Ruth's musings

I have been dealing with breast cancer for a while, and have been sharing my journey with friends, family, and prayer partners. This blog brings all my updates together in one place, and leaves me free to muse on other parts of my life. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ruth Update, April 23, 2008

Dear Friends, Relatives, and Prayer Partners,
Which would you rather have from your doctor:  bad news that turned out to be false, or good news that wasn't?
Having had both of them, I think I would rather get erroneous bad news, as long as it didn't lead to some erroneous treatment.  This is what I got today.  My doctor should really not be checking her e-mail at home late at night.  Bad enough she works twelve hours per day in the clinic.  Apparently, the computer system at my HMO burped out the results of my PET scan in February at the same time it sent out the results of my Head and Neck CT scan in April.  I didn't think I had had an abdominal scan, and it turned out I hadn't.  She didn't notice the date on the scan and e-mailed me with bad news.  This was the old bad news I had already gotten in February.  She apologized up one side and down the other.  Unfortunately, she didn't even realize what had happened until just before my appointment with her today, or she would have cancelled the appointment.  As much as I would like her to, she can't devote all her time to me.  There are other patients.  So, there is no new bad news.  The head and neck CT scan said "normal" many, many times, in all places, including my neck.  I quizzed her about my mild discomfort there, and she had no answers for me.  She did note that my blood glucose level was a bit high on the day that I had that PET scan in February, and that could have led to something looking suspicious.  I have another PET scan scheduled in May.  I will try to avoid sugar the day before that one, in addition to the six-hour fast I am supposed to do.
Just so you know, I did pretend to kick her hard and repeatedly.  She said she deserved that.   I also showed her my feet, as one of my toenails is looking funky.  She recommended tea tree oil rubbed into the nail beds and cuticles.  She gave me a sheet of advice for people having nail troubles with Taxotere, and that was one of the things.  Also, I am supposed to keep my hands and feet as dry as possible.  I guess that lets out swimming.  It's a good thing Paul does the dishes most nights!  I think we have some rubber gloves around here. 
I have lost weight, mostly due to loss of appetite and some discomfort I am blaming on the Xeloda.  Now, don't get all over me, people!  I am eating a balanced diet, but I feel some days as if I have to force myself to do so.  The Xeloda has to be taken on a full stomach with lots of water, so that is an incentive to eat breakfast and dinner.  I just take smaller portions and enjoy them less.  And, as we all know.  I have the resources to lose a little weight.  I also have a metallic taste in my mouth from the Taxotere, so I have invested in some sugar-free mints which mask that a little between meals, anyway. 
In other news, Paul and Timmy are going Scout camping this weekend, so I am going to Radford to see Matt in some one-act plays.  My brother Tony is coming with me, and I am not surprising Matt this weekend.  Especially since he has lots of homework to do with the end of the semester in, gee, about a week!  It will be good to have him home, and since he broke up with Katherine, I think he will actually be spending a lot of time at home, when he is not working.  Assuming he gets a summer job.  The breakup with Katherine seems to have been amicable, and mostly for practical reasons, as she hopes to be attending Carnegie-Mellon University in the fall, which is just about as far north of here as Radford is south.  The timing concerned me a little, though.  They broke up like two days after the surprise visit.  What did I do? 
I haven't been spending as much time on the computer here at home as I usually do, as we have a leaky basement, and had some heavy rains last week, which led to musty, mildewy odors.  The computer is in a dry corner, but the aroma spreads pretty far.  Paul says we have some money saved up for home improvement, and asked what my priorities were.  Until this week, new windows was my priority.  I have changed my mind.  With an impaired immune system, I think a dry basement is more important than double-glazed windows.  Ah, well, gives me more time to read and crochet if I am not on the computer.
Don't forget the Race for the Cure!  Our team has reached our team fund-raising goal, but there is always a need for more money.  If you visit the individual team members pages, you can print out a donation form (see the link right under the "thermometer") to mail in a check if you would rather not contribute online.  Also, if you are local, we would welcome you to join our team!  Thanks to all of you who have contributed.
Get your mammograms.  Do your self-exams.


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