Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I may have underestimated this procedure.....ya think?!?!

So, yesterday, I was busy.  I got caught up on paperwork all day.  Mine, Neely's, PTA Councils until I had to get ready for my procedure.  I was not worried.  I was like go in, come out and back to life.  Well, not exactly.....

So, everything went well, I woke up after the procedure, got dressed, vaguely remember them telling me it went well - banded two medium and one large.  No complications.  The nurse told me again, no drinking, no signing documents, just an easy night at home.  Oh, and eating may be hard but just for a couple days.  Soft mushy food would be best.  (I made Beef Stew in the Crockpot.  Bad choice.)

We get to the car and I think I owe my Mom a million dollars because I think she paid for parking and my trip through McDonalds.  I never go to McDonalds, but I wanted a milkshake and fries.  The milkshake was DELICIOUS.  Like better than anything I had ever had in my life.  AMAZING.  Better than people, money, God, anything.  Clearly, a lot of drugs were involved.

Get home, and my milkshake was gone.  I was so sad.  Like super, super sad.  Like I wanted to cry sad.  The French fires hurt going down - first sign that had been delusional about this procedure. 

I am now just tired.  I say good night to the boys.  I wake up in the night and say, "OMG my throat hurts and my lower rib cage aches like a mother.  Second sign that I had been delusional this about procedure.

I get up in the morning and take my phone and start texting and, while I am thinking I am going downstairs, I run into my clothes in my walk in closet.  Third sign that I had been delusional....well you get it.....

So, I start to the switch the day all around WITHOUT me in it.  Boys walk to school (who knows where I would have taken them!), Mom picks them up and takes them to their doctor's appointment (write SIMPLY worded letter to doc about the switch), I cancel on my parents helping them with there bills (probably be in foreclosure if I did that!), and get Grant to take Nolan to soccer practice and where I am meeting another PTA member to sign checks with me (or him).  He was not thrilled with this, but when I looked at him he was like, "You just let me know and I will do it." with a "there is nothing in the world because you are the love of my life and I would do anything for you" tone.  Bettter.

Just when I think, I got this, I know this, "This don't have me"..........It has me and owns me.  FINE.  Hail to it, but I'll be back, maybe even tomorrow!!!!!!

Happy Wednesday, Ang

Sunday, October 25, 2015


So, as most of you know from my last post, I have to have "surgery".  Lets remember that I am now an old car jalopy and I need to be patched from time to time.  I have enlarged veins at the end of my esophagus cause by the slowing of my liver (from chemo), so they have to go down my throat, band them off (like lamb tails which my grandparents would appreciate), two by two by two.  Every six weeks, I will do it again, to inspect the last two and band off the next two.  Yes, this will be a grind, but still better than chemo.  Depending on how many, we could be doing this until April.  Up side, best sleep I get.  Good thing morphine is a restricted substance because I am tellin' you, OMG, AWESOME!, I get the news that I am a lifer of blood thinners, I have to have this "therapy", I can never really be free of the doc for more than 30 days, I morn that, and then, well then......I live........I start my shots again.  I am on a new medication that slows my heart rate and my pulse.  The first day they both race......I contact my docs.  "Lay down....they will correct they say."  I do.  It does.  But then I sleep until noon and can't stay awake driving.  Yeah, "This ain't gonna work." I say.  So, I decide to take it at night.  Better.  Wow.  Being on Beta Blockers and Blood thinners is a trip.  No need for morphine, but I prefer to not be responsible for people on it, y'know?!?!?!?! They are now fighting on who can monitor it best......Ct of Epi?  Let the games begin.....

Couple things I need to mention.....I will be fine.  Cancer is at bay.  Jalopy still going.  Yes, I have issues.  Yes, I go bike rides with my boys that any human should survive and I can't see when I get home.  Mason parks my bike while I lay on the floor with my legs up until sight comes back and I feel, well, normal.  I do not know why.  I do not care.  I am not going to bother the docs.  I am, shall we say, terminal.  Why bother them.

My Mom is like, "Have you told all your doctors that you are going on a Mexican Cruise with me and your aunt on November 1st?"  "Nope."  "I think you should."  "Yep."  "So, are you going to."  "Yes."  "When?"  "After my procedure on Tuesday."  Awkward silence.

I have to give it to my parents.  They have to do this as I am an adult.  They have no say, they have to power.  That has to SUCK.  Sometimes after my Mom has lectured me she says, "So, what are you going to do?"  I respond with, "Somehow, I have managed to get this far, I will do what I need to."  Honestly, I would kill me if I were my Mom.  Bless her.

So, this week, I am going to get ready for my cruise.  Tuesday, I am going in for my first banding.  The rest of the week is normal except for the Memorial on Friday because, surprise surprise, other stuff happens in life.......

Love and understanding....Ang

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cancer is a funny thing....

I had a scan on Wednesday with my normal reader who has been with me the ENTIRE time (except the last scan).  He has not always liked me, but we have come to a shall I say friendship?  He does his best all the time  -  once I challenged him, but we got through it.  Kudos to him.  As most of you know, I do not look for a fight, but I do not back down to one either.  In the end, he is my guy.  I choose him.  So, I went to my scan on Wednesday knowing he was working.  I got my results.  I am still on cancer watch, but Dr. Rogers' is not convinced that the microscopic change is worth anything in my left lung.  I concur.  We can ablate it.  I have done that before.  I love that doc.  I just really do not want to go back to chemo.  Sad thing is, I love those nurses.  I see them from time to time or on Facebook.  Thank God for Facebook.  It is hard to go back to the treatment center.  The smell gets me.  Purell makes me vomit.  Literally, instantaneously.  I use a brand at, you guessed it, Fred Meyer. Germ X or something like that.

But.......last time, I convinced Dr. Kaplan to let me try to be off of blood thinners.  He reluctantly agreed and with a two month scan he thought it was a good trial.  I was changed from two shots in my tummy to one baby aspirin everyday.  I LOVED IT.  My lower stomach was always bruised, I was tender and tired.  Six years of shots to my tummy - twice a day. 

Results - my cancer is still on watch.  Maybe a millimeter growth on an old spot, but not sure because lungs are fluid and moving.  No PET Scan for me - I am 24 (?) over the limit.  And, truly, I am okay with all of it.  If it grows, I think we all know it is cancer.  Hopefully, we can ablate it, which is so much better than chemo.  Result, I am still on watch, but I got another curve ball....

Because of all of my chemo, and I am assuming life, my liver has slowed.  I have mentioned this before.  It still functions fine, it is just slow.  I think I would be too after 90 hits of chemo and life.  Let's face it.  I am lucky to have my feet hit the floor everyday.

Because of the slowed liver function, I have enlarged veins at the bottom of my esophagus, called varices.  Another doc has been watching those for 3 or 4 years...maybe six, I don't know.  Okay, so here is the bad part.....because I stopped the blood thinners, I have a blood clot that is complicating the varices.  This is to the point that Hank is not happy and concerned.  You have to understand, I have been with Hank for eight years thinking I was going to die after one year.  He never said that, but he did say to me at the beginning, "You will die and die soon without treatment."  Again, he refused to give me odds, but he did say they were against me.  To his credit, he believed and therefore, I did.  So, when he gets all emotional and such, which literally does not happen ever, you seriously pay attention.  I am serious, his concerned, worried, happy, and pensive look are literally the same, unless you really know him.  Hint:  For patients that have him, if he calls another doc on the phone in the room that you are in, things are bad.

Don't get me wrong - I adore him.  We have a real relationship beyond cancer.  He has helped me see my boys grow up and is happy to see them when I bring them which is RARE.  In fact, the entire building loves my boys.  PET/CT save rice crispy treats for them when I come in.  Angie and Anthony at the front desk - LOVE THEM.  They know all their sports and want to know how they are doing.  I am so lucky.  I got into the cancer center and it is like Norm going into Cheers.  Literally how lucky am I?!?!?!?!?!

Anyway, it has been super sad for me.  I was under the false allusion that I was done.  But, you see, Hank told me I had a chronic condition - which means forever.   Apparently, I didn't hear that, or I did not want to.  I had actually played with the idea that I would take my boys across the US like our friends in Australia did and teach them about US history.  Sad part - I just realized that I will never not be in the presence of a doctor for less than a month.  What was I thinking?  I am not normal.  Why did I think I could escape? 

So, here I sit.  I was at bible study today and everyone had such normal prayer requests.  I did not want to go but they asked me twice and they are part of my tribe, so I blurted out all of it.  I am such a Debbie Downer.  I am always the one that is well, sad.  I wish I was the praise and the light.  I get that I should be thankful, but wow, this is a journey. 

So, I have to start my shots again.  Check.  I have this new medication. Check. And I have to see my other Dr. on Tuesday.  Check.  Probably surgery.  Whatever.  Check.

Next scan in two month - Dec 16th to be exact.  They are following me.....and I could not be more grateful.

Love, Ang

P.S.  I am sorry I did not blog earlier, I was numb......