Friday, April 22, 2005

More musings

Its coming up on the 1 year anniversary of when I found my lump. Of course, I didn't do anything about it until June. But I found it about a month before. Sometimes it seems last year never really happened. Its like this hazy, foggy memory of it happening to someone else. Then I look at my head. LOL

I've stumbled across a couple other blogs of young adult cancer patients. Then it really hits home why sometimes Hodgkin's is called "cancer lite." On the other hand, I read my email list, and am reminded that its not "lite" for everyone. Everybody responds to chemo differently - both in side effects and in cancer response. I wouldn't call my cancer expierence "easy" or "fun" or anything I'd like to do again. On the other hand - I got off relitively light. No major infections, no puking, no disabling side effects. It was like having a bad relapsing flu for 6 months. And my only long term side effect is some Rayuand's symdrome in my fingers. So my fingers turn white and numb occasionally (ok, at least one finger daily). But even that isn't much. I think I lost some strength & dexterity in my fingers too. But I can't really prove it. All I know is I wasn't able to tie fishing line into knots nor unscrew the water line from the toilet (to remove the tank to paint). I can't prove this is chemo related - but I think I would have been able to do it a year ago. Maybe?

Last night I was trying to find a dentist for Kyle. So I went to the website of my oncology office to get their address and try to find someone in the same building. They have upgraded their website! Its quite impressive now. I can now post a link to my doctor. I now know that he is Serbian. And he sounds quite impressive. I didn't know he had "a particular interest in Lymphomas." I guess thats why I ended up with him. But good to know.

Other random tidbits:
* We need new patio chairs. Apparently, those collapsable ones only last about 2 years when they are outside year round. However, our kitties insist that we replace them we other collapsable chairs. They love the "hammock" effect. They have made it quite clear we are not allowed to bring in other chairs.

* Its almost noon, and I'm still in my bathrobe. I love my day off!

* I got a new camera a couple weeks back. It was an impulse buy. Its a Canon Elan 7. So I tested it out down at the Cherry Blossoms. We found this little park near the Capitol. So much less crowded than the rest of DC. The day we went was a 70 degree Saturday afternoon. Apparently, there were about 3 million people at the Tidal Basin, and another 1.5 millon on the rest of the mall. Yet this place was empty. Check out the pictures. here and here. No need to sign in, just click "view photos."

* I went on a 7 mile bike ride on Monday. It was supposed to be 5. Kyle tricked me. He is evil. And then he wouldn't even let me stop at Dairy Queen even though we rode right by it! 7 miles - I deserved a Blizzard!

* Ok, truthfully I didn't deserve a blizzard. I'm not even back down to my pre-chemo weight. My only regret with the Hodgkin's thing (Well, aside from GETTING it), is that I didn't get the "rapid weight loss" symptom nor loose weight with chemo. Dude.. you would think SOMETHING good could have come out of it. LOL

* Its time for me to shower. We are meeting with a caterer at 1:30. Kyle supposed to be home at noon. My clock says 12:04. I'll be in trouble if I am still in my robe. He laughs at me when I do nothing all morning.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Great article

For those who want to know more about Hodgkin's, there was a really good article in Cure Magazine this quarter. Probably doesn't say anything I haven't, but in a much shorter format.

Great Article on Hodgkin's in Cure Magazine

Happy Birthday Dad!!!

Its my dad's birthday! Happy Birthday Dad!

Now, in a complete change of themes. I found a very cool ob/gyn doctor yesterday. I have had terrible luck with ob/gyns up in the DC area. It very important to me to find an ob/gyn who does not just see me as a baby producer. I've been up here 4 years. 4 different places. My favorite place was Planned Parenthood. There, the listened to me, and were willing to talk to me about other birth control options than the pill. The major problem with them is they don't take my insurance. I was willing to pay out of pocket for great service and b/c I would like to support them (tree hugger!). However, with my medical state now, I think finding someone who takes my insurance might be good. Everyone else I have been to on my insurance has just rubbed me wrong. I guess its odd, to them, to see a 30 year old woman who has never had kids, and isn't in a rush to have them. So they give me pills and send me on my way. One doctor kept dismissing the side effects that I was concerned about. Ug! They piss me off. So anyway, this guy was awsome! Easy to talk to, listened to me, etc. It was just a consult, so I didn't even have to change for an exam or anything. This probably made it better. But the good news is he doesn't want to do anything about the small cyct/dermoid/ovarian mass. Its too small and is causing no problems. So, until it quintuples in size, I get to ignore it. I suppose if he had immeditatly decided to slice me open, I might think differently. But for now, he gets my thumbs up.

My coworker said the sweetest thing the other day. I doubt she reads this, so she didn't see my rant about not commenting on my hair. But she did. Yet, it was in a totally believable, very sincre way. She told me she really liked it short like this (crew cut style) and I should leave it like this. Granted, there is no way I would ever keep it short. I love(d) my long hair and miss is a lot. But the way she said it, I know she wasn't just saying it b/c she thought I wanted to hear it. So that made my day.

In wedding news... planning a wedding requires too much decision making. We still have no clue what kind of food we want. I have a quote from a tradiational caterer, and I think it would work. But on the other hand, it just seems way to fancy for us. So then we think we want BBQ, but after trying 5 places, we still don't have what we consider a "good" BBQ place. The most acceptable (to me) doesn't do bar stuff. So then we would have to hire an additional vendor. Ug!

On the plus note, I get to eat lots of BBQ :)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

You have been waiting for this...

Saw the oncologist today, he gave me "as close to a clean bill of health as you can have." Which, for someone who had cancer 6 month ago, I guess thats good. He told me to exercise more, cause I've gained back everything I lost in chemo. Darn it! But whatever. Cancer free! Now get in shape again. I did mention the numb, white fingers. He said "you aren't the first person to have that." Then he agreed that it was from the Bleomycin and was "Rayuand's phemonomon." Will it go away? He shrugged and said "it might." He also spent some time going over all the life quality issues, and he asked about wanting kids. I guess he was going to start talking about what chemo may or may not have done to me, but I headed that off with "No." LOL Oh yeah, I have a small (2 cm diameter) lump of scar tissue in my chest. It will never go away. But it hasn't grown since my last CT, and if it was active it would be getting bigger. So the fact is stayed the same size means its just residual scar tissue.

I guess since you all know all my medical history, I'll keep going. I go next week to another doctor to see about the thing on my ovary. I had an ultrasound on the 25th, that was interesting. So after the ultrasound, we now know that "yup, there looks to be something there." So I'm going to see yet another doctor about that. Joy joy.

I'm off the hook from the oncologist until the end of July. Then more CTs, he wants a neck, chest, and abdomen next time. I've avoided abdomen since last June. That means I have to drink the nasty stuff. Yuck!

Well anyway... thats it for now. Time to go biking!