Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wonderful Day

Saturday, August 30. Can't believe this is the end of August already. This summer has flown by. I called the surgeon's office yesterday and was told that it takes 5 - 7 days to get a pathology report and she didn't know why the doctor that did the liver biopsy told me they would have the report the next day. Oh well. I have an appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday, September 2 at 1:30 and we will decide on treatment from there. Knowing a time and date to make decisions has taken the anxiety away. I may not know the answer, but at least now I know when I'll know something. That helps a lot.

Have I mentioned I'm married to the most awesome man on the planet? He's not perfect, but he's as close to perfect as a male can be and not drive you crazy! I lvoe that man more than anything. He just somehow knows exactly how to support me in a way that brings out the very best in me. He's awesome. Thank you God for bringing him into my life.

I wonder just how many people have me on their prayer lists? I know it's quite a few. But the funny part is, that when I start getting anxious, if I remember to pray for myself it ALWAYS works. This is my prayer taken from the Scott Krippayne song "Sometimes He Calms The Storm," I pray that He will calm His child (me) and within hours He always does.

What a great day it has been. I'm learning to just enjoy being. Went to the fabric store. Simplicity patterns for $1.99! Woohoo! Bought 3! One for gift bags, one for shopping bags and one for snowman Christmas ornaments! How fun.

Then went to a festival. They had a quilt show there and it was wonderful looking at what other people had created. I want to learn to make a quilt. One of these days. I have 2 quilting books I pulled out and will start reading. I love walking around fairs and festivals looking at what other people have created. One gentleman had made mats for picture frames shaped into words like grandchildren, beach, mountains, etc. I have tons of pictures so I'm going to make my own for photo collages. That will be fun.

I just made a new purse for fall. Check it out.

Thanks for reading :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Waiting again...

That has to be the hardest part.  I hate the waiting to hear what is going on.  I had the liver biopsy on Tuesday, and it's now Friday and I still haven't heard the results.  They told me when they did the biopsy the surgeon should have the results by Wednesday.  That was two days ago.  Although I'm glad he didn't call me yesterday.  So far news on Thursday is bad.  Don't want to hear anything on Thursday.  I was so stressed out this morning that for the first time in a week my ulcer was killing me.  It hurt to the point I actually threw up.  That was fun.  Not. 

Although for the first time this morning in a while I actually drank regular English Breakfast tea.  Maybe it was the caffeine in it that made my stomach hurt? Probably added to it at least.  Guess I'll have to stick to decaf and herbal tea from now on.  I read that if you pour boiling water over regular tea bags and swish it around for 20 seconds it will take 80% of the caffeine out of it.  That should do the trick. 

Oh well, back to my sewing room and waiting for the phone to ring.....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rectal ultrasound

Wednesday, August 27th. Just got back from my ultrasound. Drugs are good :) Didn't feel a thing.

The tumor does go into the walls of the rectum. It is a T3. But, he found no evidence of it being in my lymph nodes. That is a VERY good thing. Now just have to wait and see what the results of the liver biopsy are. After that we will sit down with my surgeon and decide on the course of treatment.

There will be surgery, chemo and radiation. Just when and in what order will be the question. Praying will be able to put it all off until the 22nd of September after we get back from Paris and London.

Will let you all know...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Liver biopsy

Tuesday, August 26.  Well my liver biopsy was today.  Not at all what I expected.  Drugs are good!  my awesome husband took the day off work and took me.  I had to be there by 7:30 this morning.  They took me straight back had me put one of those fun little hospital gowns on (maybe I'll make my own and start taking it with me....).  Then someone came in and took blood to make sure my blood coagulated (sp?) right.  Another nurse came in and took my history down to how long it took my mother to give birth to me - at least it seemed that way- and I let her know I was having an anxiety attack and would she please give me some happy pills.  So she very nicely gave me two adivan.  That worked nice to ease my anxiety.

It only took the lab about 20 minutes to let them know my blood was fine.  So nice nurse came in and gave me some morphine.  Happy drugs.  Within 5 minutes I didn't care what they were going to do. 

The biopsy was a breeze.  I couldn't even feel the needle poking me when he numbed me up.  I was able to see the ultrasound and the assistant showed me the spot they wanted to biopsy.  If that's a small spot I'd hate to see a big one, but I think it was blown up larger for the doctor to see.  Morphine was awesome becuase I thought it fascinating watching the needle go into my liver and into the spot on the ultrasound.

The sucky part of a liver biopsy...after it's over you have to lay there pretty much still for FOUR HOURS!  At least they gave me something to drink immediatly after, and then two hours after brought me food because you can't eat before you do this. 

This was all done at Carolinas Medical Center Main and the people there were all wonderful.  We were treated very well.  Which is nice since I'll be back there tomorrow morning for my rectal ultrasound.  And the fun continues......

One other thing, I sleep most of the 4 hours I waited and have slept on and off all afternoon since I've been home.  I am exhausted.  Probably mentally and physically.  When they told me when the biopsy was it pretty much made my diagosis of cancer reality. 

So it's back to the couch for yet another nap while my fantasticly awesome hubby makes me dinner.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Friday, August 22. Dr. Davis my primary care physician called this morning to see how I was doing. He had just received the reports from the surgeon and wanted to know how I was doing and if there was anything he could do to help me, or if there were any questions I wanted to discuss with him. I told him about the chest pains I had been having for two weeks and he told me to come in and see him.

The other thing that I found out from the CT scan was that I had gallstones. I thought maybe that was causing the pain, but it wasn't. I have an ulcer. Me, who has like no stress in my life has an ulcer. Go figure. At least now I know what was causing my chest pains. My heart is fine! Dr. Davis put me on nexium and the pain was almost completely gone in 24 hours.

I feel like I'm just falling apart. This just isn't quite fair. I quit smoking 8 months ago, started eating well and have been exercising almost every day for month. I've felt better than I have in years and now all of a sudden it's one thing after another. I have a feeling it's going to be a long few months until this year is over.

Next appointment Wednesday...let the fun continue.

Surgeon pre-op exam

Thursday, August 21. Went to Dr. Dobson so he could do the rectal exam. He used a scope to look and see exactly how high up and where the polyp was positioned. Glad he thought it wouldn't hurt....

Was going to have my amazing husband come with me, but it was a simple exam and he was taking the next day off to take me for surgery so I didn't bother. BIG mistake. Had I only known.

The polyp wasn't on a little stalk like he thought. It is fixed to the wall of my rectum. He can't just easily remove only the polyp. Not sure what he needs to do. I have to go have an ultrasound done that will show how deep into the recal wall the polyp goes and it will also show if the lymph nodes around the rectum are affected.

That was the beginning of the bad news. He also told me that I have two small spots on my liver. He said it could be just a cyst or could be cancer. He said he was going to go to look at them personally that afternoon and that I would have to have a liver biopsy to decide what he needed to do about them. Joy.

So here I was thinking, ok, i have cancer. It's a little bitty spot, he'll take it out and I will have had cancer for all of a week. I can deal with that. All of a sudden it really isn't that easy. Now I get to sit and wait again. I am scheduled for an ultrasound on Wednesday, August 27th. This time I'm in no hurry for it to get here.

First visit to surgeon

Tuesday, August 19. Met Dr. Dobson the surgeon for the first time today. I really liked him. Young. Looks like he's about 12 years old. I told him that and asked him if he's ever done this surgery before. He said "no, but I've read about it." Got to love a doctor with a sense of humor. He said by the report from Dr. Cyzner should be just a really easy surgery with no side effects at all. He scheduled it for Friday. I have to go see him in his office on Thursday so he can take a look at the polyp and see exactly where it is and what he's dealing with. He also sent me for a CT scan and a lung x-ray just to make sure we weren't dealing with anything else. I went straight to the hospital from there and had them done so that's over with.

The CT scan was interesting. They injected me with dye and I could feel it working it's way through my body. When it got to my vagina I felt like I was peeing! It was the oddest feeling. The tech had warned me that was going to happen. What he didn't warn me about was that when it hit my stomach it was going to make me very nauseous. Wow. For a minute I thought I was going to lose it. But it passed quickly enough.

Now just wait till Thursday and see what happens from there.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Friday, August 8 the awesome nurse from Dr. Cyzner's office calls to tell me they have set an appointment for me to see a surgeon on Tuesday, August 19th. Dr. Dobson. Must not be too worried as that is 11 days away.

Only we are supposed to go to Cleveland the week of the 18th. Guess that's not going to happen. Which is sad because we have a new granddaughter born July 17th that we haven't seen yet. Such is life.

Then on Thursday Dr. Cyzner calls me.  I know it isn't good when the good doctor calls himself instead of having his staff call.  He says there is cancer present in the polyp.  But, he says the edges he looked at were clean and the cancer was only in the middle.  He was pretty sure that all they had to do was remove the polyp and I would be "cured."  His exact words. 

He called at 11:00 am exactly.  Which means that my wonderful husband is down in the health center at work walking on the treadmill and I can't call and tell him.  I'm in shock.  I didn't expect to hear this word.  Although after smoking for over 30 year I should have expected it.  By the time my awesome husband calls me back I have decided that it really wouldn't be nice to tell him over the phone and make up an excuse as to why I wanted him to call me.  We email each other 20 times a day so a phone call is out of the ordinary.  Of course he is pretty sure why I called even though I didn't say.  He tells me that evening that he isn't worried about it.  He promised me 50 years and he isn't going to let anything happen to me before 50 years is up.  And we still have 38 years to go for that.....

Can't say was the best weekend we ever had.  We love our weekends.  Love our time spent together.  That weekend we went to a movied on Saturday - Indiana Jones and the glass walker...I mean glass whatever it was - actually very well done.  I loved the details from the other movies in it.  And they didn't try to make him out to be 21 anymore.  Took our minds off the surgeon for a while.

Then on Sunday my magnificant husband dragged me to see "Ironman."  Yeah, this is something I really want to see.  NOT.  Gag.  The only redeeming feature for me was I do like Robert Downing, Jr.  Still was NOT going to like this movie.  But Mark is incredible.  So if he wants to see it I'll go and not say a word.  This movie was GREAT!  I loved it!  When is the sequel coming out!  Of course that means it did it's job and gave us something besides CANCER to think about. 

So the waiting for the surgeon is almost done......


Thursday, August 7th my husband took me for my colonoscopy bright and eary. My appointment was for 7:20 am. As I wanted FOOD this was good. I was glad I didn't have to wait half the day! At this point I wasn't a bit worried.  I was pretty sure it was something small they would take care of and that would be the end of it. 

So they took me into the procedure room, his music was blasting - that was a good thing in my mind - I just wish I could remember what was playing.  Mark (my awesome hubby) heard the music but couldn't tell what it was from his position.  My question for Dr. Cyzner - "Are you excited to be at work today and looking forward to doing this?"  He looked surprised at my question and said he was.  I see some white something go through my iv tube and the next thing I know is I don't have a clue where I am and it's all over. 

My husband tells me that I had a whole long conversation with the Doctor and the nurse - mostly about being in pain - that I have absolutely no memory of.  I suddenly realize where I am and what is going on.  Don't hurt at all. 

Then the pictures.  He showed me this nice healthy looking colon, then a little, bitty polyp that he was easily able to remove.  Then he shows me this huge, ugly looking mass that he said was just too big for him to be able to take out.  He said he biopsied it.  I needed to go see a surgeon and have it surgically removed.  They would call me with an appointment to see a surgeon.  Ok. He didn't really make it sound like a big deal.  Whatever.  We go to surgeon, he takes it out, end of story.  I wish......

The beginning

somewhere at the beginning of June I first noticed blood in my stool. It was only a few days before my daughter and 3 beautiful grandkids came for a month long visit from Cleveland and so I didn't pay much attention. Of course it got a bit worse during that month, but I wasn't going to worry about running to the doctors office for what was probably hemorrhoids so I wasn't too worried about it.

On July 22 I went to my primary care physician Dr. Davis. He verified there was blood and sent me to see Dr. Cyzner to have a colonoscopy done.

Monday, August 4 - I went to meet Dr. Cyzner. He set up a colonoscopy for Thursday. He seemed very much no nonsense and straight to the point.

Wednesday, August 6th. What fun. Dave Barry did a hysterical piece on what a colonoscopy is like. How anyone can find something funny about what the night before is like deserves a pulitzer! Fun it is not. I don't know what was more shocking, the amount, or the fact that I didn't lose 20 pounds by the time I was done!