Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Just checking in. Document, document!

It's been over 8 months since my last post. That is always a good thing, but I do like to post things to make sure this never-ending journey called ACC is documented for me and for others ever in my situation. Plus, I feel like writing today on this Spring Break 2012.

A couple things have happened since my last post. Fevers are still there, never anything higher than 99.5 (and that is rare) so we have decided that it is menopausal. Also, Brandy, Dr. Ansari's NP, ordered a Vitamin D screen and I was very low...I think she said 12. So now I take 1000 units. I really do feel better...used to have little strange pains in weird parts (like my forearm) and those have subsided. I did have a recheck and never heard from Brandy so my levels must be going up or are better. Low Vitamin D is common in a lot of people, but is also common in breast cancer.

January 9th I woke up with a strange pain(s) in my remaining breast. Achy feeling and sort of burning. It truly reminded me of that 2/1/07 when I found my lump. But this time there was no lump, despite me rooting around trying to find one! This pain was very hormonal like, but I was towards the end of my period so it was confusing. After about two weeks it went away, but then one morning it seemed like it was back, but just in a different spot. I honestly think I started having minor panic attacks so I called Dr. T and they saw me right away. (I think this was mid-Fenruary, by this time) I saw Dr. Tracy, who was amazing! She did a very thorough exam, asked me about ACC (she and I were diagnosed with breast cancer at the same time) and considered my concerns that I was having a heart attack. (she said the pain was too persistent for that) So...she decided to do a breast MRI. I was sort of surprised to be honest because at the time I felt like the pain was more muscular, and not really part of the breast. (my worry was chest wall tumors, or lung mets) So we got that scheduled for February 28th and she said she wanted her friend, and college roommate, to read the report. (She specializes in breast MRI's) I was definitely pleased with the personal touch!

February 28th roles around and Ginger and I went on our little trip to Lakeland St. Joe.--wow, the outpatient services facility is beautiful. I won't bore you with my horror story except to say that this breast MRI was the WORST medical test I ever had. I came close to losing my mind, and actually thought I would vomit when I got out. It was way too long, too hot, and I wasn't really set in the tube very well. (For example, you are facing down when this occurs, boobs are hanging through this hard plastic ramp-like thing, and your arms are over your head. The face thing that you look through is set up with mirrors so you can see the room and even the people outside the room...but my techs never told me that, so my eyes couldn't see anything but a small piece of floor) ANYWAY...because they were doing the implant side (at my request) the procedure was over two hours in the tube--a torturous two hours, for sure. The breast side was much easier, but during the procedure, there seemed to be a concern about the contrast, which I even noted by telling them I didn't feel the contrast go through, something I always feel. They messed around with my arm a little bit but said everything was ok. When I finished this test, I told them I would NEVER do that procedure again. I would rather have my boob cut off to look for cancer than do that again. Ha ha ha....jokes on me.

So, yeh, guess what? I had to have it done again because of issues with the test. I didn't hear any results of the test but a few weeks later the MRI department called me and said they needed to schedule a no charge MRI. Hmm. Strange. I immediately thought of the contrast issue so I wasn't too freaked. Called Dr.T's office to see what they had to say and they seemed confused...said there was no report but that the doctor didn't like the settings so she wanted a new scan. Wendy, the nurse, said something about dense breasts. But again, no report, so basically I had nothing on what was going on with my boob! I decided to wait a few weeks to schedule the re-test until I was on Spring Break. A few days later Wendy called again from Dr. T's office to say that they did have a report, but again, the doctor wanted something different. Wendy did tell me that things looked "ok" so far. I made her tell me that twice.

Yesterday was the re-scan. I was a wreck the night before, thinking I wouldn't mentally be able to handle it. Dr. T recommended I take 2 Xanax but I wasn't sure that would be enough but what do I say? Ginger and I got in her little car and off we went. And lo and behold, my prayers were answered when the tech said "we are only doing the contrast part"--that was all that is needed. 20 minutes tops. I wanted to kiss her. (but why the heck didn't someone tell me that earlier--before I took the 2 Xanax or when they got the report???)

So it was a piece of cake. I slept for a good two hours when I got home--wasted my whole first day of Spring Break--but at least the test is over.

Now we wait for the results. I am not worried for some reason. Probably should be since I always am! But the breast pain is gone, except in one spot high up in my inner chest muscle area--and that gets me at strange times. It's strange, but doesn't make me think cancer.

Again, I just needed to document this all.