Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spoke too Soon

I had complained about how I was not being treated for high cholesterol. To be honest, I wasn't any too eager to be prescribed another pill or told to give up chocolate or red meat. But I sent the results of the last test I took at the Lunch and Learn to my primary care doctors office. I was a bit surprised when I got a call from his nurse today. He wants me to come in to discuss my test. Honestly, I didn't think he'd see the test until I went back into his office and he had to look at my chart. I'm more impressed with this doctor than I expected to be. I have been a bit leary of him even though he came highly recommended. He went to medical school in the Soviet Union, and that just made me a bit uncomfortable. But he seems to be more on top of it than many doctors have been.


I went to the cardiologist today. I knew that he was going to fuss at me about my weight and he did. But overall the visit went well. I can go back in six months for him to admire my arrythmia.

Then tonight I was talking to Matt and Nina and they told me some news...the newest red-headed wonder should arrive sometime around mid-October....She'd better be a girl or he will be wearing a dress :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Eye Brows

I used to have eye brows. I used to hate that they were bushy and tried to meet in the middle of my face. I used to spend hours plucking abberrant hairs. When I was on chemotherapy they thinned a great deal, but they didn't completely go away. One day my son laughed at me and said that having no hair on the rest of my body, he would think that I'd leave the eye brows alone. I told him that the chemo had made them thin out. He said he couldn't tell because they looked perfectly plucked. I was a bit unhappy after chemo when they came back with a vengence. The hair on my head came back abundantly, not so much everywhere else. I was hoping that I could keep the perfectly tweezed look of the eye brows. Today I noticed that my eye brows are looking tweezed again and it has been ages since I've done it. I have no idea why, I'm not on chemo now. I don't know what inspired this gift, but I'll take it. I'm just hoping that this isn't a pre-cursor to un-wanted things to come. I'd look funny with male pattern baldness.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Easy to Panic

I'm pretty easy to panic when it comes to having cancer. I've had a pain in my ribs that where they attach to my breast bone. It has been there for several years, I can't even remember when it started. I did mention it to my Oncologist one time and he just shrugged it off. Said that radiation treatments can sometimes cause that. He's never checked it out, but I have never brought it back up. I wonder if I should ask him about it again, or if this is just another place where I panic about cancer.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

At the Core

I went shopping with Lizzie yesterday. It's always a bad thing for me to do because I always spend money that I shouldn't. This time I bought a sun dress to wear on vacation. I'm hopeful that the vacation will have sunny weather. the actuality is that North Carolina in April isn't going to be sun dress weather, but I'm hoping. The thing is that I hate shopping for clothes now. It's a great dress, but it would look so much better on someone who weighs a lot less than I do. The skinny me still lurks in the back of my mind. I want to be that person again, but I don't want to be the part of the person she was who was afraid to eat. I don't want to count every calorie and deny myself every bite of food. I don't ever want to be so hungry again that I gag and puke on an empty stomach. As much as I used to fear food, I now fear hunger. I still have the same deranged eating problems; the pendulum has just swung to the other side of the spectrum.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Back to Winter

The weather has been fooling me lately. It got so nice and warm during the day that the red bud trees began to bloom and the jonquils in my yard came up. My heart was skipping and singing that it will be spring soon. As I get older I have less and less of a tolerance for winter and all it's cold grayness. But today winter is back. It is cold. The promise is here that in a few weeks it will not get cold, but for now I have to bundle up in coats.

I am looking forward to my vacation in North Carolina. I was hoping that Matt, Nina and Clifton would be able to join me. When that didn't happen I offered it to Tim and Jenn. No biters. They have other vacation plans this year. I should ask De to go because I know she wants to, but I'm thinking that maybe I'm meant to have some alone time. Down time will be nice too.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I rarely have days where everything just goes my way. Today was one of them. It really started in September. Through a long series of frustrating and embarrassing events, the title to my car was lost and my car was parked, because without the title I was unable to get my car registered and tagged. On Saturday the title to my car just showed up out of the blue. It was as if the hand of God just reached down and gave it back to me. It all happened too late to go about getting the inspection taken care of and the place was closed yesterday. There were some questions about whether the places that I needed to go would be open today. But I didn't listen to the naysayers and went today anyway. I got the inspection, I got the registration, I got the tags. After 5 months, I have my car back. Then I took Lizzie to get fillings in her teeth. She and I had been afraid that she was going to end up with a mouth full of silver, but to our delight, the dentist used natural toned fillings. Afterward we went to O'Charley's and had soup and salad and a very nice lunch. I had a coupon for a Honey Ham and the store was next to O'Charley's. I went in and asked for a ham that would match the coupon that I had and was given on that was twice as big. I was so happy. The ham is awesome. The day was awesome, but even more than all this it is so awesome to have my car and my freedom back. Just Awesome.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Do you believe?

I got the meme on Facebook from an old friend. He hadn't seen me for many years and didn't know that I'd had cancer. That is the only reason that I can think that he'd send me a meme named "Bucket List" One question asked "Believe in the power of prayer?" It stopped me in my tracks. I had to think about it. My faith has taken a battering over the past five months. I have never doubted the power of God to bring about His purpose, but that sort of defeats the purpose of prayer doesn't it? I mean, if God is going to do what He thinks best, why bother to ask about the things you want? But this was something that was important and was a lost cause...or so I thought. Having to answer the question for the world to see made me examine my true feelings and thoughts. I answered yes. This morning I had to do something I had been putting off, a rather odious and expensive task. While I was doing it, God answered my prayers. The lost cause wasn't as lost as it obviously was. All things are possible with God. Yes, I do believe in the power of prayer.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I went to a heart health Lunch and Learn last week. The subject matter was the the treatment for high cholesterol. I haven't been offered treatment for my cholesterol problem either in the form of medications or lifestyle advise from my physicians. Usually they are more concerned with the aspects of Cancer, LQTS, and Hyperaldosteronism to care much about my levels other than a note on the test results that the levels are too high. In particular, that my triglyceride levels were high. So when the offer was made, that for a small fee the doctor would be willing to test and evaluate our cholesterol levels, I thought that it was a pretty good deal. I was more than a bit surprised at the results. The first thing is that I have the results already. I have never had to wait any less than 2 weeks for results in the past. I've always felt that the results probably came back much quicker, but I have always had to wait. The second thing was that my overall cholesterol level hasn't dropped over the past few years. Two years ago I got the results in a packet. My overall cholesterol was a bit high. The offending part seemed to be my triglycerides, everything else was close to normal limits. Since the results came in the mail after the doctor appointment and I no longer had a platform to ask what to do about it, I did what I'm sure everyone else does. I went to the web to find out what to do about high triglyceride levels. The answer was to stop drinking, lose weight, cut out sweets and high fructrose corn syrup and exchange the carbs that I eat for whole grains. Pretty standard. I did quit drinking completely. Almost all the HFCS is gone from my diet and I didn't mind switching to whole grains at all. Cutting out sweets has been more of a problem (and yes, I can find snacks that are sweet and don't have HFCS). I did manage to lose a small amount of weight, but I have struggled to keep it off. The good news with the test was that my Triglycerides are down by 85 points and is now in the favorable area! The bad news is that LDL has now taken the place of the Triglyerides and has gone from being in normal limits to being in the high risk area. Not only that but my HDL dropped by 15 points. I guess that I'm going to have to take these results to a doctor and discuss them. I think that's what the follow-up lunch and learn is about, but I'm not sure. I'll find out next week.

So in response to my frustration that eating healthier and making sure that I walk for 30 minutes most day hasn't had the desirable results, I am eating all my Valentine candy before lunch. Great Attitude!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Yesterday I went through my drawers and cabinets to clean out things that should not be hanging around.  One of the things that I threw in the recycle bin was a postcard from my dentist reminding me of an appointment that I've already gone too.  When I got to work this morning I found the postcard neatly placed on my desk and my bin emptied.  It does rather disturb me that the cleaning guys are going through the things I throw in the bin.  I wonder what they are trying to find.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Health Food

I have had a couple pieces of bread in my cubby at work for almost a month now.  I bought the bread because it's whole wheat with no sugar, high fuctrose corn syrup or transfats.  I thought that it would be healthy.  I haven't eaten it yet because the idea of another tuna sandwich just hasn't appealed to me lately.  I have tuna in my cubby also, along with packets of oatmeal and popcorn.  I could stay alive for a month just on what's in my cubby.  Anyway, I was cleaning out my stash to get rid of those things that may rightfully be considered a science experiment and came across the bread.  It is still soft.  There is no mold growing on it.  I'm worried here…If mold won't even grow on it, should I be eating it? 

Saturday, February 7, 2009

One More...For Dawn

Another friend from the support group gave up the fight today. I was never very close to her. The support room can get to be crowded a lot of the time and she just wasn't the kind of person that I chose for my friends. We were usually only cordially polite to each other. Still it was like a stone falling through my soul a few weeks ago when I heard that she'd been taken to hospice and I cried tonight when we got the news of her death. Not crocodile tears, but tears that well up in the sadness that this disease causes. It is an icy soberness that fills me when I hear that someone died of cancer, especially breast cancer. I don't even have to know the person to feel it. But when it's someone from the room, it's different. It's more personal. We have all been surviving this together and when one of us dies the reality sets in that we may not actually survive.