Friday, June 13, 2014

All Clear

Yesterday was a very trying day.  I started out attending a User Group meeting for work and spent four hours listening to the speaker talk about next iterations of software development.  Some very cool things on the horizon, but I couldn't get it out of my mind that I needed to be at Froedtert at 2:00.

I needed to go back in for another biopsy; this time a stereotactic biopsy.  Ultimately that meant lying on a table face down while I was squished, poked, prodded, cut and pinched over about an hour and half time frame.  I could say it was the single most painful experience of my life.  It wasn't, but it made me extremely uncomfortable, and it hurt.  Plain and simple.

After the biopsy they did yet another mammogram.  This was the fifth in three weeks.   I hadn't anticipated having to go through this when I decided to not cancel my appointment.

After the biopsy, my husband and I took a ride to Mequon to pick up a new used jeep...something he can use to occupy his time.  

After that, and a quick pizza for dinner, we headed to the football meeting where we tried to accomplish something for the Fest and this upcoming season.

Last night was awful.  It was painful to lay on my back and either of my sides, and I tossed and turned most of the night.

Today was extremely busy at work.  It was my interns last day, so I was trying to wrap up his tenure while finishing our company newsletter, created a couple of blasts for next week, and worked on the football team lists.  

The call from Froedtert came in at 10 am this morning and I thought it was just the nurse checking in on me.  That's how the call started.  How do you feel?  Is there swelling?  How about bruising?  Any blood discharge?  My answers:  I'm sore; yes there is swelling; yes there is bruising; yes there is blood.   Then she hit me with we have the results.  I was sick to my stomach and thought the worse.  I thought she was buttering me up.  Then she told me the test was benign and we don't need to see your for six months.  I was beside myself.  I hung up and immediately called my husband.  I felt incredibly relieved.

We had cake this afternoon that took my intern completely by surprise.   I knew we were celebrating him and wishing him well.   I was also celebrating me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

5 Minutes in a Moms Head

I read this article today (5 Minutes in a Moms Head) on the Huffington Post.  It made me take a step back and think about everything I have going on in my head.  I realized that I need to sit down in a room with pen and a notebook and write down everything I need to remember.  Not just things that I need to do, things that I need to remember to remind my husband to do, or my kids to do, or my boss to do.  Things that I need to do at home.  And at work.  And with the football program, or my blog, the books I'm attempting to write.  I have notes about the pictures I want to post and those that need to be cleaned up before I post them.

I keep calendars.  Lots of them.  On my phone.  On my wall.  In my email.  On my desk.  In my head. I thank the makers of Post-It notes for allowing me to use those little yellow dreams that often get misplaced or tossed or shoved in a folder to never be seen again.

My to-do list is long; a few pages at least, a book at most.  I take great pride when I'm able to mark of one of the hundred things I need to get done on a daily basis.  Fast forward a few days, and my to-do list looks like it was attacked by a 4-k'er armed with smelly markers and a box of 64 crayons.

Last week I attended a Lunch and Learn put on management in my office.  It was based on a book called "Getting Things Done" by David Allen.  It's about the art of stress free productivity and organization and he focused on organizing not only your email boxes but voicemail and the hundreds of post it notes, to do lists and calendar entries any single person may have.  First and foremost, in email, you need to create folders.  He told us, much to my internal giggling, that your inbox should always be empty.  When you see something come in, if you can't easily answer the email/question in two minutes or less, you should move it to a folder (to do, to follow up on, to keep for future get the picture.)

After the session I was ready to tackle my work inbox that houses, at last glance, 4,609 emails.  Yes, you read right.  Keep in mind, there are only 75 that are marked as new that I really need to file, follow up on or delete  I'm a firm believer in hanging on to emails incase I need to CMA.  In layman's terms...that's COVER MY ASS.   In addition to the 4,609 emails at work, there are hundreds in our home account and thousands in an account I use for Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, Blogs, Recipes, Job Searches, Event Management, and my boys high school Gridiron Club.  

I asked a question during the session about sent file...should you organize those?  Answer was, no.  It's not necessary.  Interesting thought on that and one that I'll explore after I clean up the inboxes.

As for the Huffington Post article today, I agree with it wholeheartedly.  As I was writing this entry, I added another six items that I need to follow up on, and I saved two articles I need to read at a later date.

Good lord help me.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Oh Happy Day!

A nurse from the cancer clinic called today and gave me the all-clear.  All samples were benign, but they may want to go back in and take a few more samples as precaution since they don't believe they reached the original spot on my left side.  I'm still thinking positive and breathed a sigh of relief when the call came in.  I won't know for sure until sometime early next week.

Next up...follow up appointment in six months.  I will never, ever miss another doctors appointment again.  Work can wait; health cannot.

I'd like to jump for joy, but I'm stuck at work on this beautiful June day.  Needless to say, I'll be driving home with the windows open and the radio blasting.

Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Day After

One day post biopsy and I sit here wondering what the results are going to be.  The radiologist was pretty certain she would have to go back in again and take another sample.  She didn't say it was a bad sign, just that she was in the wrong place and that the spot looks a little deeper.

A call from a nurse today resulted in finding out that Froedtert was without power this morning, so I don't anticipate hearing anything until Monday.  It's going to be a long weekend of waiting and wondering.

My husband is my rock.  He was at the hospital with me, albeit in the waiting room and unable to delve further into the inner sanctum of the breast care center.   It made me think of the day our oldest was born.  He was waiting with me, then was ushered to change into scrubs and I was taken into the OR to be prepped for my first C-section.  When he came back to the original room, I wasn't there and he flipped out.  Literally, going to kill someone freak out.  He took the nearest orderly and pushed him against the wall and demanded to know where I was taken. Thankfully, my doctor heard the ruckus and calmed him down.

I'm keeping positive knowing that worrying isn't healthy and this could all be just a precaution. One of two things will happen.  I'll find out there is nothing wrong and I'll move about my day, or I'll found out that there is something wrong and I'll tackle it, side by side, with my husband, kids, family and friends.

Monday, June 2, 2014

When Reality Strikes

For nearly the last four years, I have put off the inevitable.  I didn't schedule a mammogram.  My doctor put in the order at Froedtert, and it just sat there.  Every year I've gone in for my physical and he's mentioned it.  I always put it off.  I blamed work. I blamed my schedule.  I blamed the kids schedule.

Last year a friend of Doug's and mine was diagnosed with breast cancer and subsequently had to go through radiation and chemo.  Even that didn't convince me I should actually make my appointment.  

A couple of months ago another friend, one that I've been friends with for the last 15 years, had a scare and had to have surgery.  Then a second surgery.  It really hit home.  I scheduled my appointment, and as the day got closer, I started to make excuses.  I've been swamped at work.  Ryan had surgery scheduled.  Shawn was just getting home finishing his second year of college.

Needless to say, the morning of my mammogram, I hopped on the expresssway and started to go into work and was going to blow off the appointment.  I ended up getting off and swinging back to the hospital because it's about time I take care of myself.

It was the morning of May 23rd, two days after my youngest's knee surgery.  I had two interviews scheduled in my office, and we were leaving for our cabin promptly at 3:30.  I didn't have time to go, but I did.

On Monday, May 26 at 11:34 pm I received an email with a MyChart new test result.  I saw this email at around 3:00 am Tuesday morning.  It confirmed that they think they found something.  Four somethings.  I needed to schedule another mammogram and possible ultrasound.

Needless to say, I couldn't sleep the rest of that night.  I didn't wake my husband, I just laid in bed thinking about how stupid I was for waiting.  I called Froedtert Cancer Center on Tuesday morning and they said they couldn't schedule the new appointment until my doctor put through the order.  I sent him an email...the order went through the system at 4:29 pm on Tuesday.  I picked up the phone to call the CC and schedule the appt and they were closed for the day.  The next morning I had 8 am, 9 am and 10 am meetings, so I wasn't able to schedule anything until 11:30.

I made it through last week just wondering what was going to happen.  My first appointment was scheduled for this morning at 8:45 am, the second at 9:30.  I was there at 8:00 hoping I could get in early.  I did, and after two more mammograms and a dozen pictures, I was sent back to the waiting room to wait.  They needed to do the ultrasound.   

Fast forward to 9:45, and I was in there waiting yet again.  One full ultrasound, waiting, then the doctor came into to do a live ultrasound.  Fast forward to 10:30 am and the diagnosis is undetermined.  I have to have two, possibly three biopsies this week Wednesday.

Tomorrow is my 44th birthday.  I like to think I'm stronger than most people, but I sit here wondering what Wednesday will bring.  My kids wanted to give me my presents early tonight, I said no...I wanted something to look forward to tomorrow.

It could be nothing. It could just be a little spot on both sides.  I won't sit here and worry about something I cannot control.   I'll go through the night tonight attending my youngest's track banquet...I'll go to work tomorrow and Wednesday morning and get through my super busy days and hopefully keep my mind off the important things in life.  I'll celebrate my birthday, at home with my husband and kids...because that's what matters in life.   And I'll never, ever put off attending an appointment again.