Monday, June 28, 2010

A damn fine day

Went for a 3 mile hike up here this morning, and the flowers are beginning to bloom it was exhausting and lovely. 

No headache so I'm going to step up my hiking and start getting out more.  I think I'm finally,,,really...truly...on the mend. 

Great day yesterday with the family going on a magical mystery tour which included monsters, Africans, and crabs.  You gotta try it, it was the best!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sharing is caring

OK this is sappy but more importantly true.  I am doing so much better, no more headaches (at least not in the last 7 days), still no voice (but who really needs it in the summer?), my strength is returning (never fast enough true?), and the love of family of friends is holding strong!  I have received and continue to receive well wishes, people keeping in touch, and invitations to get out.
Last week I had lunch with two good friends on different days, and since I am having difficulty finding high neck shirts to cover the gruesome neck thing, they both are going shopping for me, one has already found shirts for me.  I have been given suggestions for scarves, and many people tell me "It's not that bad", but really it is totally gross!
It was my turn to share today, Rob who has to look at my gross neck and the stress of having a very sick wife needed a break so he went rafting with raft club friends on the Arkansas river, I hope he has a wonderful time.  He needs strenuous activity like other men need cave time. 
Tomorrow he and I are going on a picnic with his parents to a secret location that only special people get to go to.  They are sharing their special place with us, and Rob is sharing his weekend time with me.  It all works out  :-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

All or nothing

I have always been an all or nothing type.  My body doesn't give me clear directions of when I have "done" too much.  I don't know when I have had too much to drink until it's too late, just like I don't know when I'm tired until I'm in pain.  I have started getting out and exercising and when I get home I fall into a deep slumber.  It's not like I'm pushing myself, while I'm out I feel like I'm taking it easy, it's when I get home that I feel the exhaustion.
I know this is part recovery and part regulating the meds, I also know I'm not going to get my strength back unless I keep at it every day.  It's disheartening how slow this is going, it feels like summer is evaporating while I'm "working" on getting better.
Remember the movie with Bill Murray where he was crazy and the doctors therapy was "baby steps" that is me through and through.  Baby Steps!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers day

Had a really good day today; breakfast out, walk in the park, and relaxing at home.  Although I have been home since mid-March I haven't had much relaxation.  It has been filled with sickness and recovery, pain and pain abatement, fear and courage.  Today was different.
I'm not sure why but today I feel I have reached a place where the healing can move mostly in the right direction.  It is 5pm here and I feel like doing something, my attitude is positive, and there is little to no pain, as the doctors say between 1 and 10 it is a 2.
Next week I only have one doctors appointment, and feel like filling the rest of the week with visits, and walks.  The weather is Conifer has finally become pleasant enough to be outside and enjoying it.  All things considered I feel optimistic.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fine tuning

I think this is going to be an adventure all of its own, the docs still haven't figured out the blood thinner yet.  They are tripling my thyroid replacement, and doubling my calcium and vitamin D.  I go back in a month and they will check out all the levels again.
Until then it's just recovery.  Good days and bad days.  Today was a better day.

Monday, June 14, 2010

It's not over yet

Today I have been exhausted.  I took a shower, ate breakfast, and went to my regular doctor for a simple blood test.  No reason for such exhaustion, so I got onto the Mayo clinic to check on my symptoms and it's pretty evasive but something is out of whack.  Normally people who have thyroid surgery return to normal activity within a day, I had mine five days ago. 
Fortunately my Endocrinologist called and wants to see me tomorrow, I think I may have hyperparathyrodism, which can be treated with vitamin replacement.  It can be very serious, but I only seem to have a couple of symptoms and since I have the doctors appointment tomorrow I am not concerned.
I am soooo looking forward to waking up, feeling good, no pain killers, and having a day filled with activity before I feel tired.  Is this asking too much?

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I am home and will be resting as soon as I finish this post.  There was no cancer found which is great news.  They removed both thyroids and I will be on thyroid therapy for life but so are many others.  Dr. Hepworth thinks the blood clots were caused by the goiters (a mass attached to your thyroid) and with monitoring and blood thinners the clots will go away and no more will develop.
Many thanks to everyone who sent me good wishes, thoughts, and prayers.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 3

Dr Hepworth the surgeon came in this morning and removed my drainage tube, he is very pleased with my recovery and is going to talk to the team about me going home today.  Rob spent the night and I think him staying with me is the best healing medicine I can get.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day after surgery

The doctors and nurses at Porter have been terrific.  They have made sure I understand what is going on and keeping me informed of what is going on as well as good care. 
Doctor Hepworth  has decided to put me back on the blood thinner right away so they are going to wait until my drainage tube is removed before I can leave the hospital.  It looks like I can go home on Saturday.  My calcium has been dropping which means they may have taken out one of my pera-thyroids. What this means is I will need be taking calcium and vitamin D supplements as well as thyroid supplements.
I am feeling pretty good today for having surgery 24 hours ago!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tina's Surgery

Tina's surgery went well. They decided to remove her entire thyroid because the tumor on her right side look suspect as well. They were able to protect her vocal cord nerves and assured us no damage was done.

We won't know if the tumors are cancerous or exactly which type it is for a few more days. One good piece of news is that they can tell if it's the more aggressive type earlier and did not see any indications of that so we might be out of the woods on that at least.

She's in recovery for another hour or so before I can see her.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Holding the course

Pre-Op testing - check
Stopping blood thinner - check
Enjoying a good dinner with family - on schedule
Nothing to eat or drink until 5:30pm on Wednesday - can't wait
Recovery from operation - looking forward to it
Everything is ready to go, Houston we are on schedule and the countdown has begun.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Good things come in pairs

Rob came home safe and happy from his trip on the river and I went to a class on quilting.  After 3 hours of class I made 2/3 of one square.  It is very exacting work, but rewarding when done well.  I am quite excited to begin this new craft.  When I got home from class Rob was there and we had a lovely afternoon sharing each others company, followed by dinner at JJ's.
If I were counting down, it is 4 days until my surgery which has taken a life of its own.  It is very difficult to shift my train of thought away from the various aspects of the surgery, pre-op, post-op, chemo, coumadin therapy, and when do I get to go to Moab to see my grandson!  So I am determined to use yoga, deep breathing, relaxation, and pain killers to shift my focus away from the what ifs to the what is.

Friday, June 4, 2010

More masses

I just met with my endocrinologist this morning, he wanted to check my left thyroid before the surgery next week, which no one has.  He found another small mass on my right, and a small mass on my left thyroid.  I asked if this meant the cancer is the metastasizing kind and he thought the others had just missed it.  It seems practical to check both and not sure why they didn't.  Maybe it was because there was so much going on with me.
Anyhow, he told me he wasn't going to miss the call this is going to be a no-hitter.  Dr. Albright really has an infectious personality that makes me feel at ease, I am lucky to have so many professionals that are so concerned, and even more fortunate to have health insurance!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The storm

A good friend told me today that "you are either entering or existing the storm" while we were talking about life's tough times.  As the surgery gets closer I am getting more apprehensive.  My Neurologist yesterday said he would be part of the team of doctors during my surgery.  His job will be to monitor my brain.
I feel like I am both entering and exiting the storm, leaving behind the uncertainty of the last 8 weeks, and beginning again without the part that has caused me so much trouble and pain.
By the way we were having breakfast at Snooze an "AM dinning experience" and I am "still" full 10 hours later.  Ir you are feeling like a leisurely decadent breakfast experience I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My life

Three doctor appointments in one day is asking for trouble because something is bound to cause a disruption.  First doctor appointment was to check my blood thickness and it was WAY too thin, they can't seem to get this right.  Second doctor was a cardiologist who was one hour late due to his being detained in surgery, only to tell me he my heart was strong and not to worry about my impending surgery.  This made me late for the Neurologist.
Fortunately I was only three minutes late but he "worked me in"  How is it I can be made to wait one hour  and then made to feel bad for being three minutes late.  Strange how this works huh!
Dr Wolf the Neurologist took me to his office, again odd situation, I am used to going to patient rooms.  It wasn't all that bad, my blood clot is now one big clot that stretches from my jugular vein to my sinus's which sound like it has grown but it has actually shrunk.  However, the docs hopped it would be gone by now. 
Dr Wolf will be in the operating room during the surgery monitoring my brain to make sure everything is "OK".  I keep being told not to worry, but really who wouldn't.  Would you?