Saturday, February 18, 2012

Thwarted Saturday

Ahhhh, a three day weekend.  Gobs and gobs of time.

Today, D.R. and I planned to take Alice to the dog park, then drive around looking for apartments.   We would run her about and she would fall exhausted, and adorable, on the back seat of the car to sleep away the afternoon.  See how adorable and well-behaved our dog is, Mr. Apartment Manger.  Please give us the apartment with central air and dishwasher.  We will strumpet our dog if it will just bring a GD dishwasher!

D.R. took Alice out front to let her pee, and I headed to the garage loaded down with my purse, water bottles and mail to be sent off . . . and no keys--whoops.  D.R. didn't have any either and our apartment manager wasn't home to let us in.  Can't get into the locked car.  Can't get into our locked apartment.  Nothing to do but walk to the post office then find a place to spend the afternoon.  We ended up here with a carafe of wine and some things to nibble.  OK, maybe there were two carafes of wine.

Tipsy and windblown.
Our apartment manager called about an hour and half later to let us know he was back.  We strolled leisurely back home and made important decisions that can only be made on a day such as this:

1.  While he has shown no desire up until this point, D.R. has until the age of 37 to be a skateboarder.  After that it's lame.

2.  I have to give away the skirt I'm wearing.  "It's very industrial," D.R. says, "and you're not industrial."  I'm going to consider that a compliment.

Thwarted, but certainly not a wasted day.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

And Just Like That . . .

The Universe (and Quest Diagnostics) must've known I was on the verge of busting something because it came through for me at 4:50pm yesterday.  I emailed my doctor to request a new order for my repeat blood test.  Her response: 

Just got the's negative!!


Since I was still at work, unable to contain my excitement, my office mate, Hope (how fitting is that?) was the first to hear the news.  I said, "We're gonna need to hug this out!"  She was more than happy to comply.  She also closed the door on her way out of the office so I could have a moment.  Grateful to her for that.

I put my head on my desk and cried.  I felt a weight lift off me, leaving my shoulders all tingly.

I'm not completely out of the woods yet.  I have to keep watch on my levels for the next year before I am considered in remission.  There will be more needles, more scans, more days of waiting.  But this was a big step, kids.  My TG levels haven't dropped since--well, never.  They've been elevated since after my first surgery in 2011.  This is an indication that I am on the right path in the maze of How To Live With Cancer.  The operative word there is "live".

Initially, I wanted to go out and celebrate with D.R.  I believe my exact words were, "Put your party pants on, Edmonds!"  But, it was also Friday night in Los Angeles and fighting with crowds and drunk girls in 7-inch platforms didn't sound very celebratory.  So, our party pants were replaced by pajama pants and catching up on the DVR.   

We had some wine and apps.

Alice B. requested I share.

So I did.

 Onwards and upwards we go. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Blood Test

OK, so I'm not doing well with number 3 of the resolutions.  But, I am happy to report that number 6 is coming right along.  Seriously, Frank, where have you been all my life?

In other news, I have been waiting . . . for stupid blood test to tell me whether or not I can resume my life!! 

A month after surgery, blood tests were done to check my levels--thyroglobulin (TG) , thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroglobulin (TG) antibodies.  The non-medical, quick and dirty version is, we want these numbers to go down.  If they're going down, that means the cancer is gone and, more importantly, I won't have to do radiation again.  Both my surgeon and endocrinologist are thinking a second round of radiation is not going to be necessary since the first round clearly didn't do what it was supposed to do.  But, they're waiting on the blood tests to inform the final decision.  I gave blood on January 17th and was told it would take 5-6 days for results.  All I had to do was wait 5-6 days for the answer, then we could start making some plans for the  year.  Travel, vacations, moving to a new apartment . . .

It's now been 3 weeks with no definitive answer. 

A few days later, the TSH levels came back a little high.  Easy enough--upped my hormone dosage and went on my merry way. 

The TG levels came back lower than before I went into surgery.  Wahoo!  As long as it's dropping--and stays dropped--I'm good.

Here's the pickle:  the TG antibody can cause falsely low TG.  To be sure the TG really is dropping, they have to test the antibody on its own.  Evidently it's a process that prolongs the results of the test.  So, I've been very patient.

Ho ho HO! . . . have I been patient.

I've sent my doctor breezy, clever emails to check in every week.  No worries.  I'm fine.  By the way, what's up with that cancer thing we were discussing?  I've been running in the morning (number 5, baby!).  I've cleaned my desk.  I've made lemon bars.  Alice has frequented dog parks all over Los Angeles.  We visited the Paramount Ranch.  Busy, busy, busy.

For three weeks, I have kept my crazy under wraps.  This week, my doctor tells me the results still aren't in (something to do with the testing facility), and asked if I'm willing to give another sample if the results aren't in by Friday.

F   U   C   K!
Sure, why not?  It's not like I have anything going on.

Would you pass those lemon bars, please?