Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Doctor's Checkup and Stuff

Teresa and Donna from work brought us dinner today! Pizza! Rootbeer floats! YUM! THANK YOU!

Mom took me to see Dr. Droesch today. He answered my questions and scheduled a time next week to have a mediport put in my chest.

He said that the tumor was 2.5 cm - bigger than he had anticipated. He took out an additional centimeter all around the tumor, so there is a "hole" - not visible, but definitely missing when you feel there. He told me that my body would fill this in with fluid.

He also said that all 3 of the lymph nodes ended up having cancer in them. He didn't recommend going back in to take out the rest of the nodes as that can create other problems such as damaged nerves and lymphodema (sp?) where your arm can swell up. He assured me that the chemo and radiation would be tailored to get rid of any leftover cancer - were there to be any. He told me that if I were to get large lymph nodes in the future - cancer - he would definitely remove them. There is a group of cancer specialists who meet at Kadlec on Thursdays. He is going to present my case to them tomorrow and get any additional feedback that they recommend.

I forgot that I also have an appointment with Dr. Chenal (oncologist) the morning that he will be doing the mediport. I'm hoping to be able to juggle both appointments. I also got a note from him to go back to work next Tuesday, after Memorial Day. I'll have to take off the next day, but I need to get at least 6 more days of work in this school year so that I have enough hours for next Fall's family medical leave to kick in (insuring my job and benefits).

Dr. Droesch answered another question of mine: I joined Weight Watchers in February and lost about 20 lbs. I asked him if the lost weight could have resulted in my being able to feel the lump where before the extra weight had hidden it. He said that, "Yes, it was definitely possible." So, I consider myself blessed that my Heather talked me in to joining! Because of the lost weight, I was months ahead in discovering that lump!

Mom and Dad being here with us is another great blessing! They've been catching us up on lots of things that have gone woefully offtrack the last several months: fixing the kids' bikes, adding curtains to Taija's closet, replacing my broom, utensil divider, electrical outlets, etc. Mom gently pointed out that our washing machine was not able to spin completely. She didn't trust my makeshift fixit (reset the machine to spin, stick a pencil in the sensor and then help out by pushing the wash basket around until it picked up speed.) So, we broke down and had a new washer installed today - a front loading one. Nice!

She also mentioned that one of our dear old cats was walking into things and must be blind. Yes, the old gal had also lost 4 lbs recently and looked pretty sad. It didn't help that she also had FIV (cat AIDS) for many years now. An appointment was made and Mom accompanied me to the vet where we had her put down today. We cried. Stephen dug a hole and when I returned from my doctor's appointment, the kids and I gathered around and buried her. Explaining the whole process to Kyle was actually difficult: "She was very sick..." As I spoke, I realized that could describe ME! So, what's the difference? Medicine can make me well?
Kyle noted that now kitty would have a new friend up in Heaven: Annie Cat! (Whom we had to have put down about 7 years ago.) Trust a child.....

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