More About Boobs

 

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Sounds like I’m writing porn tonight, doesn’t it? Well, I’m not. I’m still dealing with “different” looking tissue in one of my breasts. I had the stereotactic biopsy that I talked about in my last blog. To anyone out there that needs to have one, I was very surprised that I really felt hardly anything. I was very nervous and it was not at all like the article I had read (sometimes the Internet is not your friend).

I stood up during it, much like a regular mammogram and once they found the spot on 3D, they were able to do the biopsy. I was petrified of the needle to numb the area because they always say “you’ll just feel a pinch” and it hurts like hell. It seriously was only a tiny pinch. Do not be afraid to have this test. I spent all night worrying and it was not bad at all.

The following Tuesday I kept getting emails that there were updates to my health record. It took me a while to get up the courage to look, but when I finally did I read that there was no atypicality and it was benign. A huge sigh a relief.

A sigh of relief that was short lived when I received a phone call from the radiologist the next morning who said they were referring me to a surgeon because while what they tested was benign, no reason was given for why the tissue was different. She said I could have an MRI or see a surgeon, but she thought it would be a good idea to get the surgeon’s recommendation first.

I saw the surgeon this past Wednesday and I’m not sure how I feel. I will have an MRI next Wednesday. She said it would give them more information and she could see blood flow to the area. Basically, when they see areas of distortion (that’s what we’re calling it now, btw) they appear different in different angled mammogram photos. Mine did not really change. They appeared in every photo, though they looked a little different in some.

It’s possible that there is something there and they didn’t take a large enough sample, but she assured me that looking at it, she felt if it was a cancer it was a stage 0 at this point because of the way it’s appearing. So the plan is I’ll have an MRI on Wednesday and speak to her on Friday (hopefully) regarding the results. From there we will make the decision on surgery, that I tentatively scheduled for September 8th because I think I’m going to just want it out.

My husband left the appointment feeling like I didn’t need it out and maybe she was too eager for surgery. I felt the opposite. I felt like I wanted the surgery and she was willing to do it, but preferred to have the MRI and more information first. I do also have a second opinion scheduled for September 1st, so my ducks are in a row.

I hate waiting, though. Waiting for appointments. Waiting for results. Just waiting. Tomorrow I’ll find something more exciting to write about to keep my thoughts on other things.

 

Oh btw, that’s not my boob in the mammogram photo but it amazed me how much the photo looked like the “distortion” they pointed out. It’s the little white star shaped thing an inch or so in from the left.

Tomorrow Will Suck

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I’m trying to be positive about the breast biopsy I need to have tomorrow. I really am. For the most part I’ve stayed off the Internet, other than to diagnose myself with Stage 0 pre-cancer, which for me, is very positive. I’m usually jumping to death very quickly.

But at the moment it’s the procedure itself that’s scaring the crap out of me. It’s called a stereotactic biopsy where they can do a mammogram guided biopsy. It sounds dreadful. Picture a padded table where you  lay face down with your boob in a hole. Then the boob is squeezed and the table is lifted. Honestly it all sounds like something from 50 Shades of Grey.

Then someone else told me that while they do numb the area, when they take the tissue, it sounds like a loud gun and scares you. Awesome!

The office called this morning and the place I was going to now cannot do the procedure. The doctor that looked at my mammogram felt like I need this special machine because the suspicious area is so small. That’s a good thing. Small is good. They changed the appointment to a different nearby hospital that apparently have this new piece of equipment.

I need to get through tomorrow and then that’s step one. I spoke to a friend today who had her first biopsy come back normal and a second one come back stage 0. She had a lumpectomy and now they just watch her closely. They did want her to go on a drug called tamoxifen. That scares me because it affects your hormones.

Every drug I’ve ever tried that impacts hormones has been hell, including the pill. I’m not on a very low dose pill, but I have horrific migraines on my week off the pill with the hormone drop. Nothing about adding a new medicine into my already full group of RA meds sounds like fun.

The good news about the appointment change is that it is now at 8:30AM vs 1pm. I have no time to stress about it before we leave. I’m not a morning person so it’s basically wake up, shower, and go.

I’m taking for positive thoughts for tomorrow. Being afraid of the unknown sucks.

 

 

Stress and Autoimmune Flares

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We’ve all heard about the link between stress and flare with autoimmune issues. I can personally attest to getting more frequent flares when I’m stressed, but how do you combat stress? I mean, we all have it. Life is messy. Many of us have families. Marriages are hard. Money issues. Family issues. Being stresses about your autoimmune issues… There is stress everywhere.

So how do you avoid it? I’ve made no secret that I’ve tried essential oils and I think I’ve found some relief in them. I won’t push one company over another, especially when I only diffuse them and like the scent. There are some really nice blends out there that just plain make me feel good.

There’s also a hot bath. Some people like exercise. I recently started walking 5-6 nights a week on a new paved walkway in our town that’s about 4 miles. In all honesty I wouldn’t go if I didn’t have a friend that I go with and keeps me on track. Some nights I don’t feel like it and I get the text saying “7pm?” and I feel the guilt. But, I also do feel somewhat better afterward.

The problem with exercise, as anyone with fibromyalgia or RA can tell you is it’s damn hard when you’re hurting. My first three days of walking were horrendous. I didn’t feel like I could make it back the first night, and when I got home I was walking like a 90 year old person. It wasn’t pretty.

It has gotten easier now that I’m almost 3 weeks in (and I haven’t lost a damn pound but that’s a whole other discussion). But, there are days when it’s really hard to talk myself into going when I’m sore from fibro or my joints are stiff or swollen from RA.

I had the fabulous idea to race my 10 year old one evening and about 20 strides in I felt a stabbing pain in my hip so bad that I thought I was going to fall on the ground. I’m not even sure what happened but that took almost a month to feel better. It sucks to realize I can’t do stupid things like run with my daughter without completely hurting myself, but I’m managing to walk.

My other remedy is one that people in my life don’t approve of…Xanax. But since last summer I’ve suffered from terrible anxiety. I don’t always know why it hits or if it’s something in particular that brings it on. I mean, I’m sure it’s stress, but there isn’t always a specific reason. I’m not embarrassed to say I need to use Xanax to help when it gets bad.

If anyone can figure out how to be completely less free so they can have less flares, can they clue me in on their secret? I have yet to figure it out even with everything I’m currently trying.

 

The Appointment No One Wants

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If you’ve read my blog you might remember that I had genetic testing to see if I carried the gene for breast and ovarian cancer. Luckily I am not a carrier, which was a huge relief. I have long been afraid I’d die young like my mother did from ovarian cancer and I’d leave my kids without a mom.

Fast forward to last week when my breast hurt. I felt a little something but I also have my period so I figured it was likely cysts that come and go with cycles. I called and scheduled the appointment for a mammogram because I was 3 months overdue and my doctor also wanted to see me.

At the exam, she said it did not feel like anything scary, but more glandular. So I felt pretty okay about the whole thing…until this morning. I had my mammogram and ultrasound and they had me sit to have the radiologist look at it to see if they needed more pictures. They then took me back in for another mammogram and another ultrasound. Anyone who has had this kind of testing knows that isn’t good.

The radiologist did my ultrasound herself and said I had a few normal looking cysts but that there was an area of tissue on the mammogram that looked a little different from the rest of the tissue. She said they wanted me to have a biopsy but that they couldn’t do it at the office because the area was so tiny, they need to do it with a mammogram to get the right spot.

They asked me to wait outside the office for the scheduling secretary and I was still okay, until she came out and said my doctor always likes to see the report and choose where her patients go for further testing, but she wanted me to know that even if it was “something” it was so small and they caught it very early.

It wasn’t until that moment when she said “something” and “caught it early” that it hit me that omg she thought it could be cancer. I couldn’t stop a bit of waterworks, but it wasn’t too messy.

I now have a biopsy scheduled for Friday and then a few days of waiting before I know anything more. If nothing else, this blog tonight is to remind you to get a mammogram. I would not have gone today if I hadn’t had some pain and felt a tiny lump (the cyst).

I hate being in limbo with anything. I feel like I can handle things if I have a plan and right now there is no plan because I don’t know if it’s cancer or some weird tissue that looked different. Obviously, we’re hoping for the latter.

I won’t tell my kids until I have that answer, mostly because my son is turning 14 this year and is very scared that I’m going to die because my mom died when I was 14. The last thing I need is his mind wandering.

I’d appreciate it if you can keep me in your prayers and hopefully I won’t need to blog out a cancer journey, but if necessary, I’ll do what I need to do. Tomorrow’s blog will be much more uplifting. I will not be discussing any of our other summer hellish experiences for at least another day or two. My dog is in a cast. My daughter had staples in her head. But…we’re still kicking…well, except the dog. He’s not kicking anything while he’s in the cast.

 

 

Trigger Point Pain

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Trigger Point Chart

If you have fibromyalgia, you’ve heard the term trigger point. Trigger points are the 18 spots on your body that are painful when pressed. I look at the chart of where they are and I have tenderness in most of those areas, but the top of my trapezius muscles (located on the upper back where the shoulder meets the neck) get so tight that it brings on a migraine.

Actually when I read about it online, they often call them tension headaches when they start with knotted muscles. It’s like the chicken and the egg. Do the knots start the migraine or does the migraine cause the knots? I just don’t have that answer, but what I do know is, the top of my right shoulder all the up to the base of my skull on the right side is so tight and I can’t get much relief from anything I’ve tried.

I took a muscle relaxer an hour ago and some Alleve a few hours before that. I tried a hot bath and light stretching, but I’m still here unable to see out of my right eye from the pain. This is blogging dedication, my friends. Tonight I’m blogging with one eye open.

I have one of those portable tens units. First I bought one at Target and I found it to be very helpful in loosening the tight muscle but also relieving some of the pain. I have since upgraded to a model with much more oomph! I only need to turn it on low to have an impact.

The unit runs for 30 minute sessions and has a bunch of different settings. I’ve had it going on different settings for 4 consecutive sessions. My neck is still tight, but the vibrations from the unit are enough to mask the pain quite a bit and ultimately my muscles do loosen up from it.

I’m not sure if I’m supposed to use it for this length of time, but right now, it’s the only thing helping and I can’t see what harm it can do.

People who don’t get migraines have no idea how bad they can be. I love the people that ask if I’ve tried Advil or Alleve for relief. I do use those but they barely take the edge off.

Lately I feel like my headaches are more frequent and I’m not sure if it’s the weather pattern, hormones, stress, or something else, but it’s hell. I have my peppermint essential oil (yes, people still mock me for using those, but if it helps even a little, with a headache this bad, you try it).

It sounds weird but having a migraine is a very lonely feeling on top of painful. I feel very isolated from the people I love or from doing things I enjoy. There’s no easy way to explain to your kids how bad a migraine is. I remember when I was a child, my best friend’s mom used to get migraines. When we’d sing and get loud she’d yell, “I have a migraine” and I  thought she was just trying to shut us up. Little did I know how much we were probably annoying her and making her headache far worse.

Tonight I’m frustrated with my headache because it’s not going away. Today is day 2 and I just want to go to sleep and wake up headache free. I’ll say a little prayer, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

Until tomorrow…

 

Irrational Fear

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I don’t know whether it’s listening to all the news stories or terrorism, hate, and violence, but I’m becoming more and fearful of even normal things. I’m not sure it’s at the “I need a psychiatrist STAT” mode, but it’s enough that I check in with my kids a lot, I look around nervously when we’re in a crowd, and I lie in bed at need creating terrible scenarios in my head.

I guess I’m wondering how many people are dealing with similar issues. I don’t think I’m alone. These are scary times. I don’t want to get into a political debate but the current turmoil in our country is not helping.

If you take one look at Facebook you’ll scroll past people bashing President Trump followed by people saying horrendous things about “Libtards.” I’m wondering where we want wrong that the two sides are so far apart that we don’t even listen anymore.

I’m of the believe that 15% of the people on each side are extreme and the other 70% of us fall somewhere in the middle. While we may not agree or like Trump, we’re not pretending he isn’t president. Or while we may have strong beliefs about abortion, that doesn’t mean we can’t find common ground on other issues.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not seeing any of that at all. There’s not much in between, even at a local level. I have previously discussed the nightmare of politics in my small town. I won’t rehash it all as it’s been two years but when I attended a meeting this past week and realized things haven’t changed all that much.If thing scan’t change in a small town with so many people working for the betterment of schools and the community, how can we do it on a larger scale in the country?

But it’s not just politics that are causing my fear. I’ll be driving down the road and fear one of my cats got out and eaten by a bobcat. Or I get a strong feeling on our boat that it’s going to crash.

At the moment, I’m not stopping myself from doing things, but I’m also pretty okay staying home if I don’t need to go anywhere. I guess one could say these are irrational fears, but then I start to think, are they? There are people murdered every day. There is human trafficking, kidnapping, and so many other horrifying things going on and I’m here in my bubble.

I know enough psychology to know that my fears stem from losing people I love early in life and then again when I was a grown up. I’m afraid that something will happen to my kids and I won’t be there to protect them. How do you balance letting them grow up and holding on for dear life.

My kids are my everything. They are three very different little (not so little) human beings. My son is starting high school and I keep thinking I only have 4 more years with him at home. I’m NOT ready!

I’m not going to be a good empty-nester. I’ll be one of those women with 30 cats an a few dogs. I need to mother something! In the meantime, I need to find a way to push back the irrational (or even rational) fears standing in my way. I’m not afraid to say I’m scared. I just need to figure out some sort of plan of action (other than Xanax) when I’m a mess.

I’ll work on that. If you have better ideas, I’m happy to hear them!

Girl Drama

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My older daughter is turning 12 in two weeks. For those of you that have been there you probably know the signs. Going from 0 to 10 on the freaking out scale for no reason. Stomping around her room because she has “no clothes,” and sometime I’m just waiting for her head to spin.

Honestly, I’m pretty lucky. For the most part she is an even keel kid with a good head on her shoulders. I think being a child with dyslexia has made her work hard for her grades and in turn she knows that hard work will get her where she needs to be.

She has had the same core group of friends since kindergarten or first grade. I feel blessed that they are good kids. But now it’s middle school and life is changing. I’m proud of her for standing up for her friends when people are unkind, and in general she really hasn’t had any girl drama…until now.

My daughter is a quiet kid. She is busy with ballet several hours a week and spends several hours studying to keep up with her peers due to her disability (which we never refer to as a disability in this house).

In the past few weeks there is a girl that has gotten upset if she doesn’t have enough of my daughter’s attention. For example, my daughter was talking to her friend abut something that happened on the bus and this girl cried because they were leaving her out. This girl cried when my daughter’s friend offered her some potato chips, and then decided they were no longer friends and she wasn’t going to talk to my daughter again.

My daughter came home upset but we talked about it and I tried to explain that there are girls like this at 12 and there are women like this at 40. If someone brings drama into a friendship, it’s not worth your time. Surround yourself with people who make you happy. She seemed good with that talk, until she heard from other friends that this girl was telling mutual friends my daughter was bullying her.

Now I don’t live in a glass house and my children are not perfect. Every person who knows my daughter has burst out laughing at this, because she is one of the kindest souls you could meet. My two other children struggle a bit socially and if they feel hurt, they have been known to come back with some not so nice things…we are working on that. Again, not a perfect family, but my shy middle child is not a bully.

I let it go because my daughter knows she’s not a bully. She has friends that know she’s not a bully and I believe that we need to let our kids try and solve their problems as much as possible. That was working well for me until today when I found out the mother is telling people my daughter is a bully and mean.

Now I will say things here with unnamed people that I would never say to people I know, but this mom should really spend more time paying attention to her daughter’s needs and cries for help than worrying about my daughter. When her child is texting girls at a party that she is going to kill herself because she wasn’t invited and the party host’s mom calls the mom worried…and the girl’s mom laughs it off, that’s a fucking problem.

Sometimes we need to look at our own situations before we start casting blame. I’ve done it with my own son. My son has pushed away friends because he doesn’t know how to fit in and when he feels hurt, I’ve wanted to blame the other kids, but I do know my son is very much responsible for his actions.

That’s not to say I’d ever condone a child being mean. But when this girl tells two other girls at a party that the song they are singing sucks, and my daughter tells her that is rude and that makes her cry, I’m sorry…that doesn’t make my kid mean.

And for heaven’s sake if you have a problem with my kid how do you think going to other moms to talk about her is going to help? Are you trying to enlist other children against her? Because that’s super mature.

I’m sleeping well tonight because at the end of the day, my daughter has at least three friends she knows she can trust and count on. She knows they like her for who she is and she like them just they way they are.

If I’ve done anything right through this it’s that my usually shy and sensitive child really understands this isn’t about her as much as it’s about the other girl’s insecurities. I told her she could ask the girl what it is that she did that made the girl not like her, but I doubt she’d get a straight answer. I left that up to her whether it’s worth doing.

At 44, I don’t do dramatic people who suck energy out of you if you aren’t paying enough attention to them. She might feel differently at 12. We all have to learn out own way.

 

 

Politics: Tearing Relationships Apart

 

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It’s no secret that this country is the most divided it’s been in my lifetime. Frankly, I’m not sure how we’re going to fix that and I’m the first to admit, I have no ideas.

I’m a middle of the road kind of person. My social views are liberal so if the fact that I’m pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro- some kind of stronger background checks for guns, then I will understand if you want to stop reading. The difference I’m finding is, I have a deep respect for pro-life people. I see their side and do see where they are coming from. I don’t think a woman ever enters that decision easily.

I have two daughters and perhaps that has crafted out my view on the subject. If my daughter was raped and didn’t  Is want to have that baby, I would respect her decision and stand by her. If she chose to have the baby, I’d stand by her and help her in any way. Why? Because I love my daughter and I want her to make the best decision for her.

But I don’t think we’re really arguing about abortion and gun control at this point. I mean, those issues are on the table, but they aren’t the great divide. I think the great divide comes from not being able to listen to each other’s opinions.

I just had a rather large argument with my husband over the president’s decision to exclude some media outlets from his press conference. To me, that goes against everything America stands for. When we take away Freedom of the Press and the right to criticize the government, we start to move toward a scary path of dictatorship where we are told what news we can watch.

I don’t like that. My husband’s point was that Trump kicked them out because they aren’t reporting the truth. Is there media bias? Of course there is. But did Fox have anti-Obama stuff going on a loop over and over all day…yep! And that is their right to do. I wish we were back in a time where a reporter’s job was to report the news and not put their spin on it, but we’re not there.

In some ways it’s good that people have become passionate about what is going on in their country and some have learned how to contact senators, etc. But how do we get to a point where there is a compromise and we can work together?

I don’t think this current president will get us there. Whether he intended to or not, he incited a feeling that it was okay to want people of different race and religion out of the country. It gave white supremacists that had probably otherwise held their meetings in secret, a platform that it was not okay to speak.

In the next town over from where we live a Swastika was painted on a family’s house. While we  are Catholic (yeah, I’m a pro-choice Catholic, that’s between God and I), this incident bothered me a great deal. A friend of mine told me a story of when she was a little girl and the morning of Halloween she woke up to a Swastika painted on her door. She said it was the first time in her life she was afraid because of who she was and even embarrassed.

The newspaper did not release the name of the family but many in our community wanted to surround them with kindness and know that it’s a very few that that kind of hate. I do believe there is far more kindness than hate in the world.

Another issue I tried to bring up with my husband was President Trump’s decision to repeal something Obama put in place where people who were not able to take care of their own finances (another person had their financial guardianship because they were not capable of doing it) could now purchase guns again.

I think I mentioned before that we live minutes from Sandy Hook. My friend lost her daughter that day and my niece lost 11 friends. I don’t want to take guns away from responsible gun owners, but if a person isn’t capable of taking care of themselves how is it okay for them to own a firearm?

This is one issue my husband and I agree on. We actually both feel HIPAA should be thrown out the window if a person owning a firearm is admitting to a psychiatric facility, we think there should be a red flag if they are a gun owner. You can agree or not agree, but we have one side blaming guns and one side blaming mental health. We need to address both.

So what now… other than I’m sleeping in my daughter’s room while she’s at a sleepover and I’m too mad at my husband to talk to him. Do you think we can get back together as a country or are the conservatives and liberals so far apart at this point that it’s not going to happen?

One thing I really hate is seeing posts that start with “You stupid liberals…” as if all people with liberal views feel exactly the same on every issue. Have you ever met anyone that you agreed with on every single issue? I haven’t, but maybe that’s because I’m crabby and don’t like many people 😉

The hate between the two sides needs to subside before a real change can be made. If I had a clue how to make that happen I’d suggest it, but I don’t. I will say Trump supporters posting Anti-Muslim videos and Democrats posting anti-Trump everything isn’t helping. Kellyanne Conway…also not helping. Hello?? We’re concerned abut fake news and yet you have that woman go on the news shows and make shit up? Not helping.

The American people want the truth. They wanted an Education Secretary that has a clue about education. As someone who works as an advocate for children with special needs, Betsy DeVos frightens me. She has the potential to do a lot of damage. I think, in my eyes, if Trump had some cabinet choices that appealed to a wider range of people maybe it would be easier to come together. But hey, she donated a hell of a lot of money to the Republican party so who gives a shit that she knows nothing about public education?

I’d feel better about the president if he chose someone qualified.

I don’t know where we go from here, but it’s not getting better any time soon. Oh sure, my husband and I will talk at some point tomorrow when he stops being an ass and realizes that other people can have different opinions…but when is the rest of country going to catch n to that?

 

 

 

 

Blogging Is Hard

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I’ve written about 10 blogs since my last post. Most were about how hellish it was waiting for my genetic testing results. I decided they were all too boring and never posted them because I was whining. They told me the tests would take 3–5 weeks and I tried to be optimistic, which is not my strong point. I told myself I’d get the call in 3 weeks…then 4…then 5. Then I called to see if there was a problem, but nope. They just weren’t back yet.

Seven weeks later I got the call while I was teaching a class but I saw it was the hospital and answered it anyway. Happily I can report that my genetic testing is fine. I did not have the BRCA gene mutations or any of the other mutations they tested for. This was a HUGE relief.

I attributed my horrific anxiety to the waiting. Though I can’t say it was on my mind all the time, I figure subconsciously it was adding stress. I was waking up with panic attacks and that panic feeling would last all day unless I took a Xanax. I tried everything. Running (well as much as a girl with rheumatoid arthritis can run) did help.

I have one of those Couch to 5K apps and though I’m at a point where the running intervals are too long for me, I still keep going , or at least I was until the last two weeks. We’ve had temperatures over 90 every day and running doesn’t even remotely sound like fun. Instead, I spend 30 minutes swimming laps (again…RA girl, not a strong swimmer, sometimes with a damn pool noodle but kicking my legs the whole time and moving my arms). It’s enough to get my heart rate up and I’m doing something.

Even with that and the relief of my genetic testing news, I’m still struggling with my anxiety. I’ll hear the smallest thing and that will be it. Or sometimes it’s nothing specific and it will just come on out of nowhere.

I’ve been into my essential oils. I don’t want any of my doTerra friends to jump on me here because I love my doTerra oils, but I’m a broke girl…I found a few blends online that I have been diffusing that I think have really helped with my anxiety and they are like $4. I do think there is a correlation between scent and the mind. It doesn’t take the anxiety away, but it helps me.

My vent of the evening is probably one most people have at the moment. Have you had enough of people arguing politics on Facebook, Twitter, etc.? I try to stay out of it. Our country is in a scary place right now and I try and listen with an open mind when people talk. I can’t stand people who are so far in either direction that they can’t have a conversation and listen to someone else’s views. If that’s you, you are part of the problem. We need to get back to being able to listen and disagree without all hell breaking loose.

The Internet changed that for us. Memes changed that for us. We never had Bush/Clinton?Perot memes, but boy some of those would have been funny.

I have one Facebook friend who endlessly posts anti-Muslim things. I try to understand where it’s coming from and it’s a place of fear. She’s afraid for herself, her family, her country. I understand the fear. I don’t understand blaming an entire religion when we have many Muslim Americans fighting in our military against ISIS.

I don’t know that I’ve ever been political on this blog. I’ll probably get a slew of mean comments, and I guess that’s okay. People have their strong beliefs on what needs to be done. I’m one of those people that is somewhere in the middle. I think we have two crappy choices and need to decide who will be the lesser of the evils.

Maybe they are both great people. I am just not sure I think someone who gets into a 7 or tweet Twitter war with a celebrity in charge of when we declare war. On the flip side, there are huge trust issues with Hillary and I’m not sure she brings the kind of strong arm protection we need as a country right now.

What I’m trying to say is I have no freakin idea and I’m going to watch each and every debate. But anyone who thinks they are changing someone’s opinion with a meme on Facebook, I’m sorry. You are making yourself feel better about your decisions. That’s all.

So RA? How’s that? Well me sed rate is down. My C reactive protein is down so all that is good. Overall I feel well. It’s the summer. I do better in the warmth. I can swim, which helps. I have had a few days of stiffness and pain where I’ve needed some pain medication, but very little more than muscle relaxers and Alleve. I’m counting my blessings and taking the reprieve from the intense pain for as long as I can.

I hope my autoimmune friends are all doing well too!

 

Genetic Testing…Here We Go

I suppose it should be enough having rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. I suppose that added extras of Raynaud’s, migraines, insomnia, and hyper mobility are just things I’ve gotten used to. But when I went for my yearly gynecological exam this year, I was prepared when my doctor thought it was time for me to have a generic counseling session.

I had asked years ago about an elective hysterectomy since my mother died at age 43 of ovarian cancer, but I was told they usually wait until menopause. But for some reason when I mentioned that I was nervous this year because I just surpassed my mother’s life span it prompted her to want me to go.

So what do I do after making the appointment…it’s me…I research the hell out of everything. I thought they were testing from the BRCA 1 and BRCA2 gene mutations which are linked to ovarian and breast cancer. I had my meltdown. Not because I was afraid of a hysterectomy. I think I’ve always kind of been ready for that after I was done having kids, but when I started reading how many people were going the whole Angelina Jolie route and also having the double mastectomy as a preventative surgery.

I don’t have breast cancer in the family, but the genetic counselor did say that usually by the time ovarian shows up on an ultrasound, it’s stage 2 cancer and aggressive. I’m okay with the hysterectomy. What I hadn’t thought about is that there is a 50% chance that if I have the gene, that I passed it on to my kids.

As a mom, you feel you can take on anything, but not my kids. The thought of my kids getting sick, or not being able to have babies is devastating. I know that even by then there will more advancements but I’m scared.

I had my blood drawn on Monday and they said it would take about 5 weeks. It usually takes 3, but since I have primary and secondary insurance it would take a little longer. I’m trying to focus on the good in my life and not the possibility of surgery.

I just had a clear mammogram and my pelvic ultrasound showed a cyst on my left ovary which isn’t a new thing. With PCOS, it’s a common thing, actually. They’ll recheck it in a month.

I don’t know if anyone reading the blog has been through the genetic testing or a complete hysterectomy. But any insight into recovery is appreciated. Feel free to message me through the blog if you are uncomfortable commenting publicly. I just want to know how long I’m going to be down with a laporospic surgery. I have a lot of reading to do in 5 weeks but nothing beats a first hand story.

I actually thought I was walking around doing really well ignoring my wait for the results until my phone just rang and I saw the genetic counselor on the Caller ID. My heart dropped thinking if she was calling this soon it was bad, but instead she needed another number off my insurance card that was messed up on her copy. Way to give a girl a heart attack.

This is going to be a long five weeks.

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