Saturday, August 11, 2012

2012 Medical News Part 1

OK, I admit, I've not done a very good job at keeping up with my medical news this year on my blog.  I'll try to start at the beginning and get caught up in the next few days to what's currently happening.

I still have numbness and pain in my feet and legs (concrete feet) plus my hands get sore and weak.  When I first stand up from sitting for even a little bit I limp and stumble until I get some feeling back in my feet.  My hands get hard to close and ache after work and in the mornings.  I am also worrying about some of the long term side effects of Letrozole that I have read about.  I tried to bring some of this up with my oncologist but he either just kind of blows my questions off and says that I should talk to my primary care physician about it all and that he wants me to stay on Letrozole for at least seven more years.  Did I mention before that when I told him how much pain I was in after the Zometa infusion he responded, 'You know I had a Zometa infusion recently and I was in a ton of pain, I just thought you women were a bunch of whiners but it really did hurt.'  I realized then that he wasn't going to take my concerns and questions seriously.  It was at that point that I decided to take my health into my own hands.  While I will still see him for my cancer care, I got an appointment o talk to someone at the local clinic here and started applying to get an appointment to discuss my past and future treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. 

My oncologist did sign me up for my yearly mammogram and this year he added a breast MRI.  I was able to do both on the same day and it all took a couple of hours.  The mammogram was as fun as always and the results came back fine.  The MRI was worse than even the PET scan from a few years ago.  I found out that they take a normal MRI and then pump some sort of liquid into you through an IV to see how it flows through.  As usual, I don't really know what they did or used or were looking for.  You would think after all of this I would take more time to write down the things they tell me or ask more questions.  I do know that she had a horrible time getting the IV needle into me and ended up using that big blue vein (artery?) on the inside of my wrist.  I think she tried to stick me three times.  I was worried I would be sent away to some back another day when I was more hydrated but she got it in the end.  I always tell anyone trying to stick me that after chemo there is no way they can hurt me but she did.  The inside of the wrist is sensitive. 

Once the needle was in I was put face down on a very uncomfortable table and with my hands out in front of me was slid into the MRI machine.  They had a mirror that I could look into that showed the view out the other end.  It helped with the claustrophobia.  She gave me ear phones and asked if I would like music to help me lay still for the 20 minutes or so I would be in there.  I said I didn't care but she insisted, saying that she had Pandora.  OK - how about bluegrass?  I was thinking some Alison Krauss would be great.  She said I should ignore the loud noises, try not to breathe too much, and that after fifteen minutes they would shoot the dye (?) into me and that it would only last five minutes from there.  She put a panic button in my left hand and left the room.  That position and table was terribly uncomfortable and I started hyperventilating almost immediately.  I couldn't for the life of me get enough air so I was taking all of these small breaths (trying not to move) and panicking more and more every second.  I was looking forward to the music starting.  I should have been more specific though, when it did start it was the old timey fast paced banjo bluegrass.  Don't get me wrong, good stuff when it's live and in a barn but was enough to almost to get me to push the button.  I didn't though and tried to go to my happy place (tropical island Greg and I visited on our last cruise) and enjoyed a margarita there until the whole thing was over.  The result of this test came back good also so it was all worth it in the end.  I think the more time there is between medical experiences these days, the more whimpy I get about it all.  Next time I'll go back and read my blog about The Biopsy and nothing will seem as bad.

My next blog will be about my visit to the local clinic and what I found out from some blood tests they requested.  After that I'll fill you in on all the stuff I learned at my appointment at the Mayo Clinic.

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