I’m Coming Back

Remember a few years back when I won the Listserve? I’ve been invited to submit to Kleroteria, one of the Listserve’s successors.

As I lay in bed waiting for this headache and dizziness to pass, I decided to look up my Listserve post. Would you believe that I didn’t share it here? I could have sworn I did. And the link to the Listserve archives is dead. I probably have a copy in my email somewhere, but…meh.

Besides, things are so different from then. That was definitely a huge part of the pull to reread it, but still. It can’t possibly have any bearing on what I’d say to the world today. Could it?

I know I’m all over the place, but I miss you. I miss writing. I have so many things to catch you up on. We’re old friends, and it’s time to have that leisurely lunch where we reminisce and update each other on our lives.

So I’m coming back.

I’ll start cramming writing in my planner, somewhere between self portraits and mask Wednesdays.

Also, hey, what’s up, I’m still alive in spite of having even more cancers removed since I was here last.

Love y’all.

See you soon.


Microblog Monday but on Wednesday

Hey y’all, I just wanted to drop a quick note wishing everyone a happy holiday season!

I hope everyone has a happy new year and may we all live in splendor in 2021. ❤️

P. S. Don’t waste your money on WW84, it broke my heart.


The New Addition

Toby

Three and a half weeks ago we saw him for the first time—a filthy, scrawny tuxedo kitten wandering the neighborhood alone. We tried to catch him with love and food, and when that didn’t work and a kid from down the street guaranteed that she could catch him if we gave her a towel, we took her up on the offer.

Thirty minutes later, we had a new baby.

We named him Toby. Toby Toe Beans, Tobes, Toblerone. He’s a super sweetie pie who purrs in seconds when you snuggle him into your chest.

The next morning we took him to the vet who confirmed his scrawniness but verified that he was relatively healthy and would be fine soon with a good home. He took his first shots like a champ.

His current room is our shower stall, complete with food, water, bed, and a small foil pan for a litter box. We quarantined him for five days before introducing him to the family, but we still lock him up in the shower overnight and when we’re both at work. Another week and he should be fine with everyone except my mother’s cat who hates anyone who isn’t my mother.

We learned yesterday to take the shower stool out of the shower, though. We’d left it in for a hiding spot, but yesterday morning I woke up to a little baby on my cover. He’d jumped from the stool to the shower caddy to the top of the shower doors, where he knocked nearly everything down but made it safely to the floor. Then he squeezed under the bathroom door, and he was out.

What an adorable little handful.


Pain Management

Okay, so I told you that in January I got a neurostimulator implant, by March the leads had moved to ineffectiveness, and in June I had it removed because the battery pack was causing pain.

Does that sound like something you’d want to do again?

Seriously though, when I did the trial a year ago, and we found that magic spot where my pain was almost completely gone—thinking about that makes it all seem worth a shot. I just don’t know.

Pros: possibly pain relief

When I put it like that, well, it doesn’t seem worthwhile at all. Obviously there are no guarantees; there are never guarantees. The cons list is so much longer:

  • Possibly no relief
  • Infection
  • Migration
  • Rejection
  • Increased pain

I’m waiting in the exam room now. I made a diagram of where my pain and numbness are and where it feels different. Wish me luck.


So It’s Been a While

I know. I’ve been MIA for nearly two years unless you’re connected with me on Facebook or Instagram. But hey, I’m still alive.

What’s happened since we last spoke, you ask?

  • Hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy in June 2019 for the fist sized tumor on my ute. The surgeon also confirmed that I have endometriosis to go along with that PCOS. Post surgical complications included a giant hematoma without internal bleeding, and a blood clot in my hand from the IV site. The highlight would have to be the doctor sternly telling me at one of my followups: nothing in your vagina for ten weeks or your guts will fall out.
  • When I started having trouble with pills getting stuck in my throat I saw my horrible endocrinologist again. My thyroid was deviating my esophagus. I got a thyroid ultrasound, and that led to a fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy. I was fully awake, I just got some anesthetic injected into my throat—in the wrong place, so I completely felt the first few needles shoved into my thyroid until I got some more anesthetic. They referred me to my third oncologist who removed the left lobe of my thyroid in January 2020. That tumor was benign.
  • My primary care doctor tried treating the post thoracotomy pain I have, then my main onco tried, then he referred me to pain management. When I first saw them in November 2019 I’d already tried every common chronic pain drug except Lyrica, which insurance didn’t want to cover. I agreed to a neurostimulator trial and nerve block. The first nerve block didn’t help, but it didn’t hurt either. The trial stim was basically a tens unit where the leads were inserted into my spine and taped securely. The battery and control pack was on a belt I wore constantly for six days (no showers). I had a remote to change settings at the direction of my assigned company rep, who I was in touch with multiple times a day, every day. On day five we found a setting that took my normal pain level of 7-8 down to 0-1. Oh my god, it was amazing. Then they pulled it out and it hurt again.
  • Also in January 2020, I had surgery for a permanent neurostimulator. This one was the leads in my spine again, but sewn in “real good”, and then the wires tunneled under the flesh of my back to the pocket they made in my right hip, where they put the battery pack. I got a charger pad to put on the skin over the battery pack and a much sleeker remote. Unfortunately, I’m guessing something was not entirely sterile in the OR, because I had an infection in the upper site less than two days post op, before I’d even taken off the bandages. I ended up in the hospital for three days on IV antibiotics and pain meds. It hurt pretty dang bad. The hospital didn’t have any PCA pumps, so I got several injections of a super fancy anesthetic directly in and around my surgical wound. It was much better after that. Then we turned the stim on. We were still trying to find a good setting at my next X-ray when—guess what. The leads were no longer in place. Less than six weeks after surgery, they were several inches lower than they were placed. Since it was too low to help anymore, we turned it off and I forgot about it until…
  • The battery back started hurting like fire ants inside my body, so on June 3rd pain management yanked it all out. Since then I’ve had several nerve blocks in different spots that have not helped but actually hindered. I go back to pain management Friday to discuss one last nerve block before possibly trying another neurostimulator.

But I really need to talk that through before committing, so here we are, back at the blog like cancer never happened.

What’s new with you?


The Return

Y’all, I went back to work tonight, six weeks and one day post-op. I talked to my manager Monday about working short shifts today and tomorrow to make sure I can hang, so tonight I worked a little over four hours.

Fortunately we were pretty busy–yay for tax season! Everyone was so happy to have me back and so overprotective.

I had planned to take a bath when I got home, but I didn’t expect to get home so late, so I just took a shower and laid in bed for about half an hour until Ian got home.

I am so pleased with how I feel! As I hoped, I feel so much better after a few hours of constant activity. I took deliveries and did dishes and that’s about it. It’ll still be a long time before I make dough, since a full batch weighs nearly 80 pounds and I’m currently lifting in the less than 20 pounds range.

Good times.