Monday, October 29, 2007

Oncologist Appointment

I had an appointment with Dr. Kwong, my Oncologist. I had a few questions for him, and he was helpful. For some reason I think the Interferon injections are going to hurt, but he told me they will not. I still don't believe that, but I guess I'll find out soon enough. I'm going to have to get my injections 5x a week - I thought it would only be 3x. Wow, that's a lot of office visits. Luckily the hospital is nearby. My current stage is IIIC. I was hoping for IIIA or IIIB, but because there were 4 lymph nodes with cancer, its IIIC. Wow - the next stage is IV. I hope I never get to that stage. The good thing is that I'm M0, which means there is no metasteses. (sp?). I'm extremely happy about that. That would not be a good thing.

After my appointment, I got a flu shot and then the treatment manager Mary gave me a tour of the treatment facility. I walked in there completely scared & shocked. This whole time I didn't really feel like I had cancer. I had no interaction with anyone with cancer. It's only been me & the drs this whole time. I almost lost it when I walked into the treatment facility. It took all of me to keep from breaking down. It was the first time I felt sick, cancer sick. The room was filled with chairs & IVs & the like and a good amount of the chairs were filled with patients getting their cancer treatments. I thought, I'm just another number. I'm another statistic. And next week I'm going to be another fighter. As I'm typing this, I think my dog Butter felt my pain. He just came up to me and kissed me. I just love him. Back to my story. Just walking through the treatment center, I glanced at a few patients. I'm sure most of them are going through chemo, which I'm not doing. I saw a women with a scarf over her head. I saw another women with a full head of hair, just like me. There were even a few men in there. Seeing all of the patients made me realize that I, Linda, have cancer. I don't look sick, I don't even feel sick. How has this disease found me. How did I get it. As many, many cancer patients have said, Why Me?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

3 weeks since surgery

So it's been 3 weeks since my surgery. Wow, I can't believe how fast the time has been passing. I am still in a lot of pain. My whole thigh area is still sore, and feels bruised. I know I had major surgery, but I never imagined the pain would last this long. And the Percocet has stopped working :( I took one and I was up all night. So I tried again the next night, thinking it was just a fluke, and I was up all night again - but this time with stomache pains and a sore leg. So that's it, no more Percocet for me. I'm not going to bother calling Dr. Kutner for more pain medicine, I'll just use the Tylenol or Advil we already have.

On a lighter note, I finally went to the photographer and ordered Reanna's Sr portraits! I was so mad that she only took them with the black drape, but oh well, it's not like she is going to take her dreads off to take more! I just hope that we get them soon, in time for Christmas.

Two days ago, we drove up to Martinez because Sebastian wanted to check out a bike. So yep, he bought a new bike. Another Yamaha, but this one is much older. I think it's 28 years old. If he's happy, I'm happy. Since we had to go all the way up there, I dropped off my Mercedes at the dealership because since I bought it, my front speakers were not working. Plus it was due for it's first inspection. The inspection was fine, and come to find out, it was not the speakers, but the stereo that was messed up. So they just replaced my stereo. I must say, I love that dealership. They are the kindest. They treat you like royalty - even after you buy your car. There are many dealerships that are only nice before/during your car purchase. Walnut Creek Mercedes Benz is awesome. They are so kind in every single department. Even when we were waiting for our loaner car - people were coming by asking if we had been helped. I will definitely buy another car from them.... yep, I already want a new Mercedes ;)

Thursday, October 11, 2007


LND - Lymph Node Dissection Surgery

So on Tues. October 2nd I went into the hospital at 6am for my surgery. We got there early, and no one was even in the department we were supposed to be in. We were waiting outside the door, and someone came by and told us to go somewhere else. So we did that, and there was a whole room of nurses ready to help care for those of us who had to go in for surgery. They did the standard thing - which is ask a ton of questions and hook me up to an IV. Then shortly after, Dr. Kutner came in and drew a line on my leg to where she would be cutting, and then the anestesiologist came by also. Not too long after, they brought me to the fridge, I mean surgery room. Of course, after a few shots, that hurt like HELL, I was under. No, not in hell.... After surgery, I was in a recovery room for a bit, and they would not let my family in there. But once they brought me up to the hospital, my family was allowed to visit. My mom & Sab were there waiting for me, with some flowers, etc. Later on Sab brought in Paige & Reanna, and then my Aunt Regina came also. It was nice to have people visiting. I felt so awful though. I was throwing up everything. The nurse was so nice. She gave me some anti-nausea medicine, and it really helped. About 9 - 10pm, everyone went home. It was ok with me, because I was so tired, I slept 1/2 the day anyway. A big mistake was talking to the lady in the room next to me. OMG, after I said a few words to her ("Sorry for calling the nurse every 5 minutes and keeping her up") she would not shut up! I just wanted to sleep! Anyway, after a while, I fell asleep on her! I know, because she told me the next morning... lol... So when Dr. Kutner stopped by the next morning, I was still sick, and still throwing up. So they did not release me :( I had to stay another night. In a way I was glad, because I was not ready to go home physically, but sad because I really did want to be in my own home. Luckily the lady next to me got released, so I had the room to myself. Sebastian & Reanna visited again, as well as my mom & Patricia. Then later Kimberly came by and visited for a few hours. Sebastian was going to come back when Kimberly left, but I told him I was tired, not to bother because I was only going to sleep. Which I did. The next morning, Dr. Kutner came by again, this time I was released! She removed all of the bandages, and everything looked great. The nurse came by and bandaged me all up again. She was so nice to me. She even went down to the pharmacy and got my prescriptions for me, so Sebastian & I just had to go home. Two days later, but I was sooo glad to go home. I was still in pain, but it wasn't as bad. Over the next few days, I just stayed home and recovered. On Sunday, Sebastian & I went to Oakridge and walked around for about 30 minutes. That was plenty for me. It was just nice to get out of the house. The next few days I just stayed home. My dad & Barbara came over on Tuesday night, because Sab had to go back to work on Wednesday, after being home with me for a whole week. My dad & Barbara took Reanna to school & picked her up for me, as I was still on pain meds. The first day Barbara took Reanna, and the second my dad. Of course I was sleeping, so I didn't think anything. But when I got up, Barbara was worried because my dad was still not there, and it was 30 minutes later! Since I'm so sore, I can't go back and change, brush hair, wash face, or anything. Luckily I stuck my robe on when I got out of bed. So here I am, sore & tired, driving around town looking for my dad! He has a navigator, but he did not have my address. Cell phone - sitting on the kitchen table! 30 minutes later, I almost give up and I'm in my neighborhood. One more drive around the area. Then I get a call from Barbara - my dad found his way to Lunardi's, and I'm 1 block from there anyway. So I go there and he follows me home. He feels so bad, making me drive all around town looking for him. Come to find out, he was spelling my street name wrong on his navigator. He added my address in so it doesn't happen again!

So on Wednesday, we go to see Dr. Kutner. She removes all my bandages, everything looks great. Out of the 13 lymph nodes removed, 3 had cancer. Good news. Now I do not have to do Radiation. Relief. I was not looking forward to that. All I have to do is the Inteferon treatment. Not that that will be easy, but one less thing is better.

I think I over did it on Wednesday, because Thursday & Friday I was way too sore. How I did that, I do not know. I had not taken the Percocet in a few days, Advil & Tylenol only. Now here I am, more than a week later, needing the Percocet again. I just stayed in bed the next few days, because I was too sore to do anything else.

So today is Sunday. My dad & Barbara left this morning. I will really miss them. They really did help me a lot. They cleaned my house, made dinners, was Reanna's taxi, and gave me all of the support I needed. My dad will come back if I need him too, but I'm hoping that in the next few days I'll be feeling better. It's close to 2 weeks after surgery, and my leg is still feeling so bruised, and it takes me a while to walk. Not to mention my knee still doesn't bend well from my first surgery. At least I'm able to get online for a bit, I couldn't even do that for a while. Today, my Uncle Ralph called me. My dad didn't tell him at first about the cancer, but I don't know what made him change his mind. So he called me and gave me well wishes. It was nice to hear his voice.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Surgery is Tomorrow

So my surgery is finally here. Today I had to go in to do a few more tests before the surgery, and it took about 20 minutes. So now I'm clear for surgery. I just don't know if I'm ready, or if I fully grasp yet about what is to happen tomorrow.

I went to lunch today with my friend & co-worker Kimberly and it was nice. We really didn't talk much about my surgery, so that was good. Sometimes questions can get kind of tiring.

I must say that work last week was kind of hectic, especially since I might be gone for up to 3 months. I was greatly surprised that the company I work for had a luncheon for me. It's not like we are huge, 10 people, but it was quite nice. We don't normally do things like that at my job. One of my co-workers couldn't make it, and his wife stopped by and gave me a beautiful arrangement of yellow roses & irises, as well as a lovely card. It was such a nice feeling that they would go through the trouble and do something so heartfelt. I really am going to miss going to work... NOT.... jk...

This weekend was a nice relaxing weekend, I was glad that Serenity was able to come over too. I won't be able to make it to her birthday party next week, so I took her and got her a few things. I think she had a good time with me. Here are a few pictures..