There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Enough said. Let's put this lump to bed.

Patient Name:

Lucas-Olsen, Rosemary (Female)

Left breast biopsy (oriented lumpectomy for margin evaluation):
-  Benign breast tissue with nonproliferative fibrocystic changes 
and focal fat necrosis;
 negative for atypical epithelial or 
stromal proliferative changes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I have to do what?

I recently got some good advice.  Angela (aka Hat) told me to Watch out for potholes.  jp (aka jp)essentially said If Louie doesn't pay rent he needs to be evicted.

I saw Dr. Kanning yesterday.  He was surprised, as was his nurse, that I was able to receive my biopsy results last Friday (someone needs to do a little office investigating).  We did a high five over the results and then it was all seriousness again.  While this is good news, it isn't all of the news.  I still have to have an excisional biopsy/lumpectomy in case fat ass Louie isn't just a fat, lazy necrotic lump.  That will happen this Friday.

OK, here is the deal.  We have to arrange with the hospital for you to go to radiology and have a wire placed.  They will secure it really well and then you have to have Steve drive you to the surgery center for the procedure.  Here is the consent and it covers anything extra I might have to do like take sentinel nodes.

Wait a minute; back up.  Steve has to drive me to the surgery center?  Just where is it?  I thought it was in the hospital.  What am I supposed to wear to this dance? 

Oh, it's just up 200.  You know where Paul Bunyan the burger place is?  It's right thereJust wear something that opens in the front.  I estimate it is a good 8-9 miles away.  I'm going to have to go shopping for proper attire because of course, I won't be wearing a bra.

After that it was a full explanation of how the wire will be placed.  The wire is actually flexible; it's the insertion sheath that is as big as a roofing nail.  The wire will be placed right where Louie is living and then other implements of torture will be used to "open you up" and take the lump and surrounding tissue.  I'm still not sure what the wire is for....maybe to be sure the doc slices and dices me in the exact spot. 

The nurse gave me a bottle of special shower stuff to use the night before and morning of.  Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the day of and then there is the whole Plavix bullshit. Dr. Kanning gave one set of instructions, Dr. Jenkins, my cardiologist, gave another.  I'm going with Dr. J.

So, off we will go at 9am on Friday to check in at the hospital.  The wire placement is supposed to be over by 11 and then, watching for potholes, it is off to the surgery center for the eviction notice to be carried out.  After that it waiting for yet another set of biopsy results and hopefully the end of this little breast drama. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Secrets revealed

Ummm, because I have access to my health records and I get a little email telling me when results, documents, bill issues are posted by the this case Dr. Kanning....I read this right now. Yup...I'm a fatty necrosed boob woman! I'll still see him Monday at 9:15, I'll still have to have the lump taken out, but my God....this is a HUGE stressor removed!  Of course I am assuming all of this pending the surgery pathology results. But, for now, YEA!!!!! Thank you all for being so supportive.
I do wonder if the office knows this happens.  Had this been horrible news....well, it isn't so.....

I copied and pasted so, sorry for the way it reads.



09/17/2015 11:25

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Twilight Zone

Over the last 5 years I have thought about death; my death to be precise.  I'm not afraid of the actual process of dying.  I've seen peaceful and horrible deaths and I think I know what to expect.....well, unless I go out in Thelma and Louise fashion, and even then the great accident of 2005 might have been a small version/vision of that. 

I want to live long enough to see Sachiko achieve her dream of becoming an astronaut, see Spencer become a man, have my great grand children old enough to remember me.  I will be 71 in a few months and for at least the last five years I was pretty sure I would see all of those things happen.  My mom was 75 when she died, my dad 83.  Average those out and I get 79.  That's not long enough to achieve those event markers if I think that my longevity is entwined with my parents by a number.   

I've blogged in the past about a few of my weird wonderings, but here is the biggest mind wondering.  How is it possible that my thoughts, feelings, emotions, all that my mind energy....just go pouf.  I fully understand the chemistry of the body, the slowing down, aging, wearing out of my body in particular. mind has put out my energy, my essence into the world.  I realize that I will live on in my children, grandchildren and others long after I am scattered in the wind, but that's not what I am talking about.  I'm talking about my actual thoughts, memories, emotions. 

I'm an important person...well, to a relatively small audience anyway.  I am loved by a lot of people.  I am a wife, mom, Gigi, friend and enemy. I have a good sense of humor, I can sing, I wrote a children's book, I can kill a level 4 Sudoku, I am compassionate...what happens to all of that?  How can my absolute love of music, the written word, my happiness, sadness, the love I feel for my family and friends just be gone.  Do I get days taken away for being an aggressive driver, for not returning phone calls sometimes, for lying to my mom when I was 16? I wonder if everyone feels like I do.  

I am a fallen away/down/failed Catholic.  I'm not sure what I believe in anymore.  I pray when things get bad.  I am calmed by the prayers I learned in childhood, but I'm not sure who I am praying to.  I believe that Jesus was a Godly man just like Buddha, Allah, Hari. But, over the decades I have come to not necessarily question, but again, wonder about the trinity, the virgin birth and if God is really up there beyond the clouds.  And, then there is hell, purgatory, confession and on and on.  I wonder. 

I can't really put any faith I reincarnation because if anyone was going to come back into my life it would have been my Italian mom to tell me when I was overweight or my hair looked like a Brillo pad. I had a weird experience once with my dad after he had been gone for a while. I was in So Cal living in Covina in a house that my dad had never been in.  I was up on the back of the couch dusting the pictures on the wall and there was a large, oval mirror that had hung in a house that dad had been in.  As I inched closer to the mirror I had the feeling that if I looked in it I would see my dad.   I didn't, but, every now and then that same feeling comes over me....the mirror is hanging in the upstairs living room here, in Idaho, where my dad has never been.

I wonder about other things: Do cars and planes upset the balance of the world with their movement through air, fog or rain and snow, do trees have feelings when we cut them down or just limb them, do the stupid turkeys feel hurt when I yell fuck you go shit somewhere else, do my cats really know when I am feeling sad and lay on my chest or are they afraid I will forget to fill the feeders.....silly stuff, but, I think about those things. 

I have come to realize that I am not a horrible person, a failed parent or a bitch of a wife (most of the time). I guess I am spiritual and maybe I am looking for a way to cover all of my bases when it comes to dying.....but.....I really have to wonder about the fairness of death when I have put so much energy into living. 

I have no clue why I rambled on like this.  I started the post before the date with Dr. Kanning.  He was all business today and no warm, fuzzy stuff at all.  He explained the biopsy....numb with a needle poke and sting, he showed me the biopsy needle....big....explained the procedure, used ultra sound to find Louie, took 4 samples, I got a Band-Aid and compression pads to put on the incision...teeny, tiny one...wear my bra for a few more hours....torture.....come back Monday for results....and then there is the overwhelming stuff.  Surgery is penciled in for the 25th.  If the results come back positive that may change to coordinate with nuclear med ( to run a wire he said).  I will have a lumpectomy and sentinel nodes taken too.  If the biopsy comes back negative surgery will still happen to take the lump and more tissue to run pathology to be absolutely sure that it isn't cancer.  In the middle of all of this is the bullshit with my Plavix....and that is way too complicated right now to even try and figure out.  I feel overwhelmed, will talk to my daughter and step-daughter tonight, will not tell my sons at all until I know for sure I am either not OK or I am OK. 

I did not know that one in three women over 65 that get breast cancer have no family history.  Most breast cancers occur in older women yet studies are done on women usually under 40.  I am not under 40 for sure and there is no breast cancer in my family....lots of other cancers like lung, bowel, pancreatic and breast cancer. 

So, life goes on, I have to wait until Monday to know where this journey is going and then maybe I still won't know.  Right now there aren't enough rooms for me to vacuum or trees for me to talk to.  I might have to resort to washing the fucking windows. BTW, I have no clue how to make my blog friends posts show updated on my sidebar nor can I figure out how to upload photos...fuck blogger.

Monday, September 07, 2015

rosemary twitchel wanders

It's Labor Day weekend.  It has rained since Friday.  Bet there are a lot of unhappy campers right about now as they break down camp and head home to start another work week.  We did the same things we always do holiday or work, cleaned the garages, went to the dump;  retired people stuff.

I'm not sleeping well at all.  I do that a lot.  I lay in bed for hours thinking about all kinds of random things.  Other nights I roam around in the dark with Emma and Guido following me like puppycats. I try to not turn on the computer because then I will never get to sleep.  Last night I turned it on.

The blogs I regularly read are pretty much brilliant; book material.  The writers are absolute wordsmiths; creative, funny, serious, deep thinkers, artists.  In all the years I have been blogging I have never hit the next blog function; last night I did.

I did not know there were blogs about guns, fishing, surfing, liars and cheaters, disgruntled employees, boaters, bow and arrow hunters, inventors hawking products, divorcees, and on and on.  I figured there were cooking blogs, informational blogs and entertainment blogs, but people write about everything....every little thing.  People spill their guts, tell some of the most private things in their lives in blogs.  Me?  I will always keep those most horrible parts of me for me.  And, I am not a writer, not that I ever thought I was. I was a nurse.

I wanted to be a doctor when I started high school.  That was quickly dismissed after getting a D in beginning A&P.  Then there is the story of how I ran into the asshole that became my first husband the second semester of freshman year. I had met him the summer before I had started high school. Long story not even worth wasting my time to write about.  We did have two pretty spectacular kids though. 

Aside from being extremely proud of my children, I am proud of the nurse I was.  I had more compassion for my patients than 10 nurses combined.  I was smart, kept up on all of the latest treatments and devices and got as far in school as taking a few Master's classes.  I never complained about my assignments....really, never.  I loved bedside care (other RNs called it Primary Care...whoooo), could start IVs when other nurses failed, put in a zillion PICC lines, took care of AIDS patients when no one else would, cried with families and actually still keep in touch with two wives of my patients.  I cleaned shit off of who knows how many butts, backs, bellies, private parts and a wall or two, helped take a carrot out of a man's rectum, a roll on deodorant bottle out of another, and then there was the alcoholic patient with the alcoholic friend who thought it would be funny to put a goldfish in an IV bottle (this was pre plastic bag fluids), and then yell because the fucking fish died.  I worked on an Ortho/Neuro floor and we were the dumping ground for isolation patients and ER DNR overflow.  I saw it all; the best and the worst of the human condition.  And I met Steve. Oh, the stories I could tell.  ~Sigh, memories~

I looked up all kinds of breast info last night.  See, Louie the Lump is acting weird.  Sometimes I can't feel it at all, sometimes it feels smaller, sometimes it is the same.  Whatever; Louie gets needled on the 15th. Steve is really over me constantly asking him to see if Louie feels the same or different.  I've never known nor asked if Steve is a boob or ass or some other body part man, but he for sure isn't a boob man now. 

It's 5:06 PM PDT.  I'm in my jammies and ready for bed. 

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Ok. Wait.

Every new lump is breast cancer until I can prove otherwise.

I've had three superficial breast cancer patients this year that did not have their masses show up on mammography, so consider finding it on ultrasound a positive.

I don't do the biopsy and removal at the same time.  If the biopsy comes back positive then I would just have to go back in and take lymph nodes and possibly more tissue.

I talked to Dr. Jenkins and here is the plan for your Plavix.....take it through the 9th, stop, biopsy on the 15th and back on it the 17th.

Cancer cells double in 150 days.  So, even having the biopsy done on the 15th gives us lots of time.........Well, what if the lump has been there longer than my finding it;  then what?  It makes it easier to find. 

That's it for now.  I'll see you on the 15th.  Don't let this get you down. You two seem like really cool people.  We'll take care of this.  Breast cancer is curable.

I made him laugh when he was examining me.....I told him I was the vision of a Phyllis Diller comment she made about her aging breasts.....they were 36 longs. 

I fell apart in the elevator.  Steve isn't talking much.