Today was the first day back to work with all teachers and although it was a good day, it was a long day. The interesting thing was watching teachers sit through a day long lecture--if anything good comes out of it, teachers will at least realize the importance of keeping kids engaged. The topics were VERY good, but beginning of the year inservice is always hard for everyone, because lesson plans, room arrangement, WHO IS ON MY CLASS LIST, is foremost on teacher's minds. (also what prep and lunch hour they have--we are so much like the students.)
One sad thing I learned today is that a colleague of mine has had his cancer return in his jaw. He is facing his second bout with this sh*$%Y disease (sorry for the language but that is how I feel at the moment) and will have surgery on Sept. 11. I will have to give him this blog address so he can chat with us as we convalesce. We are both out for at least a month. He has been one of my inspirations through my diagnosis so it was a set back for me too-- to realize the reality of recurrence. His cancer is different than mine, but cancer is cancer and still sucks.
I made Jim look at internet pictures of breast reconstruction last night. That may seem wierd to you, but I, of course, have researched it and seen pictures at the plastic surgeon, but the internet has loads of pictures (just google 'breast reconstruction' "images" ) so I thought I would prepare him. As I have said a million times, Jim says he doesn't care what I look like, but I still want him to be prepared for scars and fake nipples. He looked at the photos and said "well, I don't care for that lady, but anything will look fine on you." Bless his little heart. (One interesting thing about these photos is that breast cancer survivors are normal looking--tan lines, moles, rolls of belly fat, etc. fill these pictures. Normally when you look at women and boobs you see perfection so it was nice to see bodies that look a lot like mine...ookay, a little better than mine but at this point WHO CARES!)
Today my worry is a splotch of yuckyness on my upper upper breast/shoulder area--yes, the bad breast. It really looks like a line of poison ivy, but for the life of me I don't know where it came from. At first I thought it was a bug bite, but it is a little bumpier than that, and spreads down in a line. Momentarily, I freaked it was inflammatory breast cancer on my lower shoulder--that is when Jim said YOU NEED TO STOP READING ALL THIS S*%&!--but everything scares me...obviously, if it is still there Thursday when I see the plastic surgeon I will ask him. I do go see my family physician FINALLY on 9/6. He is replacing Dr. Stanley who retired...and although I don't really need to see him for anything specific at this point, I thought I should make an appointment. I did so right after I got the big C word, but his receptionist certainly didn't think it was that important that I see him right away so I don't get in until next week. I am a bit put off by that and will share my concerns with him, but I still need someone to prescribe me my thyroid medicine and treat colds, etc. It just sort of made me mad that when I told her I was just diagnosed with cancer that she said "Well, he'll be getting all of your reports so the first I can get you in is..." Luckily, I never did use all the Xanax my first surgeon prescribed so I still have a drug stash if needed. : ) But he sure is getting a lot of reports on someone he has never met!
As I look at my insurance receipts my treatment for cancer so far is well over $10,000. Never, ever, ever, have I or will I complain about my insurance. And just think, the fun is just beginning.
Another big mental debate I have been having with myself is the results of my PET scans. As you know, I keep freaking about my neck, my salivary glands, my right ear pain, etc. So I asked on a breast cancer forum for adenoid cystic carcinoma (spoken with a Middle eastern accent) about PET scans and learned that they are basically useless without CT overlay, and even then, they are somewhat questionable but much more reliable. Well, I didn't think I had a CT overlay, which meant WORRY WORRY WORRY--but then someone suggested I read my PET SCAN (duh!) so I did and it was called a PET SCAN/CT, so then came RELIEF, RELIEF RELIEF. But then when I told my forum buddies that it WAS a PET/CT (hoorah!) from skull base to mid-thigh, one lady pointed out that skull base would not include the ear area. Thus, WORRY WORRY WORRY.
That is my roller coaster life.
But, one thing I keep trying to tell myself is although I can read, I do NOT have a medical degree and if I don't have faith in my doctors--that they have thought of all these things--I WILL GO CRAZY NUTSO.
Andrew slept with his football last night. God love him.
Love to you all...