Check In.

Apr. 14th, 2019 02:35 pm
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
Checking in.

Doing okay. No nausea since that first week, and the pain has dulled in my feet. It's still there, but not keeping me from doing things.

The last four or five days, though, I've really been losing my hair. I have to stop and clear out the brush after every single pass, and today has been the worst so far; it came out in wads this morning. There's enough to still cover my head, but barely. I'll need the hat within a few days, here.

My bathroom garbage looks like I tore apart a wig in it.

Making dinner today; hubby turned 40 on Friday, and requested meatloaf. Got my mom to bake the cake this morning, so I'll do up dinner in a couple hours.

Coming up this week:

1. Chest CT scan with contrast on Wednesday: apparently it's a common test with diagnoses like mine, to make sure there's no stray cancer frolicking about in my chest. Not afraid of the test, but we're hoping there's no evidence of little cancer demons prancing around in there, the fuckers.

2. Chemo Day #2 on Thursday: A friend is coming that day to spend time with me during infusion, so that will be nice.

3. Baby sister gets married in Vegas on Saturday. Mom and Dad are leaving very early Thursday morning to fly out there, and on Sunday they'll head out to California to spend 6 weeks with middle sister and her family.

Hope everyone's had a good weekend!
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
A few days out from chemo now.

This is what the port looks like. It's maybe a little bigger than a Rolo chocolate, and inserted under the skin. In my case (and possibly most cases), it's in the upper right chest, with a tube snaking into my central jugular vein. Local anesthesia, conscious sedation.

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This is about two days after insertion. No light makes that bruise look better; it took a while, they really had to struggle to get it in place. It causes me anxiety most days because for being overweight, the port had to go in one of the few places I really haven't got any fat to spare. I can feel it at all times. The two red bits on the right of this pic aren't even part of the incisions, they are literally the skin ripping from the awful tape they used to dress the incisions with gauze. It is horrid.

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This next pic was last Friday - and I keep reminding people it was my birthday, because seriously, how effing SUCKY - while getting the chemo. I look upset or miserable, but really, I had just woken back up. They got the port accessed, drew the labs, got me set up in a bay, and started the saline, and the first three things they gave me were boosters/pre-meds. And the first of those was Benadryl, which alone knocks me the fuck out. Delivered intravenously? I was gone in five minutes and slept through the next two pre-meds (Aloxi - a steroid, and Zantac). It was a total of about 45 minutes for those three, then the two chemo drugs. The first was paclitaxil, which took three hours, and the second was carboplatin, which took 45 minutes. We were pretty surprised, everything went super smoothly and we were out of there by 1:45 PM. And I felt well enough to go get Dairy Queen after.

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The day after (Saturday), I actually felt just fine. No side effects, ran errands with my husband, everything was fine.

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Since then, not so much. I threw up breakfast Sunday morning and have been intermittently queasy since. I've been making use of the lesser of the anti-nausea meds since then (compazine), but shying away from breaking into the lorazepam; it's meant more to help anxiety and sleeping if you're having issues.

But worst of all is the joint pain. It is INSANE. I can't even describe how much I hurt. It's mostly run through the rest of my body, but is really deeply localized now in my feet with pockets of remaining pain in my knees and shins/calves. Husband has tried rubbing them, but it only makes it hurt more. Acetaminophen - I'm not allowed ibuprofen - doesn't even touch it. Elevating them only mildly helps - I still end up spending a good deal of time nearly crying. If this is neuropathy, I am OVER. IT. It's really difficult and painful to even walk.

Otherwise, I am doing okay. Appetite's a little iffy, but I can eat.

As usual, feel free to ask questions!

PS. A few people have messaged me to ask for the Amazon wishlist. It's HERE, but this is not a hint or a plea in any way, shape, or form. I just think some of it's funny (those SOCKS, LOL), and I learned some things, too. Apparently, peach is the color assigned to uterine/endometrial cancer. Anyway, enjoy. ;)
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
Port placed. Took them a little longer than an hour; there was some difficulty wedging it into place. I'm already seeing some bruising underneath the bandages and tape, but that's expected after the amount of pressure exerted to get it there.

And yeah, I'm really tender and sore. I slept okay, took a couple extra-strength acetaminophen before bed. But turning over a few times was a delicate operation, as was getting up to a sitting position.

I'll end up keeping it covered till Friday, when we'll lift the tape to apply the numbing cream stuff to the skin over the port, which is supposed to help dull the one stick to access the port. They'll check it for infection and re-dress it afterward, as it takes a full seven to ten days to heal fully.

I would post the pic I took last night, but 1) I have zero ambition to figure out how right now, and 2) it is literally just the gauze and tape covering the port and accesses. I look pissed in it, but I'm not, I was just trying to get the pic.

Definitely making use of the acetaminophen and ibuprofen today. But hey, progress: I am finally comfortable wearing pants again!
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
Leaving in about an hour to head to the hospital. Today is the day I get the port placed. From everything we've been told, it'll be inserted under the skin just on the right of my chest, a few inches above the breast.

Local anesthetic, sedation. Which, of course, means an IV, so I'm in for a fun afternoon. Hopefully I sleep through most of it.

Once placed, it'll have a few days to heal up properly, and then Friday is the big day. I will likely feel fine on Friday - they pump you full of steroids and anti-nausea meds. It's the following two to four days I'm not sure about, as we just don't know what symptoms I'll have. The most common tend to be nausea/vomiting, body aches similar to flu aches, and fatigue. And hair loss, but that will take a couple weeks, I'm told.

I tell you, I am not looking forward to having to walk around here with Kleenex stuffed up my nose; you lose ALL your hair, even the little ones up inside your nose. I am stuffed up due to spring allergies, and just-. Urgh. Am also not liking the idea of possibly vomiting. I loathe doing it, and haven't in years. Felt like it, but always manage to stop it. I still have a few internal stitches working on dissolving, and am afraid of messing something up.

Already saved a couple of cute head coverings on Amazon. I made a wish list for cancer stuff and titled it, "What a Bitch." *snorts out a laugh* They also gave me this great three-ring binder full of all kinds of handy information, and it included a booklet from the American Cancer Society with hats, wigs, scarves, etc. I was actually pleasantly surprised at the prices, there are plenty of cute things in the $10-30 range. Even a few wigs under $60, though I don't know if I'll bother with those. Apparently some insurances will cover that kind of thing, though I haven't bothered to see if mine is one of them.

Hoping for good sedation, I was allowed breakfast before 8:30 this morning, but nothing since, so I'm starting to feel hangry. Am also battling a headache, but that's just because I haven't had caffeine yet today...which I also can't have until dinner. And to top it all off, as I mentioned previously, frigging spring allergies. I never used to have them, but last year and this year? WTF.

Positive: I am not bleeding, and never will again. *thumbs up*

Follow-Up.

Mar. 23rd, 2019 12:21 am
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
Surgery follow-up is done. Doc says incisions and internal stuff all looks perfect. Discussed everything re: chemo, etc. today as well. This cancer (uterine/endometrial) is pretty uncommon, even rare, in women my age, much more common in women past menopause, typical age 62 or more. No hereditary factors for me. Tumor in the uterus was just over 8 cm, so about 3.5 inches. It didn't go into the muscle but since one of ten lymph nodes came back positive, it automatically becomes classified as a stage 3 cancer.

Mine is metastasized, but on a level so small, not even PET scans or MRI scans can detect it. It's less than 1 mm. There are no studies showing increased life expectancy for women my age with radiation, and due to my age, the side effects of radiation would be worse and longer lasting, so we said hell no. My doc - who is board certified and well credentialed - recommends 3-6 rounds/cycles of chemo, which has a high success rate. She stated today that if I choose to do nothing, the cancer will come back elsewhere down the road. The chemo is basically batting clean-up, so that's the plan.

I go in for the port placement Tuesday afternoon, and then the first round of chemo is next Friday (yup...happy fucking birthday to me). 👍 It takes pretty much the whole day, but is only one day every three weeks. As few as three times, as many as six.

Work is bending over backwards to make things work for me, which is amazing. I cannot express how much it means that they truly value me.

Ask whatever you like!

WTF, life?

Mar. 21st, 2019 09:59 pm
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
Ready for tomorrow's follow-up appt.

We actually got the path report on the lymph node a couple days ago. It came back positive, which automatically classifies it as stage 3 cancer. This means I'll be getting chemo treatments via IV port, probably starting next Friday, the 29th, so happy fucking birthday to me, I guess.

*snorts out a laugh* I am so done with this year.

Whew.

Mar. 14th, 2019 01:33 pm
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
Hi, all.

We're a week out from surgery today. It went mostly smoothly, from the secondhand info I've gathered. I was a bit too out of it to be receptive to info. From what I've been told, everything came out the way they hoped, but they had to work hard to get the uterus out the wahoo, as it was bigger than they expected. The doc ended up taking only one lymph node, as well.

The recovery room was rough. I don't remember a lot of it, but there was a lot of crying on my part. At one point they got permission from my husband to do a nerve block due to the amount of pain I was in, but then aborted it. 1) I was in even more pain and violently crying because I could feel the needles, and 2) they determined it wouldn't have helped anyway.

Once I was awake enough to do the deep breathing and eat some crackers, they sent me down to what amounted to a second recovery room, where I was helped up and got dressed. I ended up staying in obs overnight because it took me a while to pee on my own, and they let me go home around eleven Friday morning.

Recovery at home has been okay. No one mentioned the possibility of gas retention, but JESUS CHRIST ON STILTS, it has been INSANE. Apparently, a common issue is nausea and dizziness, but I've had zero of either. For me, it's been an inability to pass this gas. I haven't broken into the oxycodone they sent me home with at all, so on Monday, the nurse said to stop the stool softener and take some Gas-X. Finally yesterday it started to pass. I'm still blocked up a bit, but it's so much better than it was.

I have a follow-up appointment next Friday (not tomorrow), and we'll find out results from the pathology report on the bits and pieces they removed.

Otherwise, I'm hanging in there. Husband and Not-So-Boychild have been great, I am lucky.
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
TGIF. Good effing gods, it's been a week.

Today finds me at work and crunched up in my chair in weird positions because my ovary and uterus and back are having a wall-thumping orgy in there, and it is not actually conducive to my getting any work done.

Friend/supe M offered me her heating pad, but I move a lot and don't want to be tied to a cord, and also she needs it herself, I'm not taking it from her. And yes, I have an electric throw blanket under the desk, plugged in - which is incredibly against the rules, btw - but don't like to overuse it.

My work partner in crime, C, offered me her corn-filled microwave heat bag, and I went, "Say what, now?" This thing is fabulous. I want fifty of them.

And they seem easy enough to make, so I might give it a try. I could even make up a bunch of hand-warmer size and maybe sell them at the craft fair in the fall. Kind of excited to try!

Seriously?

Feb. 25th, 2019 10:23 am
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
Preface: After just under twenty years with the same company, I took a new job at a different company and started in early November. I worked from home full time for three years, and now come in to an office every day. I have a cube, desk, etc. I am trying to get used to new coworkers, new personalities, new quirks.

Mischief-maker coworker, L, discovered on Friday that I am...picky...about my paperclips. They are sorted and stored by size, and I get rid of all the ones that are bent out of shape. I don't know why, but I cannot function with a jumbled mess of paperclips. Never have been able to do so.

L was like, "Ooh, this should be fun." I literally don't care a bit if people tease, I know it's a bit anal of me, and worth a giggle. I said, "All I ask is that you don't actually mess with the sort; please, please don't put the wrong size in the wrong cup." I had an email from her shortly thereafter with nothing but pictures of paperclips in it. It made me laugh, and I moved on.

Today I was reaching for a small clip, and jammed in the cup were a bunch of big ones. And goddamn if I didn't empty it out right there and start sorting through it to fix it, all the while stewing. There were about fifty of them, all mixed in. And several stuck together, which takes ages to undo.

Like, I get it, it's funny. But it takes time away from what I need to be doing, and for shit's sake, it is literally the only thing I asked you not to do. I want to complain to hell and back about it, but I recognize how petty it is. It just-. asdf;lkj Looks like I'll be hiding the cups away each night now. Sigh.

/rant
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
We've been slowly binging Star Trek. We've actually been through TNG a couple times at least, recently finished DS9, and have made it into Season 2, I believe, of Voyager.

As part of this binging, I see all the medical bits and pieces, and it makes me think that technology right now is absolutely amazing when it comes to medical things, that's for damn sure. But I am still waiting for them to make - or maybe to perfect - Star Trek-style vaccines.

Do you have any idea how LIVID I am going to be if I have this damn surgery, and whatever additional treatments are necessary, and then they announce, "Hey, guess what, we now have no-needle vaccines and medication-delivery!" Absolutely my luck, the way this year has been going. *shakes head*
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
I saw some Friday Five questions while scrolling through my reading page, and realized I hadn't done any in ages. And naturally, I am a day behind. *snorts out a laugh*

1. What size (twin, full, etc.) is your bed?
King. We've had a king for about fifteen years, and I sincerely hope we never downsize. We could probably go back to a queen, but I just don't wanna!

2. How many pillows do you sleep with?
As many as I can commandeer or flat out steal. I think I currently have something like five or six, plus a king size one I use as a body pillow, though mostly to have something between my knees.

3. Do you have a weighted blanket? If so, does it help you?
I do not. I don't know that I really need one, personally.

4. Do you sleep with any stuffed animals?
Nope.

5. Do you have to have the TV on to go to sleep?
I can sleep with or without noise.
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
My surgery consult was today. We really like the doctor, she's great.

Today counts as the pre-op; the surgery is set for Thursday, 7 March, bright and early. The plan is to go in robotically (laparoscopically) and drag it all out through the wahoo. Cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and both ovaries; there was debate over whether it would be just the left ovary (since it's the one with the cyst) or both, and discussion brought us to the conclusion that having both ovaries out is the better option, given the extreme needle phobia. It means immediate menopause for me, but I will take whatever symptoms I end up with over the potential for another surgery any day. She'll also do a sentinel lymph node dissection, and remove some or all or none as she feels is warranted.

If all goes smoothly and the uterus isn't too big, I'll be going home same day. Crazy, right? If the uterus is too big to get out the wahoo, though, it means opening me up to remove it, so I'd be inpatient two to three nights. Recovery will be anywhere from two to six weeks, depending on what happens in surgery. Additionally, I will be on lifting and activity restrictions for eight full weeks, which is typical.

They will determine extent after surgery, but in most cases, removal does the job. If additional therapy is necessary, it sounds like they would look at radiation first, which is literally a device that goes up the wahoo for about fifteen minutes. For now, though, it's one step at a time.

Since today counts as pre-op, they took blood. Mentally/emotionally awful as usual, but physically, that phlebotomist was the best stick I have EVER had. She used a smaller needle, did it in one stick, and the husband says I didn't even start actually saying "ow" until three vials in. I told her once I'd calmed down that she needs to be there any time I need it done from now on, which seemed to please her - I can't imagine a grown woman weeping violently makes it an easier job.
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
*snorts out a laugh* We've had snow all damn day. Earlier this week already, and again overnight and into today, and it's still going.

Hubby left at four this morning to take Bunny to work when their car wouldn't start, and didn't make it home till six. I texted my supervisor to ask if I could just pick up my laptop and bring it back home with me and work from there so he wouldn't have to come back out now to pick me back up (because we all know I can't drive in this crap, I'm a danger to myself and others), and she texted back that it was fine.

Flying Spaghetti Monster bless good, reasonable supervisors!

In other news, my consultation is tomorrow. Hopefully will get answers then; doctor seems to be really good, we looked her up.
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
Tuesday afternoon I got a phone call with the pathology report for the endometrial biopsy. There is "evidence of some cancer." Also in some tissue from the cervix, but they are confident the origin is the uterine lining.

Next steps include a consultation to review records and establish a plan of care, set for Friday, 8 February. It's ALLLLL gotta come out. (Which, frankly, hallelujah, holy shit, where's the Tylenol.)

I will need to be out 3-4 weeks minimum for recovery, and possibly up to 6 weeks, depending on how they need to go in and get it. Guess that PTO payout from the previous job will come in handy - good thing we shoved it into savings.

I am not overly stressed about this diagnosis. There is literally NOTHING I can do, so losing my mind will help nothing, and only agitate loved ones further. My stress revolves solely around how many fucking needles they will be sticking me with.

Feel free to chant, pray, make sacrifices, dance naked in your backyard - whatever you prefer. I expect nothing, and am honestly quite (possibly irrationally) annoyed by the reactions of a few people. I'm not adjusting well to the attention, and I'm half expecting some of it to turn out to be about how it makes OTHERS feel; in a few instances, that already seems to be the case. The one time you would think I'm supposed to just think about my own needs for once, and instead I'm putting out fires and calming down the emotions of others. I'm sorry my body decided to be sick? I gave it a vegetable last week, I don't know what happened? *rolls eyes*

Someone had the audacity to tell me that - wait, wait, I have to go get it verbatim - "What you eat can have a big impact on your health, so let me know if you want more information on nutrition as a way to combat disease." I-. What? It's CANCER. What the SHIT is that going to do at this point? I get that I am overweight, but how is this helpful at this point? Why would she assume I don't know this already, and why would she think that was the kind of thing I wanted or needed to hear? I neither want nor need nutrition information, you twit. I want and need science and medical expertise, and for people to just offer help and be done with it. I ask for very little help as it is, I promise you won't actually have to do anything for me if it might at all inconvenience you.

I have promises from management at work that they have zero intentions of firing me, as everyone is so damn pleased with my work in this position so far. Especially other departments, which is apparently a huge deal. Definitely a good thing, and I may be able to work from home as I feel up to it during recovery, IF I feel up to it. They like me, they really like me! *snorts out a laugh*

Anyway, there's my news, and my hard and sarcastic (cold and heartless?) point of view on top of it. Sorry. I'm apparently extra bitchy today. I realize that I might have been extra bitchy for two full weeks. It might last a while. I'm only kind of sorry. *shrugs*
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
So I made the fricking follow-up appointments on Monday. I see the OBGYN on Friday. There are currently nine people living who have seen my wahoo, and I am loathing the thought of adding to that number.

The ER doc and nurse on Saturday both had a good laugh when they tried to alleviate my apprehension by saying, "It's just a vagina," and I replied, "Yeah, but it's MINE."

Look, I just don't feel like anyone's face or fingers or anything should be in my most private damn area, thankyouverymuch. I don't give a flying fart if you're a doctor who sees them all day long or not. This one is mine and no one else's, ever.

I also see a regular doctor to establish primary care next Monday. I've never had a regular doctor. We can count on one hand the number of times I've seen a doctor since we got married; it's safe to say I make it a point NOT to go to a doctor. I'll get poked yet again there - oh goody, more crying in store for me. Swear to Harry, if she wants to look at my wahoo I'm telling her to take a flying leap.
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
Journaling always, always falls to the wayside first when life gets busy on me, but maybe it shouldn't. It's a good outlet, with the opportunity for others who don't necessarily see me every day to provide some different viewpoints, tell me when I'm over-reacting or commiserate when they GET. IT.

That said, it's been ages since I updated properly.

Boychild isn't so much "child" anymore. He is 20 years old. He works 35 hours or so a week, and is at the community college for classes; he just began his second semester.

Husband is getting himself back on the diet wagon, but is otherwise well.

Work has changed quite a bit. In October, an opportunity opened up for a bit of a shift. I never, ever thought I'd leave my job, but I interviewed and was offered the position, and after a lot of weighing the pros and cons, benefits and retirement and everything, I made the change.

I'm at a different hospital system now, being paid more than I ever could have hoped to make at the old place. It sounds all fancy, "External Audits & Appeals Coordinator." Basically, it means all the payer-initiated audits go through me; I also function as an analyst, which means I get to be helpful with the knowledge I already possess.

Every job has its pros and cons, but so far I'm enjoying it. *thumbs up* And I am definitely enjoying the paychecks. It is a SIGNIFICANT increase.

I'm sure I have more, but will have to post it as I think of it.

Hope you're having a great day!
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
Home now. Sorry for the apparent vague-booking. It wasn't intended as such; I neither seek nor need attention. Being able to post it helps though, however minutely that is. The following has gone in various forms to a few people via text today.

Have had pain in my groin, left side, the last couple weeks. Constant. Finally told my husband, who Flipped. The Fuck. Out. and nagged to hell and back. Should've just kept my damn mouth shut. Anyway, went to Urgent Care this morning, then to the ER.

Lots of mortifying (pelvic exam, transvaginal ultrasound) and traumatizing (IV for the first time in my life) things later, I have a cyst on my left ovary causing the pain, which will likely resolve itself. Possible endometrial hyperplasia as well, so will need to see the gyno this week to rule out endometrial cancer, which is apparently super treatable. Also probably diabetic, type 2, thanks a metric shit-ton, genetics. Will need to set up a fucking regular doc for that this week as well. At least the ER doc was awesome. Am also anemic. Apparently anemia helps explain why I'm so fucking tired all the time. And the anemia is explained by ridiculous periods and heavy blood clots during them, which is explained by the really thick uterine/endometrial wall - with a lot of blood flow to it. Christ in a sidecar.

Got me a prescription for iron supplements for the anemia, and metformin to see if it brings down the glucose. I am not looking forward to the two battling it out in my damn colon.

Hoping y'all had a better Saturday than this! ♡

Sigh.

Jan. 12th, 2019 10:44 am
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
Currently in the waiting room at Urgent Care. For me, because my spouse is a nag and scared for me. I am, too, but am more afraid of needles and sick to my stomach about it. Like, I might throw up. It is traumatizing just being here. I know it's irrational, and am unable to do a thing about it.

I told the guy I might seriously need a sedative if they need to stick me.

Update: I've been sent to the ER. Fucking hell.
psyche29: A brown eye with rainbow eyeliner all around it (Default)
It has been a very long time since I posted, regularly or otherwise - life gets hectic and things fall by the wayside. For me, journaling is one of them.

I've been spurred, however, by [livejournal.com profile] superbeffie to begin blogging my reactions to watching The Office for the first time ever. I have so far had her laughing and also screaming/scaring her family (????). I don't know why this might happen, but am sure I will eventually find out!

So, Office fans: If I can figure out again how cuts and journaling in general work, I'll post them here, and make it public so y'all may share as you like.

That said, please keep in mind:

1. I literally just started this show. It is the US version. I know I am WELL behind the times.
2. I know about Jim and Pam, so don't worry about spoiling me on that score. I am looking forward to the evolution.
3. I got the whole first season (six episodes only?) completed before I began messaging [livejournal.com profile] superbeffie to talk, so you're coming in after a bit of binge-watching.

Here wo go! )

Will post more as I continue binge watching. 👍

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