Monday, August 27, 2007

Cancer sucks even more.

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...



kim said...

Wow, I feel like I have been out of touch... we were without power for 4.5 days. Betty count me in for food. Molly you need to post funny stories everyday. I need a good laugh. I will certainly rag on Jenny about her comment! Cathy Bair has a breast cancer support group that meets in Niles every third Wednesday. If you are interested let me know and I will forward you info. I need to go to bed and it is not even 8p.m, I too sat through the wonderful first day back to school for teachers:)

Love ya,

lori brawley said...

Hey, I haven't read the past comments, but do want to be included in the food list, so please add me might not be the home-made type, but it will be good!!

It's so cool that you have other people to talk cancer with...that wasn't always the way!! And remember too, that the doctors have their job just like you have yours...they do their best, but are only human like the rest of us!!

I'm also tired from the meetings- haven't worked 40 hours in over 10 years!!! YIKES!!

Didn't know about Quinn...was this before or after Florida??? Hope he's doing better.
Love you Mol,

Anonymous said...

Hi Molly. I'm so sorry for what you are going through. I didn't say anything Sat. night because I didn't know everything. I think it's normal to read into all of those things that you are reading about pertaining to cancer. Try not to worry, I know that has to be so hard, but your Doctors should put your mind at ease. Mark tried to respond last night, but was not successful, I will show him how I did it. I just want you to know that I am thinking about you and praying for you. Stay strong. Lisa Clemens

Angie said...

Just got caught up from no power, I agree with Kim, reading your blogs make me laugh and sometimes even cry a little. But I really look forward to reading this. I think you should do what Lonnie says and get that reality show going...or at the very least turn this into a book. I would be the first in line to buy it and get your autograph!

Put me on the list for food Betty. (Angie Cramer) Right now I am really in to making desserts. I can make a mean peach pie from my dad's peaches!

Happy Monday and first day back to work all to all of the teachers out there. Maybe we should petition Jennifer to not start school until after Halloween! LOL


Vikki said...

Hi Molly,
Sorry to hear about your friends reaccurance. I understand how that can set you back, but remember their is always just as many good stories about cancer. Molly, I think it is good to have a lot of knowledge about your cancer. But, don't let it rob you of the joy in your life. I think it helps to take a break from it and enjoy the things that make you happy. Sounds like you have really good doctor's. Learn to trust them. If you don't, you start to question every breath you take. I know how you feel. Don't think that I don't freak out sometimes after all these years. The problem with cancer is that it take away your security and makes you second guess everything that you never would have questioned before. Once again you have to conquer the little voice that fill's you with fear. I know that this really sucks. You have cancer but cancer is not you. You have so many people that love you and will not let you slip away. As soon as you start your treatments you will fill on top of your game. Waiting is the most difficult thing of all. Lot's of love, Vikki

Betty said...

Mol, I am sending you my best wishes (in a "Middle Eastern accent". Imagine me trying to pull that off ought to bring a giggle).

I agree with Jim - maybe you should cut back on reading all this $+*#. (or at least curtail the hypothesizing) A+B may not equal C. Reading the side effects of aspirin could lead to an hypotesis that could lead to no one ever taking them.

Anyway, I just finished reading "Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived." I'll bring it to you. It's really a good read and if you liked "Water for Elephants" that Barb brought you, you will like this one too.

Think about all that good food coming your way ---fresh peach pie, YUM!


Paula P. said...

I want to be on the food list as well...It won't be homemade but I can buy some good stuff including alcoholic nourishment....Molly my martinis are full of vitamins!

We are at times like kids at school....We have to want to learn something, right? It was a good inservice.

Again, you do your job so well with all you have going are fantabulous!! You are sooo needed here...the kids and staff love you...selfishly you have to get well and back here ASAP...I am visualizing it now...:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Molly - just came across your blog...I don't want to freak you out but the rash may be shingles. Is it a sort of blistery rash in little lines? Itchy/sore at the same time? Just on one side of your body and not the other? You might want to check it out sooner rather than later. The meds for that are excellent....Lise