Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010 - No new News

I'm just checking back in here because when I wrote the last entry, I was falling asleep at the keyboard and may have been a little misleading.

Yes, it is the kidney that we are concerned about and that is what we will be focusing on. As to what is in the kidney, that's the million dollar question. I have since been in touch with my own oncologist (who is out of the country and won't be back for a month... but is on sabbatical until May, anyways, so our contact is in email). She went online and got my results and says that she is in agreement with what the other two oncologists have recommended. She said if she was in town, she would have done the same thing which is refer me to an Urology Oncological surgeon to see if surgery is possible. It's possible that the surgeon might have other options, or may say the only option is to remove the kidney.

I then saw my GP yesterday and he reminded me that my case has not followed the "normal" pattern since Day 1 and his advice all along has been that we attack one hurdle at a time and not worry about what may or may not be in the future. As for the surgery, that will be up to the surgeon as to what the options are. He's not sure about whether a biopsy can or can't be done but if it is possible, then a surgeon will definitely go for that before removing the kidney... likewise, if there's any way that they can remove less rather than all, that is always the route they will take. So Sean (my GP) told me to just do what I've always done and tackle one problem at a time. The surgeon will go over my history, go over my current scans/bloodwork/etc and will order new tests around the function/health of my kidneys... and then come up with a plan, which may or may not have options.

I feel MUCH better after being in touch with my own oncologist and my GP. And as my GP said, "Cheryl, you are feeling fine, you have energy and as a matter of fact, you are probably doing better, healthwise, than before you were diagnosed with cancer, so one can't worry about the "what ifs" when one is doing well right now." Ok, I didn't remind him that anyone would be looking/feeling better when they don't have the stress of having to work and making ends meet financially ... that retirement is a very good thing. But still, he does have a point... I am healthy right now and anything we do is to maintain my good quality of health... and aren't I lucky that I happen to have a phenomenal medical team and we add more members to it as needed?

Sooooo... for those of you following at home. No need to panic or to feel sorry for me. Just keep thinking those wonderful, positive thoughts because they seem to be doing the most good :)

Meanwhile , I have totally splurged and bought myself an extravagance! I've been planning on getting a new bed or mattress for eons, but haven't gotten around to it. My mattress is probably 10-12 years old and ever since I bought it brand new, I've really not liked it. At the time, I thought I should have a firm mattress for back support... and I swear, it is so firm, it is like sleeping on a cement slab. My poor body never has gotten used to it and I think 12 years is more than a sufficient test period. Now, as I'm getting older and have my aches and pains and arthritis, sleeping on a cement mattress, even with a memory foam topper, is just not right.

Soooooo... I bought myself a queen-size adjustable bed. You've probably seen something similar on TV... where you can have the back up for reading or watching tv, or have the legs elevated for circulation and comfort... and of course, every position in between to have that perfect position for sleeping. Apparently, we should not sleep flat, like we do on a mattress because it does put the spine and leg support out of wack, hence waking up with aches/pains/sore back/hips, etc. I then got the top of the line latex foam mattress which, seriously, I have never ever felt anything so comfortable in all my life. Yes, this puppy was pricey... but when you think of how important a good night sleep is and when you already have the aches/pains of arthritis and just getting older... I felt this was an investment I couldn't put off. And I am THRILLED that I just went out and did it. I think this is probably the best investment I have ever made in my life... and I've done more than my share of them ;)

So the bed arrives tomorrow! They will deliver and set it up, and take my old bed/boxsprings away. YAYAYAYAYA! Being single and in an apartment, just how would I get my old bed out, let alone, how/where would I take it?? So tomorrow night, I will crawl into my new bed and don't be surprised if I don't come out all day Saturday LOL!! I know Bridget is going to LOVE the new bed.... although, she might not be too keen on the massage part. Yes, this new bed has a built-in shoulder/neck/back massage and leg massage :)

Ok gang... I must get ready. Off Bridget and I go to the TUTS office for the afternoon... and then home to yak with my cleaning gal, Bailey, to set up some extra dates for Spring Cleaning chores... and get the bedroom ready for the delivery guys to be able to move around and get the old bed out and the new bed in. Hahaha... I just looked out the window and it is POURING outside! I was wondering why it got so dark so quickly!! Now I know!! Well, it better have stopped by the time we are ready to leave the apartment :)

Oh... and I love it when you leave comments!! But just a little note... if you sign in as "anonymous", could you sign the note? Hehehe... and if you have a relatively common given name, include at least the first initial of your surname? We had lots of Deb's leave comments which is great... but I'm not sure which Deb is which?? LOL!!

Love you all!!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010 -- The News

Hiya Blogmates,

Well, I got my results from my tests/scans and... here we go again. It's a Good News/Bad News scenerio :/

Good News:

- I have no new lung nodules
- The ones I do have, for the most part, have no change. 2 of them are still growing, but ever so slowing... and 1 of them has the oncs totally puzzled, it is shrinking in size. That is what is suppose to have when you are administering chemo... but I have not been on chemo since Oct 2007. I put it down to this supplement I am taking (IP6/Innositol) which I had read about that strengthens the lung cells and have been known to stop new growths from growing and even reversed active cells to nothing.
- My CEA reading is right back down to normal.

Bad News:

- The cyst in the kidney has changed size and shape. This is conducive to a malignant lesion. But it is highly highly unusual for colon cancer to spread to the kidneys. So the oncologist thinks there's a very strong chance that it is Kidney Cancer and is a new primary cancer which has nothing to do with the colon cancer.
- The problem with the kidneys, you can not biopsy them. If you cut into the kidney to do a biopsy, you destroy/damage the kidney.
- The only way to know for sure is to remove the kidney and then do a biopsy.
- If the biopsy shows it is malignant, then removing the kidney is the perfect treatment and that will stop it.
- But if it is malignant, that opens up a whole new slew of questions. It means that the nodules in the lungs might actually be kidney cancer and not colon cancer. Treating them, should they start to grow, would be two different kinds of treatment, depending on whether they are colon cancer metastasis or kidney cancer metastasis.

I am literally nodding off at the computer here. Yes, I confess, I did take an ativan before going to the oncology appt because the anxiety was starting to get to me. Well now, I'm no longer anxious... but my eyes are falling asleep so time for bed for Bridget and I :)

I will be writing my own oncologist in the morning and see what her take is on this. That will be three oncologist opinions and one surgeon's opinion (once I've seen him/her) and I plan on seeing my GP and go over it with him.

But for now, I need some sleep. That is one of the joys of being retired... I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn like while working :)