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Bleeding as a symptom of a recurrence

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I started this thread, not because I have a real opinion yet, but because I will soon, and want to get the discussion going.

As many of you know, I am currently on a tenuous break from chemo, following a SURPRISE clear CT/PET I had in mid-February that was supposed to let us know what was going on mid-way through what was originally going to be 20 rounds of weekly taxol for a suspected recurrence. (Chemo given at 1/3 strength but every week.) So after just 10 of the planned 20 rounds, my gyne-oncologist felt I could (and should) safely take a break from chemo. 8 weeks into my chemo break I had a routine CA125 drawn (because my port needed flushed anyway) and my CA125 dropped 8 points on its own without chemo, down now to 34.6.

Then I started having a pinkish tinge on my toilet paper every 7 to 10 days, never any blood on my underwear or running out into the toilet or anything, and then days and days of NOTHING, but just this worrisome 'pink' every 7 to 10 days. I told my chemo-onc and he said they'd keep an eye on it, but didn't seem concerned. Then it got to be about every 4 or 5 days I'd see something pink, and 1 day last week I had an actual small spot of blood on my underpants. This morning when I urinated, it was red when I wiped. And when I used my dilator this morning there was a drop of blood on the very tip of it when I withdrew it, so I know the bleeding is vaginal. I phoned and made an appointment for Monday for an internal exam. Prior to all this I'd already been scheduled for a CT/PET on May 17th and an appointment with my gyne-onc to review that scan on May 24th.

So, since some of you that are in remission may one day find yourself with spotting, I wanted to get a thread started so I can let you know what I find out. The oncology nurse reasurred me that this could very easily be a result of fragile tissue from radiation damage, which sometimes occurs long after bracy or external radiation. Or it could be something worse. She said that maybe the exam would allow me to put my mind at ease until the CT/PET. I hope so. It was hard not to cry when I saw that blood this morning.

culka's picture
culka
Posts: 161
Joined: Oct 2009

I`m too lazy to call my family doctor about blood drops. It is usually occurred after sex. They never gave me dilator and when I asked, I was told you don`t need one (25 external + 3 brachy). True is, that during radiation I was using herbs and royal jelly with ginseng and lots of vitamins and I never had diarrhea or any usual problems.
Somewhere in Canadian study from Hamilton, Ontario, I read about using dilator only during treatment. I never had one and we are fragile there, so maybe Linda don`t use it for a while.

howdybooth
Posts: 44
Joined: Aug 2009

My sister too starting spotting after her hysterectomy. It started about 5 months after the surgery. Because her staging and grade was so low, she didn't have chemo or radiation. The spotting turned out to be her first reoccurance of the uterine cancer on the vaginal cuff - which we discovered is very common place for it to return. So the sooner you go in the better!

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

Linda,

Oh I'm sure you're going crazy with mind thoughts. It would be me, seeing the worst. I have been so lucky with no spotting but believe you me, each appt I go to they always confirm NO SPOTTING OR BLEEDING AT ALL???? NO~

I'm sure it's fine and don't know if the dilator can cause that spotting. I have one but can't say I'm EVERY DAY USER as you are now. Good time to visit the doctor.

Glad you started this thread as love to keep up on your progress. You're in my prayers and thoughts...

Jan

shortmarge
Posts: 296
Joined: Nov 2008

I had spotting once but... since you and I went through everything about the same time, I am right now feeling the neuropathy and metal taste in my mouth along with my vagina really aching again. It hasn't in several, several months. I feel like I did about 8 months ago. I go to see my oncol tomorrow for my next three month and going to ask lots of questions.

Like she's going to give me any real answers... :)

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

You've made it so long without a recurrence that I really think you are in the clear, Marge. Seems like if you had a 'superman cancer' like mine and like Fran's, that wins out even after radiation and chemo, that it would have come roaring back before now.

But isn't it wierd how SIDE EFFECTS show up so loooooonnng after the treatments? Just when you thought you got away clean with no lasting damage.....

Please let me know how you make out. I honestly WANT this bleeding to be a side effect; anything but cancer down there. ARGH! That would suck. (((Marge)))

thank you
Posts: 77
Joined: Jun 2009

But we read all over, that after radiation treatment, esp combined pelvic radiation and brachytherapy, local recurrence is very rare. We also know the many late side effects of radiation.
Think positive, that this is one of the remote side effects. You have said before, that you never had any symptoms from recurrence, but most were coming from treatment. This will be one more...
All this while I am on the edge waiting for the result of Ca 125 of my mom. Dying from stress....

Good luck to all of you
Chrysoula

fuzzytrouble's picture
fuzzytrouble
Posts: 213
Joined: Feb 2009

Marge I was wondering how you were doing and bam here you are. I was hoping that all things were going great. I hope it's just a weird event happening and it will be nothing. The neuropathy can come at anytime after chemo treatments, mine has never gone away and now being on Doxil I have it in both feet now. My taste buds come and go and act really strange at some of the foods I eat. I just hope they tell you what's going on tomorrow. When was your last ct scan?

Hugs to you,
Sharon

california_artist's picture
california_artist
Posts: 865
Joined: Jan 2009

I had actual bleeding only two times. Both were after I ate meat, which I so seldom do. I figured that the type of cancer I had was most likely hormone receptive and I had just fed it something it really liked. As it turned out, nearly 60% of my cancer was the regular cancer, not UPSC. so the meat was food for it.
Are you trying ever so hard to keep your foods on the alkaline side of the food chart? Have lots of lemon in filtered water and oodles of green tea, garlic, turmeric with black pepper. Try avoiding all milk products, meats, coffees, soda, all thos acid creating things. Hopefully it's just a small tear that is causing the bleeding.
Let us know how it goes on the morrow.

Love you,

claudia

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kansasgal's picture
kansasgal
Posts: 122
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((Dear, Dear Linda))

You know what a worrier I am, but I definitely would not shrug off a tiny bit of spotting. A tiny bit of spotting (one drop/week of a creamy pinkish tan color) was my original tip-off to uterine cancer. Other than that I was symptom free. I'm so glad you are going in for a "look-see".

I will be watching for your post afterward as will many women who only follow the board but never post. Your concern has been on my mind ever since your first post about it.

((Hi, Marge!))

I'm such a basket case before those important check-ups. We're all rooting for a continuation of NED for you!

Sally

moonchild49
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2010

I just passed 36 months post treatment (chemo, localized radiation, and brachytherapy) and still have the kind of bleeding you've described. As others have mentioned, the doc says it's caused by fragile tissues, not to worry. Having a routine CT tomorrow as part of my 6 month follow up appointment. Even 36 months out we still stress a bit until we get good reports.
Stay positive!

MoeKay
Posts: 215
Joined: Feb 2004

Linda,

I finished treatment for EC in August 1999. Over the years I have experienced vaginal bleeding on a number of occasions after my gyn-onc does a Pap test. I knew I asked him about this issue and found my notes (from April 2000, if you can believe it!) which state that bleeding as the result of a Pap happens from time to time. According to my notes, my gyn-onc said that I shouldn't worry about it, but if it increases to let him know. I seem to recall some occasional bleeding over the years after using the dilator as well.

I'm placing my bets on the effects of radiation as the cause of your vaginal bleeding. I'm glad you're getting it checked out so that you will be able to put your mind at ease. Worrying about these cancer issues is really the pits.

All the best,

MoeKay

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I am much reassured by your posts; thank you so much. I will let you know how I make out on Monday after my pelvic exam, although I know I won't have anything definitive until after my CT/PET on the 17th. There is very little on the web about this, so I'm glad we have started this thread here. I think all the time, when I am posting here, about the resource we are all creating for those who come after us, women terrified after getting their initial diagnosis and looking for answers. Even if any of us stops posting, our experiences and caring linger here waiting to comfort and educate someeone else. Thank you.

maggie_wilson's picture
maggie_wilson
Posts: 616
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linda,

truly, you are one of the major resources on this site, and i've so appreciated it. in terms of bleeding, i haven't had bleeding post surgery, however i've certainly heard of others who have, and it was invariable something other than recurrence. maybe you won't have anything definitive until the 17th, but i know alot can be seen by an internal exam, so you should learn something that i'm sure will be relieving. hoping for the best for you.
maggie

shortmarge
Posts: 296
Joined: Nov 2008

Well my questions got me a CT scan.... Hooray!!!! I've been having pain in my hip also, I think it's just arthritis but she didn't like where I was pointing. My exam looked good though, and will have my CA125 results tomorrow. Not worried.

MIND, BODY AND SOUL

Hugs,

Marge

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I popped in to see if you posted your CA125 results. Don't be surprised or worried if it goes up a few points if you are having pain, as any inflammation could spike it up a little. But let us know how you made out. ((((Marge))))

shortmarge
Posts: 296
Joined: Nov 2008

12.26!!!! Holding steady!

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
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Great news! Take a deep breath and keep dancing! I am so happy for you!

Karen

Songflower's picture
Songflower
Posts: 631
Joined: Apr 2009

Our post menopausal tissues get so thin that bleeding after intercourse is not unususal. Add in radiation and they thin even more. I think with all of the radiation you had this is most likely atrophic bleeding from friction. We just get so scared when anything changes.

Diane

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
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I am just now reading this thread. I'm so sorry you are experiencing more surprises and stress. I hope, like many have said that this is "normal". Good luck with your appointment and next PET - I am praying for a dark picture - no lights for you, lady!!!

Hugs and prayers to you. Mary Ann

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TiggersDoBounce
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Thinking of you girlfriend!!

Laurie

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 536
Joined: Oct 2009

Linda, totally understand the fear and uncertainty of the spotting. I just had my first post treatment biopsy and pap smear. The procedure was painless thanks to your reassurance my anxiety level was not very high.
Spotting as we all know is one of the things that our doctors want to know about but like others have posted it likely is from fragile tissue and friction. I will keep you in my prayers....{{{HUGS}}}
Lori

kansasgal's picture
kansasgal
Posts: 122
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I'm thinking of your visit to the doctor today and hope it results in good news.

A big hug from Sally

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
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I just wrote a LONG recounting of my appointment today at the gyne-onc on that spotting, and it disappeared when I hit "Submit", so I'm trying again. It was a GREAT appointment and I came away with a lot of new information to share.

First off, on the BLEEDING: He looked up there first and could only see radiation damage, but also did a thorough (!!!) vaginal and rectal exam and said that "everything felt very smooth", nothing suspicious". He said that an experienced gyne-onc can feel a tumor long before it can be picked up by a CT/PET, and he could feel nothing wrong, but he did a Pap test to see if it shows anything microscopic that hints of trouble. So, GOOD NEWS THERE, at least for now!

We talked about the differing pathology analysis diagnosis's. He said that "for neatness sake and just to know" we could send my 2008 hysterectomy tissue slides to John Hopkins for a "tie breaker" opinion. John Hopkins' gynecology-pathology department is their "go to" place when they need an outside opinion. But he said, in the larger picture, that it doesn't make any difference which cell histology we are dealing with, prognosis-wise, or even treatment wise, as all aggressive endometrial cancers are treated the same way as they only have so many options to try. He did say that papillary serous is a 'bad character' and that it is always good news when UPSC is ruled out. But the fact that I didn't have bleeding PRIOR to my original diagnosis and have always been thin and don't fit any of the characteristics of women that typically get estrogen-fed cancers,....he is unsure himself which pathology is correct. I seem more like a UPSC girl, I guess.

What would make a difference in my prognosis is whether I actually had a recurrence or not. He still thinks I did, but is not 100% sure. He said that if my May 17th CT/PET lights up, we will try and see if we can get a biopsy this time to confirm any suspected recurrence. So we decided to hold off on sending my old 2008 tissue slides to John Hopkins at this time, with the thought that it might be more telling if we sent live/new tissue to them for assays if I have to have a biopsy after my CT/PET. We can always send the old tissue there for a 3rd opinion any time.

This gyne-onc has a TINY personal case load and an extensive support staff because he is head of Women's Health at this medical center and a big shot with a lot of administrative responsibilities. He had a physician's assistant and an oncology nurse practioner with him during my entire exam and consultation, both very prepared for my appointment and completely familiar with my case. (I wish my chemo-onc had this type of support and case load!)

We had an interesting discussion on his strategy for me and for cancer treatment in general. He is a firm believer that a person's BONE MARROW must be preserved so that when you need chemo, your blood counts will be good enough to allow it. So he believes in talking a break from chemo whenever you safely can, and doesn't like low-dose 'maintenance' chemo for people in remission. He said he'd even be against magace or tamoxifen if I have a clear CT/PET, even though they don't beat down the body the way chemo does. He'd prefer to save hormone-related treatments for a time in case the time ever comes when I may not be strong enough to take chemo and need something safe to try. He said that even if something small lights up on my CT/PET, if my CA125 stays low, he'd be likely to recommend no treatment and a 'watch-and-see' approach of close monitoring.

He said if I my CT/PET lights up in multiple places or shows anything at all large, besides the biopsy he’d want me back in chemo. He said that it probably wouldn’t be taxol again, since a new recurrence would mean that taxol was no longer effective on me, and he’d be looking at carboplatin as the basis of my next chemo regime. (I’m guessing in combination with Doxil, but that wasn’t mentioned and is just my guess.)

He said that when I am on a 3-month break from chemo, he'd prefer I didn't even get my CA125 taken. He likes to see women FORGET about cancer when they are in a break! But I have to have my port flushed at least every 8 weeks, so I KNOW I will ask for a CA125 when I go in for a port flush!! I just will have to try and not let it make me crazy if it fluctuates. He said if my May 17th CT/PET is clear, I can cancel my appointment with him on May 24th and he'll see me in 3 months. But if it shows anything, to keep the appointment and we'll see if there is anything we can safely biopsy.

I can't think of any of tidbits that he dropped during the conversation, but if I think of anything else I'll post again.

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

Linda....WHEW....I have been waiting for your post today...It sounds very positive!! I am impressed with all of the information you learned today! I am hoping that everything is fine and you can just move ahead with your life!

I am curious that some of you posting here have a gyn onc AND a chemo onc. My gyn onc handled the surgery and the chemo....is that unusual??

Big hugs to you!!! Karen

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maggie_wilson
Posts: 616
Joined: Nov 2009

linda,

so far, so good! i know my gyn/onc believes his internal exams can reveal alot as does yours, so it sounds like everything is looking good "down there." hopefully your may 17th ct/pet will be looking just as good.

i just returned from my chemo onc, and will be scheduling my first ct/pet scan post treatment (6 months) shortly, then we'll go over them together. i think she, too, agrees no low dose chemo when in remission, and wants to take a watch and see approach. my ca125 went up to 21 from 18, so we're watching that, hopefully it's not a trend. i believe that if anything lights up on the pet/ ct, or there are multiple spots, she'll recommend more chemo. since i've had taxol/carboplatin, not sure yet what it would be, and trying not to think much about that until there are results. if everything is clear, while it's not conclusive, she would recommend continued monitoring.

it's good to hear other doctors' thinking as well as one's own. i like that your doctor does not want you to have another ca125 for awhile besides not wanting you to be thinking about cancer. my doctor said that if you do ca 125s more often than every 3 months, you don't really know what the fluctuations mean in the same way you would every 3 months, since they are so variable, and so much can influence the results.

i really appreciated hearing your doctor's thoughts about bone marrow, and saving hormone treatment in case you need it, and can't do chemo. makes a lot of sense. sounds like he spent a good amount of time talking with you. my chemo doc seems to have alot of time to talk, but usually not my gyn/onc.

thanx for taking the time to spell out exactly what happened today; does sound like an incredibly productive visit. i know that each time i go the the doctor, feels like my heart is in my mouth, and i usually feel better afterwards. i'm sure that was true for you today, and most of us in general, unless of course it's not such good news.

in the meantime, here's hoping for long remissions for us all.

warmly,
maggie

maggie_wilson's picture
maggie_wilson
Posts: 616
Joined: Nov 2009

linda,

so far, so good! i know my gyn/onc believes his internal exams can reveal alot as does yours, so it sounds like everything is looking good "down there." hopefully your may 17th ct/pet will be looking just as good.

i just returned from my chemo onc, and will be scheduling my first ct/pet scan post treatment (6 months) shortly, then we'll go over them together. i think she, too, agrees no low dose chemo when in remission, and wants to take a watch and see approach. my ca125 went up to 21 from 18, so we're watching that, hopefully it's not a trend. i believe that if anything lights up on the pet/ ct, or there are multiple spots, she'll recommend more chemo. since i've had taxol/carboplatin, not sure yet what it would be, and trying not to think much about that until there are results. if everything is clear, while it's not conclusive, she would recommend continued monitoring.

it's good to hear other doctors' thinking as well as one's own. i like that your doctor does not want you to have another ca125 for awhile besides not wanting you to be thinking about cancer. my doctor said that if you do ca 125s more often than every 3 months, you don't really know what the fluctuations mean in the same way you would every 3 months, since they are so variable, and so much can influence the results.

i really appreciated hearing your doctor's thoughts about bone marrow, and saving hormone treatment in case you need it, and can't do chemo. makes a lot of sense. sounds like he spent a good amount of time talking with you. my chemo doc seems to have alot of time to talk, but usually not my gyn/onc.

thanx for taking the time to spell out exactly what happened today; does sound like an incredibly productive visit. i know that each time i go the the doctor, feels like my heart is in my mouth, and i usually feel better afterwards. i'm sure that was true for you today, and most of us in general, unless of course it's not such good news.

in the meantime, here's hoping for long remissions for us all.

warmly,
maggie

bonniesue
Posts: 126
Joined: Apr 2009

Wow!! Sounds like a great appointment with a very organized, efficient office with lots of good direction.I like the sound of caring and efficiency.

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
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I am happy for you, Linda. It is always a relief to get a good exam and doctor's visit. I am looking for you to cancel your appointment on the 24th!

Keep smiling!

Kathy

california_artist's picture
california_artist
Posts: 865
Joined: Jan 2009

i just love it when you have good news!! love it, love it, love it!

my doctor, the one who trained at mayo, also said he would be able to see the cancer before it showed up on a PET (in the vaginal cuff area). i thought he could usually tell before the pap came back positive too, but that sounds a bit odd, so don't take a great deal of store in that.

See you on the winning side of this.
i've always thought you'd get out of this mess in one healthy piece.

love and kisses,

Claudia

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Thanks for sharing all the info. I love your new doc. Good luck with scan. I see the ENT today and my CA125 dropped to 31!!!! hopefully all good news.

Blessings to all, Mary Ann

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
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Joined: Mar 2010

Linda,

What has your CA 125 been during the whole process of before and after treatments? Curious... Mine was a great predictor of how well the treatments have done and today it's the same number 3 since finishing treatments July '09.

Good luck with the doc today and let us know how you're doing...
Jan

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
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I am so happy for you, Mary Ann.

Kathy

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1579
Joined: Jan 2009

Linda what a great appointment. Glad you spotting was only radiation damage. Glad you got a lot of your concerns addressed. Having a break and not thinking about cancer would be great. That is easier said than done, even if you don't have any appointments scheduled.

My gyn/ono has said all winter long that he wanted to save my bone marrow also, so that when chemo is really needed it can be given. That's why he only treats if the CAT scan shows something, and does not treat only a rising CA 125.

Hope you are getting some plans made to take that cruise and you go and thoroughly enjoy yourself.

Wishing you the best with your CT?PET scan. Hope you are enjoying those grandchildren. Have not heard you mention them lately. You are a very special lady, and I appreciate all of your information you provide us. In peace and caring.

kkstef's picture
kkstef
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Ro, I love your new picture...and the background is WONDERFUL!! Am so happy that you got to go on your fabulous trip! May there be many more!!

Karen

TiggersDoBounce's picture
TiggersDoBounce
Posts: 413
Joined: Oct 2009

Great post....

Thanks for letting us know!

Laurie

MoeKay
Posts: 215
Joined: Feb 2004

Great news about the bleeding, Linda! All in all, your appointment sounds like it was quite productive and positive. I was thinking of recommending Johns Hopkins to you for the tie-breaker pathology review; I went there for a second gyn-onc opinion prior to my treatment in 1999 and knew they had a well-respected gyn pathology department.

I was just curious if there was any discussion of the distinction between your "grade 2 with grade 3 cytologic atypia" and a "true grade 3"? I may be wrong, but the former just doesn't sound as bad as the latter to me.

Be well,

MoeKay (Maureen)

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
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There was really no discussion on the change in 'grade' even though I had 3 stars next to that on my notes of what we needed to discuss. I got the feeling my gyne-onc wasn't buying into this changed diagnosis, and his overall comment was that it didn't really matter in the big picture, treatment-wise. And if I really did already have a recurrence, and he still thinks I probably did, then it doesn't really matter prognosis-wise either. Any kind of endometrial cancer that recurs is bad news that statistically means a shortened life (statistically; and I'm not a statistic!), so he glossed over that question. He knows I have done my research, and I wouldn't press him for life expectancy estimates with my husband in the room. But I agree, the newer pathology GRADE seems better than my earlier Grade 3 diagnosis. And I'll take good news wherever I can find it!

The big thing now is for me to get a clear CT/PET scan again when I go on the 17th That would go a long way to convincing me that I didn't really have a recurrence. And if anything does light up, we're going to try and cut it out and biopsy it and see if it truly is a recurrence.

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
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I got the results of the PAP test that I had when I went in to see my gyne-onc: it was CLEAR! And the spotting hadn't happened again since I had the PAP, so I am much less worried about it now. So I wanted to share my little bit of good news.

My CT/PET is Monday. I am trying not to think about it. (trying). The results will either mean 3 more months of being ME and FREE of treatment, or a return to chemo and the loss of this wonderful chemo break I've been on. ARGH! So much riding on a stupid test. I plan to NOT exercise for 48 hours prior and to havre NO carbs 24 hours prior and do everything in my power to get an accurate scan. And then I wait for the results. ARGH! The stress every 3 months can't be good for me!

kkstef's picture
kkstef
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Joined: May 2008

Linda....We will take even the "small bits" of Good News!! Good News is Good News! I am hoping that you have the same good news after your scan on Monday. I can understand your restlessness about the upcoming event, but you have a good plan re:your approach to the scan! I am counting on you enjoying many more months FREE of treatment!!

Best to you! Karen

kkstef's picture
kkstef
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Oops...repeat

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
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Joined: Mar 2010

Linda,

I'm thinking very positive, in hopes the good vibes give you "excellent" results on scan. Yep we all are in the same boat, a mess waiting for the results. Such are our lives with this cancer...not fun hum!

I'll keep you in my prayers as well...((((( hugs )))))
Jan

TiggersDoBounce's picture
TiggersDoBounce
Posts: 413
Joined: Oct 2009

Good Luck on your test Monday!

Laurie

A1pena's picture
A1pena
Posts: 93
Joined: Jan 2010

Im soo happy for you! and praying that your ct scans are clear from here on out!!

hugs :)

Amanda

kansasgal's picture
kansasgal
Posts: 122
Joined: Aug 2009

Dear (((Linda)))!

Really glad to hear the good news on the PAP and that the spotting has subsided!

I, too, am praying for a “clean” CT/PET for you on Monday, and I commend your determination to assist in the scan results being as unequivocal as possible. At this time of year gardening is a helpful distraction for me when trying not to stress out about tests, etc, but gardening as I do it on the weekends is anything but relaxing. Hope your yard is in good enough shape that you can just saunter through and enjoy your gardens this weekend!

Sally

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

My gardens (which are ridiculously huge!) look beautiful today after last night's soaking rain. I too find gardening a relaxing stress-reducer, and spend my lunch hour every day grooming my garden, re-cutting the edges, deadheading all spent blooms, moving little 'volunteers' to better homes, and digging out over-crowded plants and moving them to the woods' edge. It's funny you mentioned gardening because it feels me with such mixed emotions. This morning I moved a tiny baby crabapple tree I found growing under my old one; plus a tiny red maple I 'stole' from along the roadside after admiring its flaming 'mother tree' every fall for years. (One day I just pulled my car over, looked for a seedling, and dug it up, adding it to my 'nursery bed' to allow it to grow to a transplantable size.) I added those two baby trees to my 'woods edge' garden this morning, imagining how beautiful they will look there in 10 years, knowing it is very unlikely I will be here to see it. But in my mind I can envision the baby lilac, the rooted rhododendrons and azaleas, and tiny pine tree I put there last fall, and the baby hollys I put between them as evergreen understory plants. At least I can enjoy the columbine and irises I put in there, in beautiful bloom this morning in the very front of the woods edge. But it is strange to look at the tall trees I planted as rooted cuttings a decade ago, and know how long I have already been tending this little acre of land I have, and that my baby plants will probably be on their own sooner than I'd planned. Still, I will enjoy a fresh organic spinach salad out of my veggie bed for lunch in an hour, so life is good!

Always Hopeful
Posts: 234
Joined: May 2010

Dear Linda,

Just yesterday in a different discussion you told me not to despair...that there are survivors out there. Of course you're going to see that baby crabapple tree and red maple grow up! Positive thoughts lead to positive happenings...those baby plants, your grandchildren and family and friends, all of us need you to BE POSITIVE.

Saying prayers and sendng positive energy for you...JJ

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norma2
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I remember the book The Secret Garden...a favorite of mine as a child. The garden gave strength and hope. I am hoping that in ten years you will be rereading this post about your lovely garden. It sounds amazing. Sending you {{{HUGS}}} and lots of prayer and positive thoughts.

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maggie_wilson
Posts: 616
Joined: Nov 2009

linda,

your garden post was lovely and very poignant, a poem, really. i could picture your vast garden, and you amonst all the flowers and trees you've planted, tending them so carefully and tenderly all these years. and i can relate to the bittersweetness of imagining how even more beautiful your garden will look in 10 years, and contemplating the possibility of not being here to see your baby plants in full bloom. no one can take care of your garden in quite the way that you do; how could they? yet, being here now, with the sun shining after the night's rain, and looking forward to enjoying the fruits of your labor for lunch, how delicious that sounds, and yes, how good life is.

l'chaim (to life)
maggie

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

It's funny that you mention "The Secret Garden" as that is what my granddaughter asked me to make the garden by the wood's edge. None of my other flower beds or borders have that 'hidden' quality she finds so romantic. So I sawed off select limbs of some of the old trees to let in more lights and have created a little stone path into the woods. I planted bulbs and flowering ground covers and tucked hardy flag irises and lily of the valley all along the path. Wildflowers (weeds really) have started to bloom in there with the additional new light coming in. There's lots of poison ivy in there and 'tree-fort-building' neighbor kids have been badly stung stepping into the nests of ground bees, so I make the grandkids stay on the path. But it's the 'peeking inside' and the beauty hidden from anyone who doesn't venture into the woods that she likes the most.

Today is my 'no carbs/no exercise' day before my CT/PET. It's so hard to be so inactive, but it really does give you a more accurate PET-scan if you can have no carborhydrates and not move around much at least 24 hours (better 48 hours!) before a scan. I need to totally fast (just water) at least 6 hours before the scan.

May 17th sounded so far off when the appointment was made; suddenly it is here. I am anxious to get confirmation that I am still in remission, and terrified that I'll find out that I am not. There's so much riding on this scan for me, as the results will define my summer. I am trying to remain philosophical and not give in to anxiety and worrying. Whatever will be, will be. Most of you know this passive waiting and know the internal 'Zen' you have to try to achieve or go crazy! OOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! Ha!

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