Saturday, June 30, 2012

celebrate normal

Okay I decided to embrace & celebrate ‘Normal’

Once I settle down and think about it – this is really great news, and I have an appointment to discuss all my options with the doctor, so in the meantime, I’m ready to just let go and see what happens.  I finally went swimming yesterday.  I’m still bleeding, but not as much.  I am so looking forward to the day when this stops. 
I have 4 weeks left of my summer vacation, including a trip to Texas to see my brother and a lazy week of reading and sunbathing in Las Vegas while Peter works.   I also have some goals I was hoping to achieve, some reading I wanted to do, some writing I would love to do and a good kick-start to my weight loss goals.  Everything I have read concerning the endometrial stuff talks about the need to lose weight and how obesity is one of the risk factors.  So I need to relax first, then do some serious exercise for my brain AND MY BODY.  Sounds like a good plan.

and hey - this might be the first and only time that I want to celebrate being 'normal'

Friday, June 29, 2012

So what exactly does normal mean?

I got the phone call finally, and rather than make me feel better - it added even more stress and confusion.  The doctor's assistant said the results came back normal (and I can only guess that means no cancer, since having all of these precedures is anything but NORMAL).  Then she says if I am still having bleeding issues that I should schedule an ablasion or a D&C.......what?  Now I am really freaked out, what is the difference, why do I want these, what about the hysterectomy, just cuz there's no cancer now - is there still a chance of developing it later?  I'm just trying to understand all of the options - I DONT want to continue on hormones.  I am still bleeding....and cramping....and scared.
So now I have an appointment to come in and talk with the doctor........I sure hope she has some answers

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Still No News - just impatiently waiting

Starting with the extremely happy news - I finally don't have to literally run to the bathroom every hour!  My bleeding has slowed waaaaay down, now it’s more like the lighter days of a normal period – a little more than spotting but nowhere near the chaotic and frustrating pattern of earlier in the week.  I cannot believe I went through an entire box of super-plus tampons in 4 days!  The not as fun news is that I still haven’t heard anything from the biopsy, this looming potentially scary news is just hanging in the air, but I guess I can be grateful for the crazy bleeding – at least it gave me something else to focus on.  We are heading home today and I am actually happy to get home.  I have had so much fun – despite the crazy misadventures of a mean-spirited uterus, but it’s always a good feeling to get home.  In the mean time I am going down tot he pool - YES I said pool!!!! becasue I can go down with just a tampon and stay for an hour or two - I am so happy about that.  Having all this craziness really does help me to appreciate the little things.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What the heck is Norethindrone?

 Evil Uterus
 It has been a very interesting week.  After bleeding profusely for two straight days, I realized I was really bleeding an excessive amount (let's just say I visited more public restrooms than I will ever care to see again and going through a super plus tampon per hour). I decided I had to call the doctor - of course being away in Huntington beach didn't make things any easier, but after explaining all of this to my doctor's assistant (and yes it is weird to discuss bleeding with a guy over the phone) the doctor called in a prescription, so I filled it, and picked up some high potency iron.  I have to say those package inserts full of dislaimers are NOT very comforting - my package basically said don't take this but if you do there a bajillion side effects - awesome!  The medicine is Norethindrone which is a progesterone hormone, and from what I read on various internet health sites. it is commonly prescribed for bleeding.  So I still have no news from the biopsy (translation - already scared & anxious) and now I am scared about the effects of taking hormones (even more scared & anxious). 

I mean really the side effects are nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, mood swings, trouble sleeping, weight gain/loss (and with my luck lately I'm pretty sure mine will be the gain one), acne, breast swelling, unwanted hair growth (really- is there usually wanted hair growth?), and these aren't even the serious side effects, there's a whole other list of potentially serious ones...................

Keeping my fingers crossed that the bleeding stops and that I get the biopsy results soon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Uterus hates me :(

Let's face it - getting older isn't for sissies, but this week has been ridiculous.  I was so excited to be tagging along with Peter while he visits his customer sites in California.  We had it all planned, a day in San Diego before heading up to his favorite place-Huntington beach.  Seemed like a perfect plan except for one thing - MY MEAN UTERUS!  The trip started out nice, after a small argument about hotels we decided to splurge on a beautiful place in La Jolla with an ocean view.  Our reservation was all set for kayaking, and I was really enjoying the day with Peter.  I was spotting alittle and crampy, I wondered if I might be starting my period (my cycle has been so nuts lately I have no idea what's up) so I felt prepared with a tampon & we headed to the kayaks.  Peter tried, but decided it really wasn't for him.  I kinda wondered if that might happen-so that's why I got two singles instead of a tandem.  It was soooo fun, but when we were done I had that 'uh-oh' feeling and told Peter I needed a store and a restroom, sure enough, I was big time bleeding.  I have never had such a heavy period in my life, it hasn't stopped for two days now, cramps and massive bleeding, it is so bad I actually called the doctor because apparently this is excessive.  I'm waiting for her to call back.  I would rather be out on the beach, but I have to run to the restroom every hour to change, so hangin at the beach is not as fun as I had hoped.  I'm not as worried about the idea of cancer now - and to be honest i just want this dam uterus to be out.  Surgery still scares me alittle, but I want to deal with this and be able to move on.  I am bummed about the timing really messing up our cool vacation - lets face it, a woman who is bleeding heavily is not a very fun partner & poor Peter is worried about me.  He is so sweet, I am so lucky to have him in my life.  he was so proud to show me where he used to live and all of his favorite spots to hang out.  Once the doctor calls i'm gonna try to get changed and go hang out on the beach - even just for an hour or so.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Welcome to my roller coaster

                                                      I feel like my life is a roller coaster
Well each new day has been interesting lately - I am pretty much fearing and planning for the worst, but mildly hopeful for the best.  I had the biopsy on Wednesday morning and the Dr. said it can take 7-10 days to get results.  I don't want to wait that long, but since I have no real control I guess I just have to deal with it.  I have been crampy and not very motivated for the past few days.  The really good news is that I haven't been bleeding heavily, just mild cramps off and on since the biopsy. 

Now for the good news - in just a few days I get to go do something I have wanted to do for at least 3 years now - I am going out on sea kayaks to the La Jolla Sea Caves
It looks amazing from the photos - I sure hope it is as cool as I think it will be - and I hope that I can keep up.  I already got my disposable camera & sunscreen.  I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Well I got through the biopsy, uggghhh, that was a very uncomfortable thing to do.  The doctor was awesome though, very honest, took her time explaining my other test results and the procedure.  Apparently my uterine lining was over 21mm which is extremely thick – a normal uterine lining is half that much and someone in menopause should be even thinner than that, so it is a problem.  She also explained what the possible results and the likely treatments will be.  It wasn’t totally a surprise since I had spent some time researching.  I’m not bothered by the idea of a hysterectomy, I obviously have no plans to have children, but really any surgery seems a little scary, and there is never a good time to do this, and even will all of the reassurances – if it does come back as cancerous – that does freak me out a little.  The best news – more than likely, even with a confirmation of cancerous cells, I would only need a hysterectomy and no chemo or radiation.  Peter has been amazing, he is so patient and we talk about all of this.  We have decided not to tell anyone else until there is some ‘actual’ news to tell.  Having Peter here to reassure me is so great – I do worry about him, he has had such an ugly history with cancer, I know this freaks him out a bit too – even if he acts like he is handling it just fine.  I am grateful to be going on vacation next week.  I think a chance to just get away from all of this will be wonderful.  Peter has been so sweet, I have been asking for ages to go kayaking in San Diego, they have a cool guided trip to these sea caves and I am soooo psyched to see them.  I know kayaking isn’t really Peter’s thing, but I just love it, so I am really looking forward to that.  Anytime at the ocean is excellent – I think the ocean has magical healing powers for your soul.   What started as a boring summer with no real plans became a very interesting summer with lots of plans and interesting developments.  Oh well, I learn something new each day!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Focus on the positive

Still waiting to get the test, waiting is not my strongest skill (but really - who does like to wait).  I am enjoying drifting along this summer - in a casual, no rush, no worries manner.  Laying out by the pool, working alittle, trying to get inspired to work or to write, mostly reading books, watching movies and just wasting time.  This whole Endometrial hyperplasia is really throwing me off balance and I am focusing on it waaaaay more than I should.  The good news seems to be that even the worst case scenario means removing my uterus, not a really big deal.  I just need to change my focus onto the cool fun summer plans I have - and just let go of needing to control things - yeah right :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

That sounds scary - is it?

Oh the joys of getting older.  I have always been a surprisingly private person, when I am fearful or stressed out, I rarely go public with my concerns.  Even during the worst period of my life, when John (my husband) committed suicide and left me to deal with life on my own, as a single parent, I shared my real fears only with Danielle and my therapist, and on rare occasions with my bff Susan.   Keeping it to myself has been a way of life.  When Mom had her stroke, when Mom died, most of my fears stay inside or sometimes creep out in a private journal.  With all of that said - I have a new concern and I want to shout out about my fear, but my long held 'privacy rule' is keeping me from reaching out.  Fear, it creeps up and grows. 

Getting older means all of that messy menopause stuff, no one wants to talk about it, and believe me its not pretty.  Being a generally organized individual ( at least about some things) I noticed a disturbing pattern, my menstrual cycle going wacky, shortening to almost 10 days apart - seriously annoying, so I went to the Dr. and asked about it.  "Its probably nothing, just your hormones fluctuating as you get nearer to menopause".  She suggested we do an ultra sound "just to be sure'.  Well with school almost ending and lots going on, it got put into the back burner, but literally the last day of school my period starts, but never stops.......20 straight days of spotting and I am very frustrated, so I find my ultra sound referral and make my appointment.  Now I have already done some research, its what I do when I face something new and potentially scary.  Knowledge is power, my first line of defence has always been to research and learn what I am facing.  That gut feeling, women's intuition, whatever 'it' is, I have it,always have - just sometimes I ignore it.  That feeling says, there is something going on, and sure enough I get a call from the doctor's office, we need you to come in.  It sounds pretty scary, "a thickening of the uterine lining"  and I need something called an endometrial biopsy.  It isn't as scary as it sounds, but it can be serious.  Now I get to just sit and wait for this procedure and see what kind of cells they find.  Now for the scary part, if they find atypical cells, it could be endometrial cancer.  Yup, I said the C word.  Everyone's biggest fear.  I could see the fear in Peter's eyes.  I can't imagine how he feels, having lost his whole family basically to cancer, this is not something he remotely wants to think about.  I do know that if there is a problem, I could not be taken care of better by anyone.  He is so kind and caring and surprisingly patient with me.  So the waiting for the next week or two will be the hardest part, because once I know if there is an issue I can deal with my fear and face it head on -because that's what I do.  If it is bad news, there is still lots of reason to be optimistic, even though endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic malignancy in the United States, and the fourth most common female malignancy, the Overall survival is excellent since 75% of patients have disease confined to the uterus. 

Sooooo I'll face that fear if/when I have to, now I just have to figure out how to deal with all this nervous restless energy while I wait!