As I said in the other post, I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted (April!), so I wanted to get a post done now before a bunch of stuff goes down and I’m out of commission for a while.
The cancer scare from my last post was thankfully nothing. God is good, and answers prayers from lots of family and friends. My numbers went right back down. Nothing on the scan.
I have probably mentioned this before, but I had testing due to my diagnosis with both ovarian and endometrial cancers, and my grandmother’s ovarian cancer. I tested positive with the MSH-6 gene mutation for Lynch Syndrome. After being told this, the testing lab recommended to my oncologist that I have a proactive mastectomy. Honestly, this was not what I wanted to hear at all. I was supposed to have moved in July, so my gyn/onc wanted me to have it done maybe at Sloan Kettering. Now that our move is delayed, we decided that since July had come and gone, I needed to have it done sooner rather than later. I was referred to a breast oncologist, who said that although I was not as high risk to get breast cancer as someone who had the BRCA mutation, I was still high risk enough with my mutation, and my two cancers, to proceed with the preventative surgery. She explained her end of it, removal only, and then referred me to the plastic surgeon for reconstruction. I met with the plastic surgeon that same week, and he explained my options. LOL Basically either get a reconstruction, or don’t. The second, I just don’t think I could mentally wrap my head around. In any case when the breast oncologist does the removal, the plastic surgeon does reconstruction at the same time. But here’s where things get a bit crazy….he puts in a spacer bag or sorts. The bag then gets filled gradually with fluid until it is big enough (on each side) and then is eventually replaced with the silicone implants. Then after than, there will be a series of like surgeries to contour and correct until everything is perfect. Because I had weight loss surgery, not everything is in the right place, so certain things need to be moved and grafted. *ouch* The whole surgery, filling, replacement, and re-surgery and healing process they said takes about a year. *whew* So, this is all being scheduled for…January.
Added to all that, I have been suffering these other health issues. I went in the ER last weekend with chest pains and was kept overnight for observation. I had to do a nuclear stress test in the morning. All was clear, but to be safe a baby aspirin was added to my meds list. No one knows at this point what caused the pain. And, also, I’ve been having severe dizzy spells that end up with me passing out. Yeah, seriously. And it happens every day. For the past like few months. So I went to see the PCP today (because the neurologist won’t move up my appointment) and she scheduled some tests, including a same day CT scan of my brain. I’ll have to get another test done, as well, and in the meantime, she is trying to move up my appointment for me. Hopefully it is nothing serious.
I am not the only on suffering issues. Pop Pop has been having a few of his own! Back in August, just before we left on our trip, he started acting a bit strange…off. After a day or two of this, it was finally decided to bring him to the ER. Brian and Sierra went with him. At first they were only going to diagnose with with an “infection” and send him home, but Sierra bullied them into doing a CT scan of his brain. It’s a good thing she did! The results were shocking…and showed a brain bleed, and a good explanation for the confusion. This put all the doctors and nurses in freak out mode (considering they thought he was a minor ill patient, and is now upgraded to needing to go to the ICU.) After being in the ICU, and then the regular hospital room, he eventually needed to be sent to the rehabilitation floor. There, he was essentially treated for the most part the same as a stroke patient. His memory had deteriorated so bad at his worst that he did not remember Brian’s (his own son) name. (He did remember Gizmo, our dog, who is his sidekick! LOL Go figure!) Eventually some names came back and some didn’t…by the time I was able to come visit him, he knew my name, and Brian’s, but not his grandchildren’s (Sierra’s, and Kenzie’s) It was so sad to see him at this point. He needed speech therapy, and physical therapy and occupational therapy. Even after he was sent home, he continued the physical therapy and occupational therapy. The ironic thing is, initially they thought they saw a mass on his brain, and then said no, it was just the blood. But they were wrong. It was blood in the one spot. And then a mass on the pituitary gland. The tumor is large, and has made the gland grow to 5 times its size. As a result, the gland and tumor are pressing on his optical nerve. He’s already suffering vision issues. The doctor said without surgery he will certainly go blind. So the day before Thanksgiving he will be having surgery to remove the tumor (which, thankfully, they believe is benign.) If he didn’t take this date, the next available for both surgeons would be after Christmas, (and probably resulting in blindness!) We will be celebrating an early Thanksgiving with Pop Pop since he will probably still be hospitalized then. As an added bonus, the early Thanksgiving is on his birthday, so we have a double celebration!
Sierra is still having major issues with her Fibro, as usual. Hopefully her disability case will settle soon, and she will have that to fall back on. It’s been a while, so she would get instant Medicare, since the retro benefits are now more than 2 years. It works out great, like it does for me, because it means no co-pays or out of pocket expenses (except at the beginning of the year when you have to meet the deductible.
Things have been great since the last update in regards to the my weight loss. I have lost 110 pounds to date! (From 297 to 187.) The doctors claimed that I’d “probably never get below 180”, but I think I’ll beat that one very soon. To make me even more proud of how well I’ve done, I started with a size 24 clothing/pants size, and I am now down to a 14! It is so great to have dropped 10 pants sizes. My one major hang-up is the loose skin. *ugh* It’s hanging on my arms, and on my belly, and a little bit on my thighs. Thankfully my breasts are not going to be a concern because of the proactive mastectomy…it’s covered because it is for a medical reason. But the insurance does not cover plastic surgery on the other stuff because it is considered cosmetic. The only exception may be my belly, because there is redness and chafing under it, and that is a concern that the insurance will consider when deciding whether to cover skin surgery. My thighs I might just hide indefinitely. But…I’m not sure if I can live with my floppy arms. They just bother me a lot and make me really self-conscious *sigh* I a sick with the thought that I might be sucking it up and financing a plastic surgery to fix it.
Brian joined a local gym hoping to get in shape, and start losing weight as an alternative to the surgery. I know it is a struggle to do it without the surgery, but he is determined to do so, hoping to try and catch up with my success. (And considering he only has the one insurance, and not Medicare to back up as a second, the surgery is an expense. Actually even with the two insurances it’s an expense…the 3 required classes weren’t covered, costing $175 each!)
Kenzie joined the gym as well, not so much to lose weight (because she is more on the underweight side) but because she wants to keep in shape and do the kickboxing classes. She recently left Tiger Schulmann’s mixed martial arts school because she was just tired of going so much. She wanted a more relaxed schedule. This offered a better solution. At Tiger’s you pay a monthly fee for your schedule set whether you went to the classes or not (and the price was steep!) At this place, you pay $19.99 for the unlimited use of the gym, and the price includes kickboxing, yoga, zumba, and insanity classes! Much cheaper, and allows her to go on her own terms, and not worry about getting a worried phone call when she doesn’t show up.
Well, that is all I have to update, for now. Hopefully, I will have more soon. I will try to post, at the very least, after Pop Pop’s surgery!