Saturday, February 8, 2014

Another Scan, Another Reprieve!

On Monday I received results from my latest PetCT scan...  Adam and I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief!  "Recurrence of Lymphoma not suggested."  Doesn't sound exciting the way it was written, but of course it IS!  Wouldn't it be funny though, if you were a scan reader to put in there, "Have a party, your body is no longer glowing with radioactive tumors!" or, "All that chemo you went through may cause a secondary cancer, but TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY!!" or even a simple, "No cancer detected.  Hooray!"  At least I think it would be quite hilarious, until you got fired of course :)  

I also received a booster flu shot and the go ahead to have surgery the next day to remove my gallbladder :(  I have been doing a lot of research on gallstones and having your gallbladder removed- it appears that many people who have undergone chemotherapy and specifically a bone marrow transplant get the stones and eventually need theirs out.  I've known that I had a lot of gallstones for about a year now but because it only bothered me occasionally it was suggested I leave it alone until if/when it started bothering me.  Well, it started bothering me as can be guessed!  Doctors said it wasn't a problem to have it out so we went ahead with the 7:30 am surgery on Tuesday.  

About 6 months ago I started noticing my gallbladder aching under my right rib pretty constantly and would occasionally have a slight "gallbladder attack" after eating a particularly heavy or high fat meal (think bacon or those super cheap and super delicious Totino's pizzas that probably cause cancer from all the crap they put in them...).  Then two weeks ago I indulged in another Totino's pizza slathered in delicious homemade ranch and I was in heaven... UNTIL... About two hours later when my right ribcage and shoulder were in so much pain I couldn't get comfortable in bed and absolutely could not sleep even after taking three 5mg Ambien!  That's crazy- when one usually knocks me out cold.  So of course I started reading on the net about all the problems gallstones can create and how one can end up in the emergency room getting emergency surgery... And I called my general practitioner in the morning.  Within a week I had the surgery scheduled and just needed results from my PetCT and the ok from my docs! 

 Let me tell you though, I was worried SICK the pain in my right shoulder blade and front right chest was going to be tumors growing instead of gallbladder problems.  For 3 months I've been unable to sleep on my right side due to the pain in my upper right quadrant and to the nodule on my thyroid that is just HUGE and feels like it's cutting off blood flow to my face if I'm not laying just right.  I have been constantly observing my body to notice any "B Symptoms" of cancer, like night sweats or slight fevers as I was getting the last two times cancer presented itself.  Fortunately I never noticed anything like those symptoms so I held off calling the docs.  Until the attack of course :)  

Yep, that's my gallbladder!  I made the pics small so nobody gets TOO grossed out  (Dad)

This is after it's out and ready to be done- I think it's cool the surgeon gave me these pics,
but I couldn't look at them until the day after surgery :)

Now it's been 4 days since the gallbladder removal and I've got ZERO pain in my shoulder and even slept on my right side two nights since!  How exciting :)  I know, it sounds so dumb, but I was going crazy only being able to sleep on the left side!  And my eye wrinkles were getting really bad on that left eye too :)  It's true.  Wrinkles have already improved since sleeping on my back and switching sides the last four nights.  I never knew how harmful ones sleep habits could be to face wrinkles!  But that's a tangent isn't it?  I was getting to how the recovery from surgery has been; and it's about how I expected.  Lots of sleep, pain in the belly, and cramping/grumbling constantly but at it's worst after eating anything.  And another aside?  Why not; the food I've received has been AMAZING!!  I feel so spoiled- my family and friends have really taken care of me these last few days by bringing food for us and taking the kids a bit to play.  It's so uplifting to see how much people care by the things they do after a surgery!  Or after a baby, or chemo, or a death in the family- some good things can come from tough times that's for sure (though of course a baby is not as tough as the others :)  

Wow, I just read through this post again; it's quite long-winded isn't it?  Too much gallbladder stuff, sorry :)  

Back to my oncology appointment at Huntsman (Dr. Hildebrandt is my doc btw, I'd recommend him to ANYONE, he has really been wonderful), my doc said he wants to see me in another two months for a checkup and additional vaccinations but I don't have to have another PetCT scan for 6 months!!  This will be the first time I've gone longer than three months without a scan since fall of 2010!  Is that crazy or what?  I do wonder how many scans a body can go through without causing extra problems from all that radiation... Oh well, I guess the good outweighs the bad, until the balance tips?  Whatever, I have other things to have anxiety over, I can push that topic out of my mind :)  

I'm looking forward to the next couple months without having to drive to SLC for any appointments! Yay!  As always, thank you for your continued support and following of my Cancer Journey- It feels great to share it with others and know there are those that can find this blog to hopefully help with their journeys.  It's not fun it's true, but it's sure a lot more bearable with support!  Love to all~