Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy News

Just checking in, today we are headed home and I am so happy to say I am cancer free.  Pathology showed that the 9 suspect lymph nodes did not contain cancer and so I will not have to worry about chemo.  Relief is such a small word compared to how I feel right now.  Blessed is yet another word to describe some of the feelings I have.  So now every 3 months I will go to my urologist and the concern will be the bladder and making sure that nothing spread to it that they were unable to detect.  I'll do this for a year and if all continues to be well then I'll see him every 6 months for a couple of years and then go to yearly visits.  Thank you all for your well wishes and prayers and good vibes, it was just what I needed to be free of cancer and able to move on with my life.  For now my focus will be on getting back on my feet.  It's no small surgery to have a kidney and some other parts removed and I've got 2 large incisions that need to heal as well as just my general health needs a time out to repair and get back on my feet.  What a wild ride it's been in just a couple short, but very long weeks.

Hugs your way,
Tammy

Friday, March 25, 2011

Post Surgical Update

Hello All, I've missed you and missed reading blogs - I've got a lot of catching up to do but something tells me I'll just have to start fresh as I'm still to tired to catch up.

I had my surgery last Friday.  It was supposed to be a 3 hour surgery, but it took 4 hours - poor CR, the waiting is certainly the hardest aspect of all of this.  And the worry of the one you love going through all of this.  I came out just fine and he was there to see me in my room and then I told him - go home and get some rest you need to take care of yourself, so he did.

Saturday, March 19th, we celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary at the hospital with me drooling all over myself.  How's that for Romance.  I was allowed clear liquids that day so we toasted with coffee for CR and water for me.  I also got up and walked the halls several times.  I was determined as I always am to get on my feel and not stop.  Usually this is a good thing, however my over achieving wasn't the best idea this time around.  I actually got myself released from the hospital 2 days early on Tuesday.  Then the fun started.  I started running a temp, my legs swelled up so huge they hurt to bend at the knees, I started feeling nauseous, but had nothing in my stomach to come up.  There was a list on my discharge papers of what to watch for and I had 4 out of 6 of them and my fever was up to 102, so it was time to head to the ER.  They went to work on me to rule out things, my fever did start coming down and at 4:30am Wednesday morning we were back at the kids house.  Up until today, I've mostly slept since then  and kept up with my pain meds so that pain didn't become out of control as it had.  I think I shouldn't have pushed it to get moving and get home, but  hindsight is always 20/20.

As of today I have quite a bit of discomfort in my back where the epidural had been.  My left side is very swollen and at times I have stabbing pains, but over all, I think I'm doing pretty good.  I've decided that this was a major thing and something I'm going to have to give my body the time to bounce back from.  I also need to be patient with myself and the healing process - a valuable lesson learned the hard way, but at least I learned it.

This coming Monday I see the Urologist again and get my staples out -  I look like a zipper in a couple places.  I will also be free of the catheter.  And hopefully we'll have the full pathology report and know if Chemo is my future.  I know a trip to the Urologist every 3 months for the first year is in the future.  I'm also hoping he'll say it's okay to go home.  I miss our cats and our house and our bed and Madison misses home too, not to mention CR - I couldn't ask for a more attentive and wonderful husband going through this, I am very blessed. 

Please keep those prayers and/or good vibes coming and a little extra please to the good lord that the doc will tell us we can go home on Monday.

Hugs,
Tam

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ready, Set, Surgery

Got the call this morning, I report to Deaconess hospital at 1pm this Friday to remove kidney and other bad parts.  I had a bone scan and chest cat scan today as standard procedure to make sure the cancer hadn't spread to parts unknown.  I'm not in as much pain as last night but I am not comfortable either.  I'm looking forward to getting it over with on Friday and getting past this.  I'll be in the hospital for 5 days and then hopefully released with no further treatments needed.  However if they are, I will do them and I will feel blessed that this was caught and we got right to it and got it out of there. 
Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts.
Tam

Biopsy News

Greetings All,

More boring cancer news.  The doc got in there and doesn't have to wait for pathology, it's transitional cell carcinoma.  This means he will need to remove the kidney and the ureter and the lymph node that sits on the kidney.  The concern now is the lymph node.  Depending on it's finding, it may mean chemo for me.  I will call his scheduler tomorrow as he'd like to try to get me in on Friday and get the surgery done.  In the meantime I hurt and to tinkle is very painful, but I'm drinking my water like I'm supposed to and glad to know that while I don't care for surgery, this will be out of me soon and I'll be on the mend.

Hugs your way,
Tammy

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Quick Update

As luck, yeah I'll call it luck for lack of a better term, would have it, I saw the urologist today instead of tomorrow for my initial appointment.  The reason luck might not be the best term is he did a cathater scope on me and that was just not nice.  Shouldn't a guy buy you dinner and drinks first, haha.  Anyhow he explained my cancer and the concerns.  There is a lot more involvement in the kidney than a normal renal cell carcinoma, give that there is concern it may be a transitional cell carcinoma which means they would need to remove the ureter as well.  So tomorrow at 3pm I will be having a biopsy to determine what it is and then the doc will know how much to remove.  Meaning if it's an rcc, he only has to remove the kidney, if it's a tcc, he has to remove more.  Pathology will be back in a week or so and then the removal surgery will be planned.  I sort of lost it today, guess the violation of a part I'd rather not have violated did me in.  I'm working on seeing some humor in it all so I don't lose my mind.  We'll be at the kids house a couple more days till we can travel home.  The best part of my day - when we got home my grandson handed me a huge and beautiful bouquet of roses with a hand written get well soon grandma slip of paper.  Guess he and his Daddy were at Costco and he said he felt his Grandma needed flowers to feel better.  Our Ben is just the sweetest boy around and boy does he know how to say the right thing at the right time.  When we left for the emergency room yesterday, he came up and hugged me and said - it'll be alright Grandma.  I am blessed!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Good News/Bad News

Just a quick update.  We came up to Spokane this weekend to have a fun celebration with our kids and grandson for our 25th Wedding Anniversary.  I also had my Liver Ultrasound on Friday.  During the ultrasound they found something of concern and decided a catscan was needed.  From this they discovered a cancerous tumor on my right kidney.  I see a urologist this Tuesday.  We were planning to head home today, however I awoke in a lot of pain, and it escalated as the morning progressed, so I ended up in emergency and we are just going to stay in Spokane until Tuesday.  What a week, Monday a colonoscopy, Wed & Thursday I got CR's flu bug, now cancer.  It can only get better - or at least that is how I'm choosing to look at it.  By the way the pain subsided quickly with a morphine shot, but I am sure I looked a mess drooling all over myself.  All good thoughts, positive vibes and prayers would be greatly appreciated.  I will post more after I know more.
Hugs to you all,
Tam

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Liver Update

Sorry no pictures today.  Just a short update on my liver issues.  We - well I drove to Spokane today, CR kept me company as he still has the huge post-surgical cast on until this coming Tuesday.  Anyhow we saw the Liver Specialist today and we both really liked him.  He feels the fatigue and some other issues I have had for the last couple of months are not related to the liver.  That said it very well could be Epstein Barr or something similar and one thought that he had was my thyroid.  So he had lab work done on all of that today before we headed home.  In the meantime one of my prescriptions - my anti-depressant to be exact is known to elevate liver enzymes, so I'm going to be making an appointment with my primary doctor to get that changed and we'll see if that helps.  Next Friday - March 11th, we are going up to Spokane to spend the weekend, see our Grandson and see Hal Holbrook in Mark Twain.  So I will also be having a liver ultrasound done that day.  Then on April 1st I'll have a follow up appointment with the liver doc to see if anything has changed, or if anything was discovered and where we go from there.  Thankfully he wants to do all of this before deciding if a liver biopsy is necessary.  As I told him, the only needles I'm a fan of are knitting needles and a biopsy doesn't sound like fun.  Thankfully he had a sense of humor and laughed.  So while I still don't have any answers, I do have a path forward and we are working toward finding out what, if anything we can do to fix the problems.  I'll keep you posted and I sure appreciate all your support and concern.  Hugs to all of you for caring!!
Tam

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fun Times in the Sewing Room

I had a great day in my sewing room.  First, this morning I read Moda's "The Cutting Table" Blog and found out that they are asking quilters to make a star block for Quilts of Valor.  Please click the link to their blog and check this out.  I think it's an awesome opportunity to give back to our men in uniform and the many brave veterans out there.  So today, using what I had in my sewing room I created 3 stars I will send to the effort.  They may not need them all, but if they use just one that will be wonderful.


I'm also working on a new "java" themed wall hanging.  I love my java and I love my espresso machine.  Heck even Madison loves the espresso machine.  Every day she can be in a dead sleep and hear me turn it on and into the kitchen she comes - waiting for her barista treat.  You see she gets one at the local coffee drive thru, so she also gets one at home.  Can you say SPOILED.  Of course what would sewing be without a little, hmmm, help(?) from one of my boys.................

I had to move him off to the side so I could cut my big piece into 2.5 inch pieces.  He was really annoyed that he had to move - nothing better than laying on what Mom is working on you know.

We thought CR would get his surgical cast off today, so we left the house early and ran some errands and on the last stop before the doctors, CR got a call on his cell telling him the scheduler made a mistake, it's to soon to take it off, he needs to come in next week.  I don't think he was to happy about that, but what can you do.  So next week he'll get a smaller and lighter weight cast.  Until then he'll have to be patient.

More sewing tomorrow and knitting class tomorrow evening.  The March challenge is top down socks.  Oh boy, I get to try socks again ------- lets hope it's easier this time!!

Happy knitting, hugs and stitches to you all,
Tammy