Life goes on, as painful as it may be

I am still trying to navigate this grief.  Not doing super well, tbh.

Reading sometimes help to distract myself.

Taking and editing photos sometimes helps as well.  Visit me at @ZHeatherChamp to see!

Cowden Syndrome doesn’t stop for anything; and I continue to schedule and manage medical appointments in the midst of 2020.  🙂  Thank goodness for planners!

Please tell me how you are doing?

Record Scratch

Isn’t it amazing how things can change so much in 48 hours?  Even 24 hours?

So a few days ago I was panicking that I might have cancer in one of my lymph nodes and that this new 5 cm. mass in my right thyroid bed was b a d n e w s.

I had the CT scan Friday morning and my Endocrinologist called me late morning.  He said, per the Radiologist, that he DOES NOT need to biopsy the mass.  I’m guessing fatty tissue?  Is that part of Cowden Syndrome?  I actually think it is, at least to a point.  But, as that fatty tissue grows, then what?

Anyway, and evidently there is NOT any metastasis in my lymph node.  The ultrasound technician thought it was, or theorized there was. Regardless, I have that on the top of my list of things to ask my Endo. next week. WHAT the freak is/was in that lymph node then?

So, taking small victories as they come I am breathing a sigh of relief.

PS In the midst of all this whirlwind I had decided to put my Twitter and Instagram accounts on a hiatus of sorts. But I had forgotten I had a previous commitment on IG so I have brought that one back.

 

Urgent

8:30 am tomorrow morning I have my urgent CT scan. I feel how I did 9 years ago during that week’s time between the brain tumor diagnosis and the first craniotomy.

Trying to read. Trying to distract. Trying to stay relaxed and as calm as possible.

Month by month

I have a feeling that in the next few months Cowden Syndrome is going to show me how much of a witch she really is.

Possible nodal metastasis. Are you freaking kidding me right now?

Cowden Syndrome doesn’t stop for Covid19

I have thought about this for the last little while. I can’t begin to imagine how amazing this would feel! Everything (almost) is shut down, so why can’t my PTEN mutation be as well? (Insert sarcasm)…

I had to go outside today. Besides wanting the basics of some much needed Vitamin D, I had to see a doctor for my clinical breast exam. You might be wondering why I just don’t do it myself? I will leave that to another post. 🙂 This is how it’s been done since 2011 and it works for me. Every 3 months something is happening with my l a d i e s. Either a mammogram, MRI, or clinical breast exam. And, on the rare occasion a breast ultrasound.

Got my mask and ventured out this morning. Yay!

Even if I wanted to hole up under my covers due to Covid19, Cowden Syndrome won’t let me. So, I g u e s s that is at least 1 thing positive right now.

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What are you doing during this downtime? Any fiction books or Netflix documentaries you could recommend?

Learning to say no

This week I had to see a new oncologist. Since I got new insurance last year it’s been utter nightmare trying to establish my CONTINUED care. Thinking about where I am 9 years post diagnosis, thankfully, I guess I don’t really need one right now. That’s just how my care was initially set up. I had/have my PCP and my many specialists, but also an oncologist who managed/s all my scans and procedures. OK anyway…

Saw a new one. This was such a nightmare appointment and I’m shocked (at myself) that I didn’t walk out of the appointment. I was on the edge, believe me. Now, I’m not totally devoid of human emotion and I do try to believe the best in people. However, I know what I want, what I need, and what I am OK with. Let me just point out my issues/concerns with this “physician”:

  • She reeked of coffee. I mean REEKED. The smell was oozing from her pores, I swear. I had to move my chair away from her it was that bad!
  • Her accent was so thick I had a lot of trouble understanding her. A lot of trouble.
  • She had printed out a list of screening recommendations for Cowden Syndrome. (I have this list myself). And she began to read THE ENTIRE PRINTOUT TO ME. Sentence by sentence. I politely interjected and told her I had this exact paper and was very aware of the guidelines.
  • She didn’t freaking like that one bit! I have a voice. I’ll use it just you watch. No one has created a treatment so I will decide what’s OK and what’s not. The guidelines say “annual mammography”. OK but I’m not waiting 12 months for a breast check! No way in hell. My previous oncologist set up that I was getting checked every 3 months. So that when (if) I get breast cancer it will be caught very soon. Makes sense as a good plan right? Oh hell no, this doc wasn’t having that. And I told her, “I AM NOT OK WITH EVERY YEAR GETTING A CHECK.”
  • Everything went downhill from there. I’m getting ticked off again just writing this post. I’ll finish up this weekend.
  • For everyone reading this: please dig deep and find your voice! And once you do, hold onto it with all your might!

Learning to say no

This week I had to see a new oncologist. Since I got new insurance last year it’s been utter nightmare trying to establish my CONTINUED care. Thinking about where I am 9 years post diagnosis, thankfully, I guess I don’t really need one right now. That’s just how my care was initially set up. I had/have my PCP and my many specialists, but also an oncologist who managed/s all my scans and procedures. OK anyway…

Saw a new one. This was such a nightmare appointment and I’m shocked (at myself) that I didn’t walk out of the appointment. I was on the edge, believe me. Now, I’m not totally devoid of human emotion and I do try to believe the best in people. However, I know what I want, what I need, and what I am OK with. Let me just point out my issues/concerns with this “physician”:

  • She reeked of coffee. I mean REEKED. The smell was oozing from her pores, I swear. I had to move my chair away from her it was that bad!
  • Her accent was so thick I had a lot of trouble understanding her. A lot of trouble.
  • She had printed out a list of screening recommendations for Cowden Syndrome. (I have this list myself). And she began to read THE ENTIRE PRINTOUT TO ME. Sentence by sentence. I politely interjected and told her I had this exact paper and was very aware of the guidelines.
  • She didn’t freaking like that one bit! I have a voice. I’ll use it just you watch. No one has created a treatment so I will decide what’s OK and what’s not. The guidelines say “annual mammography”. OK but I’m not waiting 12 months for a breast check! No way in hell. My previous oncologist set up that I was getting checked every 3 months. So that when (if) I get breast cancer it will be caught very soon. Makes sense as a good plan right? Oh hell no, this doc wasn’t having that. And I told her, “I AM NOT OK WITH EVERY YEAR GETTING A CHECK.”
  • Everything went downhill from there. I’m getting ticked off again just writing this post. I’ll finish up this weekend.
  • For everyone reading this: please dig deep and find your voice! And once you do, hold onto it with all your might!

Life = change = life

Ugh.  I saw my new primary doctor yesterday.  Such a surreal experience.  Of course I know that my original doctors (since diagnosis) can’t be with me forever but waaahhh.  I miss my olddddd doctor.  She knew me.  It was easy.  And, to be honest, in stating my history for this doctor I didn’t quite realize how much of a hot mess I actually am.  🙂 I am a lot.

Currently, I don’t have an oncologist which really sucks balls.  My previous oncologist took the burden from my shoulders and was responsible for managing all of my procedures: mainly coordinating my colonoscopies, kidney scans, etc.  But since I have different insurance now (which also sucks eggs terribly, but that’s for another post) the “powers-that-be” will not authorize an oncologist because “I do not have cancer”.  Welp, hey folks let me tell you something:  I’m not trying to get cancer so can you get on board to help me CATCH it before it strikes?!

Waiting to hear about my EEG from a few weeks ago.  Just followed up with the Neuro so we’ll see.  I have learned that not hearing from the doctor, or the whole “no news is good news thing” doesn’t apply all the time with Cowden Syndrome and Lhermitte-duclos Disease.

I know things take time.  Blah blah. I get it.

It’s just a lot.  It’s a whole dang lot and I’m not sure how I’m doing it.

How are you, though?  Read any good books lately?  🙂  I’d love some recommendations.

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PS. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!