Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Insert Witty Title Here:

I’m going to make a quick post – I’m really tired tonight and I just took some pain pills, so I will be fading fast! I spent about 2 ½ hours in the doctor’s office today and most of that time was spent sleeping, for me at least. For my scans I had to have an IV of this radioactive sugar mixture. Apparently my veins are very stubborn and the lady had to flick the fool out of my arm to get it to cooperate. Seriously, she tried to get the one in my elbow to work with about 5 minutes of flicking; all the while my arm was tied with the elastic and she’s telling me to pump my fist. Then, she decided she would move to my wrist. This involved another five minutes of flicking and now I have a nice little bruise in the area. Have I mentioned I don’t like needles? Yeah, sitting there with an IV in my wrist definitely made my stomach churn. After she got the IV in and taped up, it leaked when she put the saline in, so she had to rip the tape off – along with it lots of arm hair - and wiggle it around and then tape it back down. So, all in all, not a good first IV experience.

Side Note: I think I fixed the problem everyone was having with posting comments. At least I hope I did. Let me know if it still doesn't work!

I got a shot to dry up my head and neck area to make the pictures better. My sinuses and throat are still really dry from it, and it should have worn off a few hours ago! So, after I got my IV and my shot, I crashed out on the big comfy recliner they had me set up in because I had to wait an hour for my glow in the dark juice to get through my body. The scans only lasted about 30 minutes, but I could not sleep because the board I was laying on was about the size of a balance beam. They also put a tracer through my IV for the CT scan. That was weird! It definitely makes you feel like you have just gone to the bathroom all over yourself! Sorry. I guess I should leave bodily fluids out of this. The second full body scan was a little better because I had a pillow and there wasn’t a strap across my forehead but my arms were above my head and they fell asleep after about the first 30 seconds.

After we were done, me, mom and Warner went to Casa Maria’s for lunch – I love their guacamole salad and chips and salsa. Yes, that’s right, I eat chips and salsa with a huge ulcer in my mouth – it’s only because I can feel no spice related pain on that side. Then we went shopping at the mall for a little bit.

My dentist, who originally sent me to the oral surgeon, gave me a call while we were out shopping, because he had just found out about me having cancer. He asked me a few questions and if I had been to an ENT yet. I said yes, and told him it was Dr. Pou. He thought for a second, and said, THE Dr. Pou? I said yes, THE Dr. Pou. He decided that would be really good because she’s a good doctor, and I agreed of course. Now, everyone go google Dr. Pou if you want to know the reason I included this little story.

We came on home and dropped Warner off, let out the dog and my mom and I went to the outlet malls, because you can’t come to Gonzales and not go to the outlet malls, I mean, we live like 5 minutes down the road! And now, in my drugged state, I am going to watch the American Idol results show. I’m sure Warner is trying to sneak some of my drugs too, wait, what am I talking about, American Idol is his favorite tv show!

Proper Personal Protective Equipment Required

Today while Stephanie was getting shot up with radioactive goo, ok maybe goo isn't the correct term as it was somewhat less viscous than typical goo, I left the waiting room area to use the rest room. As I left there were two people arguing about where to go in the hallway, upon seeing me, dressed in fire retardant clothes and wearing steel toe work boots and a Hogs hat, the woman asks if i work there and can I give them directions. My response was of course no, I thought about telling her that working here didn't necessarily mean I could tell her where to go, because one of the ladies at one of the check in desks had never heard of the PET imaging center and wanted to know if we were looking for a vet.

Moral of the story:
Baton Rouge hospitals are apparently a dangerous place and you need to be wary of catching on fire and having heavy things dropped on your feet.

Just Call me Glow-Worm

Today is “Light up Like a Christmas Tree Day.” I have my PET and CT scans this afternoon and my mom is coming up to go with us and then we are going shopping!!! I have to fast from 9:00 on and it never fails that it would be the one day that I actually eat breakfast, and I’m still hungry! Yesterday I had blood work done - and have I mentioned I hate needles because I really do! I got a call at lunch from the doctor’s office telling me I needed to have my blood work done before I had the scans so they could make sure my levels were normal before they made me glow in the dark. So we went on in and had the blood work done which took all of 2 minutes and then I headed back in to work.

Dawn and Paula met me at the apartment after work for a girl’s night, plus Warner, and we all went out to dinner. I had boiled crawfish – which was absolutely amazing! I’m really going to miss solid food. Dinner consisted of a lot of laughter and even liquid shooting from Dawn’s nose. I bought a butter cream frosting cake from the store for dessert, because I figure it can only help to put on a little weight over the next week or so before I’m stuck drinking hamburgers.

I caved last night and took a half of a hydrocodone before bed and scored about 3 ½ hours of straight sleep and only woke up once throughout the entire night! This is a miracle because when I was on higher doses of the steroids, I was waking up about once an hour – at least. And if you knew me in college, I was the kid that slept 10 hours every night and took 4 hour power naps in the afternoon. But, now that I’m working on getting off the steroids, I’ve been sleeping for longer periods of time and waking up less. Now I usually just wake up when the pain meds are wearing off.

So that is all that is new for now! I’m sure I will have all kinds of news to post after my scans!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Warner's Day 1

I'll start by saying I hope it's obvious this blog was created and layout was chosen with absolutely no input from me whatsoever.

When Stephanie told me I didn't believe her. Like her I never thought they would call to tell her she had cancer. I will say my original dislike for the oral surgeon, who came off as pushy and somewhat arrogant, disappeared rather rapidly. Stephanie told me he had made arrangements for us at the hospital and I of course wanted to go right away, but she apparently has a much stronger work ethic than I do because she finished what she was doing before we left.

As she mentioned we waited for what seemed like forever in the waiting room, and the lady she so nicely called "feisty" made other words come to my less innocent mind. The mean part of me really wanted to get in before the lady that made such a big stink about waiting for two hours, but she was called right before we were. The saddest part of the waiting room was a little old lady in a wheel chair that was sleeping, she woke up and asked her daughter where they were, her daughter told her they were waiting to see the doctor, her reply was "We haven't seen the doctor yet?" It truly broke my heart to be admitted before them, even though she clearly wouldn't know the difference.

The coolest part of the whole thing was Stephanie's least favorite, when Dr. Pou scoped through her nose to look at her voice box, and i could see the light in her mouth coming from down her throat.

And now we wait until Wednesday the 7th to get any real news or updates.
Waiting is one of the hardest parts.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Day 1

I’m just going to update everyone on here from now on. It’s the easiest way to let you all know what’s going on.

I got the phone call around 9 this morning from the oral surgeon who did the biopsy and he told me over the phone that is was cancer. I would have bet money that he would not have told me over the phone, but he did, so good thing I’m not the betting kind. He had already been on the phone with the ENT center at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge (apparently the hospital of the year in Louisiana). So, I finished up some stuff at work, and Warner and I drove over to the hospital and got there around 10. They were super backed up, but I got to skip ahead of everyone, except the feisty lady that had been waiting for almost 2 hours, (I still had to wait an hour to get back to the room). I felt bad jumping in front of everyone, but I guess cancer takes precedence. The nurses took my blood pressure, asked me 50 million health questions, and put me on the scale – I’ve lost 5 pounds since I was last in Tulsa! Doctor Pou came in, a really petite, kinda Cajun lady, who graduated from LSU and stuck her fingers all in my mouth and felt the sore and all that fun stuff – I wanted to bite her every time she touched the sore, but I refrained. She checked my nose and my ears and all that was good. I had a scope put down my nose – which was VERY uncomfortable, so she could look at my voice box and the back of my tongue and my throat. That was a weird feeling. They had to numb my nose with some sort of spray and it shot all over my face, and then I had this flexible tube put down my nose and I could feel it on the back of my tongue and in my throat…WEIRD! I go back on Wednesday to have a CT scan and a PET scan and blood work and basically for whatever else they want to do to me or stick me with – have I mentioned I hate needles? Because, yeah, I do…I really really do.

At this point, they don’t know what stage it is (that’s what Wednesday’s tests are for) and they don’t know if it has spread anywhere else. Doctor Pou was still waiting to see the actual slides from my biopsy, so I am not sure exactly what type it is right now…but it is probably Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Basically treatment will be surgery and then radiation, but again we won’t know that until we get all the test results back and know exactly what’s going on. So, that’s my story for now. Any Questions?

I have cancer...

First of all - to explain the title: in college you get t-shirts for everything! Seriously. So, when Warner and I were sitting in the doctor’s office, after having been there probably for 3 hours, I looked at him and said, “If I have to go through this, I want my dang t-shirt!”

Okay, I am 23. I have cancer. I have oral cancer. Let me repeat. I am 23 and I have oral cancer. I am not 60 years old, I do not smoke, I do not drink alcohol, except maybe on my birthday. I do not even drink coke (I do love coffee though…a good caramel latte’ or cafĂ© ole’ mainly) I compulsively wear polarized sunglasses because I’m afraid the sun will mess up my eyes. I take multivitamins, eat lots of veggies and fish and I would probably be a vegetarian if I didn’t like the occasional steak, and I obsessively play tennis. I’m a borderline health nut, only borderline though because I can be a little lazy and I love jelly beans – they are my weakness. And I have cancer!