Showing posts from November, 2009

Sucks to be them.


While it sucks to be the person's whose mammogram results I overheard on Tuesday, thank God they weren't mine. My results came back clear and non-suspicious so I am officially in my second year of cancer free living. I will still be monitored every 6 months for a while yet but I can live with that.

Someone's got something going on between 3 and 4 o'clock.

You'd think with all the down time I have, I'd keep my blog updated regularly. You'd think. I don't know why I'm finding it hard. Possibly because I like a thread of humour to run through everything, but alas I'm not feeling all that humourous.

For the same reasons I suppose my book writing venture has come to a grinding halt. I'm about a third of the way through it but I haven't even thought about it, much less written anything, in over a month. Damn hormones.

Hot flashes have definitely come to my house. I'm learning to dress in layers to accommodate them. Well, I've always sort of dressed in layers anyway - except that I was always adding another on top. Now I'm playing the on again off again game. The flashes normally only last a minute or so, so if this is as bad as it gets I'll be laughing. But somehow I think I ain't seen nothin' yet.

I had my one year appointment at the cancer unit last week. I saw Dr Lamb, a female onco…

Accomplishing things is not a requirement.

Sometimes you just don't get it the first time.

Which is why, the day after my venture to the library, I was up by 7am, had a shower and got dressed (which consumes an entire day's energy in itself) and went to have a visit with the girls at work. I was tired by the time I left but convinced myself this would be a good day to go check out Connie's new house which she has lived in for over two weeks and I have not seen yet. I was, after all, already in the car and already half way across town.

Besides seeing her house, I convinced myself it would be a good idea because I was hungry. If I went home I'd have to make something. But I knew Connie would have food. She always does. Just as I walked in her door she was removing a pizza from the oven. Good call.

I was pretty tired when I got home but rather than napping, I hauled out all my art supplies and spread them all over hell's half acre. (I'm not sure where that saying came from or what it really means cuz I…

Footloose and cancer free.

My pathology report came back clear. Yay for living cancer free for one whole year. So far.

I have an appointment with my oncologist next Monday and he will likely give me a requisition to get another diagnostic mammogram done just to be sure things are still looking good. This seems kind of ass-backward to me - you'd think I would get the mammogram done before I see him. But hey, who am I to question the intelligence of the medical system.

Later today I will go have coffee with the girls at work.

I'm still a bit uncertain of what my employment future looks like. I have a couple of irons in the fire, but they are not heating up as fast as I had originally hoped. My surgeon suggested I be off work for approximately seven weeks after surgery. I'll think I'll go back for 3 days a week on December 1st. While this is only 4 1/2 weeks into recovery, I think I'll be fine. I can get away without lifting if I need to and I have way too much seniority to ever have to sweep …

Give me back my ovaries, dammit.

Sunday morning Dr Galliford came in to discharge me a day earlier than expected.

As a final word of advice he says, "Remember, no lifting and no vacuuming. Call me in two weeks."

"Um, when do I start hormone replacement therapy?"

"Oh no. I don't want you doing that. Not with your history."

Well then give me back my ovaries, dammit.

"When do I resume taking my Tamoxifen?" I already know the answer is 2 weeks, but I want his opinion.

"I think you can stop with the Tamoxifen because I've removed your primary estrogen source. But check with your oncologist." I already have. Menopausal women take Tamoxifen for two years instead of five.

Dr Galliford's comment totally took me by surprise and I knew I'd be going home to spend some time with google and then hunting down a naturopath. I had kinda already decided to have a naturopath hold my hand through this venture anyway after reading Sexy Hormones by Lorna Vanderhaeghe.


Room with a view.

Okay, I've been home from the hospital for a week now so I guess I should be posting an update.

My room mate was discharged on Friday and was waiting for her daughter to come pick her up. I asked a number of nurses if I could scooch over to the window seat when she left. They all were agreeable to this.

When Michelle (my neice who works in housekeeping) popped in to visit me late in the afternoon my room mate still had not gone home. But Michelle agreed that if the woman left before the end of her shift she'd clean up the room right away and move me over and then clean my side. I knew it was extra work for housekeeping, but knowing I was going to be there a few more days I really wanted the window for the view and the extra space it provided.

The woman never left before Michelle did.

The evening housekeeping woman was not nearly as agreeable to the extra workload.

"I'd really like to be nudged over to that space when you are finished," I said to the woman as she …

Farting is your meal ticket.

I quit taking my robaxicet by mid afternoon Wednesday for two reasons. I wanted it out of my system before anaesthetic Thursday morning and because the label clearly says not to exceed 6 tablets in 24 hours. I'd had 8 in 18.

Thursday morning my surgery goes quick and successfully. I was scheduled for two hours in surgery then two hours in recovery. I was awake in recovery after an hour and a half by 9:30am. I fade in and out of consciousness feeling no pain anywhere. Not my back, my incision nor my throat (which had been really irritated by the tubes during my breast surgery one year ago.) I offer up thanksgiving for morphine and happily settle into my room about 1:30pm.

I don't have a window space so my area is quite cramped and my night table and rolling bedside table quickly become piled with stuff that needs to be maneuvered every time something else arrives. But I do appreciate that none of the rooms in our hospital house more than 2 beds.

I am on a steady low dose of morphi…

Geez! She coulda told me.

With the medical school operating at UNBC the hospital is teeming with students training in every facet. My name was called at 6:30 AM on Thursday for my pre-op prep. I stood amongst a small group of girls who no more wanted to be weighing sick people at this ungodly hour than flying to the moon.

The nurse asked, "Who's with Dr Galliford's patient?"

No response.

She points to a particularly unresponsive looking girl and point blank asks her, "Are you with Galliford's patient?"

She snaps into reality and says , "I don't know the doctor's name, just the patient." She glances at my arm band and verifies, "Yes, she's with me."

I kiss Albert goodbye and they lead me beyond the curtain to the recliners and snugly warm blankets where normally you sit in a quiet vegetative state and wait for an interview with your surgeon and anaesthetist. My wait was anything but quiet and vegetative. Elaine stopped by to say she'd be there. Joyc…

I am not a good bleeder.

I arrived at the hospital to get my pre-op blood work done an hour and a half later than I intended. I take a number and realize there is only one person ahead of me.

Phew! I think as I grab a magazine and sit on a waiting room seat which is made of fabric and covered with many layers of stains. This kinda creeps me out. I convince myself it's probably mostly spilled coffee and dripping baby bottles and sippy cups, not the possible fluids I have shoved to the back of my mind: blood and leaking colostomy bags and soggy Depends and other manner of other conditions people may be suffering from and needing to have lab work done at the hospital.

I am thankful my wait is very short before I get called in. One of the two nurses confirms my good timing when she realizes there is no one waiting after me and comments, "Wow, I can't believe we've made it through the entire waiting room this morning." I quietly thank God for my running late and arriving later than I had planne…