Thursday, June 22, 2006

Photo time

Babygirl is 8 months old! And yes, that is a ponytail on her head. I thought I would never be a mom who did that kind of stuff but it is really cute on her. We call it her "Pebbles" though a couple of people I know call it a palm tree.

My sweetie at Day out with Thomas in May - she was in her glory all day.

Poor daddy

Now for an amusing story, to me anyhow. As I mentioned in my last post, on Tuesday Jim took Becky to her weekly gym class, since I wasn't feeling up to it. Class starts at 6:30, and it's a struggle sometimes to get there on time. When she first started going to class, Becky would get all worked up if we were late. Twice she dissolved into hysterics because we were less than 5 minutes late, and she refused to enter the class. We finally worked through that, or so I thought.

Jim picked up both girls from day care, stopped at Arby's for a bite to eat and headed for the gym. Poor Becks was out of her routine since I do pick up, and I usually take her to class, so she started getting anxious. She only ate a couple of bites of her food, telling Jim "I'll eat after class". They arrived at the gym at 6:28. They could see a group of kids sitting in a circle and Becky freaked out; ditched her shoes and socks and ran in. The teacher gently told her that she is in the *next* class and sent her back to the lobby. She ran back to Jim and Carly in tears, sobbing "I'm in the next class" and "I'm going to throw up" then proceeded to do so. Turns out the lack of appetite was a good thing. Jim got her cleaned up, sent her in with the right kids, and she was fine.

When they got home he told me what happened, and terrible, unsympathetic mommy and wife that I am, I laughed. Becky didn't admit to her actions but instead told me that she remembered not to cut in front of any of her classmates, like we had discussed.

I almost wish I'd been there to see it. Almost.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sore to the core, but okay

The next step is over now; I've had the biopsy. It went as expected, though I'm sore and tired now. When we arrived at the hospital in the morning, the first challenge was finding a vein for an IV line. I have notoriously shy veins, so I am used to being poked more than once and having blood drawn anywhere between my elbows and knuckles. Today they got me by my right wrist, on the second poke. I have to say, the nurse was good, because right now I only have two tiny pink marks with no bruising. Since I bruise very easily, this is a tribute to Nurse Dee Dee and her venipuncture skills!

We went back to the CT room where we met Dr. Mohammed who explained the procedure. They used the CT to locate the nodule, numbed my skin and went in with a needle. He told us there is a 15% chance of a pneumothorax. All my years of ER watching didn't educate me on that term, so I learned that is a collapsed lung. That kind of knocked me for a loop.

I said goodbye to Jim and sent him off to work for a couple of hours, and they began. It went well, but when they got to the lung and nodule, it was just like when I had the kidney biopsied - major pain. At first I thought I must be feeling my lung collapse but they kept saying I was doing really well. The whole procedure took less than 45 min then I went to the recovery room for about 2 hours. I got some Tylenol and hurt a fair amount, but fell asleep for about an hour and felt better afterward. At about noon they paged Jim and sent me for a chest xray. Xray was behind as usual; it was great to have Jim there to talk to. All over the Clinic they have TVs, mostly all tuned to CNN. (Oddly, the TV in the CT scan waiting room is not, but that is unusual.) While I was waiting, CNN International was on, discussing issues related to today being Refugee Day. I am certainly sympathetic to these problems, but was having a hard time watching the images, and wished they would just shut off the flatscreen in the xray waiting area. I finally got in and it was confirmed that my lung was okay. Jim and I went to the cafeteria for lunch, then walked to meet his dad's car, as Dad had offered to pick me up so Jim wouldn't have to take more time. That was a long, slow walk. While walking we met a friend of mine from work, D, so now she knows what's going on... I haven't told everyone yet, until I know more.

I got home around 3 and was asleep by 3:30, getting about a 2 1/2 hour nap. I'm up now so I'll be awake and aware when everyone gets home. Tonight is Becky's gym class so Jim picked up both girls, took them for something to eat, then straight to class. I'm really looking forward to everyone being home.

They told me it takes 3-5 days to get the biopsy results, so I'll call my nurse on Friday, and will of course let everyone know what we learn. Thanks to all of you for your prayers and PVs; they are so appreciated.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I have a date...

for my biopsy. I am to report to the hospital at 8:30 next Tuesday, June 20. They will do the biopsy under CT guidance. When I had the kidney biopsied, it was done under ultrasound due to my pregnancy. Then, they couldn't give me anything to knock me out or twilight me due to my pregnancy. They told me they don't anesthetize for lung biopsies, so I'll be 2 for 2 for awake biopsies... oh joy. But it will be over soon enough, then the true waiting will begin. It takes 3-5 days to get results, so I won't know anything until the end of next week at least. I'm expecting the worst, hoping that maybe somehow it's just "gunk", but hoping that they can tell me that it is definitively *something* one way or another. With the kidney the biopsy was inconclusive, though that turned out to be malignant as we know.

I will ride in to the hospital with Jim that day. I told him not to take off the morning and sit down there; it's a waste of his time. They can page him when I am done and ready to go home. He'll drive me home probably around noontime.

It will be good to have an answer, at least.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Bad news

Had my scans last week - abdominal CT and chest xray. Had behind me lots of "clear scan" PVs.

Well, the scans were not clear, dammit.

The CT showed a couple of lymph nodes that looked off (I forget the exact term). The dr. said that happens a lot post surgery. Normally he wouldn't think twice about it, but with the aggressive nature of the tumor he removed last year, he wants to watch them. So I have to have another CT scan in3 months instead of 6 or 12.The bigger problem to me was on my chest xray. It showed some sort of"nodule" on my left lower lung. Dr. said xray is not very accurate so he wanted me to get a chest CT and consult with an oncologist so we can see what it is or isn't. They were able to squeeze me in for theCT that evening and got me an appointment for the oncologist the next morning. I started crying in my dr.'s office, naturally. He consoled me by saying that 1) he doesn't see cancer, tumors,etc in the kidney area, which is good, and 2) it's likely nothing but he just wants to make sure. I had brought him new pics of Carly and he told me helooks forward to me giving him her college graduation photo. :-)

Fast forward to the next morning. What a day... I was at the hospital until 11, went to work, ate quickand caught up on emails and voice mails, and then was in meetings from1-4.The news is unfortunately not good, though still not certain. I met Dr. Rini and he was very nice, as well as extremely professional and knowledgeable. He told me that it's likely that both spots are malignant, given the aggressiveness of the original tumor, and the fact that the tumor, while confined to the kidney, had invaded the main blood vessel. The lymph node is too deep to get to, but sometime next week they will biopsy the lung. There is still a small chance that it is just a calcification left over from an infection, but Dr.Rini doesn't think so.I f it is malignant then I get to enter Chemo-world. I know a little about it from what I have read, but don't really feel like thinking about it right now. :-) There is plenty of time to learn about it. I have decided that I will treat whatever I have as aggressively as possible because I have things to do, dammit. Mostly watch two babies grow up. That is what is breaking my heart the most... the thought of leaving my two precious girls. I feel bad for Jim too of course but in a different way; he would be very sad to lose me but would at least understand it as well as anyone can understand death. Anyhow, it's my hope that I'll be one of those long term survivors. Dr. R couldn't give me any kind of prognosis at this point, but did say that the fact that I am young and otherwise healthy works in my favor. No kidding on that... they sent me for bloodwork. In the lab I could hear the techs verifying other patients' dates of birth (one of those JCAHO things they have to do to not make mistakes). I was the youngest person there by about 18 years. Dr. R. also noted that this is the "best" point to be finding this cancer if itis to be found at all. I like to think that the fact that it's in only two places is a good thing too, all things considered.

So I get to "enjoy" a roller coaster of emotions, lucky me. This really really really sucks. I will go through anything I have to if it will give me more good time with my family and friends. But why???? did this happen? I know there are no answers but it still makes me sooo angry. Jim and I are in a really good place right now, better than we've been in a long time. The girls are so wonderful and so much fun; I want to enjoy our summer together. WAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, will update when I know more.