Sunday, February 15, 2015

Health Updates #1

Well, I have dreaded this conversation for quite awhile and kept hoping that my feeling bad would just disappear and be gone one day and I could pick up the pieces and continue to do what I love doing, which is reading books and giving my input along with some of the most interesting product reviews and giveaways that I have had the pleasure of reviewing and passing along to you, my readers.

I know most of you by now, know that I have been missing in action off and on the last few months and I really thought one magical day I would wake up and feel better and rush right in get caught up and everything would be right as rain.

Well, it looks like that isn't going to happen, not yet anyway, maybe sometime later on this year, but not in time for me to get all the things I need to catch everyone up on. When it became obvious that it was taking me weeks instead of days to read books to review, I knew I had a serious problem.

Back around 2 days before Christmas I had to call an ambulance to come and get me because my husband was at work and no one was here with me except Charlie, our Yorkie. I had called my Gastro doctor's office and at first they were going to call in some nausea meds that you don't take by mouth because everything I ate or drank didn't stay down. I had nothing in there but I was constantly retching clear green bile. I actually filled up 3 small wastebaskets full and was growing very weak and knew I would pass out if this kept up which is why I called the ambulance.

It took them about 6 shots of every known nausea medication but it finally succeeded. They never could figure out what caused it and chalked it up to the virus that was going around. Well, that is until it happened again last week but this time it was not clear green bile, it was dark brown muddy stuff with specks of black things mixed in. And I was on fire in my stomach and chest. I was afraid that stuff from my colon was backing up into my stomach, but the Gastro doctor assured me that if that was what was happening, it would smell very awful. I really didn't pay any attention as I was so sick and on fire so bad, it was all I could do to hold onto my sanity. This went on from 7 pm until 7 am the next morning.

I did call the ambulance again around 4 am because I knew my husband would have to get himself and his rider to work without them being marked down as inexcusable absence. He did come to the hospital as soon as he dropped the other guy off and told his boss where he was going. Back at the hospital, it took quite a few more nausea shots to calm me down and the dark brown muddy stuff kept coming. They got me stabilized but did not admit me. They suggested I call my Gastro doctor and let him determine what to do.

I ended up having an endoscopy done and what they found in my stomach was not pretty. I never knew this but you can get polyps in your stomach! He removed several to be sent off for biopsy and he also took pictures of the other side of my stomach which showed something like a hemorrhaged rash like poison ivy or acid burns. He also took biopsy's of those. What the doctor in the ER did not tell me (he said my blood work was fine) was that my Calcium levels were off the charts and that my sugar was also.

Who knew that you could make too much calcium? Well, the Parathyroid is responsible for that so he is retesting that to see if it is still high. I think they will have to come out if it is because it is evidently very dangerous. Also, he is re-doing the sugar test and some other blood work to see what else the ER doctor might have missed.

Also, during all this, every time someone took my blood pressure, it started at 210/100 and then lowered to 193/93 and it has been steady between 149 and 160. I have never had high blood pressure but it does run in the family and my mother actually died of a stroke when she was 54. But, she was bad to not take her blood pressure meds and she drank beer every day, so I am sure those factors didn't help. I am hoping that all this excitement going on is what caused it to be so high but we will be checking it on a regular basis to see if it goes down. I can't believe I am being hit everywhere all at once! Can't I get a break somewhere?

Now, comes the hard part. I knew back in the beginning of January that my mammogram came back abnormal but it has done that off and on for years so I felt no immediate rush and with all of this other going on and in general not feeling good, I let it slide. Plus, I admit it, I knew the deductible would kill us. But, with all the ambulance rides and so forth, I guess it's a moot point at this time. So, before I had the mammogram done again, I had them do the blood work first and then proceeded to the mammogram section.

Well, they scared me pretty bad, I have to admit. At first it was just like any other re-do of a mammogram, then she went to show the radiologist and he wanted more precise pictures and I have never had these before so this was new. Then, she comes back and says I have to have an Ultrasound done ASAP! They would not let me get dressed and I waited about 20 minutes while they hunted down someone who could do one.

While doing the Ultrasound, the Radiologist came in to supervise, which worried me even further, and they found what they were looking for. Imagine your breast as a clock you are facing. Between 11:00 and 12:00 is where they found the mass but to their surprise (because it never showed up on the mammogram) I also had a cyst somewhere in the near vicinity and I don't know if it was below or above because by this time I was getting a bit hysterical, although, I never let on to them that I was. I was cool as a cucumber and didn't react at all.

The Radiologist said I needed to have a biopsy done ASAP and that waiting a month or two was out of the question. So, he called my OB/GYN doctor and the next thing I knew, I had an appointment with a surgeon for today, February 4th, at 2:30. I don't know if this is just to talk and set up the biopsy or what. But, I am guessing they will want to do it as soon as humanly possible.

With all of this going on, I don't know if all of this is related or not but I find it all very strange that it's all on my right side, the side I have been trying to get people to listen to me for months. While I was retching this last time in the hospital, I kept telling the doctor and the nurses that it felt like I was getting Charlie horses in my back and right side of my body. I haven't had Charlie horses since I was in my 20's, so this is not something I am prone to have.

My right side is where a lot of my really bad pain starts and then it goes up my back and spine until my shoulders are in pain also. Who knows if all of this is related but this is going to sound weird, but I am finally glad that something is showing up and that I have everyone's attention because people were starting to make me think I was insane because I complained so much about my right side. So, while this might mean something bad for me, it is also a great burden lifted off of me because I feel vindicated and I am relieved that I am not crazy! Which is what a lot of doctors think, except for my Gastro doctor who has been with me from the beginning in 2003. He never gave up trying to find out why and now I know what I have always known in my heart, that my pain and sickness was not in my head and that I am not crazy!!

Lastly, to those of you that I owe reviews, whether they are products or book reviews, my future is uncertain until all these tests come back and treatments are started. I have not opened a good bit of them and if you would like them back, I can certainly send them back to you if you could send me a postage paid label. I wish I could just say I would send them back myself, but living on Disability has it's limits and I have no idea what medical costs I will be facing. Same thing with the books. I will gladly send them back if you want me to. If you haven't shipped out the books or products, please put a stop on them so it's one less thing I have to worry about.

I haven't decided on the book spotlights that I have signed up for in the future, but if it makes you a little uneasy as to whether I can get them up, please don't worry about hurting my feelings. I have another blogger who said she could help take those for me and put them on her blog so you won't miss whatever date you gave me, if that is acceptable. Just let me know what you would like done, and I will do my best to make it happen.

I truly hope that I don't have to close my blog down so you may see health updates from time to time and I will make that decision somewhere down the line.

Thanks to all of you who have followed me from the beginning and who entered my giveaways. I feel like I am letting you guys down the most but believe me when I say this, I thought long and hard on this subject for the last 2 weeks and it wasn't made lightly.

Here's hoping we see each other later on when my health issues are put to rest. And as always, pass along any good book titles that I can read to help keep my mind off of the scary things that might come down the road! I will definitely miss all of you.

Updated news from my visit with surgeons:

It looks like I won't know anything for another week or so. They want a breast MRI done because they will use a contrast that will light up every single bump and lump in there. They need that to show them exactly where to go for the biopsy. But, here is the kicker: Normally insurance companies won't pay for this because they say it's not been proven or it's not necessary!

Well, when a leading cancer doctor tells me it is necessary because they have to see it to make sure they get the right place for the biopsy, I believe I would prefer to tell the Health Insurance people to go fly a kite and when it's your turn to have breast cancer, let's see what you do!

She told me not to worry, that she has done this numerous times and it's basically a scare tactic hoping you will give up and pay for it yourself. She said she has yet to be turned down and doesn't intend to be turned down on this one either. Once they have that image, then we can schedule the biopsy and thank goodness, I will be given some happy medicine so I won't feel too much! That was what was really bothering me the most.
On another note, I have a frigging temperature!!! It was 100, so I stopped and got all kinds of things to help me get that number down to at least 99 and they will schedule it as long as it's no higher. Also, my blood pressure is not going away 154/92, so I guess when I see the heart doctor this coming Monday for my Echo Cardiogram, I will have to tell her so I can go on something I guess. I am also experiencing a severe sore throat that I think my brother gave me because he was sick recently. I have told people not to come around when they are sick because I catch things in a blink of an eye. My immune system is shot to heck and this was the last straw!

I need all of my energy and strength for what's coming down the road and I may have to ban everyone from coming until after we get this done. Hopefully, by Friday or Monday we will have a concrete date for the special breast MRI and I will keep everyone posted. Thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts. I really do appreciate the comments and they do lift up my spirits. Thank you all for taking the time out of your busy schedule's to leave a thought.

Third Update on February 8th:

Mike finally gad to take me to the Urgent Care on Thursday because I was still running a 100 degree temperature and my throat was really hurting pretty bad. He was also sick and so was my brother but both of them were ALOT MORE sick than me. My brother was blowing blood thru is nose and I told them I had to get better before next Wednesday because that is when they are going to do the Ultrasound for the right breast. Then, they will send that imaging disk to the surgeon so he knows exactly where to go. I will be given happy medicine the day of the biopsy so hopefully I won't  fell the needles. BUT, that was when we found out I still had the a 100 degree temperature and by the time the doctor came into the room, I was ready to pass out, so he made sure I was okay. It was all the poking around and I don't due well with needles, especially on an empty stomach.

After the MRI of the right breast is done, they will schedule the biopsy. I guess this is normal but it all seems to be running pretty fast for me. Is this normal to have everything go so fast? I am feeling better today but still very tired  and not sleeping well.

My other problem is that my Echo Cardiogram will be done on Wednesday so I will have to inform them of how high my blood pressure was been going on and I am hoping it's just because of all of the events leading up to this. I am keeping my fingers crossed on that one! I also have a dental cleaning appointment on Tuesday but will be rescheduling that because I have no idea how long as of this is going to be and with my Fibromyalgia and RA, I get so very tired easily, especially if I get in a panic mode.

If it  is all right with you guys, I am going to keep the same post and just keep adding updates, so that  no one will have to go looking for previous posts and  to piece them together.  You may notice a few days slipping here and there as my energy levels see to be all over the place while I am getting better.

Thanks so much  for all the encouraging words that have been left. Does anyone know a group that helps people in Metro Atlanta for dinner meals? I don't really need it for my self as don't really feel too hungry but I know Mike needs some help as he has to keep working.  It would be one less thing I have to worry about. Any and all suggestions  would be  deeply appreciated.

Well, here's hoping that come Wednesday that the lump is not too bad. Of course, that  means finding  a surgeon who is the best of the best! Good news! Blood pressure is down to 137, so at least something is finally going my way!

February 12, 2015

I was going to write these updates on different posts, then thought that if you hadn't read them from the beginning, you might be lost and not understand what is happening.  My husband and I both for some odd reason, both got sick last week! I didn't know even I was sick until we had met with the surgeon and they took my vitals and low and behold I had a 100 degree temp. So, I had to go to an Urgent Care since my Internist is so hard to get in to see and the surgeons said they wouldn't touch me with a 10 foot pole if I had a fever, so since last Friday I have been holed up in my room trying to wait out the flu which is silly since I had the flu shot and the pneumonia one also. So did Mike! I guess we got one of the bad batches.

Feeling much better as of this moment and I plan on keeping my 1:15 appointment today for the right breast MRI where they will inject some kind of contrast that will light up every nodule, bump or fatty tissue that is not suppose to be there. I am scared witless as I didn't want to know if they will be doing this by IV or if they shoot it into my breast so I guess I will know when I get there!

I don't think I had the same thing as he did as I never coughed or struggled to breath and he was coughing blood and blowing it, too, so who knows what the heck is going on anymore. Since they won't be using any happy drugs today, I told him to go on to work and if something should happen, they can get in touch with him. She did day that once they got the images from the MRI and knew where the mass was, then they would have me come back and then I will be getting the happy meds and would need a driver. I would think that might get scheduled some time next week as they are moving pretty fast on this.

My other concern was I had to re-schedule my Echo Cardiogram that was suppose to  have been done this past Monday but I was so sick and still had a fever, so they said no way would I come into the heart center and put other patients in jeopardy with more serious heart issues. So, that one got rescheduled for the 20th. I have to have those done every few years because of the leak that is in my heart and they need to keep an eye on it to see if it grows and then the wall that separates the right and left is not as rigid as it's suppose to be (which is actually a birth defect) and so because it's floppy, they say it could let blood cots pass through, so they need to keep an eye on that too.

I guess Mom must have passed all this on to me as it is all hereditary and no one else seems to have a problem that I know about yet. I dread that test also because they have to stick me with something and cause an air bubble to travel up into my heart and watch it on the screen and if the bubble gets through the wall, then that's not good because it means my wall is getting less weak. Oh, well, what can you do??? Sounds like if one thing doesn't get me, something else will, huh?

Anyway, I wanted to say Thanks so much to all  of you who still stop by and leave me such wonderful words of encouragement and when I am feeling down, I come by and read some of them and realize I am not alone in this world. I know my husband, Mike and my Yorkie, Charlie love me, but it's nice to know I have others I can talk to. Mike gets emotional and I am trying to keep everything light and easy for him because I know it's hard for him. I worry about him so I have asked all our friends to try and keep his spirits up and to act normal around him. He's a natural ham if you know what I mean and I need him to stay that way for his benefit and for mine because if he loses it, then I most definitely will not be able to put up a good fight and I want my father to be proud that I gave it my very best fight to the end, and really, that is about all you can really do, don't you think? Anyway, enough of the morbid stuff!

Still no word from the  Gastro doctor about all the biopsy's that they did from my stomach but I see him on the 17th, so I will just wait and see, so no news on that front yet either.

Please forgive me if I am not personally responding to your emails but I am getting like  800 a day and I am so very exhausted right now and it's all I can do to keep Charlie fed and make sure he is being taken care of  along with making sure that Mike is eating and taking care of himself.  Between that and taking my growing number of my growing number of  medications, I think I am doing a pretty good job of keeping it together.

I wish I could personally answer them all because it would  mean I am well on my way to being free and that would just make my day!! BUT, even with my pleas to stop sending me requests, am still getting over 900  emails and it's taking it's toll on me as my doctor's are getting concerned how high my blood pressure has risen. I am so sorry that I am going to have to cancel getting emails and newsletters for now but it's the only way I get them to stop.

I love reading my favorite ones and will not accidently stop yours too, but if that happens, you will  know ahead of time, that I am trying to get the spam and junk email out of the  way so I can finally get to my friend's emails because right now after reading about 50 emails, I have to stop and turn the computer off. The lights are causing me to misspell just about every word and its taking me about an hour to just post what I have just written to spell check the words and to separate them because they are starting to run together.

I will wait until I have some test results to share before I post more.

I did not know this at the time of my test nor was I explained about it afterwards. I found this out all by myself and I am quite upset!!
  • Evaluate the size and precise location of breast cancer lesions, including the possibility that more than one area of the breast may be involved (this is helpful for cancers that spread and involve more than one area)
  • Determining whether lumpectomy or mastectomy would be more effective
  • Detecting changes in the other breast that has not been newly diagnosed with breast cancer (There is an approximately 10 percent chance that women with breast cancer will develop cancer in the opposite breast. A recent study indicates that breast MRI can detect cancer in the opposite breast that may be missed at the time of the first breast cancer diagnosis.)
  • Detection of the spread of breast cancer into the chest wall, which may change treatment options
I did want to mention that I did have the MRI with contrast done today and thankfully, the girl who had to put the IV in, was an Angel because she found it on the first try and there were no passing out or any other antics that usually happen when nurses don't listen to what I have been told what to tell them by the IV Team of Nurses.

I have no veins apparently and the ones that I do have (on my right crook of my elbow only) and it sits right up under the skin but everyone wants to think they know best and try to go too deep and they blow it, but Thank Goodness, this beautiful young girl listened to me and I didn't even feel it when she got it in and we are all good to go.

So, the test is done and now comes the waiting part as to when they will schedule the surgery to see what kind of cancer it is or if it is even cancer. The tech did say while trying to find the little adhesive dot to put on my right breast, she found the lump and I guess for the first time so did I because it hurt like HELL, but I didn't tell her that. I kept that private dread to myself because I had been hoping it really wasn't there and the radiologist at my local hospital was just seeing things. So, no such luck!

On another note, not a peep out of the Gastro doctor, but I do go see him on the 17th for the results of the stomach biopsy we did of 2 different things, so this is really turning out to be a glorious February 2015 so far for me!! How about any of you? I must say I am getting a little tired of playing like the nice Southern gentle woman that everyone reads about in books or see's on TV shows or movies. I am just about ready to bust out my pipes and give everyone something to really wonder if I have gone stark raving mad and foaming at the mouth or did I take one too many of my medications or am I slap butt naked on booze!  Take your pick because it won't be long before these lungs start cranking out some things that I am getting mighty tired of holding back!
 Love Always~


Amy said...

Prayers for you! Hoping that your procedures go well!

Amy said...

Prayers for you! Hoping that your procedures go well!

Gala said...

I pray for you too. Please take care about yourself first.

wisedup1 said...

Goodness, you have been hit with a lot of personal stress. Please take care of yourself first. We will all be here to read as you post!
In prayer!

A GAL NEEDS said...

I am so very sorry that you are going through with this at this time. Please keep us updated and in the meantime, thoughts and prayers go with you always! Take care!

Wendi S said...

I am praying everything goes well for you. Sorry you are going through.

Carol N Wong said...

Will be praying for you. Don't worry about book reviews, there will be plenty of other people able to do them. I have had polyps in my stomach too and like you didn't know that was possible. Praying that your special MRI on your breast will be OK. Take your time. I have multiple health problems and one thing that really helps me is support groups so if you find out the main reason for all your health problems there is probably a support group for it. It helps when you can talk to other people who are going through the same thing that you are going through.
Yes, please do give us updates on your health.


Liz Donatelli said...

Sending healing vibes your way, Mary.

Maryann D. said...

Hoping that the doctors can help you and you will be well. You deserve health and much happiness. Best wishes to you.
twinkle at optonline dot net

Rebecca Camarena said...

Saying prayers and keeping you in my thoughts for a healthy state of body and mind. I hope you are better soon. Your blog is great and I thank you for all the authors that you hosted for me during their book tours.

spock7005 said...

((((((((((MARY)))))))))) Prayers going up, you sweet lovely soul.

KayM said...

Mary, I am so sorry you are going through such an awful time with your health problems and all being compounded by the insurance company. I will look forward to your updates. I'm praying for you.

Rita said...

Sending Prayers your way.

Jackie said...

Oh, Mary, I am so sorry for all you are going through. My prayers and thoughts will be with you.

spock7005 said...


Laura Fabiani iRead Book Tours said...

Hi Mary, I am so sorry you are going through a difficult illness! I read through your whole post and was amazed at all you've been through. Please, please do not worry about your book reviews or posts. Take care of yourself. Even if you take time off and return much later, we will all be here and will welcome you back with open arms.

I will make sure to temporarily remove you from my mailing list so that you do not keep getting requests in your inbox which will only stress you.

I am sending you lots of virtual hugs and kisses. I am thinking of you and praying that you keep courageously fighting this illness as you have been doing.

My thoughts are with you!

Laura Fabiani

Cate Beauman said...

Stay strong Mary! Power of positive thinking!