July 2018 Update
It’s time for an update and since there is very little actual medical facts to share at this time, I thought I would like to move the form of this journal into more of the emotional aspect of one who is facing cancer. Some of you may not want to read it. Some of you may feel emotions too deeply to want to delve into it. Some of you may have cancer far too close to home to want to wander in someone else’s emotional state… yet… you may just find yourself or someone close to you in these very words.
Let me first bring you up to date on my new primary care physician. Like so many others, I hate having to go to a doctor I’ve never been to before. Sometimes it is necessary. My visit to him a few days ago was a bit enlightening… no… not so much for me… but for him. He read over my medical history, lingering on the severe heart disease and then dwelling in the reports of cancer… one after another for quite some time. He looked up from those reports… stared blankly at the wall… then quietly said… “Wow”! He paused a few moments and said… as if talking to himself… “You must be in a category of 1 to 2% chance of survival.” After another lengthy pause… he then asked in a very serious questioning voice… “So… what is the prognosis?” I smiled and answered, “I think the real prognosis is… that I shouldn’t be here.” He exclaimed… “No kidding! You must be a real fighter.” I told him that I wasn’t at all sure what I was exactly… I’m not much of a fighter… lucky maybe… being spared for some unknown reason that may present itself at a future date and time. I really have no answer.
He’s leaving the cancer stuff to my current cancer doc. Leaving the heart stuff to my current cardiologist… Smart primary care physician… (why deal with it if you can pawn it off on someone else). He did blood work.
He called the following day and said that my bad cholesterol was exactly that… really bad… “through the roof” I believe he exclaimed. Yes… he knows that I have been a bad boy. I was busted. I stopped taking my cholesterol meds quite some time ago because of the growing expense of drugs. I kept taking what I considered to be lifesaving and stopped all the others. Guess I shouldn’t have stopped the cholesterol. I’ve stopped taking a total of 9 prescriptions because I just can’t afford them any longer. In the long run… I’ll probably live longer without them except when certain conditions worsen or when blood test results makes the doc angry at me for not taking them.
Another result showed that my TSH level was quite high. I was having symptoms that I now know could likely be caused by that very reason. Now… of course… doc wants to put me on Thyroid drugs. Yea! (I’m really thinking… “SHIT”) The only reason that I am even considering taking them is because high thyroid can mess with your heart… and also make you weak… and make your hair fall out… and give you an intolerance to cold temps… and cause muscle cramps and make you achy-er than you already are… and screw with your memory… Now…….. what was I talking about??? He’s waiting for my next blood work results to make his decision on the meds.
Oh… yeah… So… in addition to severe heart disease… the lymph nodes of the neck… the tongue… the lung… the hilum… and the subcarina all being affected with metastatic cancer… lymphedema… partially collapsed lung… radiation pneumonitis… fibrosis of both lungs… pleural effusion… I will now add… a bad Thyroid… (probably due to radiation)… and through the roof bad cholesterol. Oh…. and throw in some major gut problems and bones that hurt so badly that it is now difficult to rise from a chair (actually… it is difficult to even sit in some chairs)… or get in and out of the car… and you have… well… Me! Welcome to my world.
Don’t ask me why at this moment I have James Brown’s “I Feel Good” playing in my head. I suppose that hearing sarcasm from those on the “other side” is not that unusual for me. Maybe I should add ‘hearing voices’ to my list of illnesses but I consider that to be a blessing instead. You just have to be careful who you tell that to. I promise you… my VA doc will never hear from me that I hear voices from the “other side”. I’d never see the light of day again. We’ll just say I have a vivid imagination.
It’s raining here this morning. Wasn’t supposed to… but mother nature is often confusing to those who attempt to predict what she will do. It matches my mood quite beautifully however.
Don’t get me wrong… I like rainy mornings when I don’t have to go out. I did go out for long enough to get quite damp while feeding the outside kitties just after dawn this morning. But that’s always worth getting a bit damp.
I realize that there are very few who like long posts. This has already wandered beyond my intentions and I still haven’t really delved into the emotions that linger in my mind… often sounding as though they are banging on kettle drums with no rhythm whatsoever. Kind of like one of my neighbors with the boom box in his truck that rattles my windows. If the kettle drums and the boom box ever happen in the same moment… there could be some real excitement in my neighborhood.
I think I’ll just shut up for now. This will bring the journal up to date on the facts and my emotions can be kept inside until they splatter themselves all over these pages someday soon.
I visited the cancer doc a couple of weeks ago. I’ve done a pretty good job of procrastinating and the doc even helped me out on that front by changing my appointment to a later date several times. She wanted to do another PET scan of course but I managed to get her to help me procrastinate on that too… until September. She didn’t like my BP… 179/108. It’s been that way fairly consistently as of late. She thinks that maybe it is elevated partly due to the Hypothyroid crap… so…. ‘she’ prescribed the Thyroid meds. I guess if one doc doesn’t get you… the other one will. I filled the prescription but as of this date… I haven’t actually taken any of it. I made the mistake of googling the med. She prescribed 50mg and most indications are that persons with severe heart disease should start out at around 12.5. I’ve considered cutting the 50’s in half and giving it a try, but haven’t convinced myself to do so as yet. Stay tuned.
Hope you all are well and happy… and please know that I do so enjoy you stopping by.
Be sure to share your ‘hope’ with another and have a most beautiful day.
Wishing you wellness…