Great Insurance

As a cancer patient (who will forever be a cancer patient, remission or not) and I can not tell you how thankful I am for insurance. Cancer patients in Delaware do not have to pay for their first year of treatments. Too bad I lived in MD when I was diagnosed.

Now, I’m not going through treatments, but the treatments left a lot of nastiness behind. The treatments are what ate away the rest of the cartilage in my knee. Treatments have caused a huge amount of atrophe and “shrinkage” in the ladybits which have required additional treatment and believe it or not, physical therapy. Plus, I have follow-ups from oncology, and my usual six month cardiologist checks to ensure the ticker is still working in great order after the heart attack in 2003 (nearly 11 years ago!).

All of this cost money. Now, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t got a money tree in my back yard (but wouldn’t THAT be awesome). Thankfully, I have insurance. Now, not that Anthem BlueCross BlueShield is in anyway user friendly (see a few of my posts prior to my knee surgery) but it does pay for great things.

Sad News

For those of you who know me, you know I’m a huge advocate of animal rescue. Both of my dogs, and all but one of my kitties have been rescue pets. I am a firm believer in adopting, not shopping.

I am also a giant fan of Swamp People. LOVE LOVE LOVE that show. I wanna get a .22 and go CHOOT ‘EM!

I know, I’m also weird.

So, I saw some sad news today in my Facebook Feed. I follow a few of the Swamp People on Facebook, especially the feed of Bruce Mitchell. If you haven’t watched the show, this is Bruce.  Bruce hunted alone on the show for the first few seasons that History filmed, except for his constant companion, Tyler.

 Picture

Photo Credit:  http://brucethealligatorman.com/

 
Tyler loved to go hunting with his Daddy, and he loved to lick the alligators’ heads when Bruce pulled them into his boat.  Tyler loved to hunt and fish with Bruce, and Bruce would always give Tyler a Zebra Cake.  At the beginning of this season, Bruce had initially determined it too dangerous for the now 13 year old Tyler to go fishing, but after the first few days, Bruce changed his mind and took Tyler out.
 
It was with great sadness that I learned Tyler passed away this morning.  There are outpourings of love and support on Bruce’s website and Facebook pages for Tyler, including the shelter that Tyler was adopted from.
 
Tyler was a shelter dog, who lucked himself into a wonderful home.  It’s stories like Tyler’s that make my heart smile.
 
Rest in peace, sweet boy.  There are lots of gators to hunt at the Rainbow Bridge, and an endless supply of zebra cakes.
 

To Soy or Not To Soy…Will It Help my Hotflashes?

So, here I am, nearly two years out of my hysterectomy, and the hotflashes still hit hot and heavy. And when I say hot, I mean OMG I’M DYING HOT.

I’ve heard many things about soy – use it to help with the hotflashes (better than OTC hormone treatments – which I can’t take).  I’ve heard to stay away from soy because it can mimic the hormones that caused my cancer.  I’ve asked my oncologist about it, and he’s fine with me taking it (not that I noticed a big difference in the hot flashes)…but he also advised not to use too much soy in my diet.

So, out of curiosity, I looked up the position my cancer treatment center takes.  Here is an excerpt from the study:

Cancer

Evidence suggesting that soy may help prevent hormone-related cancers, such as breast, prostate, and uterine cancer, comes from population studies. These studies look at large numbers of people and have found that eating a diet high in soy protein may lower the risk of developing these kinds of cancers.

But the studies do not present a simple picture. For example, most studies that have found a lower risk of breast cancer have looked at Asian women, who typically eat a lot of soy. The studies that have looked at Western women have not all found a lower risk of breast cancer, although an analysis of 18 previously published studies found that in healthy women, soy was associated with a small (14%) reduction in breast cancer risk. Some studies suggest that a woman may get the best protection if she eats a diet high in soy when she is young, rather than when she goes through menopause.

The findings are also complicated when it comes to prostate cancer. Some studies suggest that the rates of prostate cancer are similar in Asian and Western countries, but more Western men than Asian men (who eat more soy) die from prostate cancer. But other studies show that men who eat a diet high in soy may have a lower risk of prostate cancer, although researchers aren’t sure if that is because of what they eat. Other researchers note that as Japanese men age, their prostate size doesn’t grow as much as it does in Western men, and think that a high soy diet may be the reason why.

Source: Soy | University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/soy#ixzz2zon5cuUh
University of Maryland Medical Center
Follow us: @UMMC on Twitter | MedCenter on Facebook

 
So, I’m still confused.  What do you think?  Use it?  Don’t use it?  What’s your position on soy?

Everybody’s Got Something

Robin Roberts’ new book is out today, Everybody’s Got Something.  Robin has been an inspiration to me, even before her initial diagnosis of breast cancer.  I feel as if I can relate to her story somewhat.  I relate because Robin originally thought her “something” was her breast cancer diagnosis.  She fought it, and beat it, and felt she was done, and then two years ago was saddled with a diagnosis of MDS.  She realizes now that she was to become an advocate for bone marrow donation.

I guess I feel the same.  For years, I thought my obesity was my “something.”  It caused heart issues, cholesterol, diabetes, a host of things.  I fought my obesity, and had a gastric bypass.  I lost 130 pounds, put my diabetes in remission, my heart issues corrected themselves…I felt I had beaten it.  Then cancer.  But I beat that too, and it has given me a platform to advocate for gynecological cancer awareness.

I just purchased the book for my Kindle.  I’m looking forward to reading it.

Mini-Spring Break and our Big Colorado Trip Next Month

Between work and physical therapy, I have been so busy lately I’ve barely had time to tie my own shoes! Sorry for the lack of posts.

We are going to Virginia this weekend to spend Easter with our friends in the Campground. I’m so looking forward to it. This has been a stressful week all around and I need a bit of a break.

On top of the work and therapy appointments, I have been worried about my in-laws. My Father-In-Law was ill a few weeks back. He’s home and being whipped into shape by my mother-in-law, but we were a little worried at the time. Then, last week my husband gets a call from his sister – she fell at work and broke her hip. She has three screws in it. She’s in a rehab facility now and is doing better. She says she does ok as long as she doesn’t over do it. Poor thing. And THEN…her hubby went in on Tuesday for a scheduled hip replacement. UGH. They will be rehabbing at the same facility for a week or so, and then they will go to their son’s house to recouperate. My sister-in-law is only in her early 50s. Her husband is in his 60s. From what I saw when my mom had her knee replaced, the hip replacement is a fairly easy surgery to recover from now – minimal incisions and the hip is not load-bearing. My mom’s friend was back teaching her exercise class in just two weeks.

Bob and I are now just a month away from our trip to Colorado to visit with his family. We are both quite excited. It will be nice to see the family and go to the reunion in Sterling, which is always a fun time. We are even MORE excited about the food. LOL This will be the first trip back since 2012. We are planning our trip by the restaurant. We get in on Wednesday, May 21st at about 4pm. We’ll head over and pick up the car, and then we are going right to Commerce City to pick up my husband’s Aunt and Uncle. Then we are going to our FAVORITE Mexican place in the world, Casa Del Rey.  They have the best food, and the chicharones are amazing.  I plan on getting a big giant place of carne asada.  YUM.  From dinner, we’ll head up to Greeley and spend the night with my mother and father-in-law.  We’ll probably drop the minute we get there from the two hour time difference and the travel.

Thursday morning, we’ll get up early (we are still two hours ahead of everyone else) and head to Wally-World to stock up on supplies for the week.  We’ll stop at Cisneros.  They make the BEST breakfast burritos ever.  EVER.  Potato and egg with green chili…OMG.  It’s big enough that I’ll split mine with my Mother-In-Law.  OH SO GOOD.  We’ll head back to the in-laws for a while, and then we are going to go up to Estes Park for the day.

Estes Park is one of my most favorite places in the world.  I love to go visit the Stanley Hotel, and I love to drive around Rocky Mountain National Park and watch the elk.  Just gorgeous.  We’ll spend the afternoon there, and then come back down and make a quick side trip to Fort Collins to go to Whole Foods and the liquor store.  Then, we are headed off to the great city of Pierce, Colorado.  We’re going to stay with another aunt and uncle in Pierce.  We’re hoping his aunt makes her famous red chili, and uses it to top some bean burritos!

We are heading up to Cheyenne, WY for the day on Friday, and then Saturday morning, we’ll head east to Sterling.  We’ll stop in at the reunion headquarters (another Aunt and Uncle) to say hi, and then we’ll head out to Julesburg, CO to pay our respects to Bob’s family.  From Julesburg, we’ll head up to Oshkosh, NE where Bob will visit his old stomping grounds.  Then we’ll head over to Chappell and get some Rocky Mountain Oysters  (yes, they ARE what you think they are).  Then back to Sterling to check into the hotel, grab a nap and visit with the family.  We’ll stay in Sterling for the weekend.

Monday, we’ll head back west, try to get a visit in with my sister-in-law at her new home, and then probably back to Pierce for the night and a Memorial Day BBQ.  Tuesday, I’m not sure what the plan is, other than heading back to Denver for the night.  We’ll probably spend the day making the rounds and saying good-bye to folks.  Then it’s back to Commerce City for the night, and we leave the next day.

I’m so glad we can make this trip this year.  Last year we were tied up with Cancer, and the year before, we just didn’t have the money to go.  I just love my husband’s family and can’t wait for our visit.

Correlation Between Women’s Fathers and Ovarian and Endometrial Cancer

Here is the article.

A new study shows that there may be a correlation between the woman’s risk of Ovarian and Endometrial Cancer and their fathers’ age at birth.  Endometrial cancer (the cancer I have) is cancer of the lining of the uterus.

The study shows that compared to woman who were born to fathers between the age of 25 and 29, those born to fathers at the age of 20 and under showed a 35% higher rate of Ovarian Cancer.

Additionally, it was found that women who were born to fathers between the ages of 35 and 39 had a 25% higher risk of endometrial cancer.

The study did not determine a cause and effect relationship.

The reason I found this study interesting is because my father was 40 years old when I was born (two months short of 41) back in 1972.  Granted, I have tested positive for Lynch Syndrome, but we have yet to establish which side of my family I inhereted the syndrome from.  My father had colon cancer, but my maternal grandmother had Uterine cancer.  I’m curious now as to if my syndrome caused my cancer occurance, or if it was more related to my father’s age, or both.

Very interesting stuff.

Some Updates

Not all will be about the knee. 🙂

So, let’s get the knee out of the way first. I finished one week of PT – and my therapist is thrilled at how quickly I’m gaining strength. I can only bend to about 70%, but that’s 35 more than I started with. I can weight bear, don’t need my cane unless I’m outside where there is a fall danger. I’m going up steps (not down) one foot at a time. I’m going back to the office on Monday. I’m still taking some pain killers at night (mostly after therapy nights – it takes a lot out of me) but no pain during the day. I can get in the shower (yay!) and get in the pool at therapy by myself. She’s increasing my exercises next week.

Anxiety front – I have successfully weaned myself down to two pills a day. Next week, I’ll go down to one, and do that for one week. No anxiety attacks and no anxious feelings. YAY.

Cancer – there are no symptoms and I’m happy about that. Sadly, when my knee surgery ocurred, I stoped using both my dialator and my estrogen cream. My husband very delicately reminded me about a week ago that we had not had sexy time in over a year. I get a pass right now because of my knee, but I’m going to have to take that obstacle on. I miss being intimate with my husband. A lot. Thanks to the hysterectomy, I haven’t had much desire, in addition to the fact that my vagina is only two inches long now and there’s pain. I need to get back to using the dialators and the estrogen cream so that I can stretch things out a bit.

Work is crazy busy and I love it. Bob is thrilled with his new job. We are getting ready to go to Colorado next month for the family reunion. My father-in-law has been in the hospital this week – he hasn’t eaten in three weeks. My mother-in-law says he has some kind of blockage in his stomach that isn’t allowing him to digest food and he feels full all the time. My MIL won’t leave his side and has worn herself out. I have a feeling what might be causing the problem but I’m not going to say it. He is only getting in Ensure, and only little amounts of that. I’m worried about him.

House still hasn’t sold. Boo.

Weight Watchers has been awesome. it reminded my pouch about what its job was, and I’ve lost nearly 30 pounds. I’m a few pounds away from being under 200 again and I’m thrilled.

We have happy kitties and a happy dog. All in all, life is good.