Friday, July 29, 2011

An Update

Yesterday my Hubby and I traveled to Spokane for my pathology report from surgery.  It's been a tough 10 days after surgery.  It seemed so simple in that there was no incision, it was all done with a cystoscope which is a catheter type instrument.  Anyhow, it wasn't so simple in that I had terrible bladder spasms that seemed to last forever and it was very uncomfortable, my bladder wasn't a happy camper.  I was very worried about the outcome, but luck and a lot of prayers gave me better than expected results.  My tumors in the bladder were low grade (slow growing), Ta - which means just on the surface of the bladder lining and non-invasive.  So based on that result my Urologist and I decided that it would be good to wait on the BCG Chemo treatments until my next exam in 3 Months - October 17th to be exact, just 2 days before my birthday.  At that time if there are more tumors, we'll have to do surgery again and then reconsider BCG.  If BCG is needed I would have to heal for 3 weeks before I could start it and then it's once a week for 6 weeks and maintenance after that.  I'm going to do my best to think positive that there won't be tumors this next time, however unlike this time I will be prepared to hear that there are and prepared to deal with it.  But being positive and thinking the best rather than the worst is the best thing I think I can do for my body and my health, so that is what I choose to be. 

As I write this CR is planning a fishing trip for us in August.  We have 3 months of freedom to plan and live and that is exactly what we plan to do.

Hugs and many thanks for the prayers and support.
Tammy

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Oh what a long day

Boy was it a long day today.  We were told last Friday that there was a change in schedule - the third change, and we needed to be at the hospital at 8:30am for a 10:30 surgery.  Well we arrived on time and then found out, after I was back and prepped that they weren't expecting me till 11:30 for a 1:30 surgery - the 2nd schedule time we were told, arrrrggghh.  So what could we do, we sat and waited, and waited, and waited.  At 2pm the guy with the sleepy drugs took me to lala land and at 3pm I was waking up in recovery.  And no catheter, hooray.  So after a very long day we are home at the 5th wheel and right now it's terribly painful to tinkle, I'm waiting for the drug they give you to kick in and help with that, it also turns your urine the color of orange koolaid.  They also gave me pain meds which do help with the spasms, etc, but I dread getting rid of the water I've been drinking.  The doc did tell CR that he saw and got what he expected and that we'd discuss it in detail on the 28th at my post-op appt along with the pathology.  I'm just grateful it's over and thank you all for the prayers and good vibes, as always it was so appreciated.

On a cool note my OR Nurse was a quilter and told me about a quilt with doxie dogs she's making for the October quilt show here in Spokane, and it sounds so cute, I hope to come up for the quilt show and to see it.  We talked fabric and quilting before I went off to lala land and that was nice, it took my mind off of what was coming.

Hugs and Happy Stitches,
Tam

Monday, July 18, 2011

Life Interruption - again........

Tomorrow morning at 10am cancer will again interrupt my regularly scheduled life.  I'm going under the knife to have the cancerous tumors removed from my bladder.  Luckily it doesn't require an incision, just a scope thingy that is like a catheter and does the removal that way.  They refer to the procedure as a TURBT.  Don't know yet if I'll come home with a catheter, if I do it's okay, easier to have one than to pass clots, etc.  I'm just not a fan of pain.  I don't know if the doc will say much till my appt on the 28th when pathology will be in, at that time I'm hoping to get him to agree to BCG Chemo treatments for bladder cancer.  From all I've read, they can be very successful at keeping you cancer free for a few years and I'm all for that.  I just don't think I can take the stress of every 3 months them finding more tumors and having surgery.  But I will do whatever I need to do to get rid of this cancer any way I can and kick it's butt.  It won't be allowed to get the best of me.  I feel positive, but I am scared as well.  I wish I was a braver person.  Unfortunately my emotions have gotten the best of me the last few days, so it's a good thing this is going to be over with tomorrow.  I will rally around and my kick butt and take names attitude will return, but for now, the uncertainty of cancer is sort of getting to me.
Any prayers or good vibes you can spare to send my way would be so appreciated!!
Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Finish

Been trying to get to this quilt since March.  Unfortunately cancer kept me from it for a while, then fatigue kept me from it, then I got it cut out, but wanted to make other things and finally, I've finished the Log Cabin Star Quilt that is a gift for a friend of ours.  This is just the top, I need to get it quilted and the binding on.  So here it is in all it's glory, I'm really pleased with it.

CR loves it, I suppose I should make this one again - I love it too.
Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tammy

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Pie

The Cherry Pie - CR said it's delicious and ate a big piece last night, I'm sure he'll have another piece tonight as well.  Between the pie and the rainier cherries I bought to eat, I think I'm almost cherry'd out.  They sure are good for the short time they are available!!
I've been working on some blocks for a Log Cabin Star Quilt today, they're coming together nicely.  Now I think I shall sit back and do some reading and of course fix a salad to go with our beer can chicken for dinner.
Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tammy

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The neatest thing happened at the grocery store today...........

As usual on Saturday's we got up early and went to breakfast with our friend Ken.  Then it was off to Farmers Market where we picked up some fresh green beans, cherries, pie cherries and berries galore.
These pie cherries will be in a crust baking very soon!!
Blackberries, Strawberries and Raspberries - YUMMO!!
After Farmers Market we did a few errands and then came home.  I decided that I really needed a pedicure and so I was off once again to get that done, and oh it felt good to soak my feet and have them pampered.
I decided to run to the grocery store before coming home to get more creamer and a few other things I forgot when I did the bulk of my shopping and while in the store a lady approached me and asked if I was Tammy.  Yes I said I was and she then told me that her name was Krista and that she followed my blog.  Wowzer, that was so awesome that she introduced herself and that she reads my blog too.  I love doing a blog and often wonder if many people wander by very often - and guess what, they do and if you're lucky they'll introduce themselves when you happen to run into them.  Anyhow it really perked up my day for sure!!  Thank-you Krista!!
Well I had better get in the kitchen and start making that pie, CR is looking very forward to a cherry pie tonight.
Meanwhile Maddie is looking bored and wants to know if there isn't a treat somewhere for her cuz she's cute and that should be all it takes to give her one!!
Have a great weekend everyone!!
Happy stitches and Hugs,
Tammy

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Week to Process

It's been a week since I found out that the cancer was in my bladder and that I'd be having more surgery on the 19th of this month.  The first few days were tough, not only did I get news I didn't want, but I was sick as a dog with a cold/lung thing and just worn out from it all.  So the 4th of July weekend came and went with me sleeping a good portion of it away.  As I started to feel better I got busy and found BCAN.org which helped me to research more about bladder cancer and treatments.  I hadn't realized that Bladder Cancer is the 5th most diagnosed cancer in the U.S.  There is a chemo treatment that I'm going to seriously push for, it's put directly into the bladder and sounds like it can be quite successful so that gives me hope.  We've caught this early and I know that with regular check ups and doing what the doc's say needs to be done I can live a long and healthy life, but it scares me and I do have to work at keeping it positive at the moment.

So over the weekend when I wasn't sleeping I made mug rugs.  I found this cute design on some one's blog and I wish I could remember whose so I could give them credit.  I ended up making 8 of them.
Tuesday morning I got up early and cleaned house, then got a haircut, then came home and got ready for a noon to 4 shift at the tanning salon.  Once I was ready I was chilling out reading and a delivery came to the house of these:
From my half sister Diane and half sister-in-law Doris.  How totally sweet and thoughtful.  I was blown away and after the weekend I had feeling like crap and thinking about cancer, they really came at the perfect moment.
Then on Wednesday we got up early to beat the heat and go pick more blueberries - another 15 pounds to be exact - my freezer is full and it'll be a good winter with blueberries for cereal and baking!!  Later that day my good friend Robyn was in town and she came by for a visit which was awesome and she made me this -
A gorgeous prayer shawl.  She's so funny, it was hotter than heck outside so she said I probably couldn't use it at the moment, haha.  It's just so beautiful and the thought behind it as well as the love she made it with will certainly carry me through some rough times ahead.
Yesterday I worked 8 to 1, so when I came home I was focused on making a new purse with this gorgeous dragonfly fabric I'd found last week - here it is:
I even made a zippered cosmetic bag out of the black fabric to match.  So now it's the weekend again and I'm feeling much better mentally and physically.  I think I'll do some quilting this weekend, go to Farmers Market and just enjoy the time doing whatever, whenever.  Next weekend we will take the 5th wheel up to Spokane in anticipation of my surgery and we'll stay up there for the week, in case I have to come home with a catheter.  On the 28th I'll have my post-op appointment and we'll talk more in depth about the chemo and hopefully get the ball rolling on that.  I just hope we can get some fly fishing in this summer, can't let this darn bladder get in the way of a good time - right!!

Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tammy

Friday, July 1, 2011

I'm a little Blue for this 4th of July

Today I had my 3 month cancer check up.  I was anxious because the exam is basically a catheter scope for the doc to look around and it's not fun or comfortable.  But other than that I just knew that I was cancer free and good to go.  My energy has returned and I feel good, except for the cold and my lungs being compromised from it.  Unfortunately, my positive thoughts didn't pan out for me.  I have cancerous tumors on my bladder, I gather it's pretty common with Transitional Cell Carcinoma.  Even though the cancer started in my kidney and ureter, it is considered Bladder cancer and that is where it is now.  Early stages and I will be having surgery on July 19th to remove the tumors.  I've asked the doc about chemo to try to kill those bad invading cells before more can grow and he said we will talk about that after surgery, there is a specific chemo that goes directly to the bladder and doesn't really affect a person like other chemos, so that is good news.  For now I feel blue and down, but I will rally around and get through this.  Any prayers, good vibes, kind thoughts you can send my way would be very appreciated.
Happy Stitches and Hugs,
Tam