1200 Calories and Exercise!?!

The past two weeks I’ve been seeing a nutritionist.

¬†My name is Lynda and I’m a food addict. ūüėÄ

¬†But seriously, I am in the category of “obese” according to my BMI. This is not a good thing.

I weigh 69 lbs MORE than I did when I GAVE BIRTH to my last child.

I’m horrified!

I’m embarrased!

I’m ashamed of myself…how did I let this happen?

So, a few weeks ago, I decided to do¬†something proactive¬†about¬†my health and my weight problem.¬†I made an appointment with a registered dietician (my insurance pays for 6 visits per year). I want to be sucessful at this, but I have to admit, I’m more than a little scared. I have a bad case of FOF (Fear of Failure).

But more than this fear of failure is a fear of staying obese or becoming more obese. I know there are terrible health risks associated with being fat. I already feel awful, both physically and emotionally. And, I hate having to shop in the “fat” stores, even though some of the clothes are kind of cute!¬† I know this has to be a lifestyle change, not just a diet.

I’m also scared because I have a past history of bulimia¬†and I just don’t want to go there again. Yeah, I lost a lot of weight, but I’m here to tell you that I was FAR from healthy. That was a really dark time in my life. I don’t even feel like the same person, but I know that I could fall into that abyss again if I’m not careful and if I don’t have a plan. It’s really no different from alcoholism in that respect.

So, I’m off on a journey to improve my health, both physically and mentally. I need to get motivated. I need to JUST DO IT! If you are a praying person, please pray for me. I’m sure going to need it!

The “C” Word – Part 3

A few days after getting my pathology report, and after playing phone tag with Dr. K. (who is also T.’s dad), I spoke with Dr. K and read him the report and he offered to help in any way he could. (Bless him God, I mean it!) I told him that I wanted to know more about the surgeon that Dr. M referred me to and asked for his advice on whether I should see an endocrinologist. He said that he thought I should definitely seen an endocrinologist and that he’d do something checking and get back to me.

 The next morning while I was at work, I got a call from Dr. K. He said he had done a lot of checking on things and had arranged for me to see one of the top endocrinologists in the country THAT AFTERNOON! He also said he had check on the surgeon that Dr. M referred me to and said that he was just one year out of residency. Yikes! That scared me a little bit. He assured me that Dr. D, the guy I was going to see that afternoon would recommend someone with considerable experience and then he gave me the information to call and set up the appointment for that afternoon.

I called for my appointment, it was set for 1:00, and then called my husband¬† I ran home, got my hubby and we met my aunt and uncle at the doctor’s office. Dr. D is pretty awesome. He really is one of the top guys, as in the guy who writes papers on Thyroid Cancer the treatment of this beast. He also is a speaker at the endocrinologist conventions, so he teaches this stuff as well as practices it. I felt comforted. I felt more like I could breathe.

He did his own ultrasound of my thyroid and then we discussed surgeons. I expressed concern with having a surgeon who was only one year out of residency doing my surgery, and he agreed that it was better to have someone who is very experienced in this type of surgery doing mine. ¬†I¬†told him, “I want to know who YOU would let do this surgery on YOU or YOUR WIFE. That’s the guy I want!” He told me of several and I made my choice and he gave me the referral. My appointment is set for March 4th. I cancelled with one-year-out-of-residency-guy.

I have also found a good website that offers support to people with thyroid cancer. ThyCA: Thyroid Cancer Survivors¬†offers support for people like me, with newly diagnosed thyroid cancer. I think the biggest help to me has been understanding that because the various phases of treatment and testing tend to be spread out at fairly long time intervals compared to other cancers that this “hurry up and wait” thing is normal. I also found out that there is a support group that meets once a month here in Phoenix, so I think I will start attending that with next month’s meeting. I’m hoping to have had my surgery by then!

Thank you all who read and comment  on my blog. Your support is so much appreciated. I promise to keep you posted as I know more.

Happy Anniversary

For 8 years today you have been my best friend and my lover, my strength and my support.

 When I am down you lift me up and when I am in need of anything you do all that is in your power to supply whatever it is that I am needing.

Your intelligence challenges me to be better informed and to become more educated. And, even though we sometimes come out on different sides during our discussions, we can always agree to disagree.

In the time that I have known you, you have grown and become all that I saw was possible. Sometimes it was with tremendous growing pains, rarely did the growth come easily.¬† We’ve stood together when no one else thought it was possible. I look at the man you are today and I am so proud of you and so very thankful to be your wife.

Thank you for all you do for me, and for all you are to me. I love you more than you could possibly know.

Happy Anniversary, Honey.

Tag, you’re it!

Stephanie tagged me for this meme. Here are the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences in a comment here.
5. Tag five people & post a comment here once you post it to your blog, so I can come see. (I don’t think there are 5 people who blog who read my blog yet, so I’m going to change the rule a bit and say, “If you want to do this, please do! It’s fun!” )

¬†Here’s mine:

From An Incomplete Education by Judy Jones and William Wilson:

 Valedictorian of all celebrity photographers is Ron Galella, who has been sued by Jackie Onassis, punched by Marlon Brando, and deplored  by even the most deplorable of his subjecs. None of this has affected him adversely. Jackie and Brando are gone, and Ron, whose photos have recently been legitimized by an expensive art book, a major gallery show, a museum retrospective, and the sheer passage of time, now gets star treatment himself.

The “C” Word – Part 2

I read the pathology report to my husband and he agreed that the words¬†“follicular carcinoma” were bad. He told me he loved me and that we would get through this together.¬†I cried. Then I called my aunt and told her the news. She’s a nurse and I wanted to get her educated opinion on what I had read. She said it sounded like what we thought was right, and I told her I would scan the report and email it to her when I got back to work.

I drove back to work and talked to my boss about the report. He was really concerned and supportive, which helped a lot.  I scanned the document and emailed it to my husband and my aunt. They both got online and started researching follicular carcinoma. Knowledge is power, right?

¬†My hubby IM’d me the links to what he found. As I read the description on the website I was somewhat comforted to see that thyroid cancer has a high survivability rate, about 95%. As I read further I saw that there is a chance of the cancer metastasizing to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. Great. I felt like I was taking one step forward and three steps back. And I was still at work so I had to refocus (yeah right) and get my work finished before 5:00.

¬†My uncle called me and said that he was sure sorry to hear about my report and that he and my aunt would like to take us out for dinner that night.¬†My aunt and uncle¬†are spending some time in Phoenix this winter and I’ve never been more grateful to have family close by.¬†They are such wonderful people! We agreed to meet at Rockbottom, set a time, and then I went back to work, albeit somewhat distracted.

¬†This was our weekend to have the boys and my hubby called their mom, T.,¬†to tell her what we found out. They decided that we would all tell them about my situation together when we went to pick them up. When we got to their house T. met us at the door and gave me a big hug. We asked the boys¬†to come into the living room and told them we had something to discuss with them. I’m sure they thought they were in trouble for something! ūüôā My hubby started the ball rolling and told them what we read in the report and that I am sick and that it is probably cancer. Their faces fell and I asked them if they had any questions. N., the oldest, asked if I was hurting and I told him that I was just a little sore from the biopsy, but that the nodule itself doesn’t hurt. B., the younger one just kept looking at me, but didn’t ask any questions. I’m sure that I looked a little scary with the huge bruise on my neck. They both hugged me and said, “I love you, Lynda.” More tears.

We arrived at Rockbottom for dinner and after we ordered, my aunt, who is my mom’s sister, and I went outside to call my mom. She took it well, though I know she was a lot more concerned than she could let on. She promised to come here for my surgery if I wanted or needed her to and I thanked her and said I would let her know more about that when I knew more. At this point I still have not even spoken with my doctor. I asked her to call my brothers and sister and let them know what was going on and she said she would.

I called both of my kids later that evening and told them what was going on. They were concerned, but both are very strong and held it together. I explained that, from what we had read, there is a very high survivability rate for this and that we need not worry for now. I promised to keep them informed.

After a rough weekend of reading about follicular carcinoma online and getting very little sleep we decided to drive to the doctor’s office together on Monday morning. We were greeted by the receptionist.

¬†“Do you have an appointment?”

“No, but I really need to see Dr. M.”

“She doesn’t have anything today, how about later this week?”

¬†“No, I need to see her today. It’s about my biopsy report”

” What kind of insurance do you have?”

“Blue Cross, Blue Sheild.”

“Oh. We don’t take that anymore.”

“What?”

“We are no longer with Dr. N., whose contract we were using for billing.¬† And we don’t have our contract with BCBS yet.”

¬†“So Dr. M. won’t even see me?”

Hubby was standing there incredulous. I was mad.¬†I had waited all weekend to talk to my doctor and now this person is telling me that MY doctor won’t see me because my insurance is no good to them right now.

I said, “Please tell Dr. M. that I’m here, with my biopsy report and that I want to talk to her. Today. Right now.”

She scurried to one of the back rooms, told Dr. M. what I said and Dr. M. came out almost running to me. ūüôā

“Lynda! How did you get your report? I don’t even have it yet!”

“I called the hospital when I couldn’t reach you on Friday. They said I could come pick it up in person, so I did. It’s not good.”

She looked it over and I could tell by her face that we were right, it wasn’t good. She had her referral person set up an appointment with a surgeon. Then she did an amazing thing. Something that I’ve never had a doctor do before. She took my hand in one of her hands, and my hubby’s hand with the other and she prayed for us! When she was finished there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

When we left her office my husband said, “I don’t care if we have to cancel our insurance and get one that she DOES accept, we’re NOT changing doctors!”

The “C” Word – Part 1

A few weeks ago, due to some suspicious cysts and nodules noted in my thyroid during an ultrasound and, later, a nuclear scan, my doctor sent me for a biopsy of my thyroid. This is a rather painful procedure during which you are totally awake while a interventional radiologist numbs your neck and thyroid and then proceeds to repeatedly jam a tiny needle into your thryoid (I mentioned I was awake, right?  Yeah, I thought so.) in an attempt to harvest enough cells to determine if there is a malignancy residing in one or more of these cysts and nodules.  

The numbing process is akin to having a legion of angry fire ants dropped onto your neck! It stings! It burns! And, as it turns out, I have a high tolerance for the medicine that they inject so it continues to hurt while¬†the radiologist is¬†digging around in my thyroid with that little needle attempting to aspirate the right amount of ¬†“cells” from the various places in my neck. They did this process 6¬†times with 6 jabs¬†in each lobe¬†of my thyroid. ¬†That’s 36 needle sticks on each lobe of my thyroid.

This is not a procedure for the faint hearted! However, I must admit, it was kind of cool watching the procedure on the ultrasound screen.

I was told by the nurse that I would have the results in a couple of days. I was not able to reach my doctor when those couple of days were up so I called the hospital, who told me that the report was ready! They informed me that they are not allowed to give me the results over the phone, only my physician can do that, but if I came down to the hospital medical records department they could print it out for me.  I jumped into my Nissan and drove to the hospital. 

“Medical Records please? ”

“Down the hall and to your right”

¬†“Thank you.”

”¬†ID please.”

“Here you go.”

Within about 10 minutes I had the envelope in my hot little hands. It was big, white and official looking with the hospital’s logo printed on the front.

I resisted the urge to sit down in the waiting room and open it. I was nervous and scared and if it was bad news I didn’t want to cry in front of a bunch of strangers, ¬†so I left the report in the sealed envelope until I got to my car. Once¬†I was seated,¬†I carefully pried the gummy tab open and lifted out the contents…about 12 pages altogether. I leafed through the various documents…the¬†admitting form,¬†discharge instructions, the page listing my vitals that were taken while I waited in the outpatient post-op area following the procedure…and then there was the pathologists report. I read about the procedure and how they did the biopsy, and then the comments.¬†¬†

I was actually doing pretty well reading about the biopsy of the right¬†lobe of my thyroid. I could even pronounce most of the words. Ultimately it said that a benign diagnosis for this complex cyst was favored, but that they hadn’t harvested enough of the matter during the¬†biopsy to give a definitive diagnosis. GREAT…does that mean I’m going to have to do this again?

Then I read the comments for the left lobe. The last two words in the comment were follicular carcinoma. My heart dropped into my shoes as I scanned it again, hoping I had misread it the first time. Nope, those ugly words are still there – Follicular Carcinoma…I’m not a doctor, or anything remotely close to a medical professional, but I fully understood what carcinoma is.

I called my husband…