A Funny Thing Happened This Week

 

Actually, not really. It was a little bit scary but I wanted to lead with a positive spin so….

Wednesday I had my monthly Oncologist/Treatment appointments. I see my Doc first, go over what’s been happening the past month, discuss any new symptoms (if any) and what’s the plan for the month ahead. Then I head to the infusion room to get my 3 shots – 2 Faslodex with the ginormous needles in my backside and the Xgeva ‘bee sting’ in my arm.

We talked about the crappy flu I had, the nagging chest pain that won’t seem to go away and the way it feels worse with any kind of physical activity. I’m also feeling a bit more tired lately. She double checked the chest x-ray I had this past Monday (to rule out pneumonia) but based on my symptoms and the fact that the Ibrance I take for the Cancer does come with a risk for developing Pulmonary Embolism, she scheduled a CT Angio to rule out a small clot in my lung. She also added an additional CT w/contrast Abdomen/Pelvis because I have some sensitive spots in my ribs that we have been watching. Since I’ll be in the tube anyway we might as well check it all out and see what, if anything is going on.

(Here’s the “funny” part I promised at the beginning)

After I had my awesomely painful shots, I made my way to the desk to check out and schedule my scans. While standing there and waiting for the tech to figure things out, the whole room seemed to turn to liquid. I began to feel REALLY weak, REALLY fast. It must have shown on my face because the tech asked me if I felt OK. I told her I felt “funny” and I grabbed the counter. The next thing I knew I was in a wheel-chair and people were running. They were running to ME. Someone was taking my blood pressure (it was 159/112), someone else was checking my oxygen level and someone else was giving me juice. I couldn’t speak. Tears were streaming down my face. Next thing I knew I was being whisked into the infusion room where I had my shots. I was being hooked up to oxygen.

My Doc came in to check on me and told me that I was scheduled for my scan in a few hours. She stayed until my numbers were back to normal. I’m so thankful they didn’t call for an ambulance. I definitely don’t want to make ambulance rides a monthly thing and definitely don’t want to be anywhere near an Emergency Room again.

A few hours later, I arrived at the hospital for the scan. I was given a huge plastic bottle of what appeared to be water to drink but tasted like what I imagine liquefied tinfoil to taste like. Then the IV was placed and I continued to drink.The whole process took about 3 hours. I was pretty exhausted when it was over.

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The good news: I do not have a Pulmonary Embolism and ribs are OK. Also, I do NOT have Metastatic disease in my liver. Wait…WHAT?? You see, when I read my report last night, line #4 literally said I had “known Metastatic hepatic lesions”. I might have freaked out a tiny bit. After a quick conversation with my Oncologist this morning, she confirmed I did not and there was a second report that had not been released to my online chart that explained the radiologist had viewed some benign liver cysts that I have had all along. WHEW!! This is why we should NOT read our scan reports – at night – alone – before discussing with our doctors. (I should write this down and stick it on my mirror so I see it every day and don’t forget that I said it)

The not so awesome news: the spot in my lungs that was ‘too small to characterize’ on my last PET Scan is now a 3mm lesion in my upper left lung. It’s very small and if it stays that small it still may not show up on the next PET Scan. But as we all know, this finding in someone like me, with Metastatic disease, most likely means that I could be in the beginning phases of progression to an organ – my lungs. If it does turn out to be progression, this will mean another treatment change. To what? I don’t know. I do know, I have very few if any non IV-chemo options left.

In the meantime, my GP has prescribed an inhaler for me to use before any physical activity to help with my chest pain and breathing. She is thinking it’s residual bronchial inflammation from the flu and hoping this will help until I’m 100% back to normal (what ever ‘normal’ means, right??).

So, until my next Scan at Sloan in May, I will be getting Adam ready for his trip to Italy with his High School, which happens in April – SEVENTEEN DAYS to be exact. That should keep my mind occupied enough so I won’t give much thought to my lungs or scans or unhappy crap. HAHAHAHA – who am I kidding? That’s what bedtime is for, am I right??

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When is it Time to Say ‘Uncle’?

It’s been a LONG week. No, a really long ass Mother Fucker of a week.

It’s going on day 4 of the elevator in my building being out of commission. We live on the 4th floor. That means 6 flights down and 8 up every time I leave the confines of the 4 walls I live in. Now, I could go down 4, cut across to the other building, end up outside and then walk to the end of the street to the parking garage. Then do the whole thing in reverse when I get home. Either way you slice it its a gigantic pain in the balls and way too much walking when you don’t feel good or when your bone and joint pain is off the charts.

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My question is this: what if I was in a wheelchair?  How am I leaving ny residence when there is no way around having to go down 4 flights of stairs?? Because this isn’t the case, no one seems to give a shit. No one.

I had been told (and I have the email to prove it) that all would be fixed by Friday.  Well, guess what? It’s after 6pm on Friday and the elevator is STILL NOT WORKING. This means that it’s going to be at least Monday now and there isn’t a guarantee THAT will be the case.

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The management company is aware of my illness and that my cancer is in my bones. They have not made one single concession other than to say the maintenance guys would help me with any bags or groceries. Oh really??? And how the fuck would I track them down???  When you need someone its literally impossibleto find anyone. So, thanks gobs and gobs but I’ll figure it out on my own.

Today, I finally got the report back on my Echo-cardiogram. Turns out it’s MOSTLY OK. The two issues is that my Mitral Valve and my Tricuspid Valve are both regurgitating. The dumbed down explanation is that those valves don’t close all the way like they should and blood is flowing back up into the chambers. This could explain the fatigue, the edema in my ankles and feet and my shortness of breath. I’m being referred to a Cardiologist. Awesome. Hopefully, I’ll know more after I see him/her.

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On top of all this fantasticness (it’s a technical term, trust me), my next PET scan is Friday, June 5th. My Oncologist also ordered a CT of my abdomen and pelvis. This is where I find out if I’m still NED’s #1 girl or if NED gives me the old “It’s not you, it’s me” speech. I have no feeling about it one way or the other. Am I nervous? Sure. Do I think there will be progression? I honestly can’t say. I’ve been absolutely, totally positive in the past it would be bad news only to find out it was good. So, I have no clue. I have had increased back pain and there is a spot on my ribs that has thickened quite a bit but that could be nothing. I’ve also been quite forgetful and have been mixing up my words. It’s been noticeable to my son. Enough so, that he has commented about it. I’ve also had a significant increase in migraines. Does this mean I’m worried about my beautiful brain? Not especially. I can’t worry about what is out of my control.  The results will be what they will.

Maybe the bullshit of the elevator not working will keep my mind off the fact that I have scans this week and I’m adding a Cardiologist into the mix.  Or maybe the stress of it all on top of all the stair climbing will cause my heart to explode and it will all me a moot point. All I know is that if that WERE to happen, I wouldn’t be all that torn up.

Wait….is there really a stairway to heaven??????  On second thought….

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