Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cray Cray

Before I give you your regularly scheduled health update, I want to take a moment to thank our veterans and their families, who have sacrificed so much for the greater good.  I honor all members of the armed forces today - and every day.

Yesterday's appointment went as follows:

CT scan:  Normal.  As expected.

I told the doc, "Great news!  But my back still hurts."  He doesn't know why, there is nothing structurally wrong.

I offered, "Maybe the #$*% expander I've had in for a year is making my body adjust wrong, causing the pain?"

He said:

And ordered an abdominal CT.   

I don't want another test (and more radiation, I might add.)  I REALLY REALLY REALLY don't think this pain is cancer. 

Neither does he.

Since I'm having surgery next week, maybe by the time I get the call my chest will be even, sleep will be better,  and the pain will be gone. Neither of us believes anything is wrong.  Why spend the insurance company's money?  Isn't that wasteful?  I think it's wasteful.  But, in the unlikely event cancer has settled into my kidney or somewhere, some lawyer would be sure to convince me by not having the test and not diagnosing it, I should sue.  That's why it's not wasteful, I guess. 

I just want to say that on Veteran's Day today, I do NOT honor lawyers, who have done so much to push common sense out of any equation.

Maybe I'm just going cray cray. Maybe there is no pain and it's just my overactive imagination settling into my left side.  Which is burning as we speak.  My imagination has always been good.

December 1 is my last herceptin.  I began chemo/herceptin December 2nd, 2009 and will finish December 1, 2010.  One full year of treatment is about to end.  I'm beyond excited.  I now only see my oncologist every three months, and after a year, every six months.  My surgery is  (finally) next week and I'll just have tweaks and revisions and won't have to think of another surgery for at least ten years.  In three years, the odds of this disease coming back go down.

The end of cancer is in sight.  Buh-bye.

Today though, I see my breast surgeon for my regular six month check-up.  I can't wait to see his reaction to finding that expander still in me.

Can you imagine spending a year trying to cover this bulging monstrosity?

No wonder my back hurts.


  1. I agree. No wonder your back hurts!

  2. Yes, I'm with Dee on this one. Well, at least you see the light at the end of the tunnel and glad you will be "graduating" to the 3-month checkup.

    I can't imagine how difficult it is to have expanders. I had a double mastectomy with DIEP flap, which is supposed to be a boob job with a tummy tuck. Forget the tummy tuck...I look a little preggers because my organs are pushing against my abdominal wall, yearning to get out.

    And I'm in constant back pain, too.

  3. My last herceptin is 7 Dec. yay to us! I'm having a party this Sunday to celebrate the end of treatments (wanted to have it before the holiday party rush). Come on down :)

  4. Well, I would say yes that it may be your back, but your pain is lower back! Not upper, although, who knows what strange things our bodies do! My numbness was in my UPPER back, which was eventually explained by the physical therapist as a result coming from nerve blockage from having a unilateral mastectomy. Maybe there is something to this theory, but in your case you have pain. I would get it checked out until you get answers. And one thing that can be under diagnosed is ovarian cancer, which I don't have to tell you in closely linked with breast cancer. An abdominal ct should show your ovary but a t.v. ultrasound would be more appropriate if you are concerned about your ovary and cancer. Join the wild goose chase club! I have been scanned, scoped, radiated, sonogrammed and STILL have no answer to the abdominal pain I have but colonoscopy is next! Fun! Not. You can bet I am not giving up and I hope you won't either.

  5. you know, it very well might be from the expanders. i had mine in for over 6 mos and the last 4-6 weeks were pure hell bc i developed this ache in my arms that would not abate. my plastic surgeon hadn't had anyone complain of that before, but they hurt so bad it would keep me awake at night in tears. my theory is that the expanders were compressing a nerve or blood vessel and causing the pain. when i finally had the expanders out, the pain disappeared too. o happy day!

  6. What a shame you feel that way about "the lawyers." Pushing "common sense" out of any equation? Like the "common sense" of fighting for women to be able to vote or the "common sense" of eliminating "separate but equal" or the "common sense" of the Innocence Project, saving people who were sent to prison and later proven without a doubt to be innocent? Or the common sense of the lawyers who fought the Dalkon Shield that devastated the fertilty of so many women? "Lawyers" making waste of the health care system is a myth - works only if you think doctors should not answer for horrendous mistakes.
    So don't do to any group what is done to us; don't stereotype.
    I honor the lawyers who try to ensure that we abide by the rule of law, including the law that you cannot practice medicine negligently. Make any sense?

  7. Well, certainly, I was using exaggeration to make my point. Of course, not all lawyers are bad or make things worse. I worked at the DAs office for a number of years and watched very dedicated attorneys work long hours to put bad people behind bars where they belonged.

    But, you can't deny the ambulance chasers - the ones who have made it so kids can't play tag on school playgrounds anymore - are harmful. I'm talking about the ones who see to it that we are told not to blow dry our hair in the bathtub, the ones who sue a car manufacturer when a guy runs over his own kid or sues McDonalds when a person spills hot coffee on themselves - the ones who sue a doctor when a baby is born ill, they have created a situation where unnecessary tests have to be done at the expense of a doctor's knowledge just to prevent a potential lawsuit - those lawyers are creating a worse society. I can think of one in my town who has people running around small businesses, inspecting them for very minor ADA violations, and then sending the mom and pop businesses dunning letters. He's a millionaire now, using shake-down techniques and the unbending law over things that don't matter. He's evil. So, yes, there are good lawyers and bad lawyers and some lawyers who even believe what they are doing is right but which still causes a negative effect on society.

    But, I'm not writing a blog about lawyers or the subtleties that lie in that profession. I'm writing about my experience with cancer.

    Hey, I said laywers and lie in the same sentence! :)

  8. Ann, I have tissue expanders as well and some back pain, which I do attribute to them throwing everything out of alignment. Congrats on finishing the herceptin soon. That must feel really good. Good luck with the surgery, I'm having surgery next month to get rid of the expanders!! Can't wait.


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