Anyone Hiring?

I found out last night, at 5:00, that my wages are being cut by more than half. I’m bummed. I love my job 99% of the time, but I can’t afford to stay at that rate. I just can’t. By the same token I understand that they can’t afford to keep me at the wage I was making.

I’d appreciate your prayers and if you live close to me and know of any good positions¬†of the Office Manager/ Executive Assistant persuasion, please let me know.

I’ve agreed to stay on until I find something else, and to train whoever they get to replace me.

Needless to say, I’m not having a happy day. ūüė¶

I believe that God has a plan for me in all of this, I truly do. But I’d really like to know what His plan is NOW rather than later. God, if you’re listening…I could use some good news about now. Thanks!

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I’m Melting!!! (Well, not anymore, but I was!)

Friday I get a call from my husband informing me that it was 88 degrees in our house and rising rapidly. Our A/C was out. This is not good news in Arizona in August. It was 108 degrees outside and it was FRIDAY!!

Thankfully we were able to get someone to the house to check out the A/C. Bad news. He said it would cost at least $1200 to fix it, but it would probably break again within a year so we should really consider getting a new one. They’re only $5000+!!!!!!!!!

We decided to get a second opinion on Monday (today) and then talk to the bank about financing.

Yesterday, after both of us being hot and crabby for three days, my husband said to me, “Call someone and get them here today!” So I did. I got online and found Redco Construction. It was 1:30 PM when I¬†called them and the very nice girl on the other end of the line said that someone would be out between 2:30 and 3:30. He was there by 2:30!

This guy was so nice and the company is a small mom and pop business (http://www.redcoelectric.com/). He climbed up on the roof and checked things out and prepared his estimate Р$560 to fix the same things that the guy who came on Friday said would cost over $1200! He said that at some point we should consider getting a new, more energy efficient A/C someday but emphasized that it was not necessary at this point in time. This one could absolutely be repaired.

I felt bad for the repairman, it was at least 108 while he was up on the roof working, but within an hour of signing off on the estimate our house was cooling down from a stifling 90+ degrees to a comfortable 78 degrees by the time we went to bed.

Hubby was happy. Kitties were happy. Dog was happy. Fishes were happy.

Ahhhh…what a great night’s rest!

Commode Catastrophe

Last week I noticed that the floor in our downstairs 1/2 bath was wet…an apparent leak from the toilet. My hubby shut off the water to the potty, flushed a couple of times to get all the water out of the tank and proceeded to check out where the water was coming from. It turned out to be a corroded bolt/nut/gasket problem. So the water was leaking out around the rusted out hardware. It was early in the week and we had a lot going on¬†with work and other things, so we decided to make fixing it a weekend issue.

Saturday morning we took a trip with the old, rusted out hardware in a ZipLock baggie, down to our Home Depot store. I love Home Depot. Especially since we bought our house. I can wander up and down those ginormous aisles for hours dreaming and planning. But that day we were on a mission to get new hardware to hold the tank in place and stop the leak. We wandered through the plumbing aisles amidst the plethora of faucets, sinks, stoppers, towel racks, hampers, pipes and fixtures and finally asked a guy in an orange apron for some help. He got us to the right section, compared our old bolts to the new ones and for $4 we had the solution to our leaky toilet.

Or so we thought.

We got home and proceeded to figure out the proper way to bolt that tank back onto the bowl. There were several pieces in that $4 bag including washers, gaskets, bolts and nuts. You take the bolt, thread a metal washer, then a gasket onto the end toward the head of said bolt and stick it through the tank, down through the hole in the bowl (hey, that rhymes!) and then from the bottom side you slide another gasket and washer up to the bowl side and start threading the nuts, two for each bolt (because, I guess, one just wouldn’t be enough?). Because our downstairs bathroom is quite tiny, you do all this nearly standing on your head! Then you take a large flathead screwdriver and hold the bolt in place while your husband gets the socket going to screw that little nut. Hubby’s standing on his head now, trying to effectively use the ratchet¬†in this precarious position and I’m hunched over the bowl with one hand on the wall to brace¬†myself while trying to keep the flat end of the screwdriver on the head of the bolt and hold it in place so it doesn’t just spin around and around while hubby screws on that nut.¬† It was like a sick game of Twister.¬†We repeat this whole scenario for the other side of the tank.

Once the tank appeared to be securely fastened onto the toilet hubby turned the water back on. The tank filled up and was flushed and water promptly started to leak from it again. Sigh…

So we decide that it needed to be tightened to make the gasket’s seal a bit more snug to prevent leaks. We don’t need the screwdriver to hold the bolt in place anymore so it’s just the ratchet/socket combo now.

This is where it gets ugly.

Did you know that if¬†you tighten the bolts too much…you’re going to hear a nasty, high pitched, cracking sound. That will be your tank…splitting from the bolt all the way to the top. It will be unfortunate if this happens. It will be disastrous if you’ve got a tank full of water and haven’t turned the water to the toilet off again.¬†We had water all over the bathroom floor (tiny as it is, that’s a LOT of water) and it was spreading out into the hallway and kitchen. It took four large bath towels and a mop to clean up that mess.

Husband is not happy. He’s cussing. A lot.

I’m cussing too. A lot.

We got¬†the tank¬†off the stool¬†and hubby¬†hauls it out to the pile of bulk garbage we need to put out for the truck next time it comes around. He’s pissed. He goes in to play Madden ’08 and cool down. I’m not as pissed so I offered to go back to Home Depot myself and get another tank. He agreed to let me go by myself only on the condition that I didn’t try to lift or carry it myself (toilets are HEAVY!). I promised I would get someone to help me with it.¬† I got the specs off the old tank (Crane, manufactured in 1996, part number) and drove to Home Depot.

Guess what! Home Depot doesn’t carry Crane toilets.¬†GREAT! ¬†

The helpful guy in the orange apron told me that there might be some plumbing companies still open who carry Crane products and he gave me two names. But since this toilet was manufactured in 1996 I wasn’t sure that they’d even have the part, or figured they’d have to order it. And we wanted our bathroom back in working order. So I called my hubby and told him what was going on. We both cussed and then decided that we’d buy a new toilet and install it ourselves.

Did you know toilets can cost as much as $1500??? Holy crap! I didn’t.

We had hoped to get an all in one (one piece)¬†model, so we wouldn’t have to go through the nightmare of¬†attaching the tank again. But those were all around $350-$500. Of course the $99 all-in-one toilet was out of stock so I¬†ended up getting¬†this old fashioned two piece’r for the low, low everyday price of just $144!¬†This¬†included the seat and the wax ring so I had everything we needed to get “going” downstairs again. I¬†found someone to load¬†the box¬†onto my cart, paid for it and got a kid to help get it hefted up into my Pathfinder and headed home.

We removed the old bowl¬†and found¬†that instead of a caulking seal around the base of the stool, the brainiac builders had used grout. My husband¬†had to get¬†down on his hands an knees and carefully chisel away at this mess until it was all smooth and then cleaned up the floor.¬†I don’t want to tell you how nasty a job it was removing the old wax ring residue. EWWWW!

My hubby and I¬†unloaded the heavy box into the garage and took the parts out one at a time. We brought the new bowl in and got it installed. We’d learned our lesson about overtightening the bolts on the tank and so this time that was a breeze. Of course this installation couldn’t go off entirely without a hitch. The old¬†hose that connected the tank to the water outlet was too short by about 1/2″. (More cussing!) So, shoving the too-short hose into my purse, ¬†back to Home Depot I went.

This time a gal in an orange apron helped me find¬†a hose with the properly sized fittings on each end that was long enough. She found one and I took it up to pay, but there was no price and no UPC code on the dang thing. She kept trying to look it up in various ways and the people in line¬†behind me were getting impatient. I finally offered to go BACK to the place where I got the hose and write down the code and price for her…since her tiny brain couldn’t compute the fact that she needed to call back for a price check. I got the required information, had to track her down again because by the time I got back up there (it was like a whopping 2 minutes) she had changed registers, paid for my hose and went home. We got the hose screwed on, turned the water on, flushed and GLORY BE!!! It works!!

 Whew. What a day!

After Thyroid Cancer – Still Not Quite Back To Normal

It has been 6 1/2 weeks since my total thyroidectomy. My incision is looking pretty good. The lump at the base of my throat is still there…I’m not liking it. I wish it would go away. I don’t like the way it looks. I don’t like the way it feels. It doesn’t hurt, it just feels…foreign. It shouldn’t be there. I’m going to ask my surgeon about it on Monday.

My voice, while I never totally lost it, is still slow in coming back to normal. I’m wondering if this is related to the lump. I can’t even stand the sound of my own singing along with the radio in my car!! I want it back…to normal. Heck, I want it back better than normal because I love to sing, but I’d be happy with normal.

My medication dosage was raised a bit last week when my blood work came back showing my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) level was high at 7.66. The reference range this lab uses is 0.30 – 3.00, so I’ve got a ways to go. I still feel quite hypothyroid¬†¬†with my worst symptoms being depression, constipation (like you really wanted to know that!), fatigue, and muscle cramps and weakness. My hair is not right either…it’s flat, dull and dry (anyone who knows me knows that my hair has never been dry a day in my life!).

I expected it to take me a while¬†to get “normal” again, so I’m not bumming too badly. I do wish that I felt better and more energized, but I know that¬†it will happen, eventually, and that this is just part of the whole thyroid cancer process. I’ve been so fortunate to not have to go through the RAI¬†to kill the remaining thyroid tissue. I am grateful for that, believe me. Still, I wish there was some way to fast forward¬†my recovery. If I could figure it out I could make BILLIONS!! I know there are many other THYCA patients that would want that benefit.

On a much better note – My daughter and son-in-love are coming for a visit in a couple of weeks! I’m really excited¬†to see them! I got to spend a little time with them in November when I went to see my granddad, but it was WAY too short a visit with the kids. I’m planning on feeling much better by the time they get here! ¬†I want to enjoy every moment with them!!

Rescheduled…again

At 12:30 I got a call from my surgeon’s office, “Dr. VLR is running late. Let’s reschedule for 4:00 PM. But call first, just to be sure he’s going to make it.”

“Okay.”

I called at 3:00 and was told that he’s NOT going to make it. Grrrrrrrr. I guess I sounded a little frustrated because the receptionist handed me over to the doctor’s assistant. Ms. Assistant said she would have him call me tonight and rescheduled me to Monday morning. She asked what time works best for me. HA!

“Whatever time I’m the least likely to get stood up again.” I replied, with a hint of sarcasm.

“How does 8:00 AM work?” she apologetically asked.

“I’ll see you then.”

It’s 10:05 PM and still no call. But since I’m already on antibiotics, I’m not sure there is much more that he’d do anyway.

I’m glad it’s the weekend.

Post Surgery…

I can’t express enough gratitude for all your prayers and good thoughts for me while I was in the hospital and having surgery! I got out on Tuesday evening after dinner. I spent most of the day yesterday in bed, scarfing down pain pills and moaning while watching baseball and basketball!

My thyroidectomy, which I learned in the hospital is also called a thyroid resection, went very well. They were only able to detect a very small amount of cancer in the early biopsy, so it is possible that I am completely cured! Of course I won’t know this for sure until we get the official biopsy report and I see both of my doctors in early May, approximately three weeks after my surgery.

The wheels of information still turn very slowly…too slowly for my liking and I am finding myself feeling very impatient and frustrated with the little amount that I do know and in how long it will take to really know anything for certain.

Here’s what I do know:

My surgery took about 4 hours.

They found a 3mm spot of papillary cancer in the left nodule. There may be more, but I don’t know yet. The results of my biopsy will tell more. My surgeon indicated that I might NOT have to go through the RAI treatment with such a small amount of cancer. But he also said that would be up to my endocrinologist to decide and would also be based on the final biopsy report.

Results of my biopsy report should be available on April 24th (10 days post surgery!). I was originally told that I’d have the results two days post surgery…not so, darn it!!

Morphine is good for quick pain relief, if you don’t mind throwing up.

Percocet is really good for longer term pain relief and doesn’t make me feel like barfing.

I’ll fill you in on the rest of the details later. Right now I really need to lie down and get some rest. I actually went out and ate lunch in a restaurant this afternoon and now I’m beat.

I’m posting a thumbnail, you can click for a bigger picture if you aren’t queasy. The incision, which is approximately 3.5″, is taped over so it’s not really that gross.

Thyroid surgery incision.