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Boring Chick

Me reflecting on my boring life. Bits and pieces of other stuff.

Yep, reflecting again.

It has been forever since I have been able to sit down to do a blog entry. Between taking my online course, trying to feel normal again (whatever normal is now), and getting into some kind of a better daily routine time has been limited. I started blogging thing for some of therapy to cope with life. The main was Cancerous diagnoses within my family. Doing research for awareness and trying to put it into my own words. Which turned out to more work than I thought, yes I know have mentioned this at another time. As a result I quit putting pressure on me to do that, and started focusing on online course. HOLY CRAP, now that was a whole lot of pressure. Mainly the pressure was on my brain, more than anything. Last Saturday I took the final for the course, pass it with 83 out 100. Really, if I would have got 30 questions wrong I should not be even be doing medical coding. I would be sitting here wondering what my next career move should be, but not doing that. Instead I now get to study for the Certification Test in August.
Then my surgery, having a thyroid removed is not the easiest surgery to bounce back from. Which by way put me 2 months in the course I was taking (see above) My energy will never be the same, so yoga is at my speed. I have set a goal of setting time a side 3 days a week to do that in the evenings. Hopefully I can stick to it, then add maybe 2 days of walking 3 miles outside. Now if the weather would warm up just a little more and quit raining, I will be good to go. I also have to find my MP3 player, my walking/running jams are on there. I can keep in check with the fit bit I got for Christmas, it actually keeps in check when I remember to put the damn thing on. OR even remember to charge it. But that will come in time.
So I guess what I am trying to tell myself, you need to get back on track. What happen over the last 3.5 years I cannot change. Mom’s cancer, Dad’s death, my thyroid, and moving back in Mom (nice thought, but regret it). I need to do what will be best for me. Yep, reflection it’s great. Sometimes if it doesn’t make throw your computer after your done. Don’t worry the computer will not get thrown, I going to go have an iced coffee. ūüôā

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Christmas and New Years

As I sit here week 3.5 into my leave from work, I realize I am not in the Holiday spirit.¬† I don’t if it is the lack of snow (not complaining) or the fact¬†that my energy has been so focused on stressing out over my recovery.¬† I just¬†don’t¬†feel like it is Christmas, last year at this time I was living with my mom.¬† I was watching her go through Chemo for the second time, and celebrating the first Christmas without my Dad.¬† I always feel I am rushing around, you would think being off since the day before Thanksgiving I would be realx and ready for holiday fun.¬† NOT really!¬†¬†On top of my follow-up appointments, I have been driving my mom to her appointments.¬† I actually send to her, “I think I have been seeing you way too much.”¬† I know that was a little mean, but seriously I think I would have¬†a more relaxing recovering at work.¬†Actually, I am not going that far.¬† ¬†Ok maybe I should have just turn off the phones.¬† Yep I said phones, I still have a landline.

I have part take it in some holiday fun.¬† I went to see the Brig Niagara with my sister and¬†nephew.¬† For those you who don’t know¬†what that is, it is a really tall ship.¬† I actually was amazed¬†by the inside¬†of the ship, it actually was roomy.¬†¬†Given this wonderful weather, I did¬†mind waiting for 25 minutes to enter it.¬† The biggest thrill was the Christmas singers and¬†the big guy himself.¬† Did I mention¬†Donner and Blizten¬† were there¬†also?¬†¬†After¬†all it was a free event and it was a little busy.¬† I got to see the Maritime¬†Museum for the first time along with the ship.¬† I usually just drive by and look at the building.¬† Then you got the parties, I only went to one.¬† It was with my friends, white elephant gift exchange is the best.¬† Since I did not have any holiday spirit running through me.¬† I just through together pre package gingerbread cookies.¬† Won’t do that again, totally gross.

Well tomorrow (X-mas Eve) starts 36 hours marathon.¬†I have an appointment with surgeon¬†at 8am, then I am hoping to go back to bed.¬† I am once again told I am going to church.¬† My nephew is reading something, yeah ok it is worth to go.¬† I never go to church, I think it because I never was forced as a child.¬† But I will grin and deal with it for an hour.¬† Then the family gathering after church, those are always fun.¬† Everyone knows there are two members that with a snap of fingers they are going NUTS about the news or something their grown child has done.¬†¬† Christmas morning we are having brunch, and I am making fruit salad.¬†¬†Yummie!¬† Hey I am all for that, get it done early.¬† Thank you for whoever made my sister take the third shift job.¬†I have no clue if my mom¬†will want to¬†go out to her¬†sisters.¬† I¬†praying she won’t, but she will and¬†want me¬†to go with her.¬† I will because it is Christmas Day and¬†that is my mom.

New Year’s Eve I was invited to a party but given that I had to stop my thyroid medication¬†in prep for the iodine treatment sometime in¬†January.¬†¬† Rather not go, thanks to the PA at the Endocrines office who has me freak out I may just pass out because of the lack of thyroid hormone.¬† So what have I decide, oh let me just take myself the hockey game instead.¬†¬†I¬†have not told my friends this yet.¬† Oh well, Saturday was the first time I any of them in a month.¬† Thanks.¬† I¬†got this phrase from them “I didn’t want to brother you.”¬† Seriously, what hell do they think I was doing?¬† I was just sitting there watching¬†TV, crocheting, or study for my CPC certification.¬† Really any of those could have been interrupted, I would not have mind.

I know I am having a poor me party, will you join me.  I also know I am not the only one who goes through this crap at this time of year. So this is me cleaning  the crap off.  With that being said PLEASE everyone have a  MERRY MERRY Christmas and a very HAPPY 2016!

Getting better and bored

Well it has been 2 weeks and few days since I had my thyroid removed.  The first week I was tried even after sleeping 10 hours.  Last week my energy starting coming back, and yes I was excited.  Funny thing about that it went away as fast as it came on.  Last Monday my stiches came out and I found that the Cancer was contained to my thyroid.  The Lymph Nodes were clean!  Now I am in a holding pattern, waiting for the insurance company to tell me where I can go for my iodine treatment.  Yep, I have to wait for their approval for what facility I can go for the treatment.  Why, because I work at a competing health care facility to the treatment place.  I swear if I have of drive 2 hours for a damn capsule I will not be happy.   There is a bright side I get to be shut away from everyone for 3 days.  I think it is funny, my mom however does not.

I am getting bored, there only so much TV one person can watch.  I did come across a few shows I never watched before.   I have already watch all the available episodes.   I trying a new crochet pattern, fingerless gloves.  So far what I have completed looks GOOD!  Once I over the TV and Crocheting, I go to study for my online course.   I can only do that for so long before my brain starts to melt out on my ear.

With only a little under 2 weeks before Christmas I need to Christmas presents bought and made for my family.  This surgery recovery has really put me behind.  I usually done with present shopping and baking by now.  Yeah well baking is not going to happen, unless I have to make something.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Pam

Thyroid

When I started this blog I wanted to focus on cancer awareness and my mom’s journey with her fight.¬† I never knew I would have to start a journey of own with this terrible disease.¬† It all started just by going for my yearly physical.¬† As usual my family physician ordered lab work.¬† I go in for the physical and my TSH was 0.01.¬† The other thyroid labs came within the normal range.¬† So she was thinking a fluke at the lab, so the lab was done again.¬† Same result 0.01, now have to go a specialist.

After waiting 2 months I finally got to see the Endocrine.  She had me hold my hands out, she had me follow her finger.  She look me over, and said I was Hyperthyroid.  WTF, how and the hell am I hyperthyroid.  I am fat, there is no other to put it.  I am 5 foot 2 and 185 lbs.  So she ordered more lab work.  That showed my TSH was ZERO, and my T3 was elevated.  What did that mean I needed a Sono now, which was a piece of cake.  Then I get a phone call we need biopsy, one of the nodules is an inch.  Ok so is your thyroid even inch?  No thyroid uptake right to biopsy.  I was a nervous wreck over this biopsy, I was getting a needle in my neck.  It turn out not to be bad at all, I even watched it on the sono screen.  Yeah, it look pretty neat watching the needle move around.

I get a phone call after work about a two days later.  It turns out the damn nodule was found to be Papillary cancer.  She was trying to reassure me that I had one of the easier if not the easiest cancer to treat and cure.  REALLY, she was not the one who was going to tell my mom.  My mom took ok, but I was shaking so bad.  She told me we would get through it.  Everyone I told took the news as you would imagine.  I then saw the ENT for surgical consult 2 weeks ago.  I have surgery on Black Friday and will not be back to work until January.

I am scared.  I will get to spend a weekend in a hospital room.  Spend the holidays recovering.  OH did I mention I will have to locked up in my house about 8 weeks after surgery because I will radioactive.  It does beat driving to work in the first few snow falls.

Painted Teal

As I sit here on a Saturday morning at 6:45am, I decided to go through my Ovarian Cancer files. I forgot how much of it I share during last September.  My mom is a strong women, with what we all went through since her original diagnosis.  It has proven to me, I have sick thick as leather.  Yes there were times were my mom had weak moment, but we all need that.  You can not be strong all time, that is enough to a person pass out.

So this September, I am asking everyone if they can join me in panting their toes or finger nails teal.  Paint them both if you want too, put a Teal ribbon up in a window in your home.  Wear teal on Sept 4 in support of Ovarian Cancer Awareness.

Just remember my mom has been a Teal Warrior for over 2.5 years.¬† This could not have been possible without some fantastic Doctors who did not beat around the bush about anything.¬† They just gave to my mom straight.¬† Also I don’t want to forget the Nurses especially the Chemo room nurses for their kindness and support.¬† I don’t know how they do it but Thank You!!¬† Also my mom has told my sister and me that she doesn’t think she would have come this far in the year and half without us two being there with her.

Too Much

I swear if it is not one thing it is another.¬† Mostly stuff I have no control over, like my BFF dealing with her husband leaving her.¬† Then I am playing nanny watching my nephew once or twice a week in the evenings.¬† I also have not had any energy to want to do anything.¬† When I anything I¬†mean even doing about 20 minutes of yoga.¬† I don’t know what it is I just don’t want to be around anyone.¬† Also my Dad’s Bday is this coming Thursday, and my mom is weepy.¬† Not as much as last year, which I think the cancer starting to cause havoc had something to do with it.¬† SO what do I decide to do, sign up myself up for a certification course for my job.¬† I am figuring if I focusing on something for my professional life it may take my focus off the things I cannot control.

Along with that fun, I had my yearly lab work done.¬† Actually I had it done twice, because the doctor thought one of the lab results was a fluke.¬† It wasn’t, my TSH was very low.¬† I guess for low normal it should .4, where mine was reading .1.¬† All of my other thyroid labs came back normal, so my doctor decided I have to go see a endocrine.¬† I cannot get in until October, I am really starting to think this stupid lab result is what is the real thorn in my side.

I am will be so glad when this month is over, and I can turn the page to September.  Fall is my favorite time of year.  Also next month is Ovarian Cancer awareness month, so I will be painting my toe teal!  Plus football is starting, omg I cannot wait!  Sorry for the belly aching but I did not want my head to explode.

Later

Pam

Periwinkle in August

I decided that Esophageal cancer will be my focus for my geeky hobby. ¬†No August is not the awareness month for this cancer, April is though. ¬†Why did I decided to focus on this cancer, well it is my dad’s birthday month. ¬†Esophageal cancer is what took his life in February of 2014. ¬†If he was still here with us, he would have been 59 years old. ¬†We would celebrate it with Apple cake and vanilla ice cream. ¬†But instead we will go down to Beach 7 have subs and let’s balloons go up to him. ¬†Him and my mom would have been married 38 years a few weeks ago. ¬†Instead my sister and brother-in-law celebrated their 1st on that same day. ¬†My dad was my mom’s main caregiver when she was diagnosis in 2013. ¬†He saw her though her round of chemo treatments, and then passed away 3 weeks later.

Ok, so let’s look at these symptoms. ¬†Difficulty Swallowing-¬†my dad started with that right before my mom was diagnosis with her cancer. ¬†Along with the difficulty swallowing, he also had spitting up food. ¬†GROSS! ¬†Weight Loss without trying– this came along about a year after the difficulty swallowing stated. ¬†My Dad was 5’8 with a 40 inch waist down to a 32 inch waist. ¬†Of course I am thinking it was from the stress of my mom being sick. ¬†Other symptoms include Chest pain, pressure, burning, worsening indigestion and heartburn. ¬†I don’t recalled my dad ever really complaining about his chest hurting, but he live on Rolaids, ALWAYS. ¬†Rounding out the symptoms Coughing and hoarseness. Don’t remember him coughing a¬†whole¬†heck of a lot.

Risk factors

  1. Drinking alcohol-he was at the bar everyday
  2. Bile reflux
  3. Drinking very hot liquids
  4. Eat few veggies and fruit-he no problem eating these
  5. GERD
  6. Being obese- 5’8 240 lbs
  7. Barrett’s Esophagus
  8. Radiation treatment to chest or the upper abdomen
  9. Smoking

Some factoids I came across while surfing for this blog entry.  It has been long considered one the of the deadliest malignancies.  Fewer than 1 out 5 survive 5 years.  One of fastest growing cancer diagnosis in the United States, diagnoses have increased 600%. But is more common in African and Asian countries.  Three times more common in men than woman.  Highest among people in age range of 55 to 80.  If diagnosis in the 1st stage there is a 60% percent survival rate.  Weight loss is noted more than 70% of patients.  Also 50% of patients have unresectable or metastatic disease at time of diagnosis.  More than 40% had no prior symptom of reflux.  At last but not least Esophageal Cancer receives the least amount of federal medical research funding.

I may have lost my dad, and will never hear him talk about football, baseball, or basketball.  I will always think about him.  It is getting easier for me to sit and watch a sporting event on TV.  So when April 2016 comes found some Periwinkle wear it for Esophageal Cancer.

Allergic Reaction, that makes 2

On Friday, my cell rings on my desk at work coming up as “Mom”. ¬†I am thinking, ok she needs me to come get her from Chemo. ¬†No problem, right? ¬†Not really it is my Grandma not my mom. ¬†“Pamela, it’s your Grandmother.” ¬†She then tells me I need to leave work and come the Cancer Center. ¬†Yep, a phone call like that can you highest level of freak out in a second. ¬†Sure I got to leave work early on Friday, but not for a fun reason. ¬†While driving to the center OF course everyone was driving slow, and there was road closures. ¬†Which I think was a good thing made me think of something other things than what was really going on with my mom.

I get out there and you cannot just walk back in the treatment room. ¬†I have stop at the desk tell my name and who the patient was I wanted to see. ¬†Finally get back there I don’t see my mom sitting in any of chemo chairs. ¬†I look towards the back of the room and see my Grandma standing in the door of a private room. ¬†WTF! ¬†I walk in the room my mom is passed out on the bed. ¬†They had to give her a shot with an epipen and 3 shot of Benadryl. ¬†I walk over to the bed and laid right beside her on the bed, until my hand touch her. ¬†She jumped and said “your hands are cold”. ¬†Turns out reaction was cause by the second Chemo med she was receiving on Friday. ¬†Apparently, after receiving this medicine over time a long period of time a reaction may happen. ¬†But, there is other cancer fighting cocktails my mom can¬†receive. ¬†The next one will be a cocktail that she responded very well too about 2 years ago. ¬†We were told this day at the appointment. ¬†We also told she will receive this chemo cocktail once a week for 3 weeks. ¬†Then have a one week off, I remember how she was the last time. ¬†By the third week she was a bear. ¬†Between no food tasting right and not pooping. ¬†Yep, I said “pooping”. ¬†She was tough to handle, but you to suck it up deal with it.

The very first chemo she had her throat close up on her. ¬†All because of the components that made up Taxol. ¬†She tells the story like this, the premeds were all done. ¬†She ask my dad to go home and make a baloney sandwich for her. ¬†In the time my dad left the center and came my mom had a crew of people around her. ¬†Per my mom my dad went every shade of white. ¬†Too put the cherry a top of that it was my sister birthday. ¬†I can just imagine how that birthday phone call went. ¬†“Happy Birthday!! ¬†Oh I had allergic reaction to my first chemo treatment.” ¬†My sister probably started crying on the phone, and yes I know I sound like a bitch. ¬†But she will cry if tell her she has something in her teeth. ¬†I get home work she calls me, and tells me. ¬†My reaction “Do they have a new plan?” ¬†Then I hung¬†up the phone and sat in doubt. ¬†I unlike my sister I bottle everything up. ¬†Yep, I know that is not good. ¬†Believe me the scale has told me this over the last 2.5 years of this roller coaster ride.

There is nothing I can do but sit back. ¬†I can hug her, and rub my nose on her cheek. ¬†Those two things will make me feel better, ¬†but not her. ¬†I always say she is a tough cookie, she also a very big-hearted person. ¬†She is always more concern about what her diagnosis has affected my sister and me. ¬†Cancer really does not care who it picks on, young, old, poor, rich. ¬†This is a very mean disease. ¬†My mom is going round for round with it. ¬†My dads ignore it, and pass away. ¬† I don’t know when cancer will win, but I do know it will a long time. ¬†I also know there are now two Chemo meds cross of the list for treatment.

I am complaining, do I have a right?  Yes, because it is my mom.

Later,

Pam

Bladder Cancer Awareness Day

July 17 is Bladder Cancer Awareness Day.  To Patients and their Caregivers this is your day!  This is the disease that has pick a fight with your family.  Wear your Marigold/Blue/Purple proud, you are the advocates for awareness.  I only say this because I try advocate for Ovarian Cancer Awareness, that is what decided to take on my mom.   Did you know the awareness color used to be Yellow.?

So what is Bladder Cancer?  Well it begin in the bladder, often in the cells that line the inside of the bladder.  It will typically affect older adults over 70, but it can occur at any age.  Most cases diagnosis are found the in the early stage. It is highly treatable, but it could reoccur.  3 out 4 people survived 5 years or more years after being diagnosed between 2005 to 2011.  There are 74.690 new cases diagnosis and 16,000 will pass away each in year in the US.

Risk factors have been documented to be tobacco use, Family history of this disease, exposure to certain chemicals, and drinking of well water containing high levels of arsenic. Along with a history of bladder infection according to the NCI.

Symptoms of Bladder Cancer are as follows:

  1.  Blood in urine
  2. Frequent urination
  3. Painful urination
  4. Back pain
  5. Pelvic Pain

There are tests that can be helpful in the diagnosis of Bladder Cancer:

  1. Physical Exam
  2. Internal Exam
  3. Urinalysis
  4. Urine Cytology
    1. lab test that uses a microscope to check for abnormal cells
  5. Cystoscopy
    1. a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and lens that is inserted through the urethra in the bladder
  6. Intravenouspyelogram (IVP)
    1. uses a dye that is injected into the vein, as it moves through kidneys, ureters, bladder X-Rays are taken

There it is the nuts and bolts for Bladder Cancer.

Later,

Pam

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