I have tried to get my creative juices flowing lately. I found this post from The Cacophonic Blog and decided to give it a whirl. It’s just kind of a recap – current update – on my medical status:
- What illnesses do you have? I am living with 2 Rare Diseases; Cowden Syndrome and Lhermitte-duclos Disease. I also had thyroid cancer in 2003 and a prophylactic hysterectomy. I have suffered with depression and anxiety for the last 20+ years.
- When were you diagnosed? The Rare Disease diagnosis came in 2011.
- Have you ever been hospitalized? Oy vey. So many hospital stays. The major ones are for the brain surgeries in summer 2011.
- Have you ever had surgery? See above.
- Do you take any medication? Presently, I take an anti-depressant and something to help me sleep. I don’t know if it’s a symptom of menopause (probably) but I have insane insomnia and do not sleep without Trazodone. I take vitamins and herbs (anti-virals) also.
- What do you wish people knew about Chronic Illness? That is sucks. And, if I’m quiet – please check on me. You’d be amazed at what a quick text can do!
- How can awareness be raised? I think talking about it can do a lot. Many times I find myself “playing the brain tumor card”. It actually helps me cope and accept my medical status if I talk about it! I’m sorry if it comes off rough or if you feel I’m too blunt, but let’s talk about it! I’m not afraid (welp, kinda) and want to talk about the brain tumors and hereditary cancer syndrome. Oh, and follow me on Social Media! Twitter and here for Instagram. 🙂
- Who knows about your illnesses? I actually don’t know. Sometimes, I feel that my friends may forget what I live with daily. However, we all have our crosses to bear, of this I know!
- How do your illnesses affect your life? Oh, this is a doozy of a question. Today, it affects me differently than years ago. I have learned to pace myself, to stay hydrated BEYOND belief, to bring a sun hat if I’m going to be out in the sun (my head HATES the sun now), bring ear plugs with me everywhere I go (my hearing is so sensitive now), and to TAKE A BREAK if I need one. I find that after a long day, it’s best if I go into a dark, quiet room and turn off my brain for about 45 minutes.
- If you could tell the medical community one thing about your illnesses, what would you tell them? Since Cowden Syndrome and Lhermitte-duclos Disease are rare, we need to walk this road together. Most of my doctors support me on this, that we are a TEAM, and what I say GOES. I’m very thankful for them!
Where or where to begin?
I’m up early – couldn’t sleep – and decided to jump on the ‘ole blog because life is coming full force and at times, I can’t breathe. Writing, sometimes, helps me breathe.
Here’s a quick recap on the last few months:
- In January, I lost my rescue dog. I loved him for the past 8 months and he forever changed my life. I was utterly gutted at his loss, but it was time. He was ready although I never was, nor ever will be.
- Finally got the referral to a neurologist (that was desperately needed!) and was told I have (the beginnings of?) nerve damage in my feet. From the brain tumors? The brain surgeries? Huh? What else now?! I had a nerve test last month and it was hell. The dot and the period.
- Do you remember the thyroid issues I have dealt with since last October? Last month also, I had another fine needle biopsy on my (empty) thyroid bed. (So, let’s see that’s – ultrasound/MRI/fine needle biopsy X2) – and there is STILL NO ANSWER AS TO WTF IS GOING ON IN MY NECK! I
had have elevated thyroglobulin and my doctor thinks maybe it was a technician error? Yet something is growing (I guess?) in my neck but it’s not a lymph node or thyroid benign or malignant cells? Ugh, I’m beyond exhausted.
- Haven’t filed BK yet. Found out there was some paperwork I need to submit to one of my creditors.
- My anxiety is getting pretty riled up and I am struggling with even the simplest of daily life tasks.
- I deleted my twitter account. I don’t know why; just felt like the right thing to do. Maybe I’ll be back one day? There are so many wonderful things about twitter, and to be honest it just doesn’t feel right watching Days or Gutfeld w/o tweeting!
- I have this great urge to purge (LOL). Probably the shame and anxiety about the BK.
So, what else folks? Do I continue this morning to wallow in shame or do I put on my big girl pants and get crap done today? I’m sure you know what I want to do. Let’s see if I fight against my norm and do it different.
Hi there. It’s been a while; I’m still here.
I think I have written many times about my toxic financial situation post diagnosis of Cowden Syndrome and Lhermitte-duclos Disease. For the sake of time, I’ll try to snapshot it here:
- I’m in debt over $20,000 on my credit cards as I have been forced to live on them, since I can no longer do what I once did for employment.
- I have kicked around this idea for months, the bankruptcy idea. I have prolonged it as long as I could because my ego and credit score. 🙂
- I also owe over $35,000 in student loans (you know, the whole career thing I had planned before having 2 brain surgeries, et al.)
I called one of my creditors this morning to find out about any hardship programs they offered. Currently, my monthly payment is $395. Guess what program I qualify for with them? A 5 year program with a monthly payment of $370.
Am I missing something here?
So, bankruptcy is next. I have an appointment the end of February to see an attorney to just get this done and over with. (NOTE: The filing fee for bankruptcy is $1875.)
So, if you happen to see or hear from me and I am riddled with anxiety, or so depressed I cannot get out of my bed, or I’m distant or just seem off – please know it’s because life is a lot right now. It is literally costing me money to live – and I am going deeper in the hole every moment of every day.
Pretty grim right now for me, tbh.
If you happen to see me on Twitter and see my posting about my GoFundMe or my Teespring store, would you do me a solid and share then for me please?
Thank you. Until next time.
Results of FNA: NON-ANSWER.
The 4 samples taken from my neck were bloody messes and no one knows anything. A repeat test (fine needle aspiration guided with ultrasound) was recommended but that is a hard no from me.
Thank u, next.
I went an entire month without writing. Buh-bye November! See ya wouldn’t want to be ya!
I am still struggling: Don’t have too much to update otherwise.
- Finally had the fine needle biopsy on my (empty) thyroid bed last week. This was my 2nd one, so I was (properly, or so I thought) sedated and knew what to expect. Nope. No. I was wrong and I don’t win. The only positive thing was that I knew this technician, but not the doctor, and I think the tech (tried) to do me a solid by “talking” about things with the doctor – that I was able to pick up (if you get my drift….) I won’t go to the bad place here yet, because that’s been happening enough in my mind for the last 10 days already. I don’t have a diagnosis yet, and I can speculate til the end of time because while I do know some things, I must wait to hear from the endocrinologist.
- Something is terribly wrong with my shoulders: I speculate rotator cuff issues? One of my doctors called in some pain medicine for me, and I will be honest with y’all here, Tramadol isn’t all that bad! I told my Mom a few nights ago that I’d almost rather have brain surgery again than this shoulder pain. For real y’all. No fun.
- Sometimes it’s quite overwhelming trying to manage my schedule. In the next few weeks I have to deal with all the above, plus my brain scan and neurosurgeon appointment!
No words of wisdom today. No positivity or self-care mumbo jumbo. Writing. Watching Ghost Adventures. Water and early to bed.
It’s been a while, or so it seems. I have been a bit more active on Instagram & Twitter lately, because it’s just quicker plain and simple.
I’m struggling. Hard.
And you know what blows extra hard sometimes? What can I blame it on? How can we know? Is it my brain tumors? Thyroid cancer – and lack of thyroid hormones therein? The hysterectomy and lack of those hormones also? My regular old depression and anxiety? The effects of having my cerebellum scrambled a couple of times?
I am severely constipated. Unlike anything I can recall in years. Doing “all the right things”, and it continues to get worse and a few days ago I about passed out in the bathroom. And yes. I am drinking lots of fluids – water, coconut water, etc.
Additionally, I am extremely exhausted. Again, unlike anything I can recall at least since my thyroid cancer in 2003. I think some people think I’m rolling my eyes at them, haha, but I assure you I’m not. I just literally cannot keep my eyes open. Every time I blink (which is getting longer and more often) I am just trying to will myself to be coherent and uptight upright.
Had the thyroid MRI last week and waiting to hear.
Welp. I guess the good news is I’m not dead yet! I have to file bankruptcy at least before then.
I don’t sleep well at all. And apparently Cowden Syndrome doesn’t either.
Today, I saw the Dermatologist and had a mammogram. FINALLY found out the thyroid/neck MRI was submitted and approved: it’s scheduled for 10/26/18. By the by…can a new lymph node grow when I don’t recall my “other” lymph nodes were even involved in ’03 with the thyroidectomy? Hmm.
Still hard to believe it was 7 years ago this month I was waiting for the genetic testing results to confirm I have a PTEN mutation.
Life is rough. Life comes at you pretty fast. Funny, I’m STILL trying to accept that this is now my life: struggle, fear, terror, anxiety, loneliness, Financial ruin, dizziness, etc.
I know I’d be better off if I just accepted all that crap. But call me stubborn or naive. I can’t accept those things.
I wanted and hoped for so much more in my life.
So. Do y’all remember when I saw my Endo and he told me my “thyroid” is growing back and I have elevated thyroglobulin now? (For those who don’t remember, I had a total thyroidectomy in 2003 (and follow up in 2006) for a huge thyroid goiter. It was 10X larger than normal on the right lobe, and 4X larger in the left. Makes a hell of perfect sense knowing what we know now about Cowden Syndrome.)
And how this was over a week ago?
And how his office called me the NEXT day to tell me he wants me to have a thyroid MRI to decide what’s next?
And how I have to “be patient”?
I’m about to spit nails. IF YOU DO NOT STAY ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN YOUR OWN HEALTH CARE YOU WILL BE NOTHING LESS THAN A STATISTIC. THAT IS ALL WE ARE TO THE MEDICAL FIELD.
Here’s all I know as of today:
1. Referral for MRI hasn’t been submitted yet. Full. Stop.
2. Apparently my doctor put the order as “routine”, so his entire staff is on slow-mo. Literally.
3. Said office is waiting on clarification on order from yet ANOTHER department.
4. Was told they “hope” to get info by the end of the week. THEN the referral will be submitted.
WHAT THE EFF IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?! Don’t call me a worry wart either, which is what the receptionist (who had very big balls, I might add) said to me. This is our medical system! I’m not disabled apparently, while I’m living and trying to survive with these 2 brain tumors and watching and watching with a microscope
if when I get cancer!? Cowden Syndrome and LDD have ruined my life. And continue to drag me through the mud.
Yet I’m expected to cope with this crap and bloody anxiety and pressure having to MANAGE my doctors doing their damn job? And if I find out the thyroid cancer IS back….they best be on guard because I will raise holy hell like none other. Thyroid cancer is NOT the Cadillac of cancers and should not or will not be treated differently than any other cancer.
I’m so pissed – if I drank I’d already have downed 2 shots by now and it’s only 9:30 this morning.