Quick Update

Hmmm…sounds as if I’m repeating myself.

I’m making most of my posts over at my cancer blog but I will update here really quick.

Surgery recovery has been progressing but slow.  I tire easily.

Cancer was evident in the Lymph Nodes, of which 17 of 19 were removed in my pelvic area.  Further tests indicate, as of today, that they GOT THAT BITCH and I am in REMISSION BABY!

I start chemo Monday (well, ho-freaking-ray), one week prior to my 40th birthday.  I’ll have three chemo cycles, followed by a cycle of radiation (um 5 weeks of radiation – once a day, every day- ouch), and then three more cycles of chemo.

But I’m in remission, and that’s all I give a damn about.  Go me!

Cancer What the Hey?

I’ve been in tons of cancer/oncology waiting rooms.  In every case, I was accompanying someone else.  That someone else was always the patient.  Until today.

The Cancer Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center is huge.  I mean HUGE.  And the place is pretty impressive.  They have this huge massive waiting room that has all the creature comforts of home – huge flat screens, internet docking stations, cell phone charging stations, couches, a refreshment counter…I was impressed.  Of course, there are constant reminders around you that despite it looking like a large hotel lobby, it is in fact, a hospital.  Like all the doctors and nurses and handwashing stations.

So, they called me back and I met with the nurse practitioner.  She went over my medical history (and needed an extra sheet of paper) and my symptoms.  Then she went over what sparked this whole thing (my back pain with the stray cyst on my ovary).  By then I had been in there an hour, and had been out of the house for two hours, and had a large cup of coffee in me, and I was doing the peepee dance in my seat.  She told me then the doctor would be in, and to get dressed from the waist down.  That’s when I asked to use the rest room, and she said sure.

So, when I got back to the room, I wrapped the blanket around my waist, and waited for Dr. Rao to come in.  When he did, he explained what they were going to do, what they had seen on the MRI report (lots of fibroids and an “area of interest”) and told me they were going to do an endometrial biopsy.  And they’d need me to give a urine sample.  o.O

Luckily, I’m still on the lasix, so in about 10 minutes I had to pee again.  Turns out they were doing a pregnancy test.  I’m not.  Duh.  Trust me – spend a month with the virus from hell, and sexin’s is the last thing on your mind.  So, they do the exam, and then proceed to do the biopsy (OUCH X 1,000,000,000) and then they tell me that they’ll have the results back in one week, but he’s 99% certain that I am going to need a hysterectomy.  Well, shit.  More surgery.

So, I go back in one week to find out if this “area of interest” is malignant or not.  And they are probably going to do the hysterectomy even if it is benign because of my wicked family history of cancer.  So, yay.

So, that’s where we are.

At least Dr. Rao is cute.  Of course, cute in the “Wow he looks like he’s 12” cute, and not the George Clooney kind of cute.  Because yeah, no one needs to be all hot and bothered by they gynecological oncologist.

Coming Out of My Funk – with LOL Cat Illustrations

See?  I haven’t forgotten.  I’ve been rattling my brain, trying to figure out what to start with.  There’s really so much going on, but I thought I’d start with the heavy stuff.

I don’t know how many of you read Hyperbole and a Half, but if you do, you will have seen the recent entry about depression.  Sigh.  I so relate to that.

Since my knee surgery in July, I have been having issues.  I’ve been exhausted, and cranky, and supermega stress – and it’s not been pretty.  I’ve snapped at people, and in general have been a cranky, sleepy, upset bitch.    Seriously, I could really rival some of the big bad villans in your favorite superhero stories.  I haven’t wanted to be around myself, and I’ve been existing on coffee.  Most days, I resemble this:

Between school, my job, and stress over some random crap at home, this was how I wanted to spend most of my day…

So, I sucked it up, and I talked to my doctor about it.  With a history of mental issues in my family combined with what I was going through, it was smart to bring it up with my doctor just to make sure everything was ok.  He and I spoke, and he said he thought my problems may have stemmed from a lack of sleep.  I was having issues falling asleep and staying asleep, and he wanted to determine if my issues stemmed from the lack of sleep, or if the lack of sleep were due ot depression.  So, he prescribed some ambien to take care of the sleep issues, and gave me some sleep rules – the bed room is for sleep and sex, nothing more.  Go to bed when its dark, and wake up with its light.  Get 8 hours of sleep.  No napping.  NO NAPPING?  WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN NO NAPPING?  SERIOUSLY, THAT’S MY FAVORITE PASS TIME…*ahem*

So I got the ambien filled.  Now, let me tell you about ambien.  It says to take it when you are ready to sleep.  And they freaking mean it.  Because no sooner had I swallowed the pills before I was drooling.  ZONK.  It’s not one of those pills you take in the bathroom and think you have time to make it to the bed.  Because you’ll end up like this:

So, for 20 days, I took my ambien, and followed my sleep rules (to the dismay of my husband, who very much misses watching tv in bed) and I got 8 hours of sleep a night.

And I was still stressed and grumpy, and exhausted.  So they checked my thyroid too.  Because blood work is so much fun.  But my thyroid is normal.  And they are checking my vitamin D, which could be low…and and and…I feel like a pin cushion.

So, now I’m waiting two more weeks to determine if my Vit D is low.  If it is, they’ll increase my D supplements and perhaps put me back on iron.  And if that is all ok, they are going to put me on happy pills.  No matter what, I’m determined to beat whatever is holding me down…and get back to happy…because everyone deserves to feel happy…no?

And I’ll beat the evil depression/exhaustion/whatever it is once and for all.

My Ass is Asleep

So, in a nutshell, knee surgery is nothing less than sucktastic.  This recovery has been hard, yo. 

When I had a microfracture surgery done three years ago on my left knee, the recovery was also sucky and painful, but I was up and walking even before I got my stitches out.  I had two small incisions on my knee, both about an inch in size, and swelling was minimal, except for a big pocket of swelling where they had done the lateral release on my knee cap.  I did a month or so of physical therapy afterwards, and I was back at work pretty much in three weeks.

This time around, things are not going so swimmingly.  This is a different surgery – this time I had a de novo graft on the right knee.  A de novo graft is a new surgery, where they implant juvenile donor cartilage under the knee cap and between the bones.  The doctor also cleaned out a large number of bone spurs, and performed another lateral release of the right knee cap.  And it’s hella painful.  I mean hella painful.  I have a huge amount of swelling, a lot of stitches, and a big old knee immoblizer.  I won’t be able to put any weight at all on the leg for six weeks.  I’m just one day shy of being a week out, and I’m still in lots of pain.  And crutches blow. 

Got the call today from short term – I’m approved through 8/2.  My plan is to go back to work but work from home for the month of August.  My poor boss is really having a hard time – we’ve lost a lot of people, and I do a lot of high level things.  I couldn’t work now if I wanted to.  My leg hurts to bad to concentrate for too very long and I can’t stand to have the laptop even sit on my lap.  We had planned on going to the trailer this weekend, but I can’t see myself sitting in the car for 3.5 hours and then having to hobble across the street to the bathroom.  Maybe next month – we are supposed to go down for a week.  I’m really hoping to be able to go.

I know I know…you want gory pictures of the leg.  I haven’t see it yet myself.  And I won’t until I get my stitches out.  But I promise to post pictures.  Because I care.  I do.

So Sexy

Blowing the Dust Off

Oh Hai.

So, I haven’t posted much because I haven’t had much to write about.  Blah blah knee surgery coming blah blah.  Blah blah physical therapy blows blah blah. 

Honestly, there’s nothing else going on.  We are heading to VA for the long weekend for my last hurrah while I have two good legs to stand on.  I’m all cleared for the surgery and now I’m just waiting for the 13th.  Albeit, impatiently.  I’m so ready for this to be over with.

So, that’s why I haven’t posted much.  You don’t want to hear all the boring “I don’t wanna have another surgery” stuff.

Will probably post more once I”m post op.

Unavoidable

Surgery, that is.

I saw my ortho on Friday…hoping against all hope he’d ask me to continue my PT and maybe get a cortisone shot.

Psh.

He took one look at my MRI.  Severe arthritis.  No cartilage.  None.

Surgery is now scheduled for July 13th.  But this isn’t going to be like the last surgery.  The last one was outpatient.  It was arthriscopic.  It hurt like a bitch, because Iwasn’t allowed to put any weight at all on it for two weeks, but I came home with an ace bandage and a little bandaid.

This surgery is different.  They are opening my knee up.  I’m going to have him clean out the knee, but in addition to that, he’s going to do a cartilage grapht.  Which apparently means they are taking my knee cap out, flipping it over, and graphting cartliage on the back of the knee cap, and then putting it back in.

At which point I said, “Wait, can you go back to the whole part where you said, ‘Taking the knee cap out?'”

And kept myself from throwing up.

Four to six week recovery period and my knee is going to be in an immobilizer.  My poor boss.  I think I need to offer to pay for his next prescription of xanax.

So…paging Dr. Summeroff….paging Dr. Summeroff….

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