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Oct 15, 2021 08:37PM
Just thought I'd give you an update on how my week is going. Wednesday I had the MRI on my brain. They gave me 10 mg of Vicodin but it did absolutely nothing to calm my nerves. I handled the MRI part just fine however. I asked for a mask to cover my eyes and then just went somewhere else in my mind. The torture part of the day came when they were trying to inject the ink into my veins. It seems I have been cursed with very tiny veins. I've known this all my life because giving blood can be problematic but it was pretty bad. I told the girl prepping me for the MRI that I had bad veins and explained that I always ask for the most experienced person to draw blood. Apparently she found this to be a challenge to her ego and wanted to prove that she could get the ink injected. She didn't even attempt to inject into my arm because my veins are so buried. I've been told in the past that they are small, deep, move around, etc so it's always been a source of anxiety for me. I make sure I drink lots and lots of water but it didn't help. So after PAINFULLY attempting to get a vein more than once in each hand, she gave up and got her coworker.
He came in, attempted to warm up my hands and then kept tapping the veins. However, he also was unsuccessful. A third person arrived and was able to get it injected into my arm. He gleefully admitted to formally working as a phlebotomist. He got it on the first try. So I returned home bruised and in pain. The following day I was scheduled to give a blood sample (yipee!) but thankfully the lady who worked on me did a good job and got it her first try in my arm.
This morning I was scheduled for a whole body bone scan. I wasn't sure what that meant but figured it meant an x-ray. To my surprise and dismay, it involved injecting radioactive material into my veins!!! Now I'm already sore and bruised from 2 days of needles and now I have to face this. I told the girl right off what had happened at the MRI hoping that she would go get the master phlebotomist on staff. However, I suppose her pride got in the way again and she just had to attempt it herself. It was deja vu all over again. She tried and failed in both hands (yes, very painful once again). A second lady came in and tried and failed in both hands. And then finally a third lady came and was able to get the injection into my right hand. No one even attempted my left arm. No veins there I guess. And my right arm was all bruised up from the previous days. I have a CAT scan on Monday that most likely will also involve injecting something into my veins so I'm expecting the torture to continue.
Thankfully the weekend is here and I don't have to worry about doctors. I am getting Baptized on Sunday and I am looking forward to that very much. I've been praying a lot and it keeps my anxiety and fear to a minimum. I was suppose to have new antidepressants available but there's been a delay at the pharmacy so I haven't taken anything but Trazadone for a couple days now. My oncologist is starting me on Lexapro but I don't know what the hold up is. So I pray and pray and listen to the Bible on my iPod and it leaves me feeling at peace.
I did get my blood results back today. Everything was normal. My doctor ran a couple other tests that check for cancer biomarkers. CEA and CA 27.29. I was normal on those I think. Or maybe normal for someone who has cancer. CEA needed to be less than 2.5 and mine was 0.5. And CA 27.29 needed to be less than 38 and I was 25. Not really sure what that means though. I would rather the numbers be zero.
Okay let me respond to a few of the people who wrote last. Hope you don't mind if I keep it short.
AliceBastable: My experiences have been at all different places all over town. I don't think I've been to the same place twice. I just asked for the earliest appointments and drive as far as I need to. Steinberg Diagnostics in Henderson, NV, Steinberg Diagnostics in SW Las Vegas, Comprehensive Cancer Treatment Center in Henderson, Medical Offices next to Southern Hills Hospital in SW Las Vegas, etc. The two incidences of trainees attending my examinations were at two separate locations. But I'm more prepared to put a stop to it next time. I did get a chuckle out of your pregnancy story though lol. And I will do my best to find things that bring me joy. I need that.
ThreeTree Regarding radiation treatment. You make it sound like I will be completely naked. Is that how it works? I pity the employees working that day! But geez, I DO NOT want strange men, even doctors, seeing my body. I don't know how to explain it except that peeping Toms in my neighborhood put up warning signs outside my house.
moth I normally don't have a problem with students joining in but I'm feeling very vulnerable right now and would just like some privacy at this time in my life. Let the students learn on someone else. I am very surprised about the no restriction diet once you have cancer. I haven't brought myself to eat anything unhealthy still, even though I've been given the green light. Maybe once chemo starts and I know the cancer is being kept under control I can relax a bit but right now I feel as if my life depends on me eating right and exercising. I did buy some oranges today which I wasn't sure about since they are full of sugar. But for the rest of my meals I ate healthy. Triple negative is just so serious and they simply don't know what feeds it so I'm hoping my body will keep it in check until the chemo starts.
Cowgirl13 My doctor started me on 50. I think it might have helped some. It probably takes a while for it to build up in your system. I still woke up around 2-3 a.m. and was walking my neighborhood somewhere between 3:30 and 4:30 a.m. Didnt see a single other person walking of course. I normally like to walk between 5 and 6 am. I wish I could get on a schedule and sleep between 10 and 6. But instead it's more like 8 or 9 to 1 or 2. I'm hoping the Lexapro and Trazadone combined will help me sleep longer.
ThreeTree I would love to start hiking some of the canyons around Las Vegas. I use to spend the summers boating, swimming and fishing on Lake Mead and that was heavenly. It's my favorite part of living in Las Vegas. However we're in a terrible drought right now and the lake is so low that we can no longer boat safely. Mostly I just walk around the golf course that's in my neighborhood. It's nice and green and I can pretend I'm somewhere other than a desert. But I mostly walk when it's still dark out so I can avoid cars driving by and people walking.
kksmom3 Yeah it kind of hurts when he says I'm a negative person but I just let it roll off of me. I mean I am in a way because even when I get good news...such as the biopsy testing negative in the lymph node, his reaction was that it was fantastic news and was celebrating whereas I immediately explained to him that testing negative on the biopsy doesn't mean that there's no cancer. It just means that no cancer was detected but something is making the lymph nodes enlarged and that cancer cells too small to detect could still be present and the true results won't be determined until they are removed during surgery. So he has a point.
exbrnxgrl It does take quite a bit of time to respond to everyone but from now on I will do so only when I have the energy to. Just know that I am reading them because I always do that.
AliceBastable They do allow me to keep my bottoms on also. But the male technician got the full monty of my breasts. He did stand pretty far away though lol. I'm wondering if his eyes were even open at the time lol.
Sunshine99 Hi Carol. I do sometimes beat up on myself. I wonder about all the things I did wrong, different from my older sister, that could have led me to this. She is 2 years old, has always been thin, exercises daily, eats healthy. She has the same genetics. But here I am with BC and she is still healthy. I tell myself that my second cousins died in their 20s and 30s so it couldn't be simply being unhealthy that caused this. I got a call today from the genetic testing center but they said my insurance wouldn't cover the costs. I told them to forget it. It's too late for me and I don't have any children to worry about. So it's more my sisters and their daughters who need to be tested. Maybe their insurance will cover it.
AMG2 Haha, thanks for sharing your birthing story. I'm sure hospital staff have seen it all. And I hope your chemo went well. I'm not sure what they are going to use on me. As a triple negative, they don't have a lot of options. I've already resigned myself to losing all my hair. It's really not a big deal to me because I just keep it in a ponytail anyway. I'm thinking that I'll just buy a scarf and wear it or else buy a wig and put it in a ponytail so it resembles my old hairstyle. I'm doing my best not to blame my weight for the cancer. But I can't help but think back to a few food binges I went on this past year and whether that influenced the cancer growth. I normally don't eat bacon but it went on sale this past year and I ate it all! Not all at once but on several occasions I ate 12 ounces at a time and probably ate 5 lbs total over the course of a month or two. Now I very rarely eat bacon but it makes me think that this might have triggered something. Another regret I have was when I went to the store and Heath bars and Skor bars were on sale. Now those are my favorites and again I rarely eat them but they were really cheap so I bought A LOT and ate them all over the course of a week. And then there were the cheese hot dogs that went on sale and I bought about 8 packs and ate them all over the course of weeks. All that poison entering my system couldnt have been good. At the same time I wasnt sleeping and was under a lot of stress. It can't be just a coincidence. But memories like these haunt me now. :(
scaredme Hi Kristen. I believe the cancer center where my oncologist is located will be offering me a nutritionist once my chemo begins. They mentioned that during the appointment when I first met the doctor. I'm not sure about counseling though. To be honest, I've instructed my oncologist not to share any information with me regarding my condition. I just don't think I could cope with it. Regardless of stage, there is nothing that I would change about how I will be living my life so I might as well live in ignorant bliss and have a bit of quality of life for the time I have left. I don't know the type of chemo yet. My oncologist said she wants to see the results of all the tests so she'll know what needs to be done.
Sunshine99 I remember that jingle also. I wonder if there is a place I could watch some of the commercials that were running during the 70s and 80s when I was growing up. It would be fun to relive those days.
mle42 Thank you for your support. I appreciate everyone on here. I have a difficult road ahead of me given the Triple Negative diagnosis and the huge tumor. But I still pray that a miracle will happen and I will come through this okay in the end. Having second cousins who died in their 20s and 30s is pretty darn scary. God willing I will beat the odds.
Thanks again everyone. I'll update you in a few days after my CAT scan, port placement and echocardiogram. Take care and best to you all.