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Showing posts from December, 2008

The Stupid Cancer Blog and Out the Door with 2008

There has been a nice diversion from thinking about my biopsy scheduled on Monday. I was in contact with Matthew Zachary from the amazing website I'm Too Young For This and The Stupid Cancer Blog earlier this week. His website and blog are amazingly wonderful, irreverent vehicles for the young adult cancer fighters and survivors. I love the whole concept….you don’t have to tip toe around cancer. Meet it square on and kick it in the butt!

~~WARNING: Shameless self-promotion ahead~~

Anyway, Matthew and I emailed about me contributing a blog post, and I am thrilled to say that it was posted to The Stupid Cancer blog yesterday. Here’s the link:

I really love the whole blogging and social media arena and am thrilled to have mixed that together with the cancer world. Cancer is like a fraternity/sorority except you really don’t really want to belong to it. However, once you do, it’s a whole new community rea…

Biopsy scheduled - January 5th

My biopsy is scheduled one week from today. Surprisingly, especially after the "we'll call you in 5-7 days" talk, the office called Christmas Eve to schedule it. I will do this thing on Monday, January 5th at 9:15 AM.

Every day that it gets closer, I get the "ready for it" and "are you kidding me?" feelings at the same time. Seems familiar from this summer. Alot is riding on this biopsy for me as you can imagine, and my gut tells me to just get ready as it doesn't look good. However, as I have blogged about before, I know the deal, know the doctors involved, etc. Those of you who know me, know that is good. It's helps me to have as much information as possible, as it does most of us. If it is good news, I will be pleasantly surprised.

I'm not feeling well at all today. My "cancer cough," as I affectionately (NOT!) called it back in August-September, is back. I honestly think it is just a "cold cough" but the last time I h…

16 years old today!

Today is the day...eldest daughter is finally 16 years old! When my kids have a birthday, I find myself reflective of the day they were born, and this year is no exception.

She surprised us on the day she was born in two ways: ultrasound at eight months had predicted a boy, and she had a full head of red/borderline orange hair! She has kept that red hair to this day, and now it is a beautiful color. The great thing: she loved to smile as a baby and still does today.

She is a great kid, and I am very proud of her!

Post-Christmas, Pre-16-year-old birthdays

I hope everyone had a great holiday week! We had quite a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, enjoying it all. In follow up to my Christmas Eve post, I have to share about the National Cathedral service. It was really moving, really wonderful. It was grand and elegant yet warm and comfortable all at the same time. It was a great moment of reflection. I am grateful to my MIL who secured the tickets months in advance for us all!

Last night we celebrated the two almost 16-year-olds' birthdays by taking the family plus a few friends to the local Japanese steakhouse. We had a great chef in both food and entertainment not to mention the great company.

I promised in a previous post to explain the two 16-year-old kids who are not twins....I brought Kenzie (and 11-year-old Morgan) to the marriage, and her birthday is December 28th. Chris brought Christian, and his birthday is January 1st. It was quite funny when we realized this while dating, that we both had a child of the same age, only four d…

Happy Merry Christmas Eve!

Hi all...Happy Merry Christmas Eve! Hope everyone is feeling the spirit of Christmas. I am...stressing just a bit about hosting Christmas Eve dinner but feeling better about it all. Need to get the ski stuff out of the front living room, boxes out of the dining room, ask in-laws to bring another table as we are expecting 11, vaccum, oh and cook. :)

Some of you have asked about my doctor's appointment yesterday. First, thanks for checking on me. :) It was somewhat uneventful as "the doctor I don't like" said, "Yes, you need a biopsy," which I already knew from the radiologist. I was anticipating a fight as somehow I thought he was going to say something like "Let's watch and wait with this." Not sure why I thought that, but that wasn't what he said at all.

He gave me an order for the fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy. This is a needle without anesthesia to my thyroid (did this first in July 2008...old pro at it now) and then that questionab…

Not festive...yet

Feeling guilty that I'm not feeling more grateful and in the Christmas spirit today like I was on Friday. Feeling more like "I have/had cancer (whatever this in-between state I am in is called...) and don't feel like being festive!". I'd rather go back to bed but have kids to get off to school (their last day before winter break), presents to wrap, food to shop for, etc. Just not feelin' it.

Any of you, cancer or not, just not feelin' it? I'm hoping to have a big turn around sometime today or surely on Christmas Eve. It feel selfish and guilty to feel this way, but I'm allowed some of this right? As long as I can get out of this funk before Christmas....

"Doctor that I don't like," his office called yesterday, and he wants me to go to his office to talk about the ultrasound. Going to do that late morning today.

The Weekend Before Christmas

What a great weekend we had! Christian finally landed on Friday night after four delays and about eight hours in the Indianapolis airport. We are glad that he is here....great to see him! He's here until the 27th.

On Saturday we went to Chris/Morgan's basketball game, which was their first win of the season. After a quick Chinese buffet lunch, we then realized that we had to evaluate ski gear for five people. After checking our own ski box, begging, borrowing, and a trip to the local sporting goods store, we figured out snow pants, coats, gloves, etc. for five people without breaking the bank four days before Christmas. This was good!The next issue was who was going, who was not. Between our two vehicles, we have 12 seats, and both of us planned to drive. As a result, we let the kids invite friends. Morgan invited one friend then the rest were Christian and Kenzie's friends. They were all great kids, and we had an amazing time! Liberty was good...not crowded at all, and I w…

No news yet...and thankful

It's been an interesting 48 hours digesting this new ultrasound/biopsy news. I've gone from really sad to mad to, well, this is just the way it is now for me. Not really resigned to it but knowing this is what I have to do again to get rid of cancer...again. I'll do it, and I'll win...again. That competitiveness that I've passed on to Mackenzie and Morgan does have it's place in times like this!

No news about the biopsy as it isn't even scheduled yet. "The doctor that I don't like" is out of the office until Monday morning. My family practice doc's office called today as they had the results and wanted to know if I knew and what the status was of the biopsy. Ah yes, this is how a doctor's office should be, caring about the patient and following up. My FP doc is the one who originally found the nodules on my thyroid on the routine exam in May.

Enough are some things I am thankful for. Not a complete list by any means b…

More about batting a thousand...

Ah, I didn't really explain the "batting a thousand" reference in relationship to me when posting on the blog last night. Was still in a bit of a fog from the news I received from the ultrasound. A bit of history...

Batting a thousand:
1. June 2008: ultrasound reveals suspicious nodules that should be biopsied.
2. July 2008: after biopsy confirms papillary carcinoma, neck ultrasound to look at lymph nodes finds suspicious lymph nodes. Post-surgery found out about the four positive lymph nodes, two of which were the size of small plums.
3. December 2008: Ultrasound post total thyroidectomy and neck dissection, small nodules found in the thyroid bed along with a suspicious lymph node.

So in summary, every ultrasound I have had of my thyroid and neck this year has revealed something suspicious. Thus, I am batting 1,000 with the ultrasounds in 2008.

Feeling rather bleh and crappy about it all today. It's Christmas...why do I have to deal with cancer again? Ugh.

Batting a thousand/3 for 3

So....not good news from the ultrasound today. There are some nodules on the right side of my "thyroid bed" that the radiologist recommends for biopsy. There should be nothing in the thryoid bed at all since they removed my thyroid, but instead, I have nodules. I also have a cystic, "juicy" lymph node on the right side of my neck that needs to be biopsied as well.

The radiologist, not the tech, did the complete ultrasound scan, ear to ear, top to bottom of my neck. He was very thorough . He said he would be contacting "the doctor I don't like" to let him know that he recommends biopsy for these two areas.

I am relieved in a way because now I know there IS something going on. I had a feeling, just going with my gut, that there was still something there. And it is different this time around. I know the drill, have had the surgery and the radioactive iodine treatment before. Although it won't be exactly the same, I at least have some frame of reference…

Christmas cards, life moving fast, and ultrasounds

I started working on Christmas cards last night...finally found some that I like at Rite-Aid of all places. I really enjoy going through the address book, being reminded of literally all friends and family.

We are getting to a place where we have more "our" friends now. We still have "your" friends and "my" friends from our separate lives prior to four+ years ago, which is absolutely fine, but it is great that we have more and more of "our" friends.

We talked last night about how much things have changed in a year from kids getting older to Christian going back to Indiana to Morgan changing soccer teams to my cancer diagnosis to the presidential election and more. All of these are/were big in our world. What's that Ferris Bueller quote about life moving fast? That seems to be us...

Tomorrow morning is my thyroid/neck ultrasound. I'm a little anxious but ready to do it. The location, on Arlington Blvd. (this radiology group has offices all o…

Radioactive again?

Update on the Friday visit to the "doctor I don't like": He said the neck pain is not associated anything thyroid cancer related. I feel like he dismissed me on this so I'm not sure that I believe him. It isn't just a sore neck muscle or clinching my jaws. It's lymph nodes on both sides.

The other side of the coin is this: Am I making something out of nothing? Hard to say. However, I am having an ultrasound on Wednesday morning in follow up to my elevated thyroglobulin level indicating remaining thyroid tissue. He said that scan would also include my neck and they would take a look at those painful areas so...hopefully that will be cleared up with the scan.

Doctor also said that I might need to do another round of radioactive treatment if the scan showed a significant enough amount of thyroid tissue...GREAT! Those of you who followed me earlier this fall know how much i loved that...NOT. The treatment itself was absolutely fine for me. Swallow the pill, wait un…

One day at a time

I ran across the following quote this week:

The best thing about the future is that it only comes one day at a time.
-- Abraham Lincoln

No matter how overwhelmed we get about our health, the holidays, work, family situations, etc., we can only take it one day at a time, no matter what.

So....breathe (talking to myself here as much as you), think about your one day, today, and make the best of it.

Nutmeg Warning...who knew?

Hey, check out this warning about nutmeg. This blogger's post is on the BlogHer site:

It's crazy! Who knew this about nutmeg? Anyone? I sure didn't...

Christmas card update...and it continues to rain, not snow

We were all disappointed to see no snow when we woke up this morning. It's not cold enough. However, it continues to rain, and I was inspired by The Soup's Rubber Boots post to get out my own wonderful pink rain boots (See photo. Thanks photographer Morgan!). Now I will hardly take them comfortable and keeping my feet dry!

Anyway, I had to also mention in follow up to yesterday's post that did receive two more Christmas cards in the mail yesterday bringing the grand total to three! Speaking of Christmas cards, gotta get ours out the door...yet another "to do" for the weekend.

Appointment with "doctor that I don't like" is today. Getting the usual blood draw and also an order for the ultrasound. Neck still hurts this morning, for two weeks now.

Isn't it amazing as cancer patients we get so used to being poked and prodded? It all started with a needle straight to the thyroid with no anesthesia (fine needle aspiration or FNA to be official) b…

Is Christmas really in two weeks?

Can anyone believe that Christmas is two weeks from today? Really, I find it hard to believe. In fact, just yesterday a friend of mine on Twitter (here's a plug...follow me on Twitter: mentioned her family had only received one Christmas too! As she asked, I will ask you: Did we miss the memo? Are folks not sending out Christmas cards? I LOVE to get Christmas cards, especially with the goofy family letter with the update on what everyone has been doing so...if I'm not on your Christmas card list, please add me! :)

And on another Christmas note, about two weeks ago, I was so ahead of the game with shopping. All of a sudden, I'm behind. Another factor for us: two of our three kids have birthdays within a week after Christmas! This has a harsh impact on the checking account, for sure. However, it's been that way for a while, two of the kids' birthdays a week after Christmas. It's just the way it is....we'll survive as we …

Sneaky thyroid cancer

The cancer snuck up on me today at work...not fun. While looking at some childhood cancer photos today with colleagues, we found this particular photo of a teenage boy getting a treatment of some sort. I had this flashback to my hospital experience, thinking about how I hated that IV to the point that the last 24 hours or so I was in the hospital, I would not let the hospital staff use it at all. I thought about how I hated that drain in my neck and walking around with this drain full of crap in my hospital gown pocket. I thought about how all I wanted to do was to make this all go away.

I was overwhelmed with emotions...for him and, selfishly, for me. I felt myself getting emotional, closed my eyes, and wondered what was happening but then I knew.

There is a thyroid cancer support group meeting at the local hospital here this Saturday. I'm going to try to go if schedules allow. I'm curious and wonder what it would be like to be in a room with other thyroid cancer survivors. Som…

Morgan on the Run!

This morning at 8:30 AM, I was with Morgan and her friend Rachel as they started their sixth Girls on the Run (GOTR) race, 3rd Reindeer Romp. It was a brisk 18 degrees at race time, warming up to 21 when they were finished. Although we do not have the official times yet, they ran it in around 30 minutes. Then, we kept running to the car, drove to Thoreau Middle School so she could get in about one quarter of her basketball game that started at 9 AM. Whew!

Quite a pay raise!

Today I received a press alert via email from my alma mater, Oklahoma State. Check out the first two paragraphs below:

Following only the sixth nine-win regular season in school history, Oklahoma State University today announced a contract extension for head football coach Mike Gundy, giving him a new seven-year contract worth $15.7 million. The contract was announced following action by the OSU/A&M Board of Regents at its regular meeting in Miami.

With the new contract, which is effective Jan. 1, 2009 and runs through December of 2015, Gundy’s average annual compensation will be more than $2.2 million. His current six-year contract paid him $1,053,000 this year.

What the heck? That's quite a raise, and he didn't even beat OU, Texas, or Tech! Now, I went to OSU when Mike Gundy was the quarterback there. He was the quarterback during Barry Sanders' Heisman year. He seems like a nice guy and a great coach, but wow...
In all fairness, I have to point out that I also read an a…

Dying...or losing 20 lbs.

I haven't blogged about "the cancer" in a while...suspiciously so. Many of you know I am a worrier of the highest degree. I come by it naturally. My Mema is the biggest worrier of all. My Mom tries to tell her that at 88 years old, she can quit worrying about so many things as I have taken on the majority of that worrying burden as well but she presses on with it as do I. But I digress..

Ah, "the cancer".....I'm in this weird stage of being done with treatment yet not really in the full swing of follow up other than the blood tests that "the doctor I don't like" has me doing every six weeks. I call him for results a week ago and he says, after I press him for my actual bloodwork numbers, "There is nothing you need to worry about. I'll tell you when you need to be worried."

Every morning that I wake up, the first thing I see in the mirror is the five-inch scar on my neck. Some days I feel lucky to be alive. Others, I can't beli…

16 years old!

This month my oldest daughter will turn 16....yes, 16! Geez, time goes by so quickly. For all of you out there with babies and toddlers saying, "Yeah, right! I can't wait!" can wait. It has nothing to do with teenagers being difficult or crazy. It has everything to do with your baby growing up, driving, having a boyfriend, etc. The amazing part is watching your this teenager who used to be your baby grow up (yes, I said the same thing...) and be responsible, have a job, organize a volunteer project, work, make great grades, and watch out for her little sister.

Really, it's amazing....