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Mar. 5th, 2015

peekaboo

All the tests

INVASIVE DUCTILE CARCINOMA

After my preliminary diagnosis on Sunday night, I made some phone calls. My Aunt, my sister, and my parents. I was able to relay the initial diagnosis without much emotion, using the scientific terms provided to me by my surgeon.

I had a quick flurry of appointments for tests and imaging to help determine the stage and whether it had metastasized. The surgeon asked that I do a full blood panel so we had baseline readings. She also asked that I do a MRI. My aunt brought me for my blood work, which was a very routine blood draw.

Then, my husband and aunt went with me to the MRI. I was escorted through St. Mary's hospital and brought into what appeared to be a garage or loading dock. It was very cold. I walked up a set of metal stairs and into a trailer. Inside the trailer they asked many questions to make sure I had no metal on me or in me. They then described the procedure.

I would have to lay face down on a tray. They would slide me into a tube and ask me to stay very still as they took a series of images. They would be doing the images with and without a contrast that they would inject into my arm during the procedure.

The technician asked what kind of music I liked. I was at a loss, and suggested alternative. She wanted clarity on this. We ended up going with a weird mix of Nirvana and Depeche Mode, which in any other situation, I would have enjoyed.

I laid face down on the tray with my round breasts hanging through square holes that weren't quite big enough, so the edges of the holes rubbed against the sides of my breast,and the center support irritated my breast bone. My arms were brought over my head and laid next to my ears. I would be in this position for about 40 minutes.

They handed me a button to press if I needed them for any reason. The technician informed me that she would relay instructions to me via the headphones I was wearing. I was then slid into the tube. I was repeatedly told to stay still for varying amounts of time up to 15 minutes. I was surprised at how difficult it was. Loud buzzing, whirring, and knocks surrounded me. It sounded like the trailer was imploding. When I was given the contrast they told me that they were doing it, so when I tasted something weird in my mouth,I knew why.

In the end, they said I did well and returned me to my people.

I had a PET scan scheduled later that week. My aunt drive went with me this time. It was my favourite test so far. I was brought in a room and told to rest. They covered me in warm blankets and left me to relax. Sometime during my resting they came in and gave me a radioactive shot. After a while longer they came in and asked me to follow them to the machine. I was laid on a tray again. This time I was face up. They covered me in a bunch of warm blankets. The tray went in and out of the machine and took images along the way. I was asked to stay still and rest. Of course this meant that my nose started itching immediately.

During one pass when they were all the way down at my knees with the machine I took a chance and scratched my nose. It is hard to explain the satisfaction that one simple action gave me, but it was simply glorious. I almost fell asleep during this scan.

With all the tests done in just a couple of days, I just had to wait to meet with the surgeon to review the results and the complete pathology.

I was left to continue my everyday dance with my mundane existence. Going to work, pretending to care about things that just didn't matter to me anymore. Trying to retain some happiness by spending time with my family and friends.

Working in retail and trying to have empathy for people who complained about their problems with finding the right toothpaste or earrings was becoming increasingly difficult. Not to mention my patience was wearing very thin with everyone, and my boss was on vacation, so I was running the team. I am so lucky that I work in such a supportive environment, or I would have been unemployed quick.

One of the hardest things for me during the journey has been the waiting. I feel like there are bursts of activity that are exhausting, and then nothing while I just twiddle my thumbs and wait. I am not known for being patient. The universe wanted me to practice more, and I was still at the beginning of this long road.
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Feb. 21st, 2015

peekaboo

onset

In July 2014, I felt it. It hurt, it was big and I wasn't sure what it was.

I had breast fed 2 babies, and was confident that i had just been injured. After all, cancer didn't hurt. my son probably bruised me while we were play wrestling.

A month passed and the hard knot seemed to be getting worse. i finally made an appointment with my nurse practitioner midwife. I took the first available, but still had to wait a few days.

My nurse practitioner was concerned. She felt the mass I described and 2 other things, one in the same breast and one mirrored on the opposite side. And so i started my long journey.

She ordered a mammogram for me and suggested i call right away so they could for me in before the weekend. I called and the earliest appointment was 2 weeks away, but they scheduled me for an ultrasound at the same time. I called back my ordering practitioner, and she told me just to wait for the appointment, and that it wasn't that long to wait.

How could she say that? I could already be metastatic and i couldn't even find out for 2 weeks? How was i going to remain calm? AAARRRGGHH!

So i muddled my way through the 2 weeks. I don't remember anything remarkable about those weeks other than they were long.

My husband came with me, but was unable to stay with me after i got changed for the mammogram. I was alone and scared. The reason was that other women might be upset if he was back there with me. So i had to face this alone because of the possible modesty of others.

I held onto hope that they would tell me this was normal, but my hopes were dashed when they told me they saw something suspicious and had me wait on my ultrasound. The result was abnormal, and the doctor told me he wasn't telling me it war cancer, but that he didn't know what it was and wanted me to see a surgeon to find out more. They asked me to wait and speak with a patient advocate.

The advocate was very nice, but i was in terror. Friends and family may not have realized, but i feared for my life, and had a vary hard time trying to figure out how to move forward. The patent advocate set me up with a consultation with a breast surgeon the very next day.

I asked my aunt to come this time. I did not want to be alone again. We met the surgeon who was vry nice and said she would be willing to biopsy me that day if i was comfortable with that. I agreed to the procedure, and began tonprwp and fill out consent forms.

The biopsy would consist of a small insiscion into my left breast. They would use an ultrasound to ensure they were in the right location so they could get a viable tissue sample. The also did a needle aspiration of my lymph node since that appeared abnormal as well.

I was laid on a table, and given a shot of local anesthetic. Ot burned, but that was expected. They made a small incision and inserted the large needle like tool into my breast. At first I felt nothing, but all of the sudden there was a searing pain that shook me. I screamed in agony, and writhed and shook as they tries to calm me. my aunt stood at thebfootnof my bed looking mortified. She rubbed my legs and tried in vain to wish the pain (and the potential cancer) out of my body.

The surgeon and assistant told me they must have hit a nerve cluster. They gave me more anesthetic, and changed the path of the probe. A few minutes that felt like centuries of me holding onto the side of the table with a death grip, and they were done. They had gotten enough tissue to give them confidence in a conclusive test. I would heartfrom them as soon as they had results. The surgeon and then the assistant left the room and i dressed, in a haze, still shaking slightly. My aunt telling me in the background, you are never coming here again. There is no reason for you to feel that much pain. I was there for your sister throughout her battles with cancer and i never saw her like that or had her tell me of pain like that.

On the way out of the surgical center, we saw a gift shop with an explosion of pink everywhere within its walls. I turned to my aunt and said "pink isn't my color." She replied "i was about to tell you that pink is the new IT color for fall." My aunt drove me to lunch, and gave me time to stop shaking.

Again, the waiting. I don't think patience is possible when waiting to hear from the doctor regarding pathology. You get through it. You try to forget, but it is there eating at your soul until you have an answer. Hot are constantly hoping, praying and trying to bargain for health with the powers you believe in, and many times some that you aren't sure of.

I got a call at 830pm on Sunday night. I debated answering the phone because i was unsure of the number and it was late, and Sunday. I did answer, and got my answer.

The preliminary pathology came back positive for cancer. I needed to schedule blood draws, and radiology to better determine the stage and treatment options available to me. The doctor a vary clinical description of my Cancer and i clung to our, because it was more unknown and less scary than the word cancer. Invasive ductile carcinoma with lymph node involvement. This is what i told everyone. I was able to keep a straight gave and talk about the science. I was able to move on, make appointments and joke around with people around me, but i wad crushed inside.

Whether i admitted it or not, cancer would now control the next few months of my life. It was up to me to make sure it didn't
take control of more than that, or take me altogether. I am not done with my time here on earth. I have no choice, I must take on the long fight.

And so started the hardest, most frustrating battle of my life.

Jul. 19th, 2013

peekaboo

perception vs. truth

Today I was presented with a volatile situation that I was not a party, or witness to, but had to help deal with the aftermath.  In this aftermath, I was given the opportunity to hear both perceived versions of what happened.

I find it rather interesting that both sides felt themselves justified, and their perception was skewed to support that justification.  Needless to say the storywas rather contradictory.  I do not envy police officers, counsellors, teachers, parents, and others who have to deal with this type of situation on a regular basis.  How does one find truth and reconciliation, when our brains are so prone to support our actions, feelings and views that the actual events and time line change in our perception?  How does one find the truth in such a situation?  And if the truth is impossible to find, how can 2 parties find a way past their "perceptions" and get on a path to reconciliation?

Personally I am saddened by the current state of things with the 2 parties involved.  I honestly do not know what happened, but most likely both sides remember flawed versions of what happened.  I am currently trying to support a path to reconciliation while trying to only be minimally involved.  I have suggested third party intervention that doesn't include me.

So what positive message can I take away from today?  Try to be mindful that my perception of reality is not always the "truth."  Try to utilize measurable observations whenever possible to minimize the impact my bias has on my relations with others.

Mar. 3rd, 2010

peekaboo

The show must go on...

Wandering by candle light in a forest of self denial and passive aggressive actions, I find myself upon the edge of a dark lake,  The water is dark and murky. The surface is as smooth as glass, but there seems to be objects swirling frantically just below the surface.  I look at my reflection and what stares back at me appears to be a dark human like creature with empty eye sockets.  I am disgusted by this vision myself. 

Unable to function properly with used up shoddily repaired parts that threaten to fail at any moment, I sigh at my current lack of ability to recall successes to lighten my existence.  All that remains is an empty husk that definitely shows wear.

As the empty sockets stare back at me, I am mesmerized by the swirling darkness within them.  I start to lean forward, ever closer to the murky surface.  Soon all I see is the dark swirling masses as they become hypnotic.  I know there is insanity within those depths.  I sit and spend a moment pondering whether insanity is a better path.  How far into the depths would I have to travel to lose myself?

I sit for hours, my nose just an inch or so from the surface.  My body aches from maintaining the posture, but that is of no consequence, pain is a constant in life.

Eventually reality returns to me.  The light starts to brighten the shores.  The lake remains a dark spot. 

I sit up and reach in my pocket. I retrieve a small crystal clear bottle from my pocket.  I remove the stopper and hold it in my spare hand.  Being very careful not to touch the water, I dip the bottle partially beneath the surface.  When I am finished, I stopper the bottle again.  I rip a piece of cloth from my shirt and use it to wipe any remaining drops off the bottle.  I take the candle and let the melted wax drip along the top, sealing the stopper.  I then burn the cloth I used to wipe the bottle.

I hold the bottle up to the light.  I am unable to see any light through the black liquid inside.  All I see are differing shades of black.  Lowering the bottle, I am blinded as the light returns.  I have bottled insanity.  I will keep it with me for safe keeping in case there ever is a time of need. 

I am still an empty shell, but purpose returns to me.  There are others that depend on me, and need me in the world that I come from.  I will continue my journey along that path.  I will do it for them, if not for myself. I extinguish the candle and walk towards the light, leaving smoldering bits of cloth, and the impressions in the sand I have created on the shore.

As I retreat from the lake, I adjust my posture, fix my hair and clothes, and affix a pleasant look to my face.

All will be well...  Even if I have to fake it.
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May. 5th, 2009

peekaboo

Change

No matter how hard I try, time keeps slipping away.  I hold onto moments, mere glimpses of true happiness and sorrow.  I worry that one day I will even lose these simple moments that I have fought so hard to keep.  Things change no matter how hard I try to keep them the same.

And at the same time, no matter how hard I try to make positive changes in my world, the efforts seem to plod along, not making much difference at all.  The money and time spent on social action seems to flow like a river away from me into some vast far away place.  The efforts spent on self improvement fall short of their goals never truly completing the desired change.  So things stay the same no matter how hard I try to change them.

It is an interesting duality.  Maybe my viewpoint speaks to my impatience and spoiled nature of wanting what I want when I want it.

Some have told me that this is what life is like as a parent. There is never enough time.  Time to play, learn, enjoy, correct, clean, appreciate, sleep, etc.  I find myself wishing for more hours in the day.  More time to spend with my little angel.  More time to make the world a better place before I set her loose in it.

I must settle for doing the best I can.  And trying to focus on what is most important to me, and my little angel.  But it's hard to settle, because I want everything.

Things will be as they will be, and we will persevere and even prosper.  This will be my mantra for now.

Until it, like everything else changes.

Jan. 12th, 2009

peekaboo

The little things - I am blessed

Today I was exhausted.  I think that working 3 days a week, in addition to being the primary childcare provider for our house, and continuing to have a social life is wearing on me.  I have no clue how mothers can work a full time job and still stay relatively sane.

It's amazing to see her grow and learn...Collapse )

I am very thankful for all the things I have each day.  While different items in the news may disturb me, and upset me, and I want better for the world, I really can't complain much about my own life.  I love my family.  We make enough money that I can stay home with my angel.  We are a tight knit group and we laugh together every day.  If I can keep it like this, i will have a very nice life.

My one regret is that it always seems that I need extra time in the day to see friends and get things done.  I am trying to find a way to fit more of the things i enjoy into every day, while still fulfilling my responsibilities.  If anyone has any magic tricks, let me know.

Well the little one i love requires my attention.  Good night all!



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Jan. 11th, 2009

peekaboo

I am sorry about your dissatisfaction...

To the difficult guest I had at work yesterday,

Please know that my department has thousands of products available for your purchase.  Unfortunately the sheer volume of the selection makes it prohibitive for any one staff member to know off the top of their head the formulations of every product on our shelves, or the status of every order we have coming in.  I do not have access to our suppliers stock levels, and I am not the one who places the orders, so I am unsure as to the exact timing for the delivery of that product.  I also am not a computer and can not keep all of this data in a readily available, but seldom used file to pull out when you want the answer now.

Unfortunately, I am unable to find the answer out for you right now, because it is a weekend, and the supplier/manufacturer is closed for the weekend.  I would be more than happy to take your information and get back to you with an answer.

Please do not condescend to me about not doing my job well, because you are upset that you can not have immediate satisfaction.  Patience is a virtue, and I am just asking you to be reasonable.  And please do not insist to me that you pointed this issue out to ME a week ago.  I am sure of the fact that we have not spoken about these issues previously.  And please do not tell me that I just don't remember.  I get paid to remember, and I do it very well.  There are many other people on our staff, please accept the possibility that you could be mistaken.  As I have accepted the possibility that I may have had a discussion with you on this subject and then promptly developed amnesia, or developed post traumatic stress disorder, and blocked you and your condescending nature from my memory.

When you tell me that a product on the shelves is not the one you purchased a while back, and I ask you if you would be willing to bring the product you have in with you so that we can compare, please do not tell me that you could do that yourself.  I know you are capable of doing that, but you have information that I don't.  You have documentation of the formulation that you have at home.  I need that in order to be able to find you the same product.

I do very well at my job, and I want to make sure that you are happy with your experience here.  I will do everything in my power to make sure you have all the information you require in a reasonable amount of time.

Please know that I can also make mistakes, and I am willing to accept the consequences and apologize for my shortcomings.  I understand that you are frustrated, and I understand that it is upsetting to you to make the trip out to our store, and not find the exact item you want.  I am sorry that we are unable to satisfy you in this moment.  However, there is only so much time that I will stand here and listen to you condescend to me about things that are out of my ability to control.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this commentary on our interaction today.  I hope it enlightens you on the virtues of patience and humility.

Sincerely,
Insignificant Team Member

Jan. 8th, 2009

peekaboo

Long Time, No Post

Happy New Year!!!

I have been wanting to post for a while, but I guess I haven't been wanting it enough.

So a lot of things have been happening for me over the last few weeks with the holidays and all, but it's nothing overly exciting.

Here's the short version that probably won't bore you to death...Collapse )

Do I have any resolutions you may ask?  Well, no.  I find that if I make a resolution, I am very likely to break it very early on.  Most of my "resolutions" are too nebulous of ideas to give them quantitative goals anyway.  I think I'll say instead that I have intentions for 2009.  We'll see how that works.

This year I intend to:
Spend time with my angel
See the bright side of things
Prioritize and organize
PURGE
Work toward a healthier me
Socialize
Return (and make) Phone calls (sorry everyone that I've been so lax)
Take time for myself

So far...Collapse )

I'm off to dreamland.  Hopefully I'll post more soon.










Nov. 21st, 2008

peekaboo

Rottweiler needs help now! Repost from a friend on Myspace & Livejournal

This is a repost of a repost, just trying to get the word out, and get this dog some help.  Please contact Myke with all serious inquiries and suggestions.

Saturday morning, at 3AM, while driving a friend home in Newark, NJ, I came across a dog that had been hit by a car. She was limping badly and I could see that her leg was severely damaged and very swollen. I pulled over to help and called 911 and the Humane Society. I would remain with her for the next 3.5 hours in the pouring rain. After a little coxing, she struggled in pain to limp a few feet over to me. She immediately nestled her head in my chest for comfort and stood close to me while she shook and whimpered. She was soaked to the bone and in terrible pain. I can't begin to tell you the bond that I struck with her that night. It was one of the most emotional moments I've ever experienced in my life with an animal. I vowed to her and myself that I would not leave her, or let anything else bad happen to her while I was with her. When the Humane Society finally showed up 3 hours later, I asked the driver what I needed to do to help her and he told me to call the shelter the next day. And so I did. After speaking to several people, they explained to me that if she needed surgery for her injuries and it was too costly for the shelter to do, they would simply put her down. I was relieved to find out that she did NOT have any internal bleeding, but DID have a dislocated femur and more than likely, they would NOT do the surgery. Her time would be limited. Two friends of mine stepped up and offered to help me by chipping in money for the surgery. I was one step closer in rescuing her from a death sentence. Since she didn't have tags or a collar when she was found and was obviously homeless, I was ready and willing to adopt this wonderful animal and give her a good home. However, it seems that all my effort to save this injured creature, so desperate for love and affection, have been in vein, as I was informed this evening that dogs are no longer permitted in my building. You could well imagine what a blow this was to me. No matter what happened from this point on, I would never be able to give this dog a good life. Though I went through all the motions to get her off of the street and medical attention, I could not keep her. No exceptions to the rule.
So, I'm asking everyone, is there someone out there willing and kind enough to give this wonderful, year old, Rottweiler a place to live out her life? I ask this question for the life of this beautiful animal that needs love and a fair chance. I fell in love with her from the moment I held her in my arms. She came to me for comfort and safety that cold, rainy night and I cannot erase the image of her head fixed to my chest, as if in some way telling me how much pain she was in and how grateful she was for me being there for her as the rain drenched us both. I whispered in her ear that I promised to give her a home and the love that she so rightfully deserves as an innocent creature of this Earth. Now, it breaks my heart to know that I'm limited in my efforts and unable to carry out that promise to her. I spent 3.5 hours in the rain with her and knowing she could be put down because I can't take her home is more than I can bear right now. It really is killing me.
If ANYONE out there is willing to help this homeless, hurt dog (who I've named Storm) and give her a home, please contact me A.S.A.P. Her life depends on it. I will do everything in my power to get her to you. She is kind, sweet and not vicious at all. She would make a great companion to any dog lover. Above all, I would be eternally grateful to the person that could come through for me in this time of need. Please help her if you can.
I'm sure Storm would be more grateful than I could ever be for giving her a chance to live. This call goes out to everyone. Please spread the word.
Serious inquiries only, please.
Thank you for reading this.
Sincerely,
Myke Hideous
11/18/08

Myke can reached through his MySpace @ http://www.myspace.com/themykehideous

Nov. 19th, 2008

peekaboo

Has anyone read the FOCA legislation?

So I was on Facebook, and saw that a family member joined a group that is against the FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act).  I went to the page for the group, and the group claims that this legislation should be called The "Freedom for Partial-Birth Abortionists Act."  So I was confused and decided I should read the actual bills being introduced by congress, fortunately the group that was against the act had posted the actual items being introduced in both the house and senate.

http://www.nrlc.org/FOCA/FOCA2007HR1964.html and http://www.nrlc.org/FOCA/FOCA2007S1173.html

Since they were posted by the people contesting the act, I was concerned that the text wasn't accurate, but even given the text that is listed on these sites I do not see how this legislation is granting more freedom for partial birth abortions.

Some other claims made by anti-FOCA groups are:  This legislation would force the government to subsidize abortions.  Medical professionals would be required by law to provide these services.  Legislation could not be passed regarding locations of abortion clinics, and the list goes on.

As far as I can see, in simplified terms the federal government is saying that in the US, no law at any government level can be passed that denies or interferes with a women's right to choose to bear a child or terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability, and that in the case of maternal health implications or life threat abortions may occur after viability.

Has anyone else read these documents?  Can someone tell me what I am missing?

Thanks.



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