Friday, May 13, 2011

They should have told me...

Once you have cancer, they are always prospecting for more.  Cancer doctors are like miners. They strike gold once and never stop looking for the Mother Lode.

Yesterday, when I went to see my oncologist for my three month checkup, he found an excuse to go cancer hunting once again. The fact that I have gained about 7% of my total body weight since my last visit, all in my abdomen, is that little glimmer in the riverbed that makes him want to dredge.

He declared my symptoms "frightening" due to my HER2 status, and ordered me another CT scan. (I'm not sure it's a good thing when your oncologist admits your symptoms are frightening.)

The scan is scheduled for Monday. I'm so bloated, I hope my belly fits in the machine.

Oh, don't freak out, there is no way an unlucky girl like me is striking gold.. Odds are, I have a hormonal problem, or menopause has caught up to me and I'm finally getting fat after 53 years of being super skinny.   My doctor said he'd call with the bad news and if there was none, he'd see me in three months.  I'm going to guess that any phone call will come before Friday, if one does, which I don't expect.

I fear I'm going to have to face the fact that middle age spread is here.

He also told me that he didn't think my frozen shoulder would heal without surgery. And, frankly, I cannot stand the pain anymore. In the unlikely event that I am harboring a vein of gold, there are lots of positions they like to put you in for tests and surgeries that I cannot do. So, I made another appointment with my orthopedist for Wednesday.  If he agrees I need surgery, I'll schedule it for as soon as school is out.

I sure hope it all pans out.


  1. Dear Ann,

    Sending you cyber four leaf clovers, horseshoes, Middle Eastern hamsas, Chinese red envelopes, Japanese Maneki Neko cats, Buddha bellies to rub and every other good luck symbol known to man. (Here's a link to 50 more - I sure wish Blogger would let me cut and paste!)

    May all the news next week be good!

    Ann B.

  2. Oh, and I agree that odds are that you're just getting fat. No one deserves to be super-skinny for 53 years!

    Ann B.

  3. Oh good luck! This is my life for the past 30 years. I hate that. When I had my initial surgery they did a chest x-ray and found a granuloma which means with my medical history they need to be sure so every year I have a chest xray. And countless other tests. Once those pesky cancer cooties show up, you start hearing 'with your medical history we need to be sure'... Hoping for the best!

  4. Oh your post made me laugh, and I really needed one this morning! And hey, you already had the mother lode, so I really hope that this is just middle age finally catching up with you. It's definitely caught up with me!

  5. I too, am thinking of you and feeling pretty positive that it's just another hormonal thing.

    However, I do invite you to have a quick read on my last post - it's unbelievable!

  6. Ann,
    Good luck with the scan. It's good to get checked out. It probably is horomones or something. And middle age, tell me about it!
    I've been having arm problems similar to your frozen shoulder. I hate the limitations cancer leaves us to deal with. Good luck and try not to worry too much.

  7. I know. My onc left her practice at Christmas, and I decided I likely wouldn't bother to go back (I mean, grade 1, stage 1, 3 yrs out, if anyone is going to be fine, it's me, right?)
    But, I did get diagnosed with osteoporosis in my forearms, so I have started weightlifting, and I have been strengthening those chest muscles in order to strengthen those forearms, and, after a few weeks, I have biceps. I also have tingling in my hands and pain around my sentinel node biopsy scar. So, I go to my massage therapist, and ask what kind of massage we can do to loosen these muscles. And she tells me, no kidding, that in our city breast massage is classified as "adult entertainment,"(could we make this stuff up) and she recommends that I ask my oncologist for a PT referral.
    So, I call old onc's office, and the nurse is like, well, I'll ask. And 2 days later, she says that I have to come in and see someone as soon as possible, because, you know, it could be
    cancr. Right.
    So I end up going to an oncologist I don't know, and really don't care for, who is completely confused by what I am there for, because all I have are well-developed pectoral muscles and scar tissue, and he doesn't get what I'm doing there.
    I tell him the whole story, and ask for a referral to a lymphadema specialist, so I can talk to someone who knows something about breast massage.
    Hope that your story ends up being as silly as mine.

  8. Thinking positive thoughts here. I totally relate to the idea of prospecting. We'll always have a monkey on our backs. As for 53 years of being thin -- no fair!! Hope it's just the middle-age spread.

  9. That's quite a story Sue! And, Knock Knock, I read your blog post, I'll have to do more research on it. It's interesting for sure. I'm not really worried about this stomach thing - I'm sure I'm finally just gaining weight. I always figured that if it ever happened, I'd end up looking like a spider. Bloated belly, skinny appendages and that is exactly what is happening. This frozen shoulder is the most painful thing that I have ever experienced and it's been going on six months. The stress from that alone is probably causing the weight gain. Anyway, should know by the end of the week.

  10. Hey, how did you find a picture of my dad prospecting? Hope you *don't* get a call from the doc. Sorry to hear that you might actually be getting a 'tummy' (that the rest of us of have had since, oh, um, teenage-hood...). :)

  11. Hoping for a full recovery on the shoulder for you and negative scan results.

  12. Thinking about you this morning, hope you are feeling some relief from your shoulder, and that the scan results get in soon with a negative report!

  13. Hoping for negative scans for you; sacrificing to all relevant gods, & etc. Keep us posted!!


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