Monday, September 29, 2008

More Cancer?

I have to go back to University Of Utah this week. It looks to me like I have another cancer on my nose. Good Grief! When will it end?

I was told when I had the cancer removed almost three months ago that there was a 98% chance of it never coming back. Well, it's baack!

I can't say for sure because I'm not a doctor. But I'm pretty good at figuring it out by now.

I'll have to wait three more days to find out for sure.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A -Fib

No, I'm not tattling on someone who is telling a fib. I am talking about my heart racing.

A-fib is short for Atrial Fibrillation. I've had this problem for at least 25 to 30 years. I used to take medicine for it and then it seemed to get better.

The previous blog is how I almost died with A-fib, although this is not supposed to be a life-threatening problem.The doctor put me on a new medication similar to the old one and is only used as a rescue pill.

. . .

We wanted to go back to Arizona for a while and check up on our home and yard. It's a good thing we did because the drip-system gets clogged up and we lost three of our plants and more were in jeopardy. We had an enjoyable month traveling between the states. We visited Bryce Canyon and stayed in a beautiful bed-and-breakfast in Kanab,Utah. We spent the afternoon in Sedona, Arizona on our way to Apache Junction. We stopped and visited Dee Anna and Hughie on our way home and went to Zion National Park, and then stayed at Steve Page's home in Fairview,Utah before heading home the next day. We also stayed a night at Steve's on the way to Kanab.

We had planned on only doing fun things while we were Arizona but my heart had other plans. It has been racing for two weeks before we left Utah. I had been taking pills almost every night. I needed my prescription refilled, but knew the doctor would make me come in and I never got an appointment made.

After we got to Arizona and I only had one pill left I told Mike we had better get to the doctor. I was lucky to get in with a cardiologist that very day. He didn't think that my food allergies could cause my heart to race, but did write a prescription and made an appointment with a specialist there in the center.

I spent the next two weeks going back and forth to the hospital for every test imaginable. After I told Dr. Chan what Dr. Lindon had said about foods not causing my heart to race, to said, "Oh yes they will!"

My allergies have gotten so bad that my heart races every time I get even the smallest amount of onion or wheat or any foods that I'm allergic to.

George and Nancy and Mike and I went to Applebees for lunch. I tried as hard as I could to order a salad that had nothing in it I couldn't eat. I made sure the dressing was only a balsamic vinaigrette, but there was onion in it, and my heart raced that night.

Then on my birthday, Aug 25, John and Sherri joined us at Outback. I ordered what I thought was safe, but my heart raced again. Since then Mike and I have only eaten at buffets where I can pick and choose my food items.

I passed all the tests with flying colors. There is nothing wrong with my heart. The problem is food allergies not my heart. But the doctor said I was at great risk of having a stroke, heart attack or dying. Allergies are not to be messed with!

He put me on a pill that I have to take morning and night. And then I still have to take the rescue pill if my heart starts to race again. Food allergies are a trigger, but not the reason my heart races. It has a problem even without eating foods I'm allergic to.

I haven't had any problems that I know of, but the nurses kept asking me if I knew when I was in A-fib. I thought that was a strange question and said yes, doesn't everyone? They said that not everyone knows it.

After we got back to Utah and had gone from a warm temperature to a cooler temperature and it was especially cool since it had rained that day, I got a cold in my chest wall. I headed for the doctor again. The Dr. in Arizona wanted this Dr. to take an EKG. He did and asked me if I knew I was in A-fib. I told him no. It turns out that I don't always know it either. He said it wasn't bad enough to worry about, but sent the EKG to Arizona to be looked at.

He said that my heart was not the reason for the recent discomfort but it was inflammation in my chest wall due to the change in weather. Boy, am I sensitive!

I have to wear a heart monitor for a month and have sent in several readings for the doctor to see what my heart looks like on the medication. I might need a higher dosage.

What's next???

Oh, I also learned that I have osteopedia. It is the beginning of osteoporosis. I take Boniva once a month, and more calcium and more vitamin D. I'm told that this is reversible, and I'm expecting good news in a year when we do the next test. I guess I'll there won't be any more cruises for awhile.

Cancer On My Nose

This is a blog that I wrote 5-1-2007. It was the first blog of many that I wrote about having cancer on my nose. I am letting you read what I wrote then so I can catch you up on what's been happening.

. . .

As if I haven't had enough health problems lately - now I have skin cancer on my nose. Actually, this isn't new. During the last few years Dr. Maughan has burned two skins cancers on the tip of my nose.
I was upset because it left a small divot, like an acne scar. When I went back and showed him a second cancer had taken its place, he empathized and said that there would now be a deeper divot, and sadly, there is.
During our winter stay in Arizona I noticed a skin cancer just above the divot. It grew, fell off, grew back, and fell off again. I knew I needed to get in and get it checked and actually planned on making an appointment with Dr. Maughan in February when we came for Quincy's baptism, but I didn't. Darn it!
By the time we got back home in April and I finally got to the doctor's office - it had grown - and now I have another divot that is quite large, but not as deep.
Now I'm worried because it's been a week and it looks to me like the cancer is growing back. It could be a scab, but I've never seen a yellow bumpy scab before.
I need to call Dr. Maughan's office and hope the doctor says everything is normal. I'm afraid that's really hopeful wishing!
Oh, I forgot to mention that Dr. Maughan burned a cancer on my wrist, and cut out another one on the top of my head. Oh, my goodness! I want this to stop!

. . .

It didn't. In fact, I've had two since then.

July 2007 I was told after a biopsy that I needed to get to the University Of Utah hospital and have Mohs surgery. What they do is cut and biopsy until the cancer is totally gone. They had to do this three times before they got it all, and like a dummy I asked for a mirror to see the hole in my nose. It was huge!

The doctor can't sew up a hole because there would be a crease, so he had to cut good skin from the top of my nose to the tip and under the tip to almost my upper lip. Like a dummy I asked for a mirror again! I almost passed out when I saw the scar. It was terrible!

It's been two months now and you'll be happy to know that my nose has healed. You can't even see a scar at all. My nose is still red, but just looks like I have a sunburn. I have to go back to U of U in three weeks and the doctor will do laser which will get rid of the red.

I'm happy with my new nose. It was disconcerting at first though because I would look in the mirror and was shocked at the lady looking back at me. It didn't look like me at all. My nose is more narrow than it was. And I was upset that my nostrils were showing more than they used to. The doctor said that my nose is very tight and will be for six months, and that my nostrils will relax. It is a pretty nose now. The doctor did a great job. He said I have a 98% chance of it never coming back. I sure hope it doesn't!

I'm really a very lucky lady! I could have died of cancer. They got the cancer. It shouldn't come back. And I was left with a very nice nose.

One of my friends who sold Real Estate with me had cancer on her nose, but she lost half her nose and there is a huge hole in her cheek. She has had skin grafts so there is no real hole, but there is a huge dip in both her nose and cheek. A niece of our sister-in-law lost her nose and has to wear a prosthetic nose for a year. It will take that long before the doctors can do skin grafts.

I'm very grateful and have to use my favorite saying: It's A Good!

Pregnant Daughters And New Babies

Mike has four daughters and they were all pregnant at the same time. Sherri is the only one that really looks pregnant. That's because she was almost due. Amy was due the first of June, but came early, Lisa and Chris were due in the last week in October. Amy came two weeks early. Lisa came a month early, and Chris came about two weeks early.

. . .

Mike and I went back to our Utah home mid-August to mid-September. We had a new granddaughter, Claire Lilyanna, (Sherri and Steve's) in April while we were still in Arizona. We missed her birth by a week or so. Amy and Jake had Brooklyn Michelle, in May while we were here, and we had two new more granddaughters on the way the end of September. Lisa told us before we left that we would probably miss her baby coming, because she comes a little early. Well, we missed it alright. Miya Jean was a month early, weighing 5 lbs 8 ounces. She went down to 5 even, but is gaining now, although she's still very small, as you can see by the picture. Chris had her baby a week ago, Mikayla Shirenne, who was 7 lbs 2 ounces.

The babies are in the order they came. We have younger pictures of Claire, who was born in April. These pictures of Claire and Sherri were taken while we were at the hospital the day Chris' baby Mikayla was born.

Next is two of Amy's baby Brooklyn, then two of Lisa's baby Miya Jean, and the last two are of Chris's baby Mikayla. Both Mikayla and Brooklyn Michelle are named after their grandpa Mike.

Wow! Are we lucky or what?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Love Of Horses

We were walking through the mall the other day and passed a little girl dressed in full Equestrial Regalia! Honestly, I had to look around the area for english saddles she was so out of place. We do live in the country so to speak, and there are many horse ranches around. But this was a first for me...and I have to say, aside from looking a spot out of place at the mall-she looked darling!

Health Care For All??

We have been spending the week looking into health plans. It seems that they went ahead and canceled our coverage for no apparent reason. With so many commercials on TV about affordable health care, I'm really hoping to find something better than what we had. It's just a real pain in the neck to have to start all over!