Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Whoohoo, i'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!

i am so glad to be connected again!! we got a wireless service internet, and just got it going last night. we still have some work to do- we need to hook up the wireless router so that we can move the computer out of my daughters bathroom. yes, bathroom. when it comes to reception at my house, think of that commercial where the man is contorted like a pretzel trying to get some reception on his cell phone. that, my friends, is what it is like at my house! hopefully, we can get this thing up and running a little more effectively. in the meanwhile, i am typing and keeping my fingers crossed( that i do not lose the signal)

as most of you know, we are in the middle of a major house remodeling project. i was talking to one of the construction workers yesterday. he was the only brave soul to get out yesterday- it was sleeting and snowing a bit. it was really cold- especially compared to the warm weather we have had lately.  i was in the kitchen making some tea, and he was working on the wiring for my dryer that will be moved to my pantry. i was telling him that my husband and i would be out of town wednesday and thursday because i had a doctors appointment and ultrasound on thursday. normally i would have left it at that, but for some reason i also told him that i am a thyroid cancer patient. he said "did i hear you say, a THYROID cancer patient?" i said yes, fully expecting him to ask me where my thyroid was or something like that.( believe it or not, some people have asked me that. i even had one person say, well, i did not know you could have cancer there! i did not know how to answer that one.) instead, he told me that he had thyroid cancer back in 2007! from that point, it was on! we showed off our neck scars and talked about our experiences.

his case was very interesting. he is an Vietnam veteran, and was exposed to agent orange. the doctors told him that they could not prove this, but they think that the agent orange triggered his thyroid cancer. i have not read any statistics about agent orange and thyroid cancer, but it makes sense to me. i am going to try to do some research on this. of course, this did not cause my thyroid cancer- i will probably never know the answer to that question. but my goal now, is to live as healthily as possible, and to look forward, and of course, live a good  and happy life.

i went to zumba last night. i can not wait to tell my children( they are grown and married, but will still always be my children) that i am going to be a part of a zumba flash mob! we are going to perform  at an art gallery. i love to keep my children guessing! i like it when they say, i wonder what mom is up to now? i am a little nervous about performing zumba in front of people that i do not know. they will be surprised, pleasantly, i hope. but it should be fun, and it is good to try new things. i really do not want to be on youtube,however.....

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Another cautionary tale......

yesterday i found out that one of my good friends, and colleagues,has been diagnosed with colon cancer. she had not had any symptoms, and there is no family history  of colon cancer. she found out about this when she had her screening colonoscopy- one is recommended at age 50.

since there is some family history of colon cancer in my family, i started with my colonoscopies before i turned 50. i have had several colon polyps removed so far- none have been the type that can become or are cancerous. there is a link, and this is pretty well established, between colon polyps and thyroid cancer- especially papillary thyroid cancer. so please, everyone have a screening colonoscopy!! i know that if you are dealing with thyroid cancer, or other thyroid disorders, you do not relish the idea of more testing. but colon cancer can be treated if caught early. i am not a doctor, of course, and i do not know all the particulars about my friends case, but i do believe from what she has told me, that she has a good prognosis. she is in the third round of her chemotherapy,however, so she is going through some tough times right now.

some people are afraid or hesitant to have a colonoscopy done. well, before my first one, i was very anxious. i want everyone to know that there is nothing to be afraid of. the "prep" that you have to do the day or two before is a little challenging, i will be honest.you have to go on a liquid diet and drink either a large volume type laxative, or there are tablets you can take- but you have to take about 50 of them. the test itself is not painful at all. i go to an endoscopy center( that is all that they do there) and a gastroenterologist does the test. they use the "conscious sedation" method which i like. i have an iv inserted in my arm, and the medicine i get just relaxes me. if it were to get painful or something they could add more medicine, or even "put me to sleep", but that has never happened. i get to lay there and look at my colon on the big screen as the doctor is doing the procedure( think katie couric here). a good thing about this type of anesthesia is that you can hop up and put your clothes on and head on home in no time( of course you still can not drive and have to have someone with you, for safety). as for the polyp removal, it is not painful. i did not even know when the doctor did it. they tell me that we do not have nerve endings in our intestines, like we have in our fingers for example, so we do not feel pain when they are removed. believe me, i am a weenie, and if it was painful i would tell you!!

so that is my soapbox message for the week. please schedule your colonoscopy, and if you run across a "Mr. Sticky" you might give him a try as well!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The totally true story of "Mr. Sticky"

as some of you might know, we are doing a major remodeling project on our home. today, they tore out the floor and dug  about three feet down  in yet another room- this one that is closest to where my husband and i now "call home". i am  scheduled to work the 12 to 9 shift today and tomorrow. when i work the evening shift, i have to deal with the banging,etc, that goes along with home demolition.( they start work at about 7:30, so no extra sleep for me!) they are doing a great job- they are really nice people, but it is a little unnerving to hear/see your house being  destroyed- even if it is what you wanted, and you know that things will look better before too long.

so, i got ready for work  pretty fast, and decided to do a little shopping before i went in to work. i went to a department store, and started looking around. i had only been there a few minutes before i heard an announcement over the intercom:" Attention shoppers, if you will hurry on over to the flashing light, you may be able to receive some free gifts!" o.k. free gifts? usually strings are attached, but i had the time, so i hurried on over. there were only 3 other women besides me, but the woman doing the demonstration acted like we were the "chosen ones". she said, since you have your tickets already, you will be the only four people receiving this free gift!. the woman beside me looked in her hands for a ticket( i swear), but i told her not to worry, because we were the ONLY FOUR PEOPLE in the entire store- well, if you did not count the sales staff.

our free gifts were very small microfiber cloths used to clean eye glasses. i noticed that only 50% of us actually wore glasses( i use  mine for reading), but free is free. then, the sales lady said" well, now, what comes after the number one? since i knew the answer, she gave me yet another microfiber cloth.oh, goodie!

then here comes the sales pitch: she was selling this wonderful product, not sold in stores( oh, no, i knew i needed to run. remember when i blogged that i was a sucker for "as seen on t.v. stuff"?)but today only we could buy it in the store. she asked us if we ever used lint brushes. of course we all do. she showed us what lint brushes would do, or rather not do, then proceeded to (drum roll here) whip out "Mr. Sticky"!! now Mr. Sticky is able to pick up just about anything- lint,hair,kitty litter- she demonstrated all of that. then she washed Mr. Sticky- that is how you clean it. she made us all touch it before and after it was cleaned. i was hoping that i had extra hand gel in the car.

of course, as in all good " as seen on t.v. products", there came the line, BUT WAIT, if you purchase Mr. Sticky today, you will also receive a pocketbook size and the large size( i was wondering what you could use the large size for- it has a telescoping handle.she said it would be useful to remove "stuff" from the ceiling. wow, what stuff? Mr. Sticky is really sticky, by the way. you could probably remove a small animal from the ceiling with that thing.

there is no inspirational message to this blog. of course i brought "Mr. Sticky" home with me- to the delight of the sales person.  another woman bought one as well. how well " Mr. Sticky" does is any one's guess, but i can sure laugh at myself. which is a good thing, i think. although tomorrow,instead of going shopping , i believe i should go to the library before work.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"You can never hold back spring; even though you've lost your way,the world keeps dreaming of spring. so close your eyes, open your heart,..you can never hold back spring. remember everything that spring can bring, you can never hold back spring. " You can never hold back spring, by Tom Waits

no matter how cold the winter. no matter how much snow, ice and freezing rain winter has dumped on us this year, spring is on it's way!! YEAH!!! i walked outside the other day, and it seemed to me ( well, you all know i have an active imagination) that the trees were all excited. they are excited because they are getting new clothes soon. i mean, i get really excited over new clothes so i get it. i can see just a hint of pink in the cherry trees and a smidgen of green in the weeping willows. the daffodils are starting to peek their heads out- come on out, i say. it is truly amazing, but it happens each and every year without fail.

i can not help but think about all of us who have thyroid cancer. we have been through one tough winter, but man oh man, spring is on it's way!! we all have our "setbacks" of course, and there will be more cold weather for sure. some of my flowers/bushes that seem to be over-achievers will get damaged by a late frost, but at least they are trying.

this will be my first spring after my cancer diagnosis. i still have lots of tests coming up- an ultrasound the end of this month, a full body scan in may, etc, but i still feel pretty hopeful about things. the thing is, no matter how much we cancer patients have to go through, there is hope and joy to be found all around us. you just have to look. o.k. maybe you need really strong glasses to see it, but trust me, it is there.

we are remodeling our house this year. my husband and i have talked about doing it for years. but, i think, and my husband has not really come out and said this, we are finally doing it because we realize that who knows what the future might bring. this is important to us- it will make things more comfortable for us, and provide more usable space for our family when they visit. you can not put off doing the things that you feel that you need to do. you can not put off your joy anymore than you can hold back spring. go for it- get a really bad case of spring fever, and enjoy it! 

Monday, March 7, 2011

"its not how fast, it's not how far" a song from the movie Secretariat

i really wish i had the lyrics to this song! i saw the movie this weekend, and thought that it was great. i do not ride horses, but i do admire them. i am a little bit scared of them- after all, they are HUGE. and i have had  two sort of "run ins" with horses. one time, a horse bit the button off of my coat- while i was standing there trying to pet him. another time, our neighbors horses just sort of ran free ( that should tell you how far out in the boonies i am) and one of the horses- his name was romeo, would eat the flowers in my flower garden. if i tried to chase him away, he chased me back into the house! i do have a picture of the "two of us" that my husband took. i look a little nervous in the picture, he looks a little mischievous.

anyway, we  knew how the movie turned out, but there my husband and i were, cheering secretariat on like it was an actual race or something. i do like the idea that everyone has their own race to run. and it is not how fast or how far we run. the fact that we are trying to get there, trying our best and living each day with as much joy as we can.that is what really matters.

i know this will come as a shock, but i was just too tired to go to Zumba tonight. it is the first time that i have missed it ( remember, i went right after both of my skin cancer surgeries, and again  with a broken toe). but tonight i was just worn completely out! i worked all weekend, and my salivary glands/jaw has given me a fit all weekend. i surely wish i knew if there was anything i could do to prevent this! it got really swollen- people at work noticed it, hot to the touch,etc. i drank lots of water, sucked on lemon candy, and massaged my jaw when i could. i finally broke down and took some advil. it really does help, but of course i do not want to take it everyday. this is a small issue compared to the big picture , i know. perhaps it will resolve itself at some point. my ENT doctor had no idea how long i would have trouble with this. it seems that everyone( yes, i am a member of this club) who got a whopper I-131 dose is more likely to have trouble with this. if anyone has any further ideas, please let me know! of course i will ask my endo about it the end of this month.

about my old endo. i have decided that i do not want to lose her completely. if she agrees to this, i will ask her if i can see the papillary cancer specialist for a time, then hopefully the new doctor will decide that i can go back to my old endo. two endos are better than one,right? right now, though, i think that i could gain a little more peace of mind with the specialist. after i have been in remission for a few years( i sure hope!) then i can go back to my old endo. well, that is the plan. we will see how it goes.