Monday, October 22, 2007

And the beat goes on...

Ken went with me today and held my hand while the doctor did the biopsy. I'm really glad he was there with me. Beforehand the doctor described what I would feel as being similar to a bad period cramp. I can honestly say it's not. Felt rather more like someone taking a pair of needle-nosed pliers to my innards for about 20 seconds. Much sharper but much shorter in duration than a cramp. Lot's of twinging (that was similar to a bad period cramp) for about an hour afterwards. And more bleeding than I expected but not more than a normal period day. Less than what I've been lately experiencing during my periods.

We get the biopsy results in a week and the doctor said he would make sure I could get the results via a phone call (so I don't have to miss anymore work time than necessary).

Surgery date was set for November 13th. If there is a cancellation, then I might get in sooner. If no cancer, I can look for 2 to 4 weeks of recovery time. If cancer, then 6 to 8 weeks with radiation treatments mixed in and extending past that.

In any case, I'm going to a very good hospital (Henrico's Doctor's Hospital) so I'm content with that. The doctor is still taking the optimist role and talking about doing the surgery laproscopically. It ultimately will be determined by what the biopsy shows. He says he hopes to save my ovaries so that I'm not completely nailed by menopause all at once and the ovaries can also continue to produce some testosterone so I have a little libido. I'm thinking there must be a way to replace that if they do have to remove the ovaries or they poop out altogether. I can live with hot flashes but I think life would get pretty darn dull without sex.

I'm slowly plugging away on the Secret of the Stole. I think the pictures of the stoles completed through clue 3 look very much like snow falling or frost on cold window. I'm still on the first clue but I'm pretty sure I will have time later to catch up. I really need to take a picture and get it posted.

I'm also still working on my purple socks. I may twist T's arm and see if I can get her to turn the heel on the second sock this coming weekend so I can finally get past that point and onto the final stretch with both of them.

I'm going to meet with the gang specialist with the FBI for our area tomorrow. I'm oddly excited about this as he's talking about starting a task force -- something we desperately need. Might mean more work for me in the long run, but if we can break up and prosecute some of these gang members I think we will all be much safer.

Friday, October 19, 2007 - Endometrial cancer prevention begins in college - Endometrial cancer prevention begins in college

Yep, I'd say I was at risk. I've been chronically overweight for most of my life. Never used the pill except for three weeks but got blood clots in my legs from it so had to quit. Just fat.

Considering this cancer occurs 4 times more often than others... makes me wonder why they don't include a biopsy (like the PAP) during everyone's regular check up. Endometrial cancer kills more women than cervical or breast cancer combined. But we are not regularly screened for it -- even when obese.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What's going on here?

I figured by now I would have a date for surgery and know more or less what I was looking forward to.

I had accepted that I have to have a hysterectomy due to the fibroid tumors. I was imagining that my tummy would soon be flat (or at least flatter) and that I would no longer look like I was 5 months pregnant.

The chronic pain would be gone. I would be able to bend over. My bladder would actually hold pee again and the bleeding would ease or stop.

And that will all happen. Just not as soon as I thought.

I went in and met with the doctor Monday. First thing he said was that he wasn't real happy with what he was seeing in the sonograms. First of all there were three distinct fibroid tumors. One, about the size of an egg, has attached itself to my right ovary (that's my good one). One about the size of a golf ball is stuck to the left side of my uterus. The third is about the size of a grapefruit (or 4 or 5 month old fetus) and is growing out of the top of my uterus.

The worrisome bit, apparently is not all these odd lumps but the size, shape and thickness of my uterus. It is "huge", he said. A normal uterus is about the size and shape of an upside down pear. Mine is about as big as football and weighs about 5 pounds all by itself. The lining is abnormally thick.

So he said he needed to do a biopsy of the uterine wall and that big fibroid. That "B" word, of course, made me think instantly of the "C" word. And I think my stress level went right out the ceiling. He wanted to do the biopsy on Monday, but because my period started (again) on Sunday, he said I had to wait a week. Like I really want to wait at this point.

He tried to be upbeat and said that if there is no cancer he believes he can go in without a large incision in my belly and chop everything into bits, save my left ovary, most of my right and my cervix and remove all trash from a small incision in my side.

But if there is cancer, he doesn't want to use his mini-meat-grinder tools and possibly spread those monster cells around. If there is cancer I will have to have a frontal incision and I will probably lose everything. So long as they dust, vacuum and wash the walls, I don't care.

So, Ken is going in with me next Monday to hold my hand during the biopsy (because I've been warned it would be painful). Then we have to wait for probably another week for those test results and we will know more.

I'm ready to call in my healers. The real healers. The Witches.

I think most of them are planning to be at the house for our Samhain event in two weeks. We may know more by then even and can get a good focus on what Magick needs to happen.

Frankly, the whole thing sucks.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Another Busy Weekend

Cleaning Fleece

I got all of the grey lincoln fleece washed and dried. I did a little bit each day this past weekend. Worked out well and the weather was very cooperative. Washed in the mornings before anyone else got up, laid it out on a windowscreen perched on a laundry drying rack and covered the clean fleece with an old sheer curtain until night fall. Worked great. Ended up with just about 1.5 pounds of grey/black/white wool. I plan to blend it with the rest of the grey alpaca and some black diamond soy silk to bring my total weight up to 2 pounds. That might be enough to make Ken a sweater.

Cleaning Out

I knew I had accumulated a lot of stuff and a bunch more junk I didn't need. I had no idea how much.

Ken took three full pick-up loads of junk and stuff to the dump on Sunday. I moved nearly all the junk and stuff out of the downstairs guest bedroom (otherwise referred to as the "front room" and normally used as a storage facility). Then I started moving all my fiber stuff downstairs into that room.

John will be moving into the little room upstairs because he is seriously talking about going to college.

But Ken decided 3/4s of the way through that downward move that he really needs to finish spackling and painting the front room before I move the rest of my stuff in. He also wants to install shelving all along a wall so, "you can get all this stuff off the floor," he said. He did patch the mouse hole that the little beasties had chewed through the wall at the outlet hole and put on the plate cover. And he was an absolute trooper about lettimg me toss even some of his old "treasures". And he and boys moved ALL the camping equipment into the trailer.

Mind you, this man works full time. When he thinks he's going to do all this spackle and paint work, I have no idea. But I will not nag... I will not nag...

He replaced the wallboard about three years ago. Never mind that what was there before, was too dreadful to discuss and a product of the previous owner and my ex-husband's handiwork.

Ken also removed all the drawers from an junky yardsale dresser that was in that room and then took a saw to the innards. I now have a good, sturdy work bench for my carder and combs and new inkle loom. Clever fellow.

Fiber Fest

Oh yeah, that was Sunday! I went to the Fall Fiber Festival at Montpelier Station on Saturday. Originally, I was going to go on Sunday and clean house on Saturday but Ken wanted to go to the blacksmith shop on Saturday so we switched days at the last minute.

I came home with an Inkle Loom (got it put together and now have to learn how to weave on it), a book to teach me how to do that, a brick of silk, a holder for my double pointed needles that is the wrong size, and a bunch of other small stuff like one of those gizmos that let's you figure out what size needle you have by poking through a hole. Oh yeah, I also bought a new Bosworth Midi. I really love those spindles.

Doctor Trip

I also went to the doctor on Monday to beg for help with my weight issues and basically bitch about heavy bleeding during my periods. Well, slap me goofy but it turns out it might be a good thing I went.

His diagnosis: fibroids in my uterus. This beer gut? It's not a beer gut at all but a massive uterus all distended and mis-shapen by 5 to 10 pounds of fibroids. The reason my belly is so huge (when the rest of me is not) is because of the fibroids and the uterus... they have taken over and are pushing everything else out of place. It explains the back pain, the incontinence, the heavy bleeding, the pelvic pains, and the weird weight distribution. The doctor was amazed I hadn't been diagnosed before. I'm still over weight but we can deal with that a little later.

Wow, imagine walking around with a five pound bag of flour inside your gut! And mine might be even bigger.

I will know more next week. I go for a sonogram on Thursday. I meet back with the doctor next Monday.

I've done a little research on the internet (and we know how accurate that is) and I'm probably looking at surgery. I may even end up having a hysterectomy. That wouldn't be so bad, I don't think. It's not like I'm using my uterus for anything other than growing fibroids just now. I just hate the thought of being out of work for a month or more. It's bad enough going back after a week of vacation! Yikes. Maybe I could do some of my work from home.

Secret of the Stole

I also started knitting on this KAL. I got the first clue on Friday. Got through most of the first point on Friday night. Was too pooped to work on it Saturday or Sunday evening. Sat down on Monday evening and finished the first point and started on the second. I may end up ripping out the first point because I made some errors that I now see because I'm doing the second one correctly... go figure. I hope to join both by Thursday and finish clue one by Thursday evening. Probably won't happen that way, but I have a feeling I may be able to catch up at some point in the near future while recovering.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

He's home!

Well, my soldier boy is a soldier no more and he got home yesterday.

He did have some misadventures in the Army. I'm hoping he has learned from his mistakes, and from his successes.

Moving forward. For this week no decisions are being made. He is considering a variety of possibilities. For now at least, I think he is going to stay on the East Coast. He is thinking of these possibilities:
  • attending the local community college
  • finding a part-time job (or perhaps a full-time job)
  • going to live with his older brother in Pennsylvania and getting a job up there or going to school there
  • something else entirely

After this week, he will be tasked with finding a job at the very least or getting stuff together to go to school starting in the next term.

He still doesn't drive. We will have to figure out what it's going to take for him to get a driver's license. At least he is 18 now and can do much of this stuff on his own.

If he lives here for longer than a month, we will have to give back a bedroom. Right now he is in with Matthew.

Personally, I vote for moving my fiber stuff downstairs, moving all the camping stuff out into the trailer (that's happening anyway), getting rid of all the other junk in the front guest room and making that my studio/fiber storage room.

I like my little room upstairs, but just the fact that is is upstairs makes me feel like I'm far away from everyone. And when Ken is asleep during the day, I am afraid I will wake him if I am doing something noisy in my little room.

Yep, I think the junk needs to go, the fiber needs to come downstairs and the guestroom/maybe John's room can become the little one that used to be Matt's room.

I wonder if I can recruit a couple of girlfriends to help me make this happen?