Wednesday, February 14, 2007


....all my troubles seemed so far away.....

Ok, I just like that song. But, to give an update, my cancer tests came back ok. But that proverbial can of worms has somehow opened itself up again. I remain cancer free, but have developed some other issues that really just piss me off more than anything, but here it goes.

My oncologist ordered a few extra tests for me. One was to test how much, if any, estrogen I have in my system. If you remember I am in a study where my ovaries are shut down each month, hence, no estrogen. The red flag was the ovarian cyst for my onc and he wanted to be sure the shots were doing what they were supposed to do. I haven't gotten those results yet. He also ordered a bone density test to make sure that my being in menopause hasn't effected my bones. It hasn't. In fact I have "very good bones". The one ray of light of the conversation I had with him today. Then he asked if I had fasted for the blood test. I said yes, not really wanting to hear what was next. He said, "Hmm. We have a problem." You see, my cholesterol was high (260) especially my triglycerides ('s supposed to be under 150). Oh crap. I got the lecture on eating habits, exercise, all the boring stuff in life. He mentioned some things to avoid in my diet, things to make sure I have, and the idea of going to a dietitian. I couldn't help but look on my desk at work at the zip-loc bag of after dinner mints, which I love with all that I am.

"So, this bag of dinner mints on my desk?"

"Yeah, not a good thing."

Son of a gun! then he started talking about ice cream and red meat, and I heard ringing in my ears. Damn it all to hell! It bothered me the rest of the day, and then something clicked.

I remembered what Dion and I had for dinner the night before. It was a late dinner, about 7:30pm, and we went out to eat since we didn't have the girls. We went to Godfather's Pizza, and oh my lord, the pizza was delicious, but not as good as the cheesy garlic bread, which wasn't as good as the dessert pizza. Seriously, if you are in town, remind me to take you to Godfather's, you will not be disappointed. So, as my last ditch effort, I placed a call to my doctor to ask if what I had the night before played a part in my horrible numbers. Grasping at straws? Maybe, but I love those dinner mints!

I had someone tell me today that it seems like a lot is happening to me health wise, and I agreed. Then she said, "Well, at least the cancer stuff is ok." I had to reply that while that was true, a lot of the issues I am having can go back to the cancer. So if I didn't have cancer, I don't think my dinner mints would be at stake here. And I am not lying, my onc said that Tamoxifen (one of the drugs I am on) can cause the triglycerides to go up. Yes, that's it. It's the Tamoxifen.

We also talked about my upcoming surgery...damn it...procedure. He wanted me to be 100% informed of the long term risks of having my ovaries out which come down to osteoporosis and heart problems. He was pretty stern about these things because I would be going into menopause about 10-15 years before the average bear. Now, you may be asking, like I did, about the study that I am in, and he said by doing the study, they will know if 5 years is a good amount of time to be in menopause with ER+ breast cancers. And by the way, I would still be involved in the study, I just wouldn't have to go to Mayo every month for my shot.

It was at this point that we all kind of just looked back and forth at each other. I wasn't sure what to say. All I know is that I am tired of all these things that I am doing to keep cancer at bay, ends up causing 2 or 3 other health problems. Chemo: can cause cancer. Radiation: can cause cancer. Herceptin: hard on the heart. Tamoxifen: cholesterol. When does it end? When do I do something to fight cancer, and it is actually 100% good for me?

My onc asked if he had muddied the waters up, and I told him he did a bang up job of it. I understand and appreciate why he was telling us all of this. I want to be informed. I want to know the risks. I want to know the benefits. I need to know.

But on a lighter note, I always tease Dr G (onc) about his having 20 kids, in which he gets mad and says no, only 4. Well, wouldn't you know it, his wife is due in May. I said,

"See? You're well on your way to 20 kids."

Another chuckle moment. He was doing an exam and asked if I had had my right side removed and reconstructed, and I looked at Dion and said,

"Hey, that's a good thing that he can't tell, eh?" Then I thought for a moment and added, whilst looking at Dr G, "Well, actually, maybe it's not."

He giggled for a fraction of a second, then straightened up and said,

"No comment."

I just love him. He is not only a good oncologist, but he's a good guy. He tried to explain one of the blood test results, and told us that he didn't know a lot about the test, but he knew yadda yadda yadda about it and how it effects me. He has no problem admitting when he doesn't know something, and has no problem asking for the opinion of other people. And he makes me laugh, which is very important to me. I need to laugh.

So there you go. A long winded post about me and my problems which never seem to go away. Oh, and I am also changing anti-depressants so we'll see how that goes. Yikes. Hopefully Dion doesn't bare the brunt of that fun adventure.

1 comment:

Shari said...

I love that song, too. (The Beatles, right?)

Cancer. That ugly word. My mom had a benign tumor taken out of her breast when I was 16. She was in her late 40s.

My maternal great aunt had leukemia. This is the only thing I know about cancer in our family.

I worry about cancer. There is another Usher Syndrome person I know who had cancer and all that chemo affected her eyes and now she lost all her remaining signt. Scary.

Lots of things cause cancer. Burnt food. (the black stuff are carcingenic.) Dying your hair. (I dye my hair.) Getting a tan. Scary.

Glad to see that you are cancer-free. Isn't that something that the drugs that help you have some possible side effects or that cause some other problem? Crazy.