Tag Archive | wbc

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.
http://kriscarr.com/blog/kris-carr-prevention-month-kick-off/

And lastly, two new recipes…

Mini Zucchini Cheese Bites from Chef This Up
http://chefthisup.com/recipe/8641/mini-zucchini-cheese-bites/
These are vegetarian, but not vegan, but were quite tasty.

Pinto and Rice Burgers from Martha Stewart
http://www.marthastewart.com/903082/pinto-and-rice-burgers
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/