Taking the week before my surgery off work to get stuff done and ready for Christmas has proven to be a really good idea. I’ve made some amazing progress with making gifts, I’ve had time to suffer through a rotten ass cold, and I went for my first mammogram.
And then my second mammogram.
And then a follow up ultrasound because something doesn’t look right.
And now tomorrow I’ll be having a needle biopsy done. On the left side. Same as the ovary. (also the same side that has a purple and green Celtic butterfly tattoo, but I digress)
I’m trying to stay positive about this, I really am. But honestly, it really does feel like my whole body is hell bent on making me pay for sins I committed as a much younger person. I am not at all amused.
On the upside, the mammogram docs are trying to coordinate things with the oncology doc that will be taking out the ovary so that just in case I need two surgeries I can have both done at the same time. A TWO-FER!!!
Still not amused.
For what it’s worth, I will never EVER go on vacation again.
I spent a good part of this morning in the basement cleaning up/out my desk and surrounding areas. When I moved upstairs (movin’ on up to the west side, fo reals yo) I didn’t take too much time to worry about the space I was leaving behind in the basement, space that had included my bedroom and an office area. But something about the upcoming surgery, and the difficulties lately in finding things, put me in a frame of mind to get down to it. We’re also getting ready for my mom’s new treadmill to be delivered tomorrow so the floor needed some attention. All of this explanation to finally explain why I am laughing until I pee (this time).
Garth has a little stuffed squirrel toy that is his absolute favorite. He carries it around in his mouth even though it’s nearly the size of his head. His favorite thing to do is throw it up in the air and then catch it. I lovingly refer to it as his Squirrelfriend. Tossing her around is even more fun to do on the wide open basement tile floor.
Anyway, I’m feeling a bit like there’s a ticking clock looming over my shoulder. Not in an “end of my life, Grim Reaper” kind of way, more in a “holy fucking hell, I’m having surgery in only slightly more than TWO WEEKS” kind of way. Wait, maybe that is the fame feeling…
I’ve been working diligently to make sure that everything is as ready as possible before S-Day. The amazing thing about having a surgery in December is that you’ve almost certainly met your health insurance deductible. The horrific thing about having a surgery in December is that convalescing time is almost certainly going to wreak havoc with Christmas preparations.
After waiting nearly NINETY MINUTES past when my appointment was scheduled for I finally got to meet the doctor. She had yet to see the images taken when I was in the ER but based on the information she did have she feels fairly certain that this is not cancer. But it’s coming out. In fact, it’s coming out on December 5th. I’m quite please by this because 1) I’ve almost hit the deductible for my health insurance and B) Earl’s gotta die. Yes, I named the cyst. Shush.
I have every intention of getting my poo in a pile between now and then. I also might have a new stuff polar bear to keep me company just in case my outpatient surgery ends up requiring a bigger incision and we have a 4 night slumber party. But I can neither confirm nor deny that.
I finally got a call from the oncologist’s office on Friday, but not the call I wanted. The nurse was letting me know that the doc I was scheduled to see was going on a leave of absence and they’re bumping my appointment from Thursday to Friday. Not horrible, but still.
Friday night I did get to go take a blown glass ornament class which was beyond amazing.
I managed to get 12 ornaments successfully made and had a hell of a lot of fun doing it.
Yesterday I finished putting together my fused glass 3D Christmas tree.
And I finished a shawl I’ve been working on that I had planned to wear to a play I was going to head out to see today.
But then this morning was the time change and I got up and started doing stuff and that was great but when it came time to get ready to head out I just couldn’t do it. I was honestly afraid to leave the house. While this isn’t unheard of for me, it sure as hell hasn’t happened in a good long time. Rather than beat myself up I decided to just be gentle and take care of myself today.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to see what other appropriate mischief I can get myself into while wearing pjs.
Still no call from the oncologist’s office about an earlier appointment. I’m just sort of resigned to the fact that I won’t get in before November 9th. And you know what? That’s ok. I haven’t had any more attacks or flares or whatever the hell you want to call the pain that this damn thing causes when it decides to be a problem. Totally ok.
I’m going about the business of living, because I am alive and because this is what I do. One of my mantras is “fall down seven times, get up eight.” I just don’t know how to quit.
We had an amazing Halloween party at work. My panda partner in crime and I had matching panda pajama costumes and our hallway won the decorating contest. Because honestly, what rocks harder than pandas with Canvas emblems on their butts?
I am trying to prepare for what I think is an inevitable surgery. Mom and I talked last night and nearly everything I would need access to is on the top floor of the house – except an ample supply of knitting projects. So I picked out enough yarn for 5 (6 maybe?) projects last night along with the necessary patterns. Tonight I’ll gather the needles and notions I need for each and get them packaged up for myself. I do like a good plan.
I have a finished shawl at home right now that needs to be blocked. I’m hoping to get that done this weekend as well as the glass tree. Keeping myself occupied with creative projects definitely helps keep my mind off of all the worst-case scenarios. And the total bonus is that I’ll end up with all kinds of pretty bits. Winner, winner, chicken friend steak dinner.
I still haven’t heard anything from the oncologist so Mom has been doing her best to keep me busy. She’s done a great job. And so have the boys. Nothing like little balls of fluff to keep you distracted.
This afternoon I have an appointment with my therapist which is good. I just wish I would hear something soon. As Tom Petty once said, the waiting is the hardest part.
I had really, really, REALLY hoped by now to have something to tell you. Well, that’s not entirely true. By this pointed I myself wanted to know something about what’s going on.
But I don’t. And it’s kind of killing me.
All I know is that I have already had most (all maybe?) of the preliminary tests the oncologist would want before s/he sees me so that will help, and that I’m at the very top of the cancellation list. They know that I’m roughly 20 minutes from their office and ready to leave with as little as 5 minutes notice.
I’ve spent most of this week trying to make sure that when the call comes in, if I do need to jump that quick, that I’m ready for it. I don’t want to leave my teammates in the lurch. I have the luxury of some lead time so I want to be as prepared as humanly possible.
I’m keeping myself busy at home, too. I have another shawl I’m working on and I brought home the pieces for a 3D fused glass Christmas tree on Wednesday so I need to start getting that assembled. In all honesty, I have enough creative/craft materials already at home that I could occupy myself until roughly the coming of the Zombie Apocalypse.
I really should have listened to my mom last Monday and gone to the ER when I was writhing around praying for death. I’d have been a whole week closer to having all of this nonsense behind me. Let me explain.
I don’t do being sick well, we’ve established that. But I recognize patterns and I learn. So when I started getting that awful stomach cramp thing again at 5:30 Sunday morning, I paid attention. By 8am it was obvious that it was not getting better and so I was getting to the ER.
Blood pressure through the roof, duh. Temp up a little, duh. Serious pain when touched, duh.
The rotten ass ER doc was just positive I had a kidney infection and just needed an antibiotic, but they’d do a CT scan just in case. That lead to an ultrasound because there was a “shadow” on the scan. Oh, did I mention the Dilaudid? That’s some nice stuff right there.
Anyway, nothing wrong with my kidneys but how about an ovarian cyst as a consolation prize? WHAT?!
Today I’ve gone to two other doctors, my regular and a GYN and now I know that the cyst is 6.5cm, looks sketchy so it could be cancerous, my liver looks kind of weird too, and regardless of what actually is going on with the ovary that little sucker needs to come out.
My next stop will be with a gynecological oncologist. I’m actually waiting for that call right now.
So yeah, nothing but excitement around these parts right now.
I’m going to whine, about food, so if that ain’t your thing you might want to leave now.
My mom is helping me with this diet thing and she’s really amazing, she is. The most amazing mom ever. She’s just beyond amazing.
(you read that in the Donald’s voice, I know you did)
But I’m kind of a picky little thing and I’m not really enjoying this. For example, my morning snack today was 10 macadamia nuts. TEN. If you’re wondering whether I picked through the container to find the 10 biggest, you’re damn right I did. But before the Great Nuts Fiasco of ’17 we had to deal with the Sad Smoothie Situation of ’17.
I’ve never been one to put unusual things in my smoothies. They generally consist of fruit, yogurt, and either milk or fruit juice. Some of those yummy things are verboten right now though, so I got a little bit of fruit and some Plain Greek yogurt and Almond Milk. I really kind of despise almond milk. The only thing worse than almond milk is protein powder, and I got some of that, too.
It wasn’t quite the nastiest thing I’ve ever drank and I did actually finish it, but it left me with a serious craving for powdered milk cut with whiskey.
I know that this diet stuff is good for me. I’m easily 100lbs over weight (or 4ft under tall) and it’s nothing short of a miracle that I don’t have hypertension, diabetes, or any number of other weight related health concerns. The skin issue is what got this started, but this morning the universe sent me another message and I’m too smart to ignore it.
So I’ll whine a little and use my dark sense of humor to get through this. I’m in the process of writing a version of “Sound of Silence” that’s an ode to granola.
If you’ll excuse me, I need to go lick a paper plate.
I’m a firm believer in goals and that setting goals helps me achieve things. Unfortunately I’ve let my practice slip recently. (earlier this year is still “recently” right?) So I’m going to push myself to get back into that practice. In previous iterations I set myself weekly goals that followed several themes. I’m not sure that really serves me now like it once did, so I’m going to change this up a little. (my house, my rules)
One of the primary reasons I’ve always shared my goals is the whole accountability thing. They say that if you tell someone you intend to do something, you’re more likely to actually do it. I have no idea who “they” are but they seem to be right quite a lot. So here goes…
By the end of September, I will:
Finish the triangle shawl I’m knitting
Finish the peacock feather shawl I’m knitting
Spend at least one hour per week writing
Formulate a plan to implement the dietary changes my psych doc suggested
Interestingly enough, the diet thing has little to nothing to do with my mental health. I have a skin condition that I’ve had surgery for but it’s moved. Where it’s now located isn’t really fit for a successful surgical intervention but there’s some indications that a lower carb diet is helpful. The diet should at the very least help me lose weight and there’s some indications that skinny people don’t deal with this nonsense near as much as us chubby chickies.
On the plus side, I can eat my body weight in real whipped cream on this diet, so I’ve got that going for me.