Where Does the Time Go?

Work has been made of The Crazy lately, so I’ve been plugging away at that.

We have some movement on getting rid of our house, so I’m wrapped up in that too.  Fun times.  The bank is taking the house back, no questions asked, so yay for that.  Hopefully the process will be done soon, and we can move on to bigger and better things.

I’m slowly getting used to this new diet.  I hate it, but I’m getting used to it.  My biggest concern is the meds that they put me on after chemo because my glucose readings went haywire.  The readings are great during the day, but a little to high for my doctor at night.  Let me preface this with every medical journal in the world says that a glucose level 2 hours after a meal should be around 140, and mine are right around 110, but my new endocrinologist says, “Never above 100.”  Hmph.  I’m thinking they have me on too much medication right now – because too much medication can cause a swing in the other direction as your body over compensates.  So, I’m trying an experiment the next couple of days by cutting out the meds all together.  If my numbers stay good, I’ll just tell him at my next appointment.  The rest of the day, my readings are between 70 and 95 (maximum) – with an average of about 88.

We are going to the trailer this weekend for the annual adults only Halloween Bash.  We are going as gangsters from the 20s.  I bought a large costume for myself (flapper costume) but realize large is too large.  I have to take a couple of tucks around the bewbies tonight.  I also have fish nets and a thigh holster with a toy gun.  Too flipping cute.  My hubs is going to wear his tux and a red carnation in him lapel a la Nucky Thompson.  I wish he had a black suit with white pinstripes, but we will have to make do with the tuxedo.

In November, I get to go to one of my niece’s last ultra sound appointments.  She sent me a side-profile of Peanut this week – and Peanut already has the cutest chunky cheeks and turned up nose.  So cute.  Baby is already weighing around 3 pounds, and is gaining half a pound a week.  The doctors don’t think she will make it to her due date – which is 12/30.  My niece was 3 weeks early when she came (and weighed in at over 8 pounds!!) so maybe she’ll go early too.  I can’t wait to get my hands on that baby.

In other news, my niece in Colorado (my sister-in-law’s child) was at Wally World with her kids on Tuesday.  She was putting the babies in their car seats and her 9-year-old was standing next to the car being good.  A pick-up truck pulled into the spot next to them, and D (my great-nephew) was in their blind spot.  The truck struck D, and they ended up medi-vacking(??) him to Denver Children’s.  D has broken ribs, and bruised lungs, one of which collapsed.  He was awake and alert yesterday, but he’s in a lot of pain.  If you can find it in you, please send my little nephew and his family some prayers or good thoughts.

And that, my friends, is the news in my world.

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Done For Another Year and Cancer is a Bitch

I had two procedures last Friday – a balloon endoscopy to look into the section of my stomach that has been sectioned off as a result of gastric bypass, and the intestines that are attached to it and a colonoscopy.  This was all part of my annual screening as a result of my Lynch Syndrome diagnosis.  Both tests came back clear.  Pink and healthy and no evidence of polyps or anything else.  I have  text-book RNY pouch and I’ve been taking care of it – no stretching to my stomach, no indications of ulcers or anything else that can typically occur with bypass patients.  I have been religious about taking my acid reducer every day since surgery – very important for someone who has a pouch of stomach acid that has nothing else to do because it is no longer used to break down food.

I met with my endocrinologist yesterday who confirmed that my glucose levels are much more in line that they were after chemo, but he will still monitor me closely.  As a result of the Graves’ disease, he’s keeping me on a low dose of metformin to help counteract the hormones and aid the metabolism – for now.  He also indicated that since it has only been two weeks since my thyroid treatment, there has been no change.  I don’t go back for 6 weeks.  Until then, he has me on the thyroid diet – which is very similar to the bariatric diet I *should* have been following.  Protein, veggies, fruit, good fats (including cheese and olive oil), and only at meals.  No sauce on my meat, nothing that has added sugar (like fruit juice of any kind), only the items listed above.  I was subbing butternut squash and pumpkin for starches, but he said no to those.  Nothing to drink but water, club soda, black coffee or tea that I make myself (with nothing added – no herbal tea because it may have sugar on the leaves).  The reasoning is, when my thyroid bottoms out, my metabolism won’t work without added hormones and it can take up to year to get the dosing correct.  I will need to stick to this eating plan for life so my weight doesn’t swing back up and my glucose levels remain healthy.

He also indicated that more than likely, I’ll be able to come off the heart pills I have been taking every day since my heart attack in ’03.  I take a small dose of a beta blocker.  I think my cardiologist might disagree, but we’ll see.

The endocrinologist also said I will feel really shitty in a couple of weeks.

Bring it.

In other news, I have a friend who was one of my best friends in high school.  He has a son who is 13.  Over the summer, his son started to have some leg pain.  When they got it checked out, the found a cyst in his thigh bone that had nearly eaten its way through.  Osteoscarcoma.  The son (who I will call Jason to protect privacy) has been undergoing treatments at one of the top children’s’ hospitals on the East Coast – AI Dupont children’s’ Hospital.  (So good, Jen Arnold and Bill Klein – the Little Couple – have taken their children their for treatment).  He has had some chemo and it has been rough, not only on Jason, but on his dad Mike (name also changed).  Last month, Jason lost his hair because of the chemo, so I knitted him a chemo cap of soft purple yarn (his favorite color).  This past weekend, Mike and his ex-wife had to tell Jason that he was going to lose his leg at the hip.  How in the hell do you tell your 13-year-old that on top of everything he’s going through, he’s going to lose his leg as well?  I mean, you and I, as adults, can reason and say, “Hey, better my leg than my life,” but how do you reason that to a 13-year-old, a few weeks before his birthday?

My heart is aching.

I’m making Jason a purple blanket to take with him to the hospital.  Because I can’t fix the cancer.  I can just smother it in love.

Sigh.  Fuck you cancer.  You should pick on us adults, who can reason and fight you – leave the kids alone.

Prayers most graciously accepted for Jason and his family.

Beanado

I am my own Scy Fy movie.  LOL  Beanado.  Beasquito.

As of Tuesday of this week, I have officially had 29 intense radiation treatments.  That is a lot of radiation, y’all.  Seriously.  25 treatments in 2012 from breast bone to pelvis, 45 minutes at a time in successive days.  3 treatments at the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013 of braechytherapy (internal radiation treatments directly in my vagina).  And then Tuesday, I got to drink a shot of radioactive iodine to kill my thyroid.

Honestly, the worst part of the experience has been the wait at the hospital.  I got two calls ahead of time confirming with me that my appointment was at 9:30.  I got there at 9:30.  The girl didn’t take me back until 9:45.  She took some measurements of my thyroid through some contraption, which took two minutes.  She was really nice, a very sweet girl, who talked to me about my medical history. I think she was shocked.  LOL  Then, she gave me a test dose, a very tiny dose, that would go to my thyroid and give them more accurate measurements to determine how big of a real dose they would need to give me to kill the thyroid.  It tasted like water at first, but it had a nasty aftertaste.  Then she says to me, “Sorry we are running behind a bit, but we had you scheduled at 9am.”  WUT?  I told her I had gotten two calls confirming my appointment specifically stating 9:30am.  She rolled her eyes, and said she wasn’t surprised.  Apparently their scheduling department sucks.  In fact, while waiting for my big dose, another gentleman came into nuclear medicine for a nuclear stress test.  He was there at 10, and they said, “Well, your appointment was at 8.”  His wife was pissed, and said, “they told me 10:00 – it’s even on the paper I received.”  D’oh.

So, I went back in the waiting room, me and my kindle.  She told me I could go home, but said I couldn’t eat or drink, and I knew I’d get to working, and didn’t want to be late coming back.  She said she’d call me back at 11:50.  I really wanted another cup of coffee, but I was good.  I sat there, and read for a while, played some Candy Crush, looked at Facebook, and froze my ass off.  Seriously.  FREEZING.  I had worn jeans and a short sleeve t-shirt, and my moccasins.  I was so cold.  I couldn’t feel my feet after an hour.

I also have Misophonia.  One of my triggers is loud chewing and smacking of gum.  One of the girls working at the desk popped in a piece of gum about 10 minutes after I sat in the waiting room.  And she chomped and slurped and cracked that effing gum the entire time I sat there.  I nearly got up and yanked it out of her mouth.  I’m always torn in those situations – do I say something and sound like a crazy lady, or do I try to use one of my coping mechanisms?  I decided if I said something, I’d rub someone wrong, and didn’t want to rock the boat when someone is giving me radioactive iodine to drink, so I suffered in silence.  OMG I wanted to scratch my eyes out.  Seriously.  Think about other people when you are eating.  For some of us, it is pure torture to hear you smack your food/gum or make noises when you eat.

11:50 finally came (good thing…my Kindle died at 11:30 and I didn’t have my charger) but no one came out to get me.  I was a little worried at 12:10 when no one came for me, because I had to dial into a staff meeting at 12:30; and subsequently, I had a project meeting at 1:30 that I could not miss.  I texted my boss and explained I was still waiting.  I told her I’d definitely miss the 12:30.

At 12:30, they finally called me back.  The girl took more measurements of my thyroid; as well as measurements of my thigh (because that is most anatomically like my neck).  Then she sent me BACK out of the waiting room.  Sigh.

The doctor came and got me at 12:40 and took me back.  He went over Graves’ disease, and then the treatment itself.  He gave me instructions for the next two days.  I wasn’t to have any very close contact (at least 6 feet) for an extended period of time with anyone, including the pets.  I could not feed my pets myself.  I could not sleep with my husband.  No kissing or hugging.  I had to sleep on my own.  I had to wash everything I used myself, and my laundry had to be done separately.  I had to drink a lot to flush the radiation from my system.  When I went to the bathroom, I had to flush twice and I had to wash my hands thoroughly with soap before I touched the animals or prepared food.  I had to sign releases.  Then he told me that for 4 to 8 weeks, I could set off radiation alarms.  So he gave me a card to carry with me.  I told him I’d put it with my bariatric surgery card, and my cardiac stent card.  He laughed.

Then, FINALLY, they took me into this sterile room.  The radioactive iodine was in a cage with a straw coming out of it.  Seriously y’all.  I had to verify  my name and DOB, and then I drank the iodine.  She flushed it with water, and I had to drink again.  Finally, a third time.

Then, they sent me home.  I got myself a coffee on the way out.  Black coffee is starting to grow on me.

So, I’m two days out now, and can have contact with people.  My kitties are happy because I can snuggle again.  I will be happy to sleep in my own bed.  My husband will be happy because he hates sleeping along.  I’ve been sleeping in the recliner downstairs.

It will take up to 8 weeks for my thyroid to “die.”  My endocrinologist will follow-up with blood tests (hurray only not) and then start me on synthyroid to give me the hormones that my thyroid will no longer produce.  It may take up to a year to get that right.

But one step closer to figuring out this whacked up body I was gifted with.

Onward and upward people.

And look for me in a theater near you.  I’ll be the one glowing in the dark.  🙂

Edited to add that I made it home in time for my 1:30 meeting with five minutes to spare.

Success!

Yesterday was a rush of busy and sweet!  It was so nice to see our families come together to rain love on this sweet baby.

The best part was seeing these five girls together.

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From l to r:  my great nephew Keegan, his Momma, my niece Lauren; my mom poking her head in; Mommy to Be Sarah and Peanut; my niece Jo; and my niece Megan.  Such beautiful girls.

The decor was spot on, and Sarah and Peanut got tons of gifts.

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Sarah got lots of stuff for the nursey.  She is doing a classic Pooh theme.

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Sarah’s mother-in-law Judy made the sweetest diaper cake.

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The food came together, and her cake was beautiful and delicious!

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We had a lot of desserts, including homemade Peanut Butter Cookies that I made, the cake, and canolli.

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Clearly Mr. Keegan enjoyed the food.  This boy…my heart…

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Sarah truly had a good shower.

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And she loved her homemade gifts…

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Job well done!  Now I can’t wait to see the baby in these little gems I purchased.

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Graves Update

I saw my endocrinologist on Monday, and he had the blood test back confirming the Graves.   I am scheduled to go in next Tuesday for a Radioactive Iodine Ablation, which will, in a sense, destroy my thyroid.

I will be slightly isolated for at least 3 to 5 days, which isn’t a big deal.  I’ll just work from home during that time.  I will probably end up with a sore throat, and some nausea, but they will be short-lived.  I have zofran left over from chemo, so that will help.

In prep for the eventual Hypothyroidism, my doctor is placing me on a strict no sugar of any kind diet.  This means no milk, cream, regular sugar.  No starches like potatoes (sweet potatoes are ok), break, rice, pasta etc.  No artificial sweeteners of any kind (including stevia) because they contain dextrose, which is sugar.  So basically, I’m going on a low carb diet.  Plus, nothing between meals. Hypothyroidism can cause you to gain weight, which will mean all the work I’ve done losing over 150 pounds could change.  The only things I can have to drink are black coffee, unsweetened tea, water or club soda.  Now, most of those are ok, it’s mostly what I drink anyway.  But I’m getting used to black coffee.  Because I need my coffee.  The endocrinologist also stressed that although my diabetes is very well controlled since bypass surgery, the chemo threw it out of whack.  This will help keep it in line.  Problem is, it also means that I can risk very low blood sugars, so I have to watch out.

You know, this really seems small in the grand scheme of things.  This is one of those, “Well, if I can handle cancer, then I can handle this” kind of things.

I did ask they do the ablation next week, so I can host my niece’s baby shower this weekend.  I wouldn’t be able to go around her if I had it this week.  And I’ve worked too hard for that shower!!

So, life goes on.  Struggles come and go, and life goes on.

With Black Coffee.