Anxiously Cutting Back

Last year, when I finished chemo, I suddenly developed horrible anxiety problems. HORRIBLE. I held them in, and let them fester and grow until I had some seriously bad attacks. It affected my mood, and my every day life. I had hard time functioning. Everything, all the time, every minute of the day, was, “What if it comes back?”

My primary care took pity on me, and started me on a daily dose of Buspar. Now, the nice thing about Buspar is that it doesn’t have the withdraw symptoms that come with most anti-anxiety drugs. He started me on a dose of 10mg per day. It took a bit of the edge off, but slowly, over six months, I was upped to 10mg 3X a day. My anxiety has been well controlled for months now, and I don’t like being on a ton of drugs, so when I met with my new primary care last week I told him I wanted to wean myself off. He agreed. And so, this past week, I cut down to two pills a day. Next week, I will cut down to one. If that works, two weeks after that, I’ll only take them when I’m having an anxiety issue. the doctor wants me to cut back slowly to see if I can handle the lower doses.

Wish me luck! I’ve got one week down.

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Relief

Had my 3 month follow-up yesterday with my oncologist. Can I just say that he is the best doctor in the Whole. Wide. World? Because he is. I totally recommend him to anyone who is having gynecological problems that my be cancer-y. Because Dr. Guatam Rao is the BEST.

I met with him yesterday at the NEW office which is an hour closer to us, in Bel Air, Maryland. I was immediately comforted because Dr. Rao’s new nurse is my OLD nurse from my old primary care physician. She literally came running when she saw me. I ❤ her big time. Jen is awesome and has this amazing way of making you feel comfortable and at home. LOVE!

The new facility is also where my radiation oncologist practices. Since they are both hyper-paranoid about cancer coming back, they both still see me. The office where Dr. Rao is practicing is absolutely beautiful. The exam rooms are gorgeous (hardwood floors!) and they are cozy and have TVs to watch while you wait – which was awesome, because my Dr. got stuck in traffic and was an hour late. 😦

Anyway, he came in, and he always makes you feel completely at home and relaxed. He asked me questions about how I was feeling, various fevers, emergency room trips (only for Strep in January) and my knee surgery. In fact, because my knee is still SCREWED up, he said he'd put off the interal exam for three months. Which is awesome because I had no idea how I was going to get my leg in the stirrups. Then he hugged me, asked how my husband was, and asked how I was feeling about how the Eagles were shaping up this year (even though he's a RAVENS fan – BAH!). He declared me "Still in Remission" and then sent me on my way.

RELIEF.

In other news, I started PT last night. My new Physical Therapist was very interested in my surgery, she yelled at me because I have loose ligaments (I do, my feet turn in and I hyperextend every joint I have). She told me I need new shoes with arch support to support my knees. She made me walk without my crutches and told me I was slow (well, duh). She then started my plan – I'll be doing hydro-therapy exclusively – pool work. YAY! Then I'll get a room and have stim and ice for 20 minutes to break up the swelling. I'm supposed to do Quad Sets (1 set of 5 three times a day) on my own, as well as practicing breathing with my diaphram. She is going to focus not only on ROM (I measured a whopping 35 last night) and stregthening my core. She also wants to work on my right knee to keep it strong, to help stave off the knee replacements that are innevitably in my future. Which is fine with me because I am totally OVER surgery.

30 Days Out

Today is one month since knee surgery. I saw the ortho yesterday. He says the knee is healing well…minimal swelling on the sides of the knee. Most of the swelling is centered on the knee cap. The first thing out of his mouth was that I am still going to need a total knee replacement, but with this surgery, he thinks that he may have bought me 3 to 5 years. I’ll take it.

I have a slight rash on the leg from the stupid immobilizer, but as of yesterday, the immobilizer is history! Wooo Hooo! In fact, they three it away! I am now in a hinged knee brace, and I’m allowed to put weight on the leg. I’m weaning slowly off the crutches, but I have no strength in the leg at all. And now that I don’t have the solid support of the immobilizer, walking is not the easiest thing.

So, he also decided to try and bend my leg yesterday. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA ow. The first try, nada. Maybe 15 degress Range of Motion (ROM). The second time, I bit my tongue and we got to 30. I start PT tomorrow – gentle ROM exercises. No lunges, no squats. No running ever again. No kneeling for two years.

I’m hoping to go back into the office next week, but we’ll see how strong my leg is. I’m really hoping to get back to the office. I love the ability of working from home, and am thrilled that my boss and company allow me the flexibility to do so. I had such issues with it when I worked in Baltimore. But I’m ready to get back to regular routine, and back into the office.

I have an appointment with my oncologist tomorrow. Doing my usual pre-appointment freak out. NO WHAMMIES NO WHAMMIES NO CANCER!

Is It Really Spring?

Saturday, I went out and got my hair done – three hours in the salon and I was exhausted but I got a cut and color. Love the color, and it’s perfect for Spring. It was gorgeous Saturday…69 degrees and beautiful out.

Before I got my haircut, I hit my Weight Watchers Meeting. I think this knee surgery has actually been good for my weightloss because I hit my 10% last week and lost 4.2 pounds. HOLY COW. That’s 10.4 pounds in two weeks. I have lost 23.8 pounds since I started back to Weight Watchers and I will take it. I’m not down to just about where I was before Chemo caused all my weight gain. And then my eating kept it on. Sigh.

After we finished up at the salon, Bob and I went to lunch at a this local brew pub. Bob was very disappointed because the only beer they had on tap was IPA and he hates IPAs. I just had an iced tea. We both ordered burgers, but since I hadn’t eaten anything since 6:30am, and by now it was 2pm, my blood sugar dropped like a stone and my hands were shaking so bad I couldn’t use my fork. I managed to get some of the burger in (no bun) but it was so greasy I couldn’t get it down. We ended up just heading home. bob was disappointed in his burger too. He ended up eating the rest of mine. I think three bites of burger (what I ate – no bun, and I did eat my pickle) was probably about 5 points worth of food. Sigh.

After we rested up, since the weather was still so gorgeous, we headed over to get the grocery shopping done. I got the stuff to make an Unstuffed Cabage roll Caserole that I got off of the Weight Watchers website. So easy, and so freaking good. There’s enough for dinner later this week.

Sadly, the weather took a change yesterday and the temperature dropped like a stone. It’s freezing today, and tomorrow we are supposed to get snow again. Seriously. Enough with fracking winter already. April is next week.

This is a busy week for me…tomorrow I have two doctor appointments, and since I still can’t drive, Mom is taking me. I have an appointment with my new primary care in the am, and then Mom has a dentist appointment, and then we head to HdG in the afternoon to see my ortho for my four week appointment. So hoping I can get out of the immobilizer soon! Thursday I have an oncologist appointment.

So, if you are having Spring weather, enjoy it, but for crying out loud, send some our way.

I Miss Sleep

Sleeping has eluded me since knee surgery. I am not one to sleep on my back. The immobilizer is heavy and uncomfortable, and when I move the wrong way my knee cap screams in discomfort.

Last night was particularly hard. I got maybe three hours of sleep. Sadly, I have a big meeting this morning that I must attend. Once that is done, I’m going to take the afternoon to catch up on some sleep. I need it.

I can not wait to get this immobilizer off.

In other news, for those who follow me, you know I’m a big fan of the Little Couple. This season follows their journey to adopt their little girl Zoey. In the process, Jen Arnold was diagnosed with a rare form of endometrial cancer called Choriocarcinoma. This cancer is the direct result of a failed pregnancy. Jen’s cancer was stage three, with mets in her lungs. She had a hysterectomy, and has undergone intensive chemo, and happily, now she is in remission. I have followed the Little Couple since their show aired on TLC, and when I heard of Jen’s diagnosis, it struck home. I love the show, and I admire the couple, and their mission to adopt, so I knew I was going to watch this season. Last night’s show was the show in which they announced Jen’s cancer diagnosis. I knew this one was going to be hard for me to watch. I just didn’t realize how hard. I cried watching Jen and her husband Bill deal with her chemo treatments. I sobbed as Jen decided to get a wig and the hairdresser shaved what was left of her hair. I knew this would strike home in a deep way for me. I have been in Jen’s shoes (minus dealing with two active toddlers). My husband has been in Bill’s shoes. We have gone through this – the fear, the grief, the mourning. I continue to keep Jen and her family in my thoughts and prayers.

Cancer sucks.

Sooo….Not Much Going On

I haven’t updated much lately, because there really isn’t a lot to update about. I’m still recovering from surgery, and the incision is healing nicely. I’m not sure how the knee really is, because I’m still non-weight bearing. My back was really hurting, and discovered it was because my crutches weren’t adjusted correctly. Much better now that they have been, although sitting on my ass nearly 24/7 is not so good for my back.

Next week, I have a bunch of doctors’ appointments which has brought on some anxiety. I see my new primary care physician, and I’m sure he’ll bitch about my weight, but I am in the process of losing weight, so take that mean doctor! In fact, last week I lost 6.2 pounds. Holy schmoly! When I went to weight in, I honestly didn’t believe the woman who weighed me in. She just said, “six.” I really thought I was up six because I haven’t been very active, although when you look up walking on crutches, it is quite a few activity points. She said, “No! You’re down six!” Holy shit. So, I’ve lost 19.6 pounds since January. Woot!

I have an appointment with my ortho next week, and will hopefully get out of this stupid immobilizer. Sick. Of. It.

And, I have my 3 month check with my oncologist. Sigh. Lots of anxiety over that. Every time. I keep waiting for him to say, “Uh oh.” Not sure when or if that anxiety will ever go away. Sigh.

So, that’s all that’s going on. Just sitting around recovering. And working.

Oh, and we got an offer on our house. We countered on Friday, and haven’t heard anything back yet. NERVES! Send some good thoughts that the buyer’s willing to take the counter offer. UGH.

Staples Are Out

So, I have gone from 25 (not 30 like I had originally thought) staples and 2 stitches down to 10 steri strips. I am still non-weight bearing and still in the immobilizer. I only saw the doctor briefly but did see a couple of pictures. I had no cartilage. None.

Latest pic:

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And my sweet baby giving me some love…

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