This Time of the Year

I’m coming up on my diagno-aversary.  Is there such a word?  If not, I’m claiming it.  A week from today will be 4 years since my office diagnosis.  And even though I have had appointments, blood work, and recent surgery which show me as NED (No Evidence of Disease), I still get the heebie jeebies.  I don’t think that will ever go away.  Ever.

On the hernia recovery front, each week has gotten a little bit easier.  My tummy and abs are still very tender.  The area where the mesh was put in will be sore for a while.  My surgeon is kind of awesome – he doesn’t sugar coat things.  I asked him how long that would hurt, and he basically told me, “Until it doesn’t hurt anymore.”  LOL

I’ve been back at work for a week now.  And, as usual, when I have had to file a claim for Short Term Disability with Metlife, I’ve been screwed out of a week’s pay.  My case manager is horrible and she doesn’t return calls or communicate at all.  She asked me to call her on the 1st (the day I saw my surgeon) and give her an update on my status.  I did, as well as faxing a copy of the letter I got stating I could return to work on 8/8.  I also had my surgeon’s office send over the office notes and other supporting information.  I confirmed all of this stuff had been received on 8/3.  This past Saturday, after I called and left several messages asking the status of my case, she FINALLY left me a message (with no call back number) telling me I had 1) not called her on the 1st (bull – I had the name of the person I spoke with because she was not answering her phone); 2) had not provided the requested information (again, had confirmation all faxes had been received on 8/3); and 3) hernia repair surgery only requires a 2 week recovery time.  Yeah – I guess if that is the only thing you are dealing with.  I sent her another SCATHING email this morning, with everything she requested.  I had my doctor’s office fax over the stuff again.  I also laid out for her each time I had called, who I spoke with, and what was faxed.  I also informed her that perhaps if HER paycheck had been $1,000 short, she’d think differently about her nasty voicemail.

Sigh – I guess I’ll continue to fight for what is mine.  Always.

In other news, I am feeling better.  Work is work, and life goes on.



Surgery Date

Bad on me, I didn’t update.  I saw the surgeon, and he says I definitely have to have the hernia repaired.  My date is 7/19.  I am running around getting all my preop done.

Looking forward to a year where I don’t have to have surgery.

Hernia Update

So, I finally got an appointment with the general surgeon that my oncologist recommended.  I see him on Wednesday to get the ball rolling to fix my hernia.  I am going to ask that the surgery be done open as opposed to laproscopic because of my cancer history as well as my surgical history.  My oncologist feels there could be adhesion and radiation damage.

In other news, there is no other news.  I have 4 more days until vacation.  It is so needed.

Will There Ever Be A Time When Medical Isn’t On My Mind?

I had gastric bypass surgery nearly 5 years ago. Well, it will be 5 years in November. At my very highest weight, I was 330 pounds. I lost really well until my cancer diagnosis in 2012, and got down to 185 or so, but just as I was getting sick, I put on 15 puonds, and then the chemo and radiation caused me to gain another 30 back. Terrifying. I didn’t have bypass to get skinny (althought it is a fantastic side effect). I did it to resolve sleep apnea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes. It has done all of that AND resolved my heart issues. Sadly, it may have also been the thing that triggered my cancer (release of so many hormones can do that), but it is what it is.

I was stuck at 230 pounds from the time I finished chemo until this past January when I decided it was time to finally get myself to goal. I went back to Weight Watchers and as a bonus it has reminded my pounch of its job, and the weight is falling off pretty well now – in fact, at the same speed it was coming off about 6 months post op, 2 to 3 pounds a week. I had a big old “whooshie” this week and lost over 8 pounds, which means I’m officially down to 179, a loss of 51 pounds since January, and my lowest weight ever. I’ve lost a total of 151 pounds in nearly five years. I feel good, I’m healthy, and I have bat wings.

As a weight loss surgery patient, you know going in that you are going to have flappy skin. It is inevitable. You were big to begin with, lost a lot of weight quickly, and at my age, elasticity was a thing of the past. I have extra skin. From what my doctor things, probably 10 to 15 pounds on it (so if I had plastics, I’d weigh probably 160). I have a panis that hangs, extra skin on my tights, butt and calves, and huge bat wings. I mean, my arms are bad y’all.

When I first started having issues with extra skin (back before cancer got in the way), I considered plastics. Mind you, plastics are hugely expensive and often are not covered by insurance UNLESS there is an underlying medical condition. I didn’t have $50,000 lying around to get surgery done, and couldn’t do it until I was well within my goal weight. Now that I am, I see my extra skin, and I am not going to lie, it bothers me a little.

But, I am not having any medical issues (no infections, skin rashes, no broken skin) and no one is going to pay for it for me (sigh, Extreme Weightloss, help!). And I’ve seen the surgeries on TV. They put your panis (the extra skin on your belly) on a meat hook while they cut it away. They start the arm surgeries down near your wrist and go all the way up to your armpits. And there is scarring.
I’ve always considered having my arms done, they are unsightly, but I’m not sure I want stitces in my armp pits.

This weekend, I was talking to my husband about this. He told me that I’ve been through enough. I’ve had a heart attack, cancer, treatments for cancer, RNY, and he looked at me and told me flat out, “You need to be done.” Mind you, I’ve never considered my husband’s feelings about my body. Don’t need to. He loves me, fat, thin, wrinkly, smooth, whatever, he loves me. And his statement (as I stood there in a bathing suit that I knew would fit better on the bottom if I had a lower body lift) really resounded in me.

Who cares if my skin is floppy? Is it inhibiting me getting dates? Well, no, I’m married. Is it in the way? Well, kind of, but it is easily hidden with spanx. Do you care if other people see your floppy skin? Well, honestly, no. I no longer Give a Damn about what other people think of me. Too much water under the bridge. Do I want to have very complicated expensive painful surgery? NO. Done Being Cut Open.

Sometimes I suppose my vanity gets in the way. Would I love to have the body I thought I deserved growing up? Well sure. Do I want to have to go through more surgery and expense (and pain and drains) to do it? No.

So the plastics train ends here folks. Only surgery I’m having is if something is rotten inside me.

Flap away BatWings. Just Call me BatGirl.

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.

Finally Finished

The stress test went well this morning, and I am finally done with pre-op. Hopefully my ONE GOOD VEIN recouperates before next week. All the blood work and the IV this morning, I admit, it is sore.

So, they once again had to ask me this morning if there was any chance I was pregnant. Seriously, if you say no, they should just let it go. But of course, he had to ask how I knew. Well, I had a totaly hysterectomy in 2012. Not preggers. No chance. Don’t have the parts. You know, I still tear up when I have to answer that question though. When they called me yesterday to pre-register me for my surgery, they had to ask me when my last period was…I asked her to kindly put a note on my file not to ask me the day of surgery. I’ll be emotional enough. I don’t want to have to tear up again if they insist I take a pregnancy test (they made me take a bunch of them before my hysterectomy).

I guess I’m just all kinds of emotional anyway. Dawned on me this morning that it has been about a year since I finished up my treatments. A year. And things are still so out of whack. I’m still struggling to find normal, to not be emotional over the weirdest things. I had what was called a nuclear stress test, which means they inject you with a radioactive isotope, and take pictures of your heart before and after the actual “stress test” part of the test. The machine they put you in is similar to the CT scans I’ve had, and very similar to the radiation I went through. When I was laying there this morning, and I had my arms over my head laying very still, that machine was whirring around me, and all I could think of was radiation. It was tough laying there.

And thanks to all the radiation I had, things down in the vag area are still out of whack. Everything is still so very painful. It’s tough. My husband says he doesn’t mind, but I do. I guess one day things may get back to normal down there…or not.

At any rate, I’m ready for my knee surgery. Ready to get it over with. At least I can avoid needles for the next six days. 🙂

Send some good thoughts my way today…I need them. Doing a lot of feeling sorry for myself. I think it’s probably just the lack of caffeine, but at any rate, I’m all sniffly today.

Spoke Too Soon!

Apparently, my cardiologist won’t clear me until I have had another stress test. I know I’ve had one since 2009, but they swear I haven’t and I can’t find the records. Which means I have to take MORE time off work tomorrow to go. Sigh. I’m taking a half day and working in the afternoon.

That’s what I get for assuming things were sailing smoothly.