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The scariest word!

I went in to my clinic in June of 2008 for a pap check and I knew we were going to be doing a colposcopy and biopsies. I had had abnormal paps in the past. A week later my doc called and asked me to come into her office, of course I assumed the worst. As I walked to the clinic I received a call from another local clinic saying I had been refered to them by my doctor and was wondering what day I was available. Well that gave it away that the situation was progressed of some sort. When I did get to my doctors office she then told me that I had at least carcinoma in situ aka cervical cancer the beginning. Another week later I went to the other clinic, the doctor there then did a LEEP procedure on me, and took more biopsies via a Cone Biopsy procedure to try to remove the cancer. Those results came back another week later, still had cancer and was told that it was invasive, I was referred to Mayo Clinic, and that I would be having a radical hysterectomy. So all that in 3 weeks time very scary! Being told this information, I went to the reception desk for the receptionist to call Mayo to get me scheduled. The appointment was made for July 24th 2008 to consult with a gynecological surgeon oncologist. The wait to go to Mayo was unbearable! I had made the mistake of googling cervical cancer. That left me with a mind gone crazy! I would sit and think about it(cancer). I would wonder where it was and think well my back hurts, OMG its on my pelvic wall, and in my kidneys. I wondered why nothing was being done yet, because I was scared and left with no answers, no explanation of what I had or how it would be dealt with. I wasn't given any info on how treatable it was or my chances of recovery. I was in a state of mind I hope no one ever goes to!

soccerfreaks's picture

PEG Tube (part 2) "You see it all in 3D, it's your favorite foreign movie" 08/06/08

(Steely Dan reference)

I probably should have referenced Ray Wylie Hubbard's Snake Ranch here. I had a snake on my hands, after all. The new PEG tube, such as it was, lounged, at its end, down around my knees or thereabouts. And it had no features. I had to add my own.

And then my stomach did what stomachs do and began to suck the tube inside of itself. I did not know at first. I experienced cramps, severe cramps. To make that long story short, I finally realized that I was no longer suffering PEG tube envy because there was only about a foot of that olive tube left out in public. The rest was buried inside of me somewhere. Genius that I am, I began pulling on the tube, and it began to come out. And it came out. And then more came out. Pretty soon, I was feeling good again, and most of the tube was back out in the open where it belonged. I realized that without a bumper on the tube, my stomach would be just as happy to swallow the whole thing.

soccerfreaks's picture

PEG Tube (part I) "Peg, it will come back to you" 08/06/08

(Steely Dan reference)

When I was operated on for head and neck cancer, back in October of 2005, they replaced half of my tongue, performed a radical neck dissection, and put a PEG tube into my torso.

The surgery I have described. Maybe I didn't point out that they opened half of my lower face and that my teeth have never quite matched up since they put me back together. Maybe I have not mentioned that speech has been a problem, one that comes and goes, depending on the moisture levels in my mouth. I am certain, or nearly so, that I have talked about the problems with eating.

It seems that replacing half of my tongue was one of those great ideas in principle that doesn't necessarily work out in practice. That is a work in progress. I eat. I eat salads that are diced finely and covered fairly well with dressing so that the dressing helps the tomatoes and onions and lettuce and such slide on down the gullet. I can out-eat you in the ice cream department. I enjoy experimenting with my condiments to make the ice cream seem new and exciting, but, to be honest, this bores me eventually. I eat yogurt. I eat pudding. All of this is rather bland when the people around you are sampling steak and shrimp and lobster and hamburgers fresh off the grill.

soccerfreaks's picture

I TOLD YOU SO!!! (Part 3) "Weird scenes inside the gold mine" 008/01/08

In the old days, say five, six years ago, if you had a blood clot like the one I had (have) in my left leg, they would put you in the hospital. I was told this by DeliveranceDoc (formerly known as ERDoc). The one in my right leg was described diagnostically as isolated. Small, I suppose. It had never impacted me to my knowledge, which is why I asked New Love why she was even bothering (unless of course, she was trying to seduce me).

Of course, as you will recall, that is part of procedure.

The right leg clot was of little immediate concern to them, except that it showed a pattern, probably. The left leg clot, on the other hand, apparently roused them. It extended, as it turned out (have I already told you this, and if so, why I am doing it again?) from way above my knee to quite a ways below it. There was some concern, for sure.

soccerfreaks's picture

I TOLD YOU SO!!! (Part 2) "Weird scenes inside the gold mine" 008/01/08

Yes. My wife is angry, and she is smug, but she is more worried than either of the other two, and I am lucky for that. I was going to start this whole narrative, this piece about blood clots, with a reference to the song that includes "Ready for a thing called love", that I know Dwight Yoakam does, but also know that it probably predates his birth. The reason, of course, being that I know it takes a whole lot of love (should I have used the Led Zeppelin song?) to drive all the way back from DC to make sure I went to the ER on Thursday night. I know that.

I understand her anger, and I understand her smugness, even if it is less apparent for the moment, but I am still not exactly up to date on the worry. A blood clot? So what?

soccerfreaks's picture

I TOLD YOU SO!!! (Part I) "Weird scenes inside the gold mine" 008/01/08

(The Doors reference)

I was required, requested, ordered, whatever the proper word is, I am not sure: let us agree that I was INVITED back to the Advanced Imaging joint in the morning, as mentioned above, for a PVL. And because Mama Bear was there, I made it on time. I limped into the Advanced Imaging joint and gave them the paperwork from the night before and, as mentioned previously, knowing that my case was not serious, just KNEW that I would be there all day ...in the waiting room.

Surprisingly, they called me back pretty quickly.

The nurse was young and blonde and pretty (I was in love.)

First entry - Aug. 25, 2008

I don't believe in 'blogs.' I think they are unnecessary, a waste of time and energy and just plain silly. Who reads them, anyway? What possible good can they do?

No matter, I think I feel like starting a cancer blog. Gee -- I am amazed I said/typed the word straigh out: c-a-n-c-e-r. For many years, I couldn't bring myself to even say the word, much less talk about it. After all, cancer killed both of my parents and after the grief settled a bit, all I could think of was, "I'm next, I guess."

Now, here I am, a cancer survivor. Amazing, that! It wasn't true that having cancer meant one has to die. It also wasn't true that having cancer meant the end of life as I once knew it. Sure, there are some changes but by and large, my life is going on pretty well considering all that my body went through.

alanwriter's views

It has been over three years since my original diagnosis of "perotid" gland cancer, the salivary gland. All phsicians assured me that the typs of cancer which had invaded me was not likely to spread. But you never know.
It has been almost three years since my operation and radiation treatment. The radiation had several side effects which I shall not describe. They have been annoying but one learns to live with simple adversity.
While undergoing treatment I, as a writer (Since I have not been published I cannot claim to be an "author,") wrote a short essay about the experience. It was from the vieewpoint of the cancer cells and what they were feeling during the radiation. You should be able to acess the essay somewhere in the "expressions" page.

Cancer: A learning experience. All of us dealing with it are on a spiritual adventure.

Just a note to all. I'm new at this, and don't know where to send this, or to whom. But I do have some thoughts to share.

Cancer has been an awakening experience for me. It's so difficult, when I can't see what is to come. Therefore, I live my life open to life or death. Many say, what overkill that is. You're fine, now. But after several recurrences, I know what can happen. But I also know God is there for me, and will not desert me. St. Paul mentions that death is preferable in some ways, but he stays on earth to help his friends. My motive is not so sublime, but I meet every day with an expectation that this spriritual adventure I'm on will continue, either here or hereafter. So the decisions I make and the way I live will reflect this effort. There'll be less fearbased, anyway. I want to do things to help others, and myself overcome fear, overcome cancer itself. I'm writing my books about my experiences, and I have a new website. Please visit me either within the system, here or at my website. It's uthicaatherdesk.vpweb.com.

Breast Cancer Survivor Advice on Chemo Side Effects

I am a breast cancer survivor of two years! When I started treatments in 2005, my skin dried out immediately from chemo and I felt like I was aging before my eyes. I needed alot of skin care products, but knew that most of them had things in them that were not good for my health such as mineral oil, preservatives, etc. I discovered Arbonne products through a very good friend of mine, and learned they were hypo-allergenic, no mineral oils/dyes/perfumes, never tested on animals - and I knew I had the right product for a cancer patient. I used their skin conditioning oil on my head, after losing my hair, and it kept the newly exposed skin soft and healthy. I also used the oil on my lumpectomy scars, which you cannot see today. Their anti-aging products gave my skin plenty of moisture and nothing bad or unhealthy was going into my body. My husband loves my incredibly soft skin and I feel confident knowing that I am using pure, safe and beneficial products.

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