Show Your Stripes!
So, let’s just say that 2016 was not my year. It was a bit overwhelming with medical stress and issues. I’d say spending 75% of the year dealing with chemotherapy, going into cardiac arrest, and then having to have 2 surgeries…1 to remove 6 hemangiomas and 1 lipoma…and 1 to have an ICD implanted. I’d say that I maxed out my deductible pretty darn fast and it was not what anyone would dream of as a nice year. All of that being said, I did enjoy the year- my boys are healthy and happy, and they are a blast to be around (at least to me…and Mike…and my parents…other people may say otherwise, but I think most would agree). Thankfully, they’re energy and happiness outshine my medical crap.
To round out this year, I had another appointment at Moffitt in Tampa on the 27th to see how my new chemo regimen is working and what the next set of plans will become. We were up at 4am to leave the house at 5 to catch a plane at 6:50. We landed safely (in a really nice Delta plane, by the way. Is there a way to check what kind of plane you’ll be on ahead of time? This plane was mui bien.), got our rental car and went and enjoyed the 80 degree sunshine at a Starbucks. We had breakfast at the airport before we got on the plane, and before we headed over for our 11am appointment, I thought it would be good to eat some CFA nuggets to make sure my blood sugar didn’t get low while we were at Moffitt since we had a string of appointments. Side note- good gracious all of these meds cause a slew of things to think about…when did I eat? when do I eat again? when do I need a snack? did I take my meds? will I be able to eat again in another 3 hours? should I bring a snack? Lawd! I have a part time job just thinking about meds and food! Anyways, we get to Moffitt, enjoy the free valet (why is free valet such a nice perk?! It really is though- it’s so convenient!), and I go for my lab work. After getting blood drawn, it was time to head upstairs to get checked in for my CT scan and drink the orange contrast. I sit down to check in with the lady at the desk, and she says, “when was the last time you ate?” Uhhh. Crap. Was I supposed to fast? “At 10:45 I had some nuggets.” She very calmly replies, “okay. No problem, but you have to fast for 4 hours before the scan, so we’ll just push your scan to 2:30. We’ll start your contrast at 1. After I get you checked in and you get your IV, just head downstairs and let your doctor know you’ll be late for your 2pm appointment.” My eyes are huge because my mind is spinning thinking Oh Lawd we’re going to miss our flight home! Why didn’t I remember to fast?! Why didn’t I double check?! We’re not going to make our flight home…crap!!! I sit back down and tear up. Thank goodness, Mike calms me down and reminds me it’s going to be fine.
Just like clockwork, I begin drinking the contrast Koolaid at 1pm…you drink 3 16oz drinks over the course of 1.5 hours. You have to drink 1 cup each 30 minutes. It tastes terrible, but I must be getting used to it because it wasn’t as bad this round. In the meantime, they got my IV set up, and very promptly at 2:30, they called me for my CT scan. It’s just a lot of nervous energy because you’re laying there being super still and just praying that what is about to be measured and read is good news. The contrast CT scan requires to be injected with a contrast that gives you a warm sensation, terrible taste in your mouth and then it feels like you pee- yo-pants. Yes, it’s just lovely being an adult and feeling the pee your pants sensation. Better than pooping your pants because I’ve been there too! Having digestive issues gives you a whole new sort of life experiences that are typically too embarrassing to talk about. Some of my friends have had the pleasure to hear some of my stories, but maybe it’s not so much of a pleasure- it’s just funny because I happily joke about it and try to make bathroom disasters glamorous and entertaining.
After my CT scan, we go downstairs for my follow up appointment with the PA (who’s fabulous, by the way. She’s about my age, cute, understanding and knowledgeable). We had several things we wrote down to talk with her, and while we didn’t get to discuss our CT results because the computer was being a bit slow my blood work looked good! Whew! I got to discuss my medications, side effects, concerns I have, what was normal, what is concerning, etc and we got all of our questions answered. We later got the CT results and while I didn’t get specifics yet from the message, the results are going in a good direction. I have to remain on chemo, and I still need to allow myself time to recover and adjust to all of the heart meds, side effects and new chemo regiment, but I’m overall doing well and heading in the direction that I want to. I also got approval to have my lipoma on my left temple removed which I’m excited about. My ENT is wanting to remove it, but I needed clearance from my electrophysiologist and my oncologist. Yahoo! Another surgery to kick off 2017! This should be minor though. The lipoma is apparently affecting how my left eye blinks, so getting it removed will improve that and (what I’m most excited about) I’ll have this stupid lump removed on my face. Eww! My face! Blech! Face lumps?! No thank you! I don’t really want lumpy anything, but especially not on my face! Okay, so stay tuned on face lump removal…I’m just pleased that I’m healthy enough to handle general anesthesia.
Okay, so still on chemo, still taking a crap ton of heart meds, but I’m improving. I need some time to heal and get it all balanced, but I’m getting there folks. Little by little. Ready to say “Peace out cub scout” to 2016. See ya! I’m out like a fat kid in dodgeball! I’m off like a Prom dress! Ready for 2017 and all the GREAT things it’s going to bring. I mean, come on, it can’t be much worse than 2016. I better knock on wood, but come on, there’s only a few things that could make it worse…let’s not go there. Head up. Eye on the prize. Ready to try to do a crazy little thing called exercise again. I’m going to try to…ready for this biggun’ of a goal?…I’m gonna try to run a mile. Yep! A mile. A big ole’ mile, and then I’m going to try to run 2 miles. I know, crazy! Watch out Runners Fit, I’m gonna be blazin’ up some (one mile) trails!
Next trip to Tampa is in April. I’m going to take the next couple of months to rest and recover and be ready to be the best I can be. That’s all we can hope for, right?! Thanks for all of the continued prayers and positive energy…it’s working!