Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Teeter~Totter Day

It really has been an up and down kinda day. Last night Dr Im's office called and told me I have my surgery on Saturday. They said he would be calling me today with times and instructions. 


I was so relieved as its been quite a journey. Although I have been in growing pain since Christmas..its my fault I didnt go to the doctors sooner. And of course.. the symptoms suggested diverticulitis. It wasnt til the bleeding started that the diagnoses took a different turn. Its just 4 weeks today that they found that lump in my abdomen. And boy have they pulled out all the stops for me.This tumour on my ovary has got to come out !! Although I am a chubby bunny..I can actually see that my left side is more swollen that the right...Well the tumour is 9cm..the size of a baseball..and growing. And it reminds me every second that its there.


But as with all good plans.. they sometimes come unstuck.
This morning my surgeon  called me. He said he has been going over the scans and biopsies etc.. and he is happy the stomach masses are not cancerous. But he says the tumour has grown and could possibly be attached to the bowel. So..to be on the safe side, he wants a bowel specialist with him when I have my surgery, just in case any extra procedure needs to be done. Unfortunately the bowel surgeon is not available this Saturday...so he has moved my operation to next Friday at 12 noon.



I am of course bitterly disappointed..and rather tearful...because the pain is so bad. But I understand he is doing the right thing. It would be terrible if he opened me up  and found something he couldnt do. So hes covering all the bases. Good man!




So Next Friday is the day. The surgery...I can deal with it. The stomach masses.. I can deal with it. Hopefully the tumour..like the stomach masses.. is not cancerous... but if it is... I can deal with it.
I have such a fantastic support system that are praying for me, encouraging me, and loving me. And that includes every one of you reading this. I can feel every virtual hug.. every good wish and every positive vibe. 


So one more week....
I can do this


Love and Hugs
Phoebe x


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Good News!



Good News!. 

The biopsy results show there is 'no malignancy' in the stomach masses. Obviously there is something going on and we will perhaps know more when we see Dr Phan on Friday. But its a relief as it now means that we can schedule the surgery and get this ovarian tumour out. I'm certain there will be no cancer there either, 

Thank you all for your positiveity, prayers and good wishes. I am very grateful and feel very loved

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Few Snaps

So there was no news yesterday. My GP's office said the stomach biopsy results hadnt come in yet so I will call again today. This could be why the surgeon didnt call yesterday...so fingers crossed for today. I will be so glad to get the ovarian tumour out. its giving me so much pain right now and compound that with the pain in my stomach, back and down my leg..Im pretty well worn out. I really am an old crock!

I so miss going out on my daily walks and taking photos. I took a few snaps when I went for my blood tests yesterday.. 

My usual flower pic. I have so many but the colour caught my eye. 
Anyone know what it is? 

A picture of the Norwalk water tower with added blue skies and a token palm tree. 

And one of a school I pass occasionally when Im out and about.
You may recognize it by another name.. Rydell High

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x


Monday, March 20, 2017

Just a Little Something


What a terrible, terrible weekend it was. The pain didnt stop for a second. I did manage to eat a little something when it eased slightly. On Saturday, a bowl of greek yogurt, with a little granola and some mango..but the rest of the time it just hurt too much. I just tried to sleep the pain away. 


I woke up at about 2 am Sunday morning and the pain was excruciating...I just didnt know what to do about it..and neither did my poor hubby who feels quite helpless. But just having him here helps

The pain is no longer just in my abdomen and back..but across my stomach too. Im wondering if eating is aggravating it. So Sunday I just had a banana..and a little soup. Im too wary to eat right now.



Apart from that... there's nothing new to report just yet. No phone calls from my doctors about either the biopsy results or surgery appointment. I have..however...got to pick up some more painkillers...which I will do when I go for blood tests this afternoon..(If I have any left for them to take!!). 


The pain itself is quite manageable to day.. so I've coloured my hair (I have to look good for my op)...done laundry..bleached the bathroom...and Im going to start putting out my Spring and Easter ornaments. Oh boy am I going to get my ear bent by certain family members!! 


Ah well...I have to pass the time somehow.

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x




Saturday, March 18, 2017

Birthday Girl


Happy Birthday to my beautiful Mum...
I still miss our daily phone calls...
Right now I really wish you were here..
you would now what to say to make me feel better

But I still talk to you...
I hope you can hear me. 

Until we meet again.. 
All my love always

Phoebe xxx


Friday, March 17, 2017

My Rock....


Happy Birthday to my amazing hubby. We have a wonderful, happy marriage, with lots of adventure, fun and laughter and we have never had a cross word. He is my absolute rock. The voice of reason. My fountain of wisdom. My mountain of strength. His love and support and his unfailing faith that everything will be ok is getting me through this testing time. 



And how is he spending his birthday afternoon?...Taking me to the doctors and holding my hand while I have more blood tests.. 

Maybe we can squeeze in a couple of beers for him on the way home. 

Love you Mr D xxx


Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Light..At Last

Here's hubby and I at the medical centre waiting to see Dr Im ..my surgeon this morning. I look puffy and tired...he looks as gorgeous as ever.
The meeting went well... and rather fast. Dr Im examined me and said..''Well you know it has to come out?" Well yes.! 
So he said.."give me til Monday and I will call you. I need to discuss with your other doctors and determine if the tumour is just on the ovary or connected to the masses in your stomach. This will determine the kind of surgery. Whatever happens it will be removal of the ovaries and a hysterectomy. But..the surgery will be asap..probably next week"

So thats it. A light at the end of the tunnel. So much has happened and so fast. Its just three weeks ago today I saw the gynecologist and she found the lump.. The care I have received has been amazing and I will be forever grateful
Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Fast Work...


True to his word...Dr Phan came through for us. I have an appointment tomorrow morning with a surgeon. Now thats a lot faster than I thought. And Im glad as yesterday was a bad day. I felt nauseous and tired..and when I moved around.. extremely dizzy. The pain didnt ease all day so I slept a lot. I feel the same today. I just feel worn out. But at least the ball is rolling


I must admit...although much is written about Breast Cancer..even cervical cancer...I dont know much about ovarian cancer so I have been doing a lot of reading...and have been surprised. Like...did you know...that a pap smear does not detect ovarian cancer. In fact in many cases it is not diagnosed until a fairly late stage, often after it has spread to other parts of the body...which is why its called 'The Silent Killer'. Thats not to say that its always a death sentence. If caught at stage 1, when the cancer hasn't spread outside the ovaries, long-term survival rates are over 90%. And there are signs to look for...

  • Persistent stomach or pelvic pain
  • Persistent bloating or increased stomach size (not the kind that comes on after a big meal and settles within a couple of hours)
  • Feeling full quickly after eating, or having problems eating
  • Needing to pass water more often
I only had two.. 

I hope more women can be made aware of this terrible disease and its symptoms. Its taken this to happen for me to actually try to educate myself and understand it. And the more I understand...the more confident I am that I can beat it 

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The C Word...


Well...I met Dr Phan.. Hes a nice little man with a huge smile and explained things very well. And he also used the word Cancer a few times. At last someone who is calling it what it is. 

The tumor has grown and it is now over 9 cm. He has his staff phoning lots of cancer surgeons to see who can get me in the earliest...and will be calling me today. Apparently to do a biopsy on an ovarian tumour it has to be removed. Unlike a scan on the upper body which shows everything..in the abdomen its like a shadow. So they will not know at what stage the cancer is until it's removed. They will also be taking out both of the ovaries (if its in one it is likely in both), Fallopian tubes, he said something about lymph nodes too..which I dont remember.. and giving me a hysterectamy. So a total clear out then. I did say I wanted to lose 40lb before Caroline got here...but maybe not this way :)

Dr Phan is confident that we have caught it early..and if chemo is needed it may be either every three or six weeks,,but again we wont know until after surgery. He has given me stronger painkillers and said I can call him any time day or night.

He wanted me to have more blood tests for genetic screening..but although his nurse tried several times..no veins were good enough..so I have to go back any time this week and they will do it straight away. Im like a human pin cushion right now.

I'm still optimistic and so is MrD. I think Dr Phans confidence helped a lot. He's such a jolly little man
 
Thank you all for your love, prayers and good wishes.. I can really feel all your virtual hugs. Keep em coming 

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x


Monday, March 13, 2017

One Step at a Time

Good morning..I hope you all had a great weekend. On Saturday once my pain eased, Hubby and I took a a drive over to Hermosa Beach. Even though I cant walk far right now...I just love looking at the ocean. But wouldnt you know it.. it was like driving into a smoke screen. A dense mist covered everything.. and you couldnt even see the shoreline. Ah well..I love driving around California. After two years..its still a bit surreal that Im actually here and still have an insane grin where ever we go. And I did spy this poor guy... 85 degrees and dressed like this...What a job!




Sunday was spent in and out of pain..being looked after..eating chicken soup and jello and having my back rubbed by my wonderful husband. It dosnt actually ease the pain but psychologically it does me the world of good


So later today we are off to see Dr Phan for the first time. Now this new doctor is a top oncologist and Im seeing him at the Cancer & Blood Specialty Clinic. Their bio reads.. 
"Our mission is to provide the most up to date and innovative care for patients with cancer and blood disorders. We realize this may be the most difficult time for patients and their families and our goal is to help them cope by providing a supportive environment for their medical, social, and spiritual needs. When patients come to the Cancer and Blood Specialty Clinic, they will be surprised by the time our treatment team spends with patients. We believe that better care can be delivered when more time and attention are spent taking care of patients. We are able to do this by embracing technological innovations in order to free up more time for patient care." 
So...even tho no one is yet calling this by a name...I think we all know this is what we are dealing with.I hoping I get all my answers today Come on people... Im dangling a bit in the wind right now!. But Im not complaining...Im getting excellent care.. I would just like someone to say the words



Im still not phased...Im taking every step as it comes...good or bad... I got this!


Love and Hugs
Phoebe x


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Pretty Pick Me Up

As well as the tumours in the stomach..the endoscopy showed that I have a 'severe inflammation of the gastric mucosa"...which google informs me is the mucous membrane layer of the stomach which contains the glands and the gastric pits. Well you learn something new everyday!. 


Any way the doc has prescribed more pills, which I started taking yesterday. This morning I woke up and the pain had halved. And for the first time in a while I could function as normal. Hubby had surprised me by taking the day off work...and I actually made him a cooked breakfast...and we planned to go out for a car ride...seeing as the weather here is in the 80s. Well like all well laid plans...it hasnt gone quite right and the pain came back with a vengence...so now Im waiting for it to subside so we can go...Im not wasting all that sunshine!!



Also...I can no longer have spicy food ( good cos my tongue could never cope with them).. coffee or caffeinated drinks !! Shakes my head in total dismay :( Oh well I guess theres always hot chocolate.. and Ive found a lovely one from Swiss Miss thats only 60 cals.. Yes Im still counting them ...go figure.




But...I have had a bit of a pick me up... A lovely bouquet of flowers from my favourite girl. 26 days til she gets here...and if thats not something to look forward to... I dont know what is

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x


Friday, March 10, 2017

'The Fearless Girl'

Im a very tired girl today but feeling ok. My throat feels a bit tender to the touch, and my voice is a bit croaky, but not sore or anything. I guess thats only to be expected after the endoscopy. Either that or I talked too much yesterday.

I have had such an outpouring of love, support and good wishes, it has really blown me away. With all the encouragement and prayers I know I will get through this.

One message I received from my sister in law really struck me. She sent me this photo and said....and I hope she wont mind me repeating.. " it made her think of me". 


Its called the "Fearless Girl" and has been placed on Wall Street in front of the famous charging bull in time for International Women's Day. Its supposed to highlight efforts to get more women on corporate boards.

I see it another way...

One quote says.. "The girl appears to be staring down the bull. Her head is held high. Her hands are firmly planted on her waist. Her pony-tail looks as if it's in motion."

Well folks...thats me... 

I am not in denial. I know full well that even though no one has actually said the words..yet.. what I am facing is probably bad. But I am going to stand there...my hands on my hips( I havent got a waist...sigh)... with a big smile on my face and defiantly stare down what ever is thrown at me. 
Bring it on....Im ready.. 

I only wish I had a pony tail I could flick.

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Still Smiling

So...thats another procedure down. For all that worrying the endoscopy wasnt all that bad....although the prep was pretty brutal. 4 litres of that prep mixture! I mean seriously...I dont drink that much fluid in a week!


The worst part of today was when they put the plactic mouth guard in my mouth so I had to stop talking! Cheek! Thats the last thing I remember and when I woke up I was in recovery and MrD was there. So for anyone who has to have a colonoscopy or endoscopy done...seriously...its a doddle


So...what did he discover. Well...The good news is..the colon is fine ...nothing to worry about at all. But..he has found two more tumours and they are in the stomach. He has taken biopsys so we will have to see. He called it right. At our last meeting he said that ovarian tumours usually start somewhere else...and he thought it was the stomach. I just hope its not that Krukenburg tumour he was worried about as that is quite rare...and dangerous.


I have an appointment on Monday afternoon with another doctor..Dr Phan. He is collating all of the results and he will be talking about our options...so Im taking it that on Monday...we will know exactly what we are dealing with.


Im still optomistic...Im still not scared and I know whatever it is ...good or bad...I can get through it. And as you can see...although poorly and in pain....Im still smiling 

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Prep Day

Today is prep day for tomorrows Endoscopy and Colonoscopy. That means a clear liquid diet...no solid food or dairy products for 24 hours before the procedure. I can drink to stay hydrated..but must avoid red or purple liquids as they resemble blood in the colon. 

Then at 5pm today I have to add water to the container which has the prep mix in...and drink half of it. At 6.30 I have to drink the rest. What fun! I have a feeling its going to be a bit yuck!

But anyway...by this time tomorrow it will all be over with and I should be home. I really hope they can give me some idea of whats going on. I just need someone to say the words and then we can start dealing with it...good or bad! Whatever...we are getting closer to getting this sorted out


Love and Hugs
Phoebe x


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Comfort Food

It was a terrible day yesterday. The pain was so bad...it made me nauseus, It was was the first time I can say I felt ill. My auntie and uncle phoning from the uk cheered me up. They do make me laugh. Technology is lost on them. It takes them so long to work out how to actually use Facebook messenger that when they finally get through their battery is about to die. I need to find them an iphone with an old fashioned rotary dial.

Today though...I feel a little better..and was able to eat. After not being able to eat much recently...I must say...this chicken soup was absolutely delicious. Growing up...when we were ill..mum always made us soup..tomato.. Heinz...and from a tin. Still yummy though..and real comfort food. What food did your mum make you when you were ill...and what is your favourite comfort food?

And on a happy note...its only 30 days til my beautiful daughter and her boyfriend get here. I cant wait...and neither can she...I think shes packing already! I have to be well by then. Harry Potter here we come!

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x


Monday, March 6, 2017

A New Week

Unfortunately I didnt make it for a walk over the weekend..I slept for most of the time. For me its the best way to block out the pain. I had a very strange dream where they told me that the tumour had grown as big as it could get and it was now melting...and taking my tummy fat with it! Now that would be cool! 



Talking of cool..MrD treated me to some Ben and Jerrys. Although Im not eating much right now..the couple of spoonfuls I had were lush! Gone are the days I could eat the whole tub in one sitting. Im a firm believer that a little bit of what you fancy does you good. Thank goodness I wasnt fancying Liver and Onions!! Blech!!
I have now added to my bucket list. As well as tasting every flavour of Baskin Robins ( I have never had one ).. I now want to try every flavour of Ben and Jerrys. Did I mention...I love my ice cream

Also  I feel very tired today...I have no energy at all. Im trying to to do a bit of laundry and Im exhausted. I think this pain is wearing me out. It could also be because Im not eating much as Im wary of the pain getting worse. 

Still...it gives me a chance to sort out this binder Dr Kim wants me to make to organize all my records. I think I know how I want to set it out... my OCD has to get it just right..and a bit of bling wouldn't go amiss....but I think the cover needs a good title. Any ideas?

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Saturday, March 4, 2017

California Sunrise

I woke up in terrible pain this morning, but Im getting used to it..and the pills do take the edge off it. Im not sure if its because Im still losing weight but I can now feel the swelling and when lying down I feel a pressure in my tummy and abdomen.


All being well.. if and when the painkillers kick in.. I'm going to venture out for a little walk with hubby later...it will do me the world of good 


I am still not worried...or scared and still confident that the tumour is not cancerous and I will be perfectly alright. I am being well looked after by hubby... who never fails to make me smile... especially when he sends me photos like this of our beautiful California sunrise this morning. Have a great Saturday everyone 

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x


Friday, March 3, 2017

The Waiting Game


The CAT scan went ok.. The technician said she couldnt tell me anything but I expected that. Apart from the the pain which is there all the time in different degrees.. and the nausea I felt after the scan (I think it was the combination of fasting.. the gross drink they gave me and the iodine pumped through me) I still feel pretty good...although I am sleeping a bit more. My mum used to say sleep is the best medicine.


I have a respite now til Thursday when I have the endoscopy and colonoscopy. A few days after I will go to see Dr Kim for the results. So in a week I guess we will know whats going on.

Its all a waiting game now

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x