Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell 2010

I'm a little stunned that today is the last day of 2010. I feel ready for 2011, but the past few months went by very fast for me and I'm trying to figure out if there's any dusting I need to do behind me before closing the door on this year. I suppose even if there is some cleaning up to do, it doesn't really matter after I shut the door on the year. Well, theoretically, anyway.

I've been wrapping my head around the number of things that have gone on in the last several months. Lots of ups and downs. I'm riding the waves pretty well, if I do say so myself, but the constant roller coaster is making me a little motion sick.

There's nothing new on the cancer front. Strangely enough, I have mixed feelings about it. I mean, it's not like I want the cancer to come back--gosh NO! I just know that I don't feel right, even now after finishing the antibiotics for the infection I had. The tests aren't showing anything new, nothing better, nothing worse. I just have a nagging, low-level feeling that something isn't right. I'm sure I'll feel better after my next procedure--the doc will either find something then, or he won't and maybe I can brush off this anxiety and convince myself that it's all in my head.

I'm wishing I had some plans for New Year's. I asked my husband last week if we could do something either New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. His version of "something" and my version of "something" are two very different things...he's inviting his friends over to play cards tomorrow and I'm cooking for them. Not quite what I had in mind to celebrate! But on the up side, I'm making a devil's food cheesecake with whipped cream frosting. Yay for dessert! I'm also making soup, chili and enchiladas. I do enjoy puttering around the kitchen, so something good is coming out of it. I guess once the guys start playing cards, I'll retreat and watch a movie. Good time for a chick flick!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I'm off work for the next few days. Not going anywhere, just hanging out at home. Tonight, I've been busy making peanut-butter-truffle filling. The house smells yummy. Tomorrow, I'll get up and head to the pool for a short swim, then get home to take care of some cleaning; hopefully the kiddo will be feeling better and will be able to help with baking some cookies.

And...I have to finish Christmas shopping. I haven't been feeling great lately and I'm not motivated to battle the crowds. Most of the shopping is done, only a few more gifts to get, but I just don't feel like going. I'd much rather lay around and read one of the books I've got from the library. Maybe have a glass of wine, too.

I have some medical appointments coming up this week, lots of labs to have done, but by Friday, it'll all be out of the way and I can get down to the real business of Christmas...and that involves making baked potato soup and a red velvet cheesecake!

I was thinking earlier that we were supposed to be going to Disney World this year for Christmas--turns out that we can't quite swing that on one income! Maybe next year? I guess we'll see. For now, I have to go check on my peanut-butter-truffle filling. And try not to eat any yet!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's True, I DO Want a Bladder Infection

About two weeks ago, something felt a little off. Nothing I could put my finger on. I woke up one morning and noticed the slightest change--barely noticeable, much like the carefully shifting cylinders in a lock. Something was clicking in my body. A sensation of things falling into some kind of predisposed pattern. I felt something going on.

I shook it off. I'd been sick for quite some time at that point with a case of bronchitis that was lingering. I'd been on several different meds and I brushed my concerns away, blaming it on my body being out of whack.

But the uneasiness persisted.

I know my own body and I knew something felt off.

Last Friday, I noticed an uncomfortable sensation in my bladder and my pants felt uncomfortably tight. There was a dull ache in my kidneys. And there was some swelling in my left leg. My blood started running cold. They were all the same symptoms I had a year and a half ago. I tried to quiet my nerves, telling myself maybe it was just a UTI, a bladder infection, maybe a bladder infection that was creeping into my kidneys.

I couldn't help it. I started to cry. Just an infection, I prayed. Please. I want to have a bladder infection, nothing more.

I made myself go to work, but I called my primary care doctor's office the minute they opened. My own doctor is on maternity leave, but the doctor who has coordinated all of my care, fought with the insurance company and provided all of my referrals--he was there that day. In a shaking voice, I asked for the nurse. I got her voicemail and left her a message about my symptoms. I found myself trying to reassure her on the voicemail, saying I was sure it was just some early symptoms of a bladder infection. Could the doctor send me for labs and call in an antibiotic? Or would I have to come in for an appointment?

She called back a short time later. No appointment needed, they didn't want to waste time. Go straight to the hospital for labs and they'd call me with results as soon as they were in.

I went to the lab, peed in the cup and then just waited. I wanted to make them analyze it right that second, but I knew I'd have to wait. It takes a few days to culture and stain it. I spent a lot of time shopping and spending money on Christmas gifts this past weekend, trying to distract myself from the anxiety of waiting.

Today, the nurse called me at work. There is an infection. A raging infection. She was faxing the order for an antibiotic to the pharmacy as she was giving me the results, telling me that I needed a double course and then I'd have to repeat the labs because... She didn't finish. I waited for a heartbeat before asking, "An infection. And?"

There was a pause. Silence. Then she asked me when my next appointment is with Hottie Doc (my term for the good doctor, not hers). I swallowed hard. "First week in February for my next scheduled procedure. Do I need to get in sooner?"

She was very kind. She said not yet, they don't want to make me needlessly worry. For now, I need the antibiotics to clear up the infection. My body is doing nothing to fight it. I don't actually feel sick, I'm not running a fever, nothing. She told me to prepare to feel worse before I feel better. Fair enough. I can handle that. But the repeat labs? Is it just to make sure the infection is gone? Or is there something more?

Some cells, she said. Unusual, a little abnormal. No clear cancer cells, but some things the doctor wants checked after the infection is gone. If the results come back the same, we'll get you into the specialist sooner.

The cells popping up are identical to the cells that were passed in 2009. The same cells, the same symptoms, the same blood in my urine that landed me in Hottie Doc's office. Hottie Doc monitors me very closely and during the last two procedures, he's looked even closer for something, anything unusual. The blood popping up in my urine had him worried, but he couldn't find anything. He's been hoping it's nothing. I've been hoping it's nothing. He commented that my body is sensitive, so there might be something going on--something on a cellular level that they can't see yet. If there is something, it'll make itself known.

Right now, I'm hoping nothing is making itself known. I'm hoping I have just a bladder infection. A bladder infection would make me very happy right now.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Weathering the Weather

I like living in the midwest. I appreciate the changes in seasons, but the weather can be extreme sometimes, can't it? A co-worker shared that on a busride to Minneapolis (with around 40 physically handicapped clients), they rode through an ice storm and then through tornado-like weather. I say tornado-like because they didn't actually see the tornado, but the sirens were blaring and they saw a cow that had been lifted off the ground by the wind. That's some midwest weather for you.

Right now, it's snowing like crazy and my neighborhood is blanketed in white. The commute to work tomorrow will be interesting. And dangerous. Dangerous because the streets were coated in ice before the snow started falling. Eeek.