Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Thank You, Uterus!


Am I allowed to say I’m a cancer survivor when I didn’t know I had cancer?

On the fifth of May, as I lay groggily in a hospital bed, the Husband relayed the good news to me from the Surgeon. “’The surgery was a success!’” the Surgeon said.  Cancer was found but it was noninvasive.”

Huh?

Last week, I went to my follow-up appointment with the Surgeon, who said again, with a big encouraging grin, “The surgery was a success!” He gave me a copy of my biopsy report, summing it as such: A benign tumor was found on the  layer of muscle tissue of the uterus wall and paratubal cysts were discovered on a fallopian tube. There were a lot of cancer cells, but they were all contained within my uterus. They had not yet embedded themselves into the uterus wall—the saving grace.

Several days later, my brain has begun to process it all.

I don’t understand it. How I got cancer. Was it because my womb, who really ought to have a name, didn’t get to carry life? I imagine my uterus was looking like Mrs. Havisham’s dining room with decades full of cobwebs and dust. Unlike Mrs. Havisham's place, my uterus did not reek of bitterness and sadness. Uterus was always cheerful and in the moment.
Dear Sweet Uterus,

Please know, Brave Uterus, how much I appreciated youI am very sorry that my body was unable to go the distance with you.

Gracias, Utero!

Merci, Utérus!

Danke, Gebarmutter!

Salamat, Matris!

Arigato, Shikyu!

Mahalo, Uterus!

Kumsumnida, Jagung!

Grazie, Utero!

Agyamanak unay kadakayo, Aanakan!

Many, many thanks, Uterus, for saving my life!

With the letter U, I am back to participating in ABC Wednesday. Thank you, ABCW Team! Click here to check out what bloggers around the world have written with the theme of U.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Not a Hysterical Report



If I had written this post several days ago, I may have been called it Hysterical Report. Actually, I thought about renaming this blog to The Hysterical Report. I'm glad I waited. I'd rather not be hysterical about anything.

I am on a new adventure. No. I take that back, it's not new. After 12 years, this adventure's path has come into the foreground. It's simply not a good idea to let the grass grow over this path anymore.

My in-my-face-but-not-hysterical-adventure is an upcoming hysterectomy. Da-dah!

Oh-oh, did I lose you? Come back when you can wrap your head around the concept of a hysterectomy. It took me awhile. I realize it helps for me to write about it.

Yesterday afternoon I got a chest x-ray, one of my three pre-op things to do. The other two are an EKG (next week) and several blood tests (a week before the operation). Did you happen to flash on the Operation board game, by the way?

Because I did the X-rays in town, I repeated myself a lot to the lab receptionist and the X-ray Lady about faxing the X-rays to the Gynecologist-Oncologist's office several cities away. Only after this conversation with the X-ray Lady did I confident that the results will be faxed.

"What kind of surgery are you doing?" asked the X-ray Lady.

"Hysterectomy," I answered. 

"We still have to do that?" she asked, which got me wondering if she was in menopausal mode.

"They found precancerous cells."

"Oh."

Yeah. We don't think of grey-haired postmenopausal women as needing hysterectomies. Certainly, not I. My Gyn-Doc wanted me to get a hysterectomy 12 years ago when the biopsy of a uterine polyp showed the cells to be in a state of complex hyperplasia with atypia. Untreated, there was a good risk of me getting cancer. Not having health insurance, I needed to find another route. So the Gyn-Doc put me on birth control pills for several months which chased that condition away and, until this year, the pathology results of subsequence polyps reported benign cells. Yaay!

I went 12 years before complex hyperplasia with atypia reared itself up again.  Only this time a pathologist said I had "precancerous cells" and that meant my Gyn-Doc put her foot down. The only treatment was a hysterectomy. 

Not totally convinced, I took the Gyn-Doc's referral and met with the Gyn-Oncologist Doc over a week ago. I thought he would take another sample to double check that I got the same result. Nope. The Gyn-Onc Doc said that during the hysterectomy he would take another biospy. The lab results I have were good to go by, he said. Oh.

Then he convinced me I wanted this hysterectomy. He drew two lines on a piece of paper. The left column was Good, the middle, Precancer, and the right, Cancer. In the middle column, he wrote I, II, and III. He circled III and said, "That is you."  He wrote 40-50%. "That is the risk of developing cancer," he said. He paused, then continued, "There is no hard line between precancerous and cancer."

In other words, I could develop cancer, I could not. I could already have cancerous cells growing. That latter thought sunk in quite quickly and deeply. Now having affordable health insurance (thank you, President Obama), I did not have a reasonable excuse to dilly dally about shall I take the risk, or shan't I.

I'm slated for a laparoscopic hysterectomy in 34 days. The Gyn-Onc Doc will use da Vinci robotic technology. That's cool, don't you think? I almost want to be awake to watch. Gyn-Onc Doc suggested I look it up on You Tube instead.

So there you go. Stay tuned to more of my trying-not-to-be-hysterical adventure.

Joyful joy, joy, and joy.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Knee Deep


Can knees cry?

That's what I feel my right knee is doing right now. Plain out bawling its tears.

If there is no longer any padding within our kneecap, does that mean the bones are grating against each other?

I know the answer. It's what the doctors have been telling me lately,"You're rubbing bone against bone." Grate, grate, grate.

Shudder.

The specialist bone doctor, who I shall call Looking-Mighty-Tired, told me on Friday that knees like mine have four options for improvement. Medications, shots, physical therapy, and surgery.  Hahaha,

Guess what? I achieved without trying. I went straight to the top of the class. Bingo! Surgery!

Ouch.

Slowly by slowly, since Friday, my brain is understanding the impact of my (without trying) achievement. Half an hour after the appointment, I had said to the Husband, "I wonder if this is outpatient surgery. I forgot to ask."

Hahahahahaha.

Right, silly me.

To be continued.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Oh, Gee. Oh, My. Oh, Gosh!


"Are you ready?"

"Me?"

"Susan?"

"Yup. That's me." I pushed myself off the bench and grabbed the Mama's cane.

"Take your time," the X-ray lady said. "No hurry."

"I finally think of myself as old," I said, trying not to grimace as I stiffly walked into the inner room of the X-ray laboratory.

"Is that why you gasped when I gave you the form to sign?" the office lady asked, as I walked behind her desk. "I wondered what it was on the form that made you hesitate."

"Seeing my age, yes," I said. "I don't think of myself as being that old. 62!"

"I don't think of myself as old either," said the office lady, who may have been a few years younger than me.

The X-ray lady, who looked to be in her late 40s  agreed as well.

 I felt like the three of us gave a invisible collective sigh.

Since the beginning of August I've been hobbling along most days because of the knees. At first it was my left knee that gave me trouble. Then at the beginning of October, it switched over to the right knee. Too much overcompensation, I figure, from too much lifting and carrying of heavy boxes. So forth and so on. Bleah. The X-rays show arthritis in both knees. Also, the misalignment of bones in my right knee. Fun stuff.

My knees have been an issue since I was a kid. On the bright side, it has taken 50 years for the knees to kick in and say, "It's time to see an orthopedist."

I'm missing my rides with Tilda-Hilda.  One day, soon!


It's ABC Wednesday time. (Thank you very much, ABCW team!)  Here we are at the letter O. Oh, boy; oh, girl! Click here to join in and/or to check out the other participants.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

X Marks the Spot


"The surgeon will make an incision in my chest."

"Do you think it will be an X?" I asked.

The Husband laughed. I think he laughed. I'll say he laughed. I want him to have laughed.

Tomorrow morning, a surgeon will make an incision in the Husband's chest and install a pacemaker.

Yup.

A pacemaker. 

The results of the remote heart-monitor the Husband wore for two weeks showed that every now and then his heart flat-lines for several seconds. Not good at all.

Thank goodness this problem was caught now rather than much later and that there is a ready solution. And, thank goodness we have a proactive doctor who cares for his patients and is willing to make insurance companies authorize things immediately.

The Husband is ready as ready can be for this procedure. I cut his hair and trimmed his beard so the surgeon and his team wouldn't get annoyed at all that hair, especially his beard. How much hair? It filled the vacuum cleaner's canister twice!

The Husband is already considering names for his new friend-to-be. "What do you think of Gerry?" he asked. He hummed Ferry Cross the Mersey.

I love the Husband.


June 23, 2016 Update
The Husband is home with his new electronic friend. Whooo-hoooo!

Medical technology is amazing. He went in at 10:00 a.m. and by 2:00 p.m. a nurse was wheeling him to our car. The Husband looks great. He already requested and ate ice cream. Now he's laying on the couch, catching up with Facebook on the iPad. Ha!  

Thank you, one and all, for your prayers, positive thoughts, and good vibrations. You all helped make this adventure bearable. I love you all. 

It's the letter X at ABC Wednesday, the weekly meme started by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and continued today under the ABCW team led by Roger Green.  Click here to check out other X-posts and/or to join in.



Monday, May 16, 2016

It's Pedaling Season


Riding Tilda-Hilda gives me the opportunity to think. Riding her also lets me not think, if that's what I need at the moment. Thank goodness that I have Tilda-Hilda. She has been with me for almost 13 years. By golly,  gee, she's the oldest bicycle I've ever owned.

As some of you know, I signed up for the National Bike Challenge to keep me motivated to take Tilda-Hilda out of the garage. The challenge runs from May to September. Its goal is to sign up 100,000 riders who all together will pedal 75 million miles by the end of the challenge. As of the 15th day, 32,181 riders have signed up and we have pedaled 2,322,172 miles. Tilda-Hilda and I have gone out six of the 15 days thus far, pedaling 48.3 miles. Whooo-hooo!

The past two weeks, the mornings have started in fog so Tilda-Hilda and I haven't gone out as much. The fog lifted by mid-morning today, so, weather may be changing. We shall see.

I'm linking up with Seasons, a weekly meme hosted by Jeanette of St Germain's Blog. Click here to join along and/or check out the other participants.



Thursday, March 3, 2016

With Tilda-Hilda, Day 4 in 2016


I'm feeling productive and accomplished right at the moment. I worked in the garden with the Mama for 90 minutes, as well as took a ride on Tilda-Hilda this morning.  Whooo-weee. My "No-this, No-that Food Program" must be working. I got a lot of energy on this 15th day.

It also helped that I fell asleep at 9:30 last night. Zzzzzzzz. 

Because I want Tilda-Hilda and me to be able pedal our longer routes, I decided this morning we had to tackle our first hill. Heck, simply pedaling the first block on flat land had me wanting to go home. Puff, puff. We rode 5.77 miles in about 36 minutes. We stopped several times so I could take photos of the gorgeous views this morning.

Would you like to see the most amazing sight we saw this morning?  Click here then.

Tilda-Hilda says, "See you in a week or so after the rain."

Yipppieee!



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tilda-Hilda, Day 3 in 2016


Let's see. The last time time Tilda-Hilda and I went out for a ride was the first week in January.

Yup. Pedaling was crazy tough. Puff. Puff.  Incline or flat land. Tough.

It felt mighty good though. Big smiles.

I don't know when our next ride will be because I need to do some garden stuff over the next few days. Then this weekend is supposed to start the first of several days of rain. Yaaay for the rain! We need a lot of rain. It would be fun to rid in a light rain.



Friday, February 26, 2016

Day Nine



"Hey, kid, you want me."

That loaf of sweet French bread jumped out at me as I entered the kitchen.

"One slice won't hurt you," it purred, smiling seductively from the kitchen counter.

Sigh. 

Deep breath.

Ignoring my yearning for a taste of the bread, I gathered ingredients to make sandwiches for the Mama's and the Husband's lunch. I simply pretended that I didn't like bread.  It worked, thank goodness.

Turns out I still don't know better.

Nine days ago, I started to limit the foods that I can eat because I was lethargic and scatterbrained. For the last two months, I had been consuming too many desserts, bread, potato chips, and beer without doing any worthwhile exercise to offset the yummy calories. In addition, my eczema was constantly raging and, frighteningly, an insect bite turned into an ugly fungal infection, which was a first for me.  Burp. Burp. Yeah, a lot of those, too. So, no gluten foods.  No fried foods. No desserts. No peanut butter. No caffeine. No dairy products, except for yogurt and kefir. No fried foods.  And, a bunch of other No's that I can't recall at the moment.

Today, on day nine, I feel stronger.  In a few days, I'll assess how much longer I ought to stay on this "No" program.

Life is good.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Eden Hills' First Friday's Hunt

I'm participating in a new meme called Friday's Hunt, which is hosted by Teresa of Eden Hills. You can link up until Sunday, in case you're wondering if I know what day it is. If you'd like to join in and/or check out other participants, click here (after you read my post, I hope.)

A is for Artichokes



I'm used to seeing fields of artichokes near the coast. So, it's very strange to see them growing in our area, which is about 40 mile from the coast. I wonder if the artichokes taste any different.


Week's Favorite



Yesterday, the Husband, the Mama, Molly the Cat, and I received a trés cool gift from Cousin Kuting (which means tiny and cute in Ilocano). It's a large sturdy canvas bag perfect for everything that needs being carried. Molly the Cat sniffed it, which I take to mean that perhaps if need be she would jump into it and be smuggled into somewhere that we need to be secretive about. But, that's not the neatest part about the bag. Cousin Kuting printed a photo of the Husband and me dancing on one side of the bag. That's pretty sweet!

Celebrate



For the past two months, the Mama has been getting shots to build up her red blood cells because her anemia got dangerously low. It was very tough going the first six weeks. The medication took a lot out of her. She lost her appetite. She could barely walk and everything—joints and muscle pain, hearing loss, and so forth—that was physically wrong with her seemed worse. She mostly slept.

This past week was one of the best weeks for the Mama and that's cause for celebration. She looks great. Her appetite is back. She sleeps less during the day. She has more energy and is looking around for things to do. She hasn't gone outside yet—the first winter that she hasn't played in her garden every day—but that's okay. It's very cold and when it isn't, it's raining. And, she's being her normal complaining self.

Cheers for the Mama!


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Day 82 with Tilda-Hilda


"I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus's garden in the shade.  . ."

That Beatles' song was looping in my head as Tilda-Hilda and I pedaled up and down hills this morning. Over 8.5 miles in 53 minutes! Perfect song for the ride.

Today, I'm hooking up with two cool memes. Click on the links to check out other bloggers. One meme is Our World Tuesday. The other is Creative Every Day.

See you tomorrow with Jane Austen, Action Doll.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Day 77 with Tilda-Hilda


This morning I took Tilda-Hilda out on a spin because I wanted to get some early morning photos that I might use for my other blog, Take 25 to Hollister. I caught a scene that I liked, which is here.

Tilda-Hilda and I pedaled through some of Hollister's original residential neighborhood and then out towards new development. All in all, we traveled about five miles.  It felt wonderful being out in the crispy Autumn morning.

By the way, Tilda-Hilda is posing in front of the high school where I went. San Benito High School. Haybalers, aka Balers, are us!


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Eau de Fried Steak


Lately, I've been using a facial cream made up of tallow from grass-fed cows and organic extra-virgin olive oil. Every time I rub the stuff into my face, I think of fried steak. Yummmm. That's the smell of the cream. And, that's what my face smells like.

The Husband has no sense of smell. Poor guy. He doesn't get to smell how deliciously like fried steak I am.

Why am I using this yummy eau de fried steak? I have a horrible case of facial eczema and experts say that tallow fat mimics human skin, has minerals that help heal and protect the skin, and has natural cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties. It's too early to say if eau de fried steak is working.

No. I haven't been eating a lot of fried steak lately. But, I do think about it each time I apply eau de fried steak on my face.

P.S. Tilda-Hilda and I did a quick pedal around the neighborhood this morning. I totally got myself out of breath. Maybe, I'll talk myself—and the Husband—into pedaling to an estate sale that's going on downtown.



Monday, September 21, 2015

Experimenting with My Diet

You know how sometimes you wake up one morning and you decide to be good about what you eat. That was this morning for me. I haven't analyzed the why-fors. Maybe I won't. I just went with the mood. Not that we have a lot of junk food in our refrigerator and pantry. The "worse" is a half bag of potato chips and a bunch of blueberry cheese pastry bits. The latter is the Mama's, which the Husband and I help consume, otherwise they go stale.

This morning, I chose to forgo my usual breakfast selections -- peanut butter and jam sandwich or peanut butter, apple, and raisins rice bowl. Peanut butter, processed grains, and food loaded with sugar could be contributing culprits for my eczema flare ups. Hence, none of those foods for awhile.

What did I eat for breakfast then? I made a salad out of organic baby spring lettuces, leftover roasted sweet potato rounds, and a handful of almonds that I topped with balsamic vinegar. Someone told me that the sweet potato satisfies the sweet tooth, and it releases sugar slowly into my body. Something like that. I did (and do) feel surprisingly full.

Onward.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Day 44 with Tilda-Hilda


It felt so good riding with Tilda-Hilda this morning. The last time we went out was 11 days ago. My left knee was being a bear, so I stayed off it and took anti-inflammatory pills. The knee feels a bit stiff right now. Tilda-Hilda and I pedaled a wonderful 8.5 miles in 47 minutes. I felt like I could've gone on farther and further.

See ya tomorrow.



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Day 41 with Tilda-Hilda


"Why are you up so early?" asked the Husband.

"I want to ride the bike before it gets too hot," I said.

"Take the phone."

Tilda-Hilda and pedaled off to Tres Pinos, going about a mile pass the village. Our round trip today was about 13.5 miles in 78 minutes. Whooo-hooo!


Monday, July 27, 2015

Day 40 with Tilda-Hilda


The TV weather casters say we're going to go through another heat wave. So far, so good today. Tilda-Hilda and I went out later than usual so I could drop off books and DVDs at the library. The Mama said, "Don't go far." The Husband said, "Do you have the phone? Be careful." Molly the Cat said, "Mewww." I think she wanted to either a snack or to go outside in the front yard. I asked her if she'd like to ride with us. She could ride in the basket. No answer.

Tilda-Hilda and I both agree. Earlier is better. Today, we pedaled 10.5 miles in 59 minutes. We made sure we didn't overdo or overheat ourselves.

Until next time.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Day 20 with Tilda-Hilda


Beeeep. Beeep. Beeep.


"I think I was being followed by a drone," I said to the Husband when I got home from a bike ride with Tilda-Hilda about two weeks ago.

"What?"

"It started when I took pictures of the goats on Best Road. I kept hearing a beeep sound until I got to the highway."

"I've heard that sound," said the Husband. "It's not a drone."

"What is it then?"

"I don't know."

"It was a drone."

Ever since that ride I have been hearing that Beeep sound on other back roads. Today I discovered the source. It's not a drone. Unless a ground squirrel is one.

Tilda-Hilda and I pedaled just over 11 miles in 64 minutes this morning.

Beeeep. Beeep. Beeep.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Day 18 with Tilda-Hilda


Tilda-Hilda took off later than usual this morning, because I was debating whether to take today as my rest day. I almost talked myself into skipping, but then I reasoned I would be rushing tomorrow as the Husband and I are going to see the air show at the airport. Hence, patient Tilda-Hilda and I pedaled off for a short ride.

So, I thought. Maybe if I didn't want to go up this hill (the one in the photo), it would've been a sweet, short, not-so-hard ride. But, then, no hard work, no healthy gain for me. Chug, chug, chug. I'm not a pretty pedaler going up hills. I gasp. I growl. I spit. I looked up at one point and saw a woman biker also pedaling a cruiser going down the other way. "Hello," I said. No response. She kinda had a disgusted look on her face. Oh-oh. She must've seen me spit. Oh well, as the Husband says, better out than in.

Anyway, we had another delightful work-out. Tilda-Hilda and I went about 9 miles in 49 minutes. By the way, I actually took the photo as I was pedaling. See ya.

Stats (since May 25, 2015)
Work-outs: 18
Miles: 148.2
Hours: 14.26
Weight loss: 4.8 pounds (since June 1, 2015)
 


Monday, June 15, 2015

Day 14 with Tilda-Hilda


Tilda-Hilda and I thank the Wind for giving us a boost up the hill. Without it, I doubt we would've got to the barn with the cool mural this time round. Notice how the artist drew the hills so their lines matched those of the actual hills beyond the barn.

Our valley was souped in with fog this morning that I couldn't see the nearby mountains. So, Tilda-Hilda and I took off just before noon for our ride. We pedaled nearly 11 miles in 59 minutes. Whooo-hoooo!

Today's song was "Take me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver. This video of him and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is from a live performance for Farm Aid in 1985.