Tuesday, April 29, 2014


A side effect of all this cancer and chemo is that I have lost about 40 pounds since last May and 75 pounds since my diagnosis.  My clothes look like I am a walking wardrobe malfunction.  My pants are falling down and the necklines on my shirts have become too revealing.  So, I went to try on some smaller clothes and thought I must have overdone it, because my left hip started hurting.  It was uncomfortable to sit or lie down.  The pain lasted all Easter weekend, so I called Dr. Laudi's office and they ordered an MRI for yesterday morning. 

Around 5:00pm, Dr. Laudi called and said my Lumbar spots looked the same.  He couldn't see the liver spot.  There are now 2 new small spots- one on my left pelvis/hip area and one on my left femur head.  He talked about starting radiation to the left hip, which would help the pain, but would damage the bone marrow.  He is concerned, because it has been 4 weeks since I have had any treatment.  He wants me to start another chemo, but first he wants me to have another biopsy. I will get chemo while I wait for the biopsy results.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Can I scream now?!

It's been 3 weeks since my biopsy and we still haven't heard a thing, so today we called the clinic and were told (and I quote), "There was a problem with your biopsy sample, but we didn't want to tell you, because we knew you'd get mad."

What the F-CK!!!

Apparently, the first tumor sample was mishandled in some way.  Remember, Dr. Laudi said this was a process that had to be followed precisely.  I was lying facedown on a table, so I don't know what they did.  What I do know is that nobody was supposed to come or go during the biopsy.  I know we did change rooms before the procedure started, because the surgeon wanted to use a different scanner to guide him. I know the doctor wasn't sure if the first sample got enough cells, so he took a second sample.  Beyond that, I was in a compromising position. I couldn't offer much assistance. 

Apparently, when the clinic learned the first sample was crap, they sent in the second one, hoping to get it back before we started calling about it. 

My life is literally in these people's hands.  I understand they are people.  I don't expect them to be anything else.  I understand people make mistakes, drop lab tubes, lose chemo or don't push Enter on the computer when scheduling my appointments.  I get it.  I am human, too.  What I have a harder time with is feeling like they are hiding things from me and aren't being honest with me.  Please, just tell me the truth.  Do your best to advocate for me or I will do it myself.  I admit, I am an assertive woman and some people have a problem with that.

For example,
A few years ago, I was at Target Pharmacy in Blaine picking up Mark's asthma inhalers.  I like shopping for bargains, so I browsed around a while first, then headed to the Pharmacy area that looked kind of busy.  I stood in line and waited.  When it was my turn, I asked for Mark's prescription.  The Pharmacist stomped over and announced that she was not going to fill the prescription as the doctor ordered, so instead of 3 inhalers she was going to give him 2. 

"Can you override a doctor's order?" I asked.  

"I am going to."  She said.

Without raising my voice, I simply posed a question, "May I have your name and the name of the Manager of this department?"  I dug in my purse for a pen and scrap of paper and waited.

"What?" she asked.  "Why?"

"When my husband dies of an asthma attack, because you did not fill his prescription as his doctor wrote it- a doctor who knows him and actually assessed him... well, I need to know who I should talk to about that."

She glared at me for a moment, then ripped open the bag, stomped back to her drug shelves, pulled another inhaler off the shelf, threw it in the bag and crunched the top shut.  She did stop to dial a number and speak to someone on the phone.  I glanced around as I dug for my debit card and noticed that many Pharmacy patrons were watching this little display.  Oh well, nothing much else to do while waiting for a prescription.

She barked out my total and ran my card.  I thanked her as a security guard came up to the counter.  She took him aside, motioned toward me and whispered a confidence. 

The security guard approached me, "Ma'am, I will escort you out of the store."

"Thank you," I smiled, "that's very nice of you."

Assertive women are a huge security risk, it seems.  Especially when they are asking questions and taking names.   

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Natalie's Play

Natalie was a Cheerleader in her school play,
"High School Musical."

Great job, Natalie!