Tag Archive | uti

Getting Physical

The day started with an early appointment at the urologist’s.  7:30 a.m. and parking spots are easy to find, even for a poor parallel park-er like me!  This appointment was the follow up from my UTI symptoms with no actual UTI.  But as you may recall, I was looking for an explanation for the high WBC and WBC Esterase.  The doctor attributed this to the Femara (or as he called it “tamoxifen-like drugs”) that affect the cells of the vaginal wall and contaminate the urine sample.  He was not concerned about the urine tests results at all.

When I talked to him about the flank pain (kidney), he also seemed unconcerned, but offered an ultrasound to play it safe.  I had the right and left kidney ultrasounds in the office and all looked good. Whew.  I’ll sleep better tonight knowing that the pain is likely a) small stones and/or b) Femara side effects.  He did also give me some scripts for repeat labs should the symptoms reappear.

My first physical therapy session was really great.  I love my PT (or actually, she is an OT), Amy.  Today was primarily evaluation and measurements, although she did show me some easy self-massages and a few exercises.  My goals will be management of the lymphedema, as well as improved range of motion (and reduction of pain) in my right arm.  In measuring the strength in my hands, we determined that my left hand is actually stronger than my right (50 pounds per square inch versus 35 ppsi).  This is unusual considering I am right-handed.

I was happy to hear that my insurance will cover up to 45 sessions (not that I necessarily need that many), and since both my deductible and max out of pocket have been met, it won’t cost me anything to go.  Woo hoo!

Amy offered to teach my husband how to do some of the massage.  I think his massages are too hard, so learning how to do gentle lymphatic massage would be really nice!

As for the Sloppy Lentil Joe’s, they were quite tasty.  The wrong type of lentils matter not.  I am glad I cooked these ahead of time, as dinner was ready quickly after PT tonight (and I have leftovers for another night in this busy week).  Here’s the link to the recipe.  



Getting Physical (1984) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087326/

The Busy Body

Busy day today:  church, grocery shopping, lunch with my boys, and cleaning up the garden.  Thanks to David, we were able to get all the Earthboxes emptied and washed out.  Nothing but a lone tomato plant left, but it does still have a lot of tomatoes on it, so why not?  We ended up with a pile of cute little pumpkins, but the spaghetti squash is still green, so not sure what to do with that.

2013 pumpkins from garden

It’s a crazy busy week ahead, so I spent some time in the kitchen this afternoon getting some meals ready.  One of them is the “Sloppy Lentil Joe’s” from Forks Over Knives.  That’s for dinner tomorrow night, so I’ll let you know how that one is.  It was my first attempt at cooking with lentils and I did buy the wrong kind (green instead of brown), but hopefully there’s no noticeable difference.  I considered running to the store for the correct type, but figured it didn’t hurt to try.

The busy week starts tomorrow with my long-awaited appointment with the urologist to follow up on my UTI symptoms with no actual UTI (likely Femara related).  7:30 a.m. appointment and then off to work.  The afternoon I have my first appointment with the physical therapist.  I’m looking forward to that, as the pain in my arm is quite unbearable at times, and I’m hoping they can confirm whether it is, indeed, lymphedema.  While I am certainly well-read on the subject, I am not a medical doctor, and I don’t play one on tv.  I’d really like someone in the medical profession to weigh in on the actual diagnosis.

Of course, Monday night is Crystal Band rehearsal, and then there is that work thing I need to do in between. Phew.  I’m exhausted already!


The Busy Body (1967) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061431/


Cape Fear

As a two time winner of the cancer lottery (two unrelated cancers), the fear of getting cancer again is part of my daily existence.  With every ache or pain, every bruise, every symptom, I can’t but wonder if it’s cancer-related.  I realize this sounds a bit paranoid, and it probably is.  But I would be lying if I didn’t say that the thoughts of another cancer scares the shit out of me.

The thought of cancer is always with me.  It’s there with every morsel of food or drink that I put in my mouth.  (Is it a healthy choice?)  It’s there with every movement that hurts and reminds me of the side effects.  It is there every time I look at my son and I wonder if I will get to see him grow to be a man.  I know that’s not a guarantee for any of us, but there’s a greater awareness of mortality when you have to face cancer head on.

This past week has been harder for me than usual, for some reason.  There are the ongoing Femara side effects which seem to accumulate after a period of time (prompting me to take a break).  I am in some form of pain always.  There are those UTI symptoms, with a negative UTI lab result.  There’s the headache that has persisted a few days this week, and pain that shoots from my right shoulder blade down to my fingers.  All this pain starts to get to you after a while.  How do you know what’s “just” a side effect, what’s something normal (sinus infection, stress, etc.), and what’s something that you really need to pay attention to?  For me, I guess I need to pay attention to all of it, but it’s exhausting.  In the absence of solid answers from the medical community, I spend a lot of time reading and Googling and chatting with others in the same boat trying to make sense of it on my own.  This is good and bad.  Sometimes I find an article that makes me feel relieved; other times I find something that scares me.  But I want to be on my guard and can’t wait to see my doctors to get answers.

Maybe over time my paranoia will subside.  I sure hope it does, as I think it would drive me crazy after a while.  I don’t want to forget it, as the cancer perspective allows you to look at life differently and to appreciate the little things.  It’s the fear that also drives me to do all the healthy things I can for my body.  I don’t want to get complacent or lose that fighting instinct.

A friend posted the following prayer on Facebook tonight and the timing is so perfect.  I have been praying for healing in a multitude of ways.  Loved this one!  (Thanks, Beth!)

New recipe tonight… Roasted Cabbage.  It sounded a lot better than it was.  Maybe it was because I excluded the bacon bits!  🙂  I’m trying to increase my cruciferous vegetables, but this wasn’t the way to do it.

Cape Fear (1991) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101540/

Waiting for Godot

During all of my appointments with my oncologist this past year, I brought up the subject of getting a colonoscopy.  Given my personal history, as well as family history, I thought I should probably be having one done soon, since it’s been five years since my last procedure.  Every time I go, I am told that she wants to see the report from the 2008 test but has had difficulty obtaining it from my primary care physician (not really a surprise).  I remembered that my urologist was the one who ordered it, so I called a friend at his office to see if they had a copy.  They did, and so I finally got around to faxing it to my oncologist yesterday.  I put a lovely cover letter on the fax explaining why I was sending it, clearly noting it was my 2008 report, and asking for how to proceed.

Today the oncologist office called me to say they received the fax, everything looks good, and I don’t need to go back for 5-10 years.  So I remind her that the report is from 2008 and that 5 years is “up” already.  She continued on that I had plenty of time and didn’t need to worry about it.  After about the third or fourth attempt to explain to her, the light bulb went off and she said “Oh!  I see the report is from 2008!”  *head smack*

So now I need to wait for her to review it with the doctor and call me back…

In other news, last week I went for a urine culture and urinalysis because I felt like I had a UTI.  Mild symptoms, nothing raging, but symptoms none the less.  In my paranoid state, I don’t leave anything to chance.  So I got the results electronically the other day (may I recommend ALWAYS ask for copies to be sent to yourself when you go for tests) and I saw that I did not have a UTI.  However, my WBC and WBC esterase (whatever that is) were both high.  So I called the urologist’s office today to determine what that was, or what next steps I should be taking.  All I could find on the internet is that it is possibly a bladder or kidney infection.  And interestingly enough, feeling like you have a UTI seems to be a side effect of Femara!  (what a surprise)  That, of course, doesn’t explain the high WBC, so definitely something to investigate further.  Stay tuned on that one, as I’m waiting to hear back from the doctor…

I wanted to share the following link from Kris Carr related to cancer prevention.  Yea!!!  I highly recommend signing up for her newsletters and following along on this month long prevention forum.

And lastly, two new recipes…

Mini Zucchini Cheese Bites from Chef This Up
These are vegetarian, but not vegan, but were quite tasty.

Pinto and Rice Burgers from Martha Stewart
Excellent burgers.  I didn’t fry them; I cooked them on the grill (on top of foil).  I added mustard and avocado to mine.  Delish!

Waiting For Godot (2001) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0276613/