Archive for October, 2007

More Ducks

Today was good, not too cold and the sun was shining. I am not doing so good on gloomy days right now.

My appointment at the University Hospital is set for next Wednesday. They sent me a great packet of information. They have a program that can help me learn to draw my eyebrows back on after they fall out. 🙂 The nurse at the oncologist’s office says I should lose my acrylic nails. WAHHH!!!! I love my nails. I know, I know, the least of my problems.

I went to Gilda’s club today it is really close to my house, I could walk if the weather was nice. They have a great programs, lots of stuff for kids. I am going to a parent orientation next week. There is a support group I want attend and a poetry group I might enjoy. I found out that there is a wig bank here in the local area so I will not look so funny or freeze this winter.

Did a bunch of decluttering today. Thanks to Pammy, for being so ruthless, I can see flat surfaces in at least one room now. I dumped a bunch of things that were over stock from my little book shop. I shut it down last month when the pain was so bad, I just could not keep up with it anymore. Now seems to be a great time to get rid of the things that don’t really matter.

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Getting My Ducks in a Row (part one of many)

I went back to work for Mrs. Woods today, although I can’t do any heavy lifting till I am all healed from surgery. It was great to spend time with her and to earn a little money.

The events of the last 4 months have created the “perfect storm” financially. We are looking at all the ways we can make more and spend less.  I hope will be able to work during chemo, but who knows.

Even with the new attitude  I have things I have to  do, you know, in case I get hit by a bus or something. 🙂 Much of this is planning I should have already done.

This morning I called  a friend who is a retired mortician. I asked him what a person with little income and no life insurance should do to plan for the inevitable. (It is inevitable at some time, even 30 years from now) He reminded me that as a veteran I can be buried at federal cemetery and there is one almost within site of my house. My benefits there include a plot, a stone and a liner. My friend says that these alone are worth nearly $3000. I want my funeral to be at the church, no cost there, and I am prepared to use my ratty old truck for transport, in a worse case scenario. My luck the truck would stall, and create a massive traffic jam, maybe not a good idea. 🙂

My friend then referred me to a former co worker who can help sort out the  remaining details. I am much relieved that it can be done more inexpensively then I had thought.

Physically I am feel very good. Still waiting for the referral to the University Hospital.  I have a mammogram tomorrow, one more chance to find the primary.

An Epiphany

Nearly every waking moment, in the weeks since my diagnosis, I have been chanting “I have cancer” in my head, trying to believe the unbelievable. I have been terrified since reading of the poor survival rates for Cancer of an Unknown Primary. Because of the stress I am not sleeping well (better than before surgery by a long shot however) and I find it hard to enjoy life.

Then this morning like a bolt from the blue, it hit me, the answer to a prayer, I do not have cancer. (bear with me here, it is goofy but it works out) I had cancer, I had a mass removed that was a stage IV andcarninoma with and unknown primary, but right now I have nothing, I am healthy and I feel great! I do not have cancer until I have it again, if I ever have it again. I will do my chemo and take all the tests I need to keep me healthy but I do not currently have cancer.

Now I can finally get on with my life.

Oncology Appointment

Updates are in red

They did not find anything with the new tests, so at this point I have CUPS or cancer with an unknown primary site, and will start chemotherapy in about two weeks. Maybe my primary was in the uterus, ovaries, or cervix, those are all gone now, or the maybe the Lord has healed the cancer, and I will do my chemo and be fine. The mass was a Stage IV cancer but the mass is gone and we can’t find anything else. I am working on being more upbeat.

 

I was feeling pretty upbeat (I had all those blessings, the Lord healed me right?) but stupidly looked a little on the net and am seeing a median survival of 11 weeks to 11 months.

 

How do I tell this to my children, my parents, my husband. Talked to Loml and the older boys last night, also my sister and parents. Obviously this does little to make any of us happy, however we can hope it is wrong. That is why I had such a hard time sleeping last night and have been awake since 6 am on a Saturday, I am TRYING to stay upbeat. 🙂

 

I want to throw up.

 

I called the University Hospital (they have a big cancer center) and am going over there next week. Since this is fairly uncommon I feel they will have a better idea what to do.

 

Tomorrow I am going to have my hair cut real short and donate it to Locks of Love It will all be gone soon enough anyway, someone may as well get something out of it. I am canceling this for now, I want to have a family portrait done before I cut my hair. Vanity thy name is Rose. 🙂

 

Sorry I can’t think of anything else right now, I am pretty freaked. Okay I am a little better now, I talked to some family and friends and I am not going to panic, the opera is not over till the (happily former) fat lady sings.

 

Update

Had a PET Scan and another CAT Scan on Wednesday. This afternoon I have an oncologist appointment to hear the results and hopefully will get a better idea of what I need to do next.

I am trying not to borrow trouble. There is little point in going in to a deep blue funk for days and then finding out that everything is going to be fine, but I would be lying if I said I’m not scared, I certainly am, I still have kids at home and one of those is disabled. I want to enjoy my grandson and the major life events of my other children. I think off and on during the day of what I want to leave behind in the worst case scenario.

I seem to have no interest in temporal things. Nothing I want to buy other than food and and things I have to have, like laundry soap. There is cook book I sort of want but can’t seem to justify it. I can just see buying the book and dieing shortly after, what a waste of money. Maybe my attitude is for the best,  financially this is a nightmare, I need to get back to work soon and catch up bills, but at least I have good insurance so the medical bills are going to be covered.

LOML can’t stand  to hear anything negative, part of how he copes, but I use black humor to deal with stress, if I can laugh at it it is not as scary, I just can’t laugh at it in front of LOML.

I couple of ironic things I have noticed (these are meant to be taken lightly, chuckle if you feel like it:)

1. I had complete hysterectomy,  found out I have cancer and the pathology report shows all the bits they took out (besides the mass) were healthy and cancer free.

I threw away a perfectly good uterus. (a  moot point however as I am post menopausal and don’t need it anyway)

2. I was in so much pain I was considering suicide, I decide against that choice and they tell me I have cancer. There is something very unfair about that.

Guess How I Spent My Summer

I don’t even know how to start. I will leave out the boring and icky details and try to keep it simple.

Early July I started waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep. I developed an incredible pain in my low back and soon was only able to sleep for about 2 hours at a stretch. I complete lost any desire for food, everything tasted funny. I lost a bunch weight.

I ran from doctor to doctor, made several visits to the emergency room and had more tests then you can shake a stick at. No one could find anything wrong.

By mid September I was desperate. I hurt so much that I literally wanted to die. I could no longer work or drive. My husband was afraid to leave me alone. I had convinced my self that Heavenly Father would forgive me if I killed my self.

I had my parents take me to the emergency room at a major university hospital. My visit there went the same as everywhere else, they found nothing. I sat out in the waiting room crying and wrote good-bye letters to my husband and the older boys, but when I got to Coder I realized that there was nothing I could say to him that would make this an okay choice. There was also no way to explain to Sissy that Mommy hurts to much to make the effort to live any more. So, I ruled out suicide as an option.

A couple of days latter I went to yet one more new doctor who finally found the cause of my problems. I had a mass that she believed to be an endometria. She recommend surgery, removal of the mass and a complete hysterectomy.

During surgery they found that the mass was not endomertria, it is cancer.

We are still trying to find out where it came from and what the next step will be. Update: Turns out it is angiosarcoma.

I am relived that I do not hurt anymore and annoyed and scared because it is cancer.

When Sissy was born I checked out every book I could find on down syndrome, I wanted to be informed, to learn everything.

I do not want learn cancer!