• The boys and I

  • A Little ‘Bout Me

    I’m 44, married and live in a sewerless small town on the central coast of California. I am an Inflammatory Breast Cancer survivor. My passions are reading, knowledge, shopping and photography – in varying order depending upon my mood. Though I’ve always wanted to be really good at something, I find that I’m just pretty good at most things. I live with my husband, Daddy-O, and our sons, Ben and Danny who are 10 and 5. Ben has ADHD and enough natural energy to power the Pacific Time Zone… and he’s not afraid to use it. Danny has Norries – a rare genetic disease causing him to be born blind. It’s a crazy, hectic life but I can’t complain any more than usual.
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Put on a happy face

I have to wonder about myself sometimes. Do I even know myself at all?

I had my three month visit with my oncologist today. This time I actually went in with a well-thought (yet hastily-scrawled) out list of concerns to discuss. But first, the important news… all my blood work was perfect! No indications that there is any cancer on the horizon. Amen!

Rarely do I have lists for my doctors. I usually breeze in all sunshine and smiles making the best of even the worst of situations with a few notable exceptions. I was decidedly unsunny when I arrived at the Emergency Room with a ruptured fallopian tube. Once Daddy-O and Ben got there the whole episode became fairly foggy, but I do have a vague recollection of thrashing around on the table in pain, sure I was about to die and praying out loud for God to save me or at least not take me in front of my son. Or when I bawled my eyes out pregnant with Danny at my regular doctor’s office because I’d had undiagnosed bronchial asthma for months and was so physically stressed from just. not. breathing. that I couldn’t maintain anymore! Otherwise, I might have one off-the-cuff question or two but that’s it.

Today’s list read something like this:

  • Forgetfulness!!! Chemo-brain or old age?
  • Still painful sternum
  • Big bruise on arm since August!
  • Wake up still tired. Low energy? Depression?
  • Daddy-O says I’m a bitch… asks if meds can be increased… please?????

After regailing her with my many and varied tales of forgetful woe, Dr. Villa came to the shocking conclusion that I am doing too much multi-tasking. Put another way, if I put too many balls in the air one is bound to fall every now and then. Plus, I am getting older.

No worries about he painful sternum. I don’t know why I shouldn’t worry. She didn’t say. I didn’t ask. I’m ok with that.

Same thing with the ginormous bruise (which is really a mere shadow of it’s former self) that has been on my arm since August. No worries. Eh.

I worried that I might be having a bit of depression (even though I don’t feel like I’m depressed) as indicated by my waking tired after a full nights sleep, constant low energy, etc. etc. Those are the same symptoms I had the last time I didn’t feel depressed after I had my miscarriage. Turns out I actually was. Huh. Who knew? So I thought I’d ask. But my Dr. V gets the big bucks for a reason. Her first question was if I’d been excercising, which I haven’t. See asthma reference above which is triggered by cold. The virus I got in early December flared up the asthma and it’s been too cold and/or windy for me to get outside and walk until this week. So no excercise for me. Click! 100 watts glaring at me. That accounts for both symptoms. See. I knew I wasn’t depressed.

But apparently, I am a bitch.

I’m finding this harder and harder to deny. Though, in my defense, I do live with three testosterone-ridden humans and suffer with immeasurable provocation. Still, I do sometimes step out of myself in mid-rant and raise an eyebrow at my own hostility. At any rate, she is going to increase the dosage of my Effexor and see if that helps with my break-through hot flashes and these apparent nasty mood swings.

Daddy-O is lucky to have her as an ally.

As well as all that went, I left my appointment feeling less than satisfied.

We normally hug and gush and smile after leisurely minutes of familiar catching up. Today was more formal and doctor / patient like. She looked fairly sober as I left. No hug. No emotional fireworks display for the wonderful bloodwork and continued victory over cancer. I walked out feeling like a burden. *sigh*

Now I can’t help but wonder if I am always so positive and upbeat because that is the way I’ve always been or because I crave approval.


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