Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fast forward to my rocker

Today as I dropped the kids, went to the doctor, and ran errands with my oxygen tank I realized I am on fast forward to my twilight years. This all began before the pneumonia when I went to the gyno for my yearly check up. I have been tested to verify early menopause, they want to do a bone scan for osteoporosis, do the baseline mammogram, and check out my ovaries. Next I land myself this lovely oxygen tank to sport around town. And finally the kicker is I am having problems with my hearing. I went to see the doctor today and she doesn't think its ear wax as I suspected but possible hearing loss. I go see my ENT on Friday to get to the bottom of it. So potentially I could be a 32 year old women with an oxygen tank, ear aide, and on estrogen. Dave's response was hurry up and go get your teeth checked so we can avoid dentures. Gotta love my husband.

This is all just comical. It cannot be anything else at this point. If I don't laugh then I might stop and really think about everything then loose my mind. I can handle the physical but I insist on keeping my sanity.

I will let everyone know whats up with the hearing as soon as I find out. But in the meantime speak up when you see me and please no smoking, static electricity, or open flames near my tank. I would hate to cause and explosion!

Saturday, July 28, 2007


I am happy to be home. Alex and I both got back to the house yesterday afternoon. Dave made us pasta for dinner and we all sat at the table for a meal - FINALLY!

The doctors sent me home with oxygen support. My oxygen levels are good when I am sitting still and mildly active. Once I really start moving about they drop so the oxygen helps. Hopefully I can get my lungs cleared up by my appointment next Thursday so we can get rid of the tanks and machine. Having the oxygen stuff in the bedroom isn't ideal. Plus nothing like mommy making pancakes with a tank on her back. Sometimes I just stop and marvel at what the hell this cancer stuff has done to my body. Lee of course thinks all the tanks are super cool and want me to use them all the time.

We are talking about what to do for Alex's first birthday party. Actually we are debating the theme. Dave wants Dinosaurs or Bulldozers. The kids and I want Winnie the Pooh. Once Alex starts talking these discussions are going to get interesting. I don't think Lee and Charlotte are prepared for him to have an opinion. And knowing Alex he is definitely going to express himself - the boy isn't shy.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Going home

Finally they are releasing me. Oddly enough I had the nicest room for this hospital stay; a corner suite overlooking the inner harbor. Maybe they saved the best for last and I shall never return.

So I had my second bronoscopy yesterday. I don’t remember a darn thing and love the anesthesiologist. The docs got what they needed and again it is a waiting game to see if any valley fever grows. In the meantime, I get to go home and wait for any fungus and bacteria to grow in the depths of this hospital. I can’t imagine having that job. My cough is getting better and I can breathe sitting around without oxygen assistance so there is no need to keep me. My oxygen levels drop a bit when I am active so I think they are going to hook me up with a tank at the house. I have to stay on my meds for a couple of weeks and have some follow up appointments and scans. I suppose I need to follow doctors and mom/dad/mom in law/dad in law orders to chill out for while. It is always hard to chill when you have 3 kids at home. Thankfully Alex’s daycare provider is back next week and preschool is open. I can squeeze in some downtime in between kid duty.

I am still striving to get back to the office – at least part time. I feel like it is this last hurdle I need to jump to get back on the path of normalcy. Not to mention I have the best co workers/office/director in the world to be so darn patient with me. It would be nice to go back and actually do my job for them.

Dave is home for about a week before he has to travel again. It will be nice to have all 5 of us at home for a little while. It seems like summer is slipping away and Lee will be off to kindergarten way too soon. When did my baby get old enough to ride a school bus without me?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I am back online thanks to the best father in law in the world! Dan brought me the connection today and I finally feel like I am connected to the universe again. What did people do before the internet?Thanks to my sister for doing the quick update all the way from Moscow. So my pesky little cough that worsened after vacation has turned out to be pneumonia. I have the Bone Marrow Transplant Team, Infectious Diseases Team, and Pulmonary Team all on the case to figure out what the heck is causing this infection. Is it fungal or bacteria? Could it possibly be Valley Fever? With all these white coats you would think I would have an answer after 6 days in the hospital – but nope not yet. I get to get my second bronoscopy (spelling???) tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully they can get a good piece of this crap from my lung, set it in a dish to grow for a couple days and get a final diagnosis. My first procedure was a bust – the usual not enough pain/twilight meds and I woke up during it feeling like they were suffocating me to death. Fun times! Tomorrow they promise to knock me out.Of course the timing of this hospital stay was awful and I missed Charlotte’s 4th birthday. I get the award for worst mom of the year for this stunt. I missed the pool party, decorations, cake – all that priceless stuff you just can’t get back. Dave and the kids are managing. Lee of course is most aware, sensitive, and upset. Charlotte is saving me a piece of cake. Alex is hanging out with Louise since his daycare provider is on vacation (jeez again with bad timing). So my hopes of returning to a normal life and work on Monday are down the tubes. The doctors will barely give me an estimate on when I am getting out of the hospital let alone a date to return to work. I really didn’t expect this hospitalization and thought my time in the joint was way behind me. Just when you think you are out of the woods………So back to baby steps and hoping my procedure tomorrow goes well and I get home for the weekend. I will deal with the rest of my life after that.

In the Hospital Again

For all of you wondering where in the world Heather is ... she was admitted to the hospital last week for a lung infection. Despite having been in for nearly a week (and sadly missing Charlotte's fourth birthday), the physicians do not know exactly what type of infection it is or what to do about it. The possibility of lung cancer was raised and then discarded (THANK YOU GOD) and now the physicians are trying to rule out the possibility that Heather contracted Valley Fever when she visited Arizona at the beginning of the month. I doubt it is Valley Fever, because my understanding as a former Arizonan is that one would have to go dirt biking in the desert and maybe lick the desert floor in order to contract this - but, hey, I am not a doctor. Given that Heather hates staying in the hospital, she is pretty frustrated with the lack of both a diagnosis and prognosis. I think comic relief is the order of the day so give her a ring on her cell if you have a second! Michele

Monday, July 16, 2007

Home again, home again.....

The kids and I are back from our vacation to my Dad's in AZ and the OuterBanks with the Zeitlin clan. I think we are all happy to be home in our own beds with familiar surroundings. Only thing that sucks is our AC died while we are away and I had to bunk at my moms for a night. Of course the AC went out while Dave was out of town....why does everything happen when Dave travels?

We had a wonderful time hanging out in the pool in AZ, seeing all the cousins and just relaxing. Lee and Charlotte's swimming ability has greatly increased from all the time we have spent in the water this summer. They dived right into the pool the first night we arrived - straight off the plane. I think it was about 11 PM our time but it didn't stop them from swimming.

My cough continued throughout my trip to AZ and upon my return my docs put me on steroids to help repair my lungs. I guess all that radiation has damaged them and I need to get on the mend. The drugs are helping but the cough is still lingering a bit. I hate steroids but must admit I will trade in taking them for clean scans any day. My radiation oncologist confirmed that the nodes in my left armpit did not grow and he feels that they are nothing to worry about for the time being. We can write it off as inflammation from the shingles.

So I am resting up before I return to work and trying to get rid of this cough. It is worst at night and in the morning. Not the best time to be hacking while I am trying to deal with the kids. I go back to Hopkins Monday for a follow up on the cough, my counts, and oxygen levels. I just want to get this all taken care of so I can get back to work and have a normal energy level again.

Charlotte Marie celebrates her fourth birthday this Sunday so I need to hurry up and get into bday mode! I will post more pictures of the beach later.