Hoping for sunny skies ahead . . .

6 Jan

I met with my oncologist today. Everything went as expected. She was concerned about the headaches I have been having and has ordered a brain MRI. I will also have a routine chest CT at the same time (at least I think it will be done on the same day, not sure about that). But, in any case, I will get both done very soon.

I am not surprised by any of this. But, it is a bit sobering. And, pretty damn scary. I hate this stuff. I don’t know anyone who likes it, so that is kind of a stupid thing to say I guess. But, I really do not like it.

In my appointment today Dr. Hurvitz asked me how long ago the headaches started . . . when I answered her she winced. That was not especially comforting. But, I know that she can not give me any definitive answer about what is causing my headaches without having results from scans. Obviously I am hoping that everything comes back clear.

My Dad drove me up to Santa Monica today for my appointment. I was going to drive myself up there. But, my Mom thought it would be a good idea for my Dad to take me today. She was right. I would not have had a very good ride home today if it were me driving home alone. My Dad and I had lunch together afterwards and now I am home alone and it is sinking in . . . the worry on my oncologist’s face. Damn.

I saw her nurse as I was walking out of the exam room. She asked how I was doing and I told her . . . apparently everyone knows what having headaches potentially means. It makes me feel kind of stupid now. I mean I don’t think I delayed in bringing the headaches to her attention. But, maybe I did? I was sick after Thanksgiving and have pretty much had headaches ever since then. I just figured that it was from the cold that I had (sinus congestion and all) and/or the weird weather we have been having.

I don’t know what is causing my headaches and neither does anyone else. There is no point in speculating. I guess I was just a little shocked when everyone I interacted with at UCLA’s Oncology Department seemed to immediately react to my telling them I am having headaches. So, scans soon.

I had some insurance related issues to deal with today (payment and authorizations). In the process I spoke with my case manager and he was surprised to hear that I was back to work full time. My oncologist also seemed surprised. I guess I don’t really know what I am supposed to be doing. Nobody told me anything about when to return to work. I just assumed that it was the thing to do.

I worked when I was going through treatment until I could not work. And now that I am done with treatment it seems that I should be back to work. Maybe I need to take it a little easier. But, I am anxious to get my business back on track and to be back out there. I need it for many reasons, not the least of which are financial reasons. But, there is also the desire to return to a normal routine and that means working.

But, so much is really not normal. Daily headaches, limited energy and difficulties concentrating and completing tasks . . . not normal. And, now that I am back on Tamoxifen, I have nausea which lasts a few hours each day. I am hopeful that as I am on Tamoxifen longer that these side effects will lessen. I am splitting the dose up over the day so that it doesn’t hit me all at once. This seems to be easier to tolerate.

I take half at about 3:00 pm after I have completed most of my day and then I take the other half dose about midnight. At the moment, I get sick for a few hours after taking it. But, the dose that I take at midnight doesn’t seem to really affect me as much because I am not sitting up or walking around. So the dizziness and nausea is not so noticeable. The goal is to sleep through the side effects – at least the side effects of the midnight dose. Sometimes that works pretty well. Last night I was up until 4: 30 in the morning. Then I slept until 7:30 and got going for the day. Not enough sleep. But, I am hopeful that I will get on a better routine.

I have a feeling that the real reason I did not sleep last night was simply being anxious over seeing my oncologist today. I kept playing over different scenarios in my head. In none of the scenarios did she ever reassure me about the headaches. And, I knew that she would not reassure me. It isn’t her style to placate me. She speaks the truth. I know as much as she does that she can not tell me why I am having headaches. She can only order scans. So, that is where I am at . . . kind of foggy with a chance of stormy weather ahead . . . but really hoping that I get sunny skies.

I really appreciate your continued prayers. It means a lot to me.

Much love,

Lisa

6 Responses to “Hoping for sunny skies ahead . . .”

  1. Sandy January 6, 2011 at 8:37 PM #

    Prayers and positive energy coming your way! Let me know if you need a ride for scans or other stuff. If I’m not teaching that day, I’m all yours.

    Call any time.

    Love,
    Sandy

    • cancerfree2b January 7, 2011 at 10:32 PM #

      Awe, Sandy that is so thoughtful. Thank you so much. I don’t have the scans scheduled yet, but, hope to have that sorted out soon (I have to get authorizations prior to making the appointments). I will be having the scans done at Hoag, so it is not very far. Maybe the weather will be nice and there will be an an opportunity to walk at Bolsa Chica Reserve on the way home. I haven’t been there in a while. In any case, I look forward to seeing you soon! I would love to have been able to meet up after class tomorrow, but, I am expecting to be pretty beat afterwards . . . so my plans are to get home and get to bed as early as I possible 🙂

      Let’s figure out a day to meet up . . . I see a Supermex meal in our future . . .

      Thank you again for the offer. I really appreciate it 🙂

      Love,
      Lisa

  2. Sally January 6, 2011 at 9:43 PM #

    More positive energy and prayers being sent from me, too. I’m glad you have a friend like Sandy there. And glad you let your Dad drive you to the doctor up at UCLA.
    Love and hugs,
    Sally

    • cancerfree2b January 7, 2011 at 10:38 PM #

      Dear Aunt Sally,

      As always, thank you for your positive energy and continued prayers. It was really good to have my Dad drive me yesterday.

      I think I got a bit of a wake up call yesterday when I learned that my doctor and others involved in my care were surprised that I had already returned to work full time. For all I know it is the hours that I have been keeping that is the cause for these headaches. I think I have tried to get back to too much all at once. So, I will figure out a way to back off a bit.

      I am just so ready to be done with all of this stuff that I think I saw going back to work full time as a some kind of statement that I was through with it all. But, clearly I am not not quite there yet . . . so . . . I will slow it down a bit this next week.

      I hope you have a great weekend.

      Much love always,
      Lisa

  3. margaret elder January 7, 2011 at 9:44 PM #

    Hey Lady,

    If you need any thing give me a call. Seriously.

    Sending you love and prayers,

    Margaret

    • cancerfree2b January 7, 2011 at 10:43 PM #

      Hi Margaret!

      Nice to see you here 🙂

      And, thank you 🙂 I really appreciate it.

      I would love to meet for lunch again soon . . . I had so much fun when we got together last. We’ll still have to plan that other outing with Pam and respective significant and spouses too 🙂

      We should go back to that patio on the beach in Huntington formerly known as Chimayos.

      I hope you are having a great weekend.

      Thank you for your prayers, I greatly appreciate it!

      Love,
      Lisa

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