Friday, March 21, 2008

Good News for a Friday Afternoon!

My mother-in-law had her "what do we do now?" appointment with her oncologist yesterday and... she's IN REMISSION!!! WOOHOO!!!!! And even better - her spleen as somehow reduced back to normal size! She won't need surgery, and she is done with chemo (for a while, anyway)! Doc still wants to put her on a maintenance chemo schedule (one dose every couple of months), just to help her stay in remission, but we expected that.

This is absolutely the BEST possible outcome for her whole situation! What an awesome resolution to all of this! Our family couldn't be more pleased, nor could we be any more thankful for all of the prayers and good thoughts that have been sent our way. Thank you so much, kind friends!


In upcoming news: testing went well, prep was AWFUL. Might, if I'm feeling so inclined, share some details soon... Trust me when I tell you it's not something you'll likely want to read. BUT, I think I want to document it for my own records.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

And I shall call her...


Yes, I'm sure this sounds completely absurd (and it probably is), but I figure, too bad! Maybe I am a little (completely) absurd, and dammit, this is my blog, so - let the absurdity roll!

Wow, that was quite a tangent.

Anyway, I've decided to name the cyst, or "pelvic mass" as it is clinically referred to. And I've decided to name her Jane. If I have any IRL (as in, truly In Real Life - they've never lived in my computer) friends that have discovered this blog, they will ABSOLUTELY understand why I picked that name.

For those of you that are unaware of my real life drama surrounding that name, let me sum up. Jane was a friend of a friend - a somewhat uninvited character in my life. Never did she play any positive, substantial role. Most of the time, she was simply an extra. But when she did decide to jump into the action, she made her presence known in rather unwelcome ways, often by creating much unwanted tension and drama. In short, she was someone that I was more than ready to get rid of, and I was finally able to do so after a long overdue upheaval within the group to which we both belonged.

I removed one Jane from my life early in 2007, and I will gladly have this one removed in 30 days - and not a moment too soon.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The countdown has begun!

1 month until surgery. I am officially FREAKING THE FUCK OUT!!! It dawned on me today that I have 1 month to finalize as many tax returns as possible, bill out said returns, and generally get thru tax season crunch time. Doable, but certainly not my most favorite-est month of the year. And yet, I get to ADD to that fun, with the excitement of teaching my 2 co-workers how to do my job, so that they can cover for me while I'm on leave! Yay me!

Yeah, freaking out about all the stuff that has to happen between now and surgery. And freaking out (but only a little, so far) about the surgery itself. That 4-6 week medical leave for recovery? Any chance we could start that early? I could use the break!

In other news - 10 days smoke free! I'm constantly eating, so I really need to stop buying snack-y shit to keep in my desk. My first real non-smoking test is coming this Friday, when the Grumps & I are meeting some friends for cocktails and a night of general debauchery. This group of friends happens to be all smokers. Every last one of them. And did I mention that I'll be cocktailing it up? If I can make it through that night without a puff, then I will be pretty damn confident that this no-smoking thing will stick.... at least for a while.

I go in this Thursday for a pre-surgical IVP. Dr. N wants to make sure that everything is functioning properly throughout my urinary-tract before the surgery. He doesn't suspect a problem, but he wants to be sure.

I have to go to Big Scary Hospital for the test, so el Grumperino is taking the morning off to go with me. I'm not so nervous about the test itself, but more so about finding my way to the appropriate parking lot/garage, entrance, department, etc. I'm a wimp with that stuff.

SPEAKING OF Big Scary Hospital... I got a phone call this morning from their billing department. Apparently, it is standard procedure for them to call - prior to a scheduled procedure - to "discuss insurance coverage and deductible or co-payment patient responsibilities". That translates to them asking me to PRE-PAY my portion of the estimated bill for a relatively inexpensive procedure (they said my portion should be about $175, but $155 of that is meeting my deductible for 2008).

I told the twit from billing - in no uncertain terms - that the hospital could bill me AFTER they bill my insurance, and I will gladly send them a check. There is NO WAY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH that I am giving them a dime for a procedure they have not yet performed, and one for which she herself told me she could only estimate the charges.

I then got the "My computer talks to the insurance company's computer (literally - in those words), and I'm quite certain that this will be our charge. Additional charges could be lab fees, or fees from your doctor's office." speech. I politely replied that I could also be hit by a bus tomorrow, and not have the procedure as scheduled.

She agreed to make a notation on my record and that the hospital will send me a bill.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Thank You!

Thank you all, SO MUCH for being so supportive of my attempt at kicking the habit. I'm still on the wagon - 141.25 hours and counting!

No time for a longer post (damn tax season!), just wanted to say Thank You! The encouraging comments mean more (and help more), than I could possibly tell you!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I need a new habit

before I gain 400 lbs from all the snacking that has taken the place of smoking!

Somebody - please - Help Me! Save me from this giant box of wheat thins, and bag of M&Ms, and box of granola bars (not the healthy ones, of course - the yummy ones with more chocolatey goodness than anything).

Seriously folks, I am honestly afraid to get on the scale. If this keeps up, I may just go back to the cancer sticks....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

72 Hours!

Hit a few rough spots last night, and ALMOST caved, but.... I DIDN'T! Woohoo!!!!

Now, if only I could find some chocolate as a reward - that's fair, right?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Name that Drug

ok, so in talking to Mom about the appt with Dr. N (everything is still as planned, and he's confident we will be doing the full abdominal lap because of my history), she STRONGLY advised me to look into a drug that he used for her pain mgmt after her hysterectomy. Problem is she can't remember the name of it. Soooooooo, I need some help. Here are the clues I have:

  • Starts with "F"
  • Given as a spinal before surgery
  • Mom was allowed to keep it in until the day she was released from surgery
  • Dr. gave it as a pain med as a substitute for morphine therapy

Mom mentioned this, and suggested I talk to Dr N about it, because she LOVED this med. She didn't experience any nausea while on it, and she was even - perky - post-surgery. Loopy, but perky.

I, on the other hand, spent the first few hours in my hospital room completely dead to the world. And I spent the next day experiencing my red hospital jello in reverse. (Why in God's name would they give a patient recovering from abdominal surgery RED jello? WTF?) Morphine and I aren't such good friends, apparently.

All that being said - I really want to talk to the good Dr. N about this other med as an option. But, I really don't want to call and leave him a message asking about "some spinal pain med that starts with an "F", that you gave to my Mom for her hysterectomy in Aug 07". I mean, if I have to leave that ridiculous message, then by all means, I'll absolutely do it. But, I figured I'd offer up the question to the wise & all knowing blogosphere before I look like a fool.

So, can YOU Name that Drug?

Yay Me!

Despite it being an uber-krappy Monday at work, I have NOT dipped into my security blanket cig stash! Yay Me!

Off to see Dr N... Nervous? Bet your arse I am! And yet, I have no idea why. It's not like he's going to tell me anything I don't already know: surgery, Apr 18. Hoping for scope, possible full laparotomy. 1 - 6 week recovery (depending on procedure). Anything beyond removal of right ovary & tube, he's closing me back up & we're all gonna have a sit down to talk about it.

Still, I'm nervous to have to talk about it all again. I'd be much happier if he'd just get in there & get it all fixed up. Stoopid busy season at work!

45 Hours and Counting

The time finally came this weekend. I *think* I've quit smoking. I had my last (as in most recent, not as in never-again-for-the-rest-of-my-life) cig around 1pm Sat afternoon.

I don't know what clicked for me, but I woke up Sat morning just not wanting to smoke. Weird. It lasted until about noon, and then I was able to fight off the urge for another hour or so. I caved around 1, but only managed 2 or 3 puffs before feeling all nauseated and generally icky. So, I put it out, and haven't lit one since.

I haven't yet been able to give up the open pack in my purse. That's definitely my security blanket, and I'm just not ready to part with it (and you can't make me!).

I got thru yesterday just fine, but today is proving to be a bit more of a challenge... smoke breaks have always been my way to walk away from the frustration (ie bullshit) for a few minutes. Not doing that is harder than I thought it would be, but so far I'm working thru it.

Have the follow-up with Dr. N at 6pm tonight. Will post when I have info.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I suck

There's simply no other way to put it - I suck...

When life gets crazy, apparently the first thing I cut back on is my blogging. See, I suck.

And now, because I haven't blogged *consistently* in what feels like F O R - E V E R... I find I have absolutely nothing to say. Told you I suck.

So umm, well.... hmmmmmm... OH! I got something! An update on my resolutions!

Let's see...

  • I am cooking at home a LOT more often! It's become - dare I say - habit!
  • I've gotten more adventurous with my cooking (ie, less opening of the box, and more opening of the cookbook or blog), and have tried a few new recipes... and even have gotten daring enough to throw stuff in a pot - until it "looks right", and then taste it - to - adjust the seasoning & stuff! Holy shit people, WHO AM I???
  • I have a better handle on our finances. Haven't quite created THE BUDGET, but I do have a few spreadsheets in play that help me keep track of some of our activity.
  • Greener living is coming along - slowly - but any progress is better than none, right? TV is off unless we are really watching it; Grumpy got the recycling bin down for me (so what if it's still tucked in the yard behind the house); I've gotten better about unplugging/turning off certain things when they're not in use... like I said, it's coming along.
  • Still not making any progress on the exercise issue, but I'm getting closer I think. Having a lot of this other stuff "under control" makes it seem easier to undertake something like that.
  • Still a smoker, but really want to quit before surgery... we'll see how that works out.
  • OH, and after my frustration & breakdown last week, I've made the house a priorority. It's not exactly where I want it yet, but it's definitely on the way there. And I can't even begin to tell you how much better I feel when I go home - after a shitty day at work - to a house that's CLEAN, and SMELL'S GOOD (thank you crock pot cooking!).

Next on the bloggy to-do list: Q&A for Dr. N on my pre-surgical appt this coming Mon. Here are some of the things I want to address with him:

  • He mentioned Lupron therapy as part of the post-surgical recovery (for possibly as long as 6 months). Would this help before the surgery, too?
  • If the surgery is just laprascopic, what kind of restrictions/recovery am I looking at?
  • Since I'm lucky enough to not have the life-disturbing pain associated with most advanced endo cases, how are we going to monitor the disease? Am I stuck with just hoping for the best until I a) am pregnant or b) have another 60 day cycle that tells me something is wrong?
  • Does he still think I might have PCOS, or is the endo causing the annovulatory condition?

Now, what other questions should I be asking? I have until Monday afternoon to put together a nice, thorough list to arm myself with, and I sure could use some help!