting and only cried once. Just hit my limit for a second. Doc did the wrong thing in my books by not stopping but immediately turning to Butch to continue the discussion. (Tires screeching and me flipping the bird!!) Oh HELL NO, it's NOT his body we're discussing here..it's mine. Yeah, I have control (....and anger issues at the moment, wouldn't you??)

And with that, I took the afternoon after work to get copies of my CT scan and records then came home and watched a movie...I needed to just "not" tonight. I'll jump in tomorrow

And on the home front, Liz had a fender bender. Not her fault a lady turned left right into her path! Shook her up as she didn't have her license with her AND she was in my car (insert wailing and gnashing of teeth!)

You can see the fenders rolled under. Poor Reba!!!
She'll get fixed soon. I went to drop her off thinking this is the ONE thing I have control over fixing....yeah, thanks karma. I have to wait for the other ladies insurance.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

What do I know so far?

I came out of my procedure quite nicely. I was happy, comfortable. Just sleepy. So I slept...they then got me dressed and in my way. I don't see the doctor. I was wheeled out to the car.....waiting by the curb. Still pretty druggy, groggy.

Butch said three polyps and cancer. Ok, waiting for you to say "kidding". Nope, no comments of kidding...but the doc didn't biopsy it. What the??? How can you say the words malignant and cancer without a biopsy to confirm?? Ok you're either that good or it was that big and ugly. Sigh.

Home, coffee on the porch. Still bugging me he didn't take a biopsy and nothing about what's next. They talked radiation and chemo to him in the hospital...but nothing to me and frankly I don't want to wait until next Tuesday for this future discussion on what's next.

I don't have a clue how a doc can say I have malignant cancer without a biopsy...but I'm sure he's seen enough to know by size/shape/etc but still, not confident I have the full story as I don't talk to the doc :/ it's all hearsay so far.

My husband has zero bedside manner for this as he just blurted it out to a drug addled person who was still wondering when the "just kidding" was coming

As I came out of the drugs more I still question why they didn't biopsy that tumor...maybe they did and Butch miss heard?? Why the hell no biopsy?.

So happy wait....and bleed a bit more today thanks to polyp snips. Ewh!

The lighter side they gave me such a hard time in the room because I was saying I tried an enema, but never again. I was telling them someone should put pictures out there if what is normal ranges of colors textures in the toilet. I mean really. Give a girl more to go on. No pun intend. But really. I did need Some hints. I found them today of all times!

The nurses and I were laughing about the Easter egg hunt I had with monitor leads while in the ER...I found THREE more when I got home even AFTER I lifted my boobs and had Bitch look there were two hiding under the left breast AND one on my chest. After this discussion the nurse said she would leave me an Easter egg hunt for later....and I may need to check between my butt cheeks. I was dying....maybe I should check again all over? LOL

Colon prep...

Ok I like this Drs prep. Two Dulcolax (pills) then 64 oz of Miralax (Liquid) followed with two last pills at or before 4pm. Here we go (pun intended!)!!. Why would I say I like this already? There is NO taste to Miralax!! That other stuff is gaggy!!!

Also, blood work done. I drove over there and sat outside waiting fir them to open at 8. We got in at 7:45 and out by 7:50. Sweet!!

Maybe I don't like this...it's not working. It's now 12:30pm and no poop in sight. Sad when you're now HOPING for raging diarrhea.... I took two MORE Dulcolax. Maybe that will get me going? I'm down to less than half of the Miralax left to take. Good news is that it still tastes great 😜 small favor of it doesn't start working!!! 😳.

Well, lets add a popsicle to the mix and see if that moves things along..... nope.

3pm called the hospital asked fir a later schedule. 6:15 is the latest. Really?? Hum. This may be an issue.

Got off the phone and had a slight poo. Yay?

Downed the remainder of the Miralax...took FOUR Dulcolax - we ain't playing any more!! Had to have the completed by 4pm. Mission accomplished. Let's see if my body will get on board.


5pm. OK sad to say that the needed reaction is happening. Now to hydrate the heck out of myself and pray this works. We're movin now! Ugh!!

11pm. Still not clear...sh*t. No, really I need to be over this. Broke down. Sent the oldest fr an enema. Yeah, first and LAST of those, thank you very much.

12:30. Kill me now. This had better be clear e-friggin nuff. I'm going to bed.

6:15 show time tomorrow and I'm the LAST one to go in. Yeah me. The good news? It will all be over but the crying tomorrow. I may have to do a two day prep next time. Sucks!!!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Medical referrals, Dr's offices and such - aka following rules is for chumps!

OK, so the "incident" from Monday ... The REST of the story....

I called and got an appointment with the Colorectal Center here in town

They first said I would have to have a referral from my primary care doctor... OK, so that would be Dr. X. Well, I haven't been to see Dr. X since 2014. Found that out when the Colorectal Center called back (should I just call them Buttheads?) and told me that I could NOT come see them because I needed that referral. Hum... why? Can't I just self-refer? Oh, yeah, you can do that... OK, I tell the primary doc's - let's do that, and I will STILL make an appointment to See Dr. X just because - well, to be honest, I didn't know it had been THAT long since I had seen him... but yeah, it's time. I'll come in, get the work up done.

I go to Dr. X and sign a paperwork release form to allow them to give my paperwork to the Buttheads. I make an appointment with the Buttheads for Wednesday. Ok? OK.

Tuesday I get a call from the Buttheads telling me they are cancelling my appointment with them BECAUSE I made an appointment with Dr. X. WTH???? I gave up the fight right then and there... I just said "fine"... click. I tell a few girlfriends at work here and tell them what is going on. One tells me to go to Dr. H - they have a nice office, etc, etc, etc. They are very nice. Hum... OK. I also took a page from her book also and ask "WHY" to Dr. X's office ... and tell them, really all I'm trying to do is get paperwork from Hospital to Buttheads at this point. Hum... so when I ask them "Why" they tell me "liability". The more I think about that - LIABILITY for WHAT??? For sending me to get a colonoscopy that I WILL need regardless of what your little paperwork trail tells you I need and what order I have to do it in so that every friggin' doc gets a piece of the insurance money?? So I ask them point blank "so I need to just GO to the hospital and get the paperwork sent to the Buttheads office then?" Yep. Little did she know that Buttheads are no longer EVER getting my insurance money after turning me away, thank you very much!

So as I'm talking to that office I'm already driving to Dr. H's office anyway. I walk in and let me tell you the dark clouds lifted!! Their office was very understanding. I told them exactly what happened... that I was in the ER, had this go on, nope, never had a colonoscopy done in the past... yep, over 50... yep, need one anyway, so let's get this show on the road. They make an appointment with me for the VERY next day!

So this morning I go in, get everything scheduled and meet Dr. H. He basically told me what he was going to do - basically - he's not going in looking for trouble as likely whatever trouble was there has resolved... and if it was something else, well, he'll find it on the regular colonoscopy anyway. Yep, I'm TOTALLY fine with that as I don't have any other symptoms... and even if I feel weird right now I question if it's just me being weird because I know I bled pretty good there for a day... so unless I'm bleeding anymore at all or really in pain like cramping pain... I'm going to consider any twinge as an "you're imagining that because you're concentrating on that end" twinge.... and I get my lovely colonoscopy on Tuesday.

NOW to add insult to injury, I also have bloodwork on Monday morning....yeah, fasting bloodwork. Yep, I see the wheels in your brain turning now...that means... you won't eat anything from midnight Sunday night through Tuesday sometime.... yeppers... But, hey, who is up at 8am eating a 4 course breakfast anyway? I'll just get a jump start on the "cleanse" efforts. Yeah me.... NOT.

So there you have it... I'm going to be a medical pin cushion for a while here.. also getting my 6ht month mammogram follow up tomorrow afternoon - I'm adding insult to injury on that one as I'm switching to the Pavilion as they have that new mammogram machine... then I review the orders and they are listed as ultrasounds on both side with mammogram if required... pretty sure with going to the new place I'll get the mammogram as well...but that's OK too as it has a lot more details and is 3d and "better" than the older ones. So - by now I have been scanned from almost top to bottom.

Monday, June 5, 2017

And it's official...

My butthole has fallen out before Butches.

What's that you say? TMI?

Well, read no further then 'cause it's on a get graphic!

I go to work this morning dreading the whole Monday routine...little did I know hat was in store. Sunday we had gone to he movies and enjoyed popcorn immensely. (Read into that tubs two tubs for three bodies)

I had a bit of a rumble in the tummy so made a quick walk to the potty thinking al that fiber was coming back to haunt me. Yep, it was. I sit down and glance down to bright RED BLOOD in my undies. Now folks, I have not seen this sight since 2007, so saying this was a shock puts things mildly. I did some "checking" and yep, not the vjayjay, the rectum. What the????? Nope, nope, nope this does NO HAPPEN! Stand up and enough blood is in the toilet I'm now officially in a panic.

So, I walk back into the office, tell my cube neighbor a cryptic "I gotta go, I may no b back" and off I go to the ER. Breathing the whole way repeating, "it's nothing, really, it's nothing". Telling my brain that NO, you may nit turn around and go back to work like nothing is wrong. I text my boss that I have a "bit of a medical concern", and that I was leaving nothing more. I call Butch, tell him the skinny in a message (yeah, he was getting ready for work, so hadn't answered).

And there I sat all day. I got an IV, EKG, chest x-ray, CT-scan and butt-swab (only thing they really did butt related)...however nothing conclusive, but also nothing they could see to cause them concern. Hum, Ok. Yeah, you guys say it happens all the time, but not to ME, thanks.

Also heard the code Blue in the CT room after I got back, and a lockdown situation. A man was brought in by his wife after another man shot him fun times at the ER eh? I should have left my door open 😜

So all that and I'm told to follow up with my primary care provider uhm, that I haven't been to in three years 😎 whoops! What can I say? I'm pretty darn healthy fir the most part. I self referred myself for my long overdue colonoscopy - ya think? I even tossed in my 50 year checkup....yeah, yeah, I know...I'm not 50 yet - heeheehee

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Graduation weekend

Davids decked out in an impromptu mortar board

The ONLY shot I have of the graduate. It will be clear later why..

Angela is JUST coming in the door. The gal behind her was tall :)

She's to the right of the screen!

There she goes!!

Just coming on the stage!!

And it's official!

This is the reality of where we were sitting.

And THIS is why there are no pictures after the event. No sooner than we figured out where she was the lights were turned OUT at the fairgrounds. Yeah, nice, really nice. Sigh. Oh, well, we will have pictures taken of the girls after the fact.

THIS is what happens when my phone is left unattended!

And a nice dinner with the folks followed by ice-cream cake :) apparent,y reading is good. It was frozen solid! How many people does it take to cut a cake?

Apparently three 😳

Everyone eagerly awaiting cake!!

We fit EVERYTHING we could celebrate over the last three weeks and future week into one cake.

Still snuggling up to her sister 😜

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Summer flowers

Early morning gardening. Put my three new plants in the ground finally. Blanket flower is the daisy looking one. The small blue flower is lithodoro (?) pretty blue however :). My lemon is potted and on the deck. My purple iris s in bloom along with the butterfly bush! I even transplanted a few wandering day lillies that were starting to get out of the beds they're planted in.

Even the mail box lilies are blooming

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Graduation day two

3000 students!!

Where is Liz?

We used the trash can as reference :)

See that blonde hair just below the trash can? About two seats in? Yep, that's her!


And more!

Look she's right next to the podium!

And in the big screen! Go Lizzie!

Proud graduate! Gotta love her!