Not being the most patient person (understatement I know) - it is getting increasingly difficult to "wait patiently" ... sigh.
Thank you Bro. Jeremy for the conversation a couple of days ago - it really helped me to know that the more correct translation is not to wait "patiently" ... as in sitting still and quiet. The more correct translation is of waiting "eagerly" ... as in with great expectation. Whew! I can do that!!! LOL
Rick is in pain with his shoulder/rotator cuff. Some moments are just a major discomfort level. Some moments are at the screaming pain level. Sigh. My heart hurts for him - and all I can do is pray.
He sees the ortho next Wednesday in Sulphur Springs. We are praying for Dr. Devinney to have wisdom to know what the best course of action is to help Rick be healed of this. Surgery and physical therapy? Or just physical therapy? We wait ... and we pray.
I have been "ordered" back on REST. I have been trying to take it easy ever since having the DNC and cervical biopsy. But it gets to a point that there are things that need to be done, and all this sitting around is getting me nowhere!
However, I quickly found out that doing too much and being on my feet longer than I should be is NOT the way to be ready for surgery! Sigh.
The more I am up and doing things - the greater chance of bleeding. And bleeding heavier. Sigh.
The more I bleed, the lower my blood count and iron levels are. My body at this point just doesn't seem capable of keeping up. And the lower the blood count and iron levels - the longer before I can have surgery and get the beast of Cancer out of me!
So, I take a deep breath ... and sit down! Find things to do that can be done while I sit and rock.
Got the application for financial aid at M.D. Anderson filled out. All documentation together. 50 pages to be faxed. God Bless Bro. Leo for helping us!!! :-)
I checked with Bridgett at M.D. - and she did receive it all. And it has been forwarded to Yolanda. She will review it and call me.
It has been 2 days ... and I have not heard from them. So, if I haven't heard by noon today, I will call this afternoon just to see if I can find out the status of the application. Bridgett told me the other day that it could take from 1 - 7 days for it to be in review before a decision was made. But, like I said, I am not a patient person --- but I can wait "eagerly" while I do something! LOL
My daughter stopped and visited a few minutes early yesterday morning after she had gotten the rug-rats on the bus. :-) ... it was good to not only see her, but to be hugged by her :-) ... enjoyed the visit SO MUCH!!!
Ever have one of "those weeks" when this picture is a PERFECT description of your emotions and mental state?
Well, I did ... this past week.
2 weeks into the cancer diagnosis - and I feel no closer to anything... sigh.
I have no insurance on me - we just have not been able to afford it. This has been a very hard 4 years for us. We have gotten behind financially, used everything we had in reserve. And then, we have caught up, even gotten started back on a reserve. Something else happens and we are back to being behind with no reserve. Just has been a vicious merry-go-round these last 4 years. Sigh.
Anyway - because I have no insurance, and because I do not qualify for Medi-caid (Rick makes too much, even with the worker's comp - which btw, they can "say" it is 70% of his salary ... but my checkbook is not agreeing with them! I'm sorry - but any calculator shows that it is a bit less than 50%!!! Sigh) ... I am at the mercy of "other" programs and financial aid.
Now, I realize that there has to be stringent screening processes. And they need to know EVERYTHING - but goodness! I didn't realize what that EVERYTHING consisted of!!!
The application alone for M.D. Anderson is 7 pages long - to be filled out, faxed back. But with it there is documentation required for just about every section, every line of that application. I told Rick it will be a BOOK by the time I finish it today!!!
Once it is faxed to them, and they review it - they can either grant me 0%, 50% or 100% financial aid. We are hoping and praying for the 100%!
This is when it begins to test our faith ... and we are trusting in the Lord -- even tho we are scared to death!!!
We also saw Dr. Cutrell this week about Rick's shoulder and the results of the MRI - "complete tear in the rotator cuff". Most likely requiring surgery to fix. Surgery and then physical therapy. He is still in a lot of pain - but trying not to keep it immobile. Not needing it to become a "frozen shoulder" on top of this.
We do not live in a "money world" - we are living in world of "faith" ... and sometimes, we grow weak and weary. Sometimes in all of this, we want the MONEY to know that bills are paid, groceries are bought, fuel is in the vehicles, needs are met, even a few wants are granted. Not just for today. Not just for this week. Not even just for this month. But for a long time from this heartbeat!
Faith is hard. Oh, it feels good when our faith becomes sight - and we know that God has blessed beyond all that we could think of, more than we could ever ask for. But then, that "feels good" seems short lived ... because life is taking us to another challenge of faith.
"Faith to faith" ... faith becomes sight. Another struggle, another trial - makes us exercise faith again. That faith becomes sight. Another struggle, another trial - makes us exercise faith again.
And as humans - there is that thought that at some point faith will not become sight. And then what??? Sigh.
It is also hard and emotionally draining when you see and hear your kids - although they are grown - having hard times. You want so much to just "fix" all their owies, kiss and hug away their "oofies". But all you can do is pray. And pray you do. Pray that the windows of heaven will be opened and some of that gold dust off the streets of Glory will fall down upon your children and their families.
And because of all this stress on us, within us ... Rick and I have not had a more "perfect" union this week!!! We have had a few "words" pass between us.
But, we have also held one another and cried those tears of fear and worry, and cried out to God for His mercy and His grace.
I know that no matter what - God is still God.
And nothing changes my salvation.
So, we praise Him in the storms ... and cry out to Jesus!
This is my picture to the "Koffee Klub" on Facebook this morning. :-)
I have been so blessed with these precious friends. The laughter we share over a cup of coffee ... and the threats when we don't get our first (or second or third) cup of "life"!
And as good as coffee is - we are about more than just coffee ... we share our hearts and souls with one another ... we pray for one another ... we encourage ... support ... minister. At least these have to me. :-)
Even if I didn't love my coffee (the HORROR of the thought!) ... I would drink it just to be a part of the KOFFEE KLUB!!! :-)
We went to Dr. Cutrell yesterday afternoon for a follow up visit on the MRI of last week.
Torn rotator cuff - complete tear. Most likely requiring surgery.
Rick has an appointment with Dr. Devinney on 9/5 in Sulphur Springs. We will find out then (hopefully) if there is to be surgery, and when, where.
Dr. Cutrell said that if Rick were having surgery today that he wouldn't be allowed to be considered for release back to work until at least October 31. He isn't having surgery today ... so the time gets pushed out. Forms have been filled out and will be filed today for October 31, but with the option to change that date after seeing Dr. Devinney.
Rick is having quite a bit of pain with this shoulder - has had ever since the MRI. He can't keep it totally immobilized before surgery because of the increased risk of a "frozen shoulder" - but it is difficult to move it only "pain free".
Next appointment with Dr. Tobin is scheduled for September 17 - a check up.
Dr. Tobin is sending Rick medication for his parathyroid. Dr said that it is showing slightly over-active. He wants to see if this medication will calm it down. If so, then it may lower his BUN and Creatinine levels some. (Praying it does!)
I have passed step 1, 2, and 3 with M.D. Anderson. Am now working on step 4 - financial aid. If approved, I will receive 100% financial aid. Working on gathering this paperwork and hopefully will be able to fax it to them tomorrow or Friday.
So, that's where we are for now ... sigh.
Yep - that's me ... most mornings ... and this morning for sure! LOL
Body, mind and soul are screaming - COFFEE!!!!! (btw - already had one cup, and fixing to get 'nuther one!)
Wanted to share a praise report ... God moved on the heart of one of His children and they have blessed us with enough money to cover this week's bills, groceries and fuel costs! Also allowing Rick to put the car in the shop and have it tuned it, making it more road worthy for any trip to wherever to take me to an oncologist. :-) God is so good! He gave us more than we could ask for, a lot more than we expected. God is so good!
Why do we ever doubt His love and care and provision???
Paperwork ... phone calls ... checkbook to balance out ... bills to prepare to pay ... grocery list to be made ... ahhhhhh - a full day of work ahead of me ...
Thinking I will have COFFEE!!!!! :-)
Not a bad weekend ... we spent the weekend mostly at the house.
Made a trip to town on Saturday - picked up a few odds and ends at Wal-mart. We are only buying groceries as we need them right now. Just not sure of the days tomorrow - so we are trying to take only a few meals at a time. Not the easiest for me! LOL I have always been the kind of woman who buys groceries for at least 2 weeks at a time, usually a month! So, this 2 or 3 days at a time is a learning thing for me! LOL
Course, we had our "cheat meal" on Saturday :-)! I told Rick that I posted a blog about it ... complete with pictures. His response? "Well, I just hope none of my doctors or nurses read about it!" LOL
We also went by the movie store and found 7 movies for a dollar each. So, we curled up and got comfortable on Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon ... watched ...
ROBIN AND MARIAN
It was good ... just Rick and me ... quiet and still ... resting ... not really thinking much about kidney disease, renal failure, torn rotator cuff, uterine cancer for a little while. Really getting into the movies - taking that "escape" for a few hours. :-)
I fixed spaghetti ... using vermecilli pasta, hamburger meat, and one jar of alfredo sauce. Then, we added red, yellow, orange bell peppers and broccoli. Yummmmmm! :-)
I also baked a red velvet cake. But instead of the oil that the recipe called for, I used fat free sour cream and a little bit of fat free milk. So light and fluffy! Not heavy at all! Tender and oh sooooooooo good!!! :-)
And now ... the morning and the week begins ... gotta go ... gotta have coffee!!! :-)
Rick and I decided that we would be "good" for a week at a time ... and then ... for ONE meal only - we CHEAT!!! lol
Sometimes, you just need to feel a bit more "normal"!!! Or at least, that's our reasoning!!!
I asked Rick this morning if he thought we had been "good enough" this week ...
We talked about it ... thought about it ... and really tried to give ourselves and each other an honest answer.
(Course, we have been at home every day ... and I have been cooking. Not so hard to be "good" when you are broke! LOL)
Anyway - Rick asked me what I was wanting to "cheat" with ...
I wanted an ice cream cone ...
But only an ice cream cone from Dairy Queen ---
Rick said we could do that ... :-) ... so, Momma was happy! :-) Off to town ...
We got to Dairy Queen, and they had Corn Dogs on sale for 99 cents! :-) Our cheat meal just got more "cheating" LOL!!!!!
And what good are Corny Dogs without French Fries??? (Besides - since we were cheating, might as well cheat with a PASSION!!! LOL)
We CHEATED ... and now it is back to being good for another week! LOL
It was GOOD tho! :-)
9th day after diagnosis ... Uterine Cancer.
Still no appointment set with an oncologist.
Still frustrated, discouraged, scared to death.
Still trusting in the Lord to hold to me!!!
The last few days have been nothing less than a wild and horrible roller-coaster ride of emotions.
Guess that is to be somewhat expected at a time like this ... already dealing with major kidney injury and renal failure (Rick) ... a torn rotator cuff (Rick) ... and then to get the news that I have Uterine Cancer.
It has been a ride that I would not wish on my worst enemy!!!
And sadly - I know it isn't over yet ... not by a long shot. Sigh.
I never really knew how hard it is to not worry.
There is a difference in being concerned ... and in worrying. And we are fighting the battle against worry.
We do believe that God loves us, that He cares. And that He is fully aware of all that is going on. Nothing catches Him by surprise. He is never off guard.
I told Rick that I wish just for once that God could be standing in front of me with skin on. That way, I really could look into His eyes, feel His arms about me, hear Him breathe, and know His voice.
Thank God for the "skin" of God I have before me in His children that are supporting me and loving me in the midst of all this. It is in you that I see His eyes, feel His arms about me, hear His breathe, know His voice. Thank you for being God with skin on to me, to us. I love you all!!!
Rick is having a LOT of pain with his shoulder. Wasn't hurting that bad before the MRI - but ever since he has been hurting! Thankfully he goes to see Dr. Cutrell on Tuesday this next week. We are going to ask if there is anything he can safely take or do that might ease the pain. Still 2 1/2 weeks before he sees the orthopedic specialist.
Joshua called me a couple nights ago ... was talking about the "Hatfield's and McCoy's" TV miniseries on the History Channel. OMW! He had me rolling in the floor laughing. I laughed so hard it made my stomach sore! LOL He is such a GOOBER!!! ROFL!!! I needed to laugh like that! Thank you my son!!! :-)
The weather is calling for a "cold front" to move thru our area today and tomorrow. Highs are to be in the mid-80's ... not "cold" - but cooler and more pleasant than the 100's that we have been enduring! I am looking forward to some time outside, sitting in my chair and sipping on a tall glass of iced tea!
Knowing that God has a plan ... we are waiting (not too patiently at times) on Him to work all things out ...
Pray for us please.
Rick went Monday to Open Imagining in Greenville to have an MRI on his shoulder. Results came in Monday afternoon - torn rotator cuff.
We looked this up on an orthopedic web site. Said that 50% of the tears result in surgery, 50% do not. Depends on how wide, how deep, how long - as well as how the tissue around the tear looks. So ...
Waiting on worker's comp to approve an orthopedic specialist for Rick's shoulder ... ???
Waiting on scheduling to fix an appointment for him ... ???
Waiting to see if he will have to surgery or not ... when and where ... physical therapy or not ... when and where ...
Meantime, he is in some pain ever since the MRI - thinking that it was the position he had to have the shoulder/arm in during the 45 minutes of laying there. Hopefully, today some of the soreness will be less and he won't be hurting as much.
And for me?
Waiting on the paperwork and acceptance from M.D. Anderson ... ??? Only
after all is done, will there be an appointment time scheduled ... sigh.
Waiting is one of the hardest parts ...
Patience is not one of my better virtues ... sigh.
We have had our "buzzard" moments in the last several weeks ... but yesterday was a true "BUZZARD DAY" ... sigh.
I used to have a sign above my desk that had a picture of an old buzzard, and underneath it - "51% Sweetheart, 49% Bitch ... Don't push it!"
Well, in dealing wtih all everything lately, we have changed the words --- 51% Trusting in the Lord, 49% Scared to Death! Don't push it!"
And yesterday ... well, everything just seemed to be "pushing" it with me!!! Sigh.
*I know that there is a process to go thru in order to go to somewhere like M.D. Anderson. They are the leading cancer research hospital in the world! And I know that I am not their only prospective patient, neither am I the only woman who has been diagnosed with uterine cancer in the last 2 weeks, nor the only woman with uterine cancer who does not have insurance. I know all this - and I reminded myself and was reminded several times yesterday.
But ... after being scared to death with the "C" word ... and being told how important it is to get this "taken care of" ... then to be sitting here WAITING and WAITING and WAITING ... ok - so, yesterday I didn't handle it all very well at all.
I lost it in talking with Rick ... and I lost it on the phone with Linda from Dr. Tris's office. Just broke down and cried and cried ... tried to stop the tears, but once they started, I couldn't stop them. Sigh.
Frustrated. Discouraged. Scared to death more than anything ... sigh.
*Also dealing with Worker's Comp for Rick's right shoulder ... OMW!
He got griped out because he didn't see a doctor the day of the injury. Sigh. Maybe it isn't the best reason - but him being him, when it first got hurt, he thought with a little time and rest that it would be better. And then, going thru all the doctors and my 2 hospital stays ... well, the shoulder didn't get better. So, the first time he had time to see a doctor, he did.
Anyway - it has been pressed on us about how important it is to get this shoulder looked at, taken care of.
And now? WAITING and WAITING and WAITING ... sigh.
Rick has been referred from Dr. Cutrell to Dr. DeVinney (orthopedic specialist out of ETMC, Tyler, TX). But the worker's comp insurance has to approve him to be seen by this ortho.
In the meantime - ever since the MRI - Rick has been in pain with the shoulder. Before the MRI, he was hurting only if he moved it the wrong way, or picked up something heavier than a fork. But now? For the last 2 days, little to no relief from the pain and discomfort.
*Add to this ... money. I know that money is a necessary evil - but goodness some days I just HATE money!!! Sigh.
I guess I hate what not having money does ... how it controls our emotions more than we want it to. How it changes perspectives before we seem able to catch it. How the lack of money sneaks around and waits patiently for that one moment when you have a need and then leaps from the darkness and takes you DOWN.
We know that God is our Provider - and He is faithful to His promises. He says that He will meet our needs according to His riches in glory thru Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 ... He doesn't say that He will meet the need of next week before next week, tho.
I told Rick that it would be a lot easier to have faith if I knew the money was in the bank! LOL
*Then, all these hours of what to do ...
...because of lack of money there is little to nowhere we can go. Barely enough money to cover fuel costs to get us back and forth to the doctors. (Wondering at times if there is enough!)
...because of Rick's shoulder injury - he doesn't feel like doing much, especially anything that takes much strength, or two hands.
...I am supposed to be resting more than not - allowing my body to build the blood counts up, preparing for surgery.
...we do not have satellite TV or cable TV. We have watched every movie we have - most more than once or even twice.
...we are now over on our minutes on the phones, so we have to be extra careful with who we call, and when.
Momma always said that "idle hands are the devil's workshop" ... and after yesterday? I believe what my Momma said! Sigh.
We said that we were going to be honest and real in this blog ... sharing the good times and the not so good times. Just call us the 2 old buzzards with a bad buzzard day for yesterday ...
Lord, I hope today is good!!!
Yep, it was an IHOP day!!! LOL!
We went to Open Imaging in Greenville for Rick's MRI on his right shoulder. Had to be there at 9:30 a.m. Rick didn't want to eat anything and then have to lay in a tube and deal with his claustrophobia ... so, he went without breakfast.
My cousin and his wife, Milton and Jackie, met us there. They sat with me while Rick was having the MRI done. It was so good not to have to be alone during that time. :-)
After Rick was thru with the MRI - which he said he did a lot better than he expected, said he lay there praying and singing songs in his heart to the Lord :-) - we all went out to the IHOP.
Late breakfast/early lunch ... we have honestly had better food - but never a better time of laughing and sharing and just being "normal" for a little while! :-)
We sat there for almost 4 HOURS!!! LOL God love that young lady who was our waitress! She never rushed us, never asked us to leave. Just watched over us to see if we needed glasses refilled. What a PRECIOUS time we had!!!
After we left IHOP, we went out to Milton's mom's place ... my cousin Ruth. Our kids have grown up calling her "Auntie Ruth". She is so precious to me! Her husband is Billy Cook. Joshua thinks it is so AWESOME that Billy Cook (the saddle maker) is a part of the family! LOL
Well ... here we go into this day ...
We wait to hear from M.D. Anderson (sounds like that is where I am going) ...
We wait to hear from the Ortho for Rick's shoulder ...
And as we wait, we try to find things to do that will occupy our times and our minds ... and be something good accomplished.
Appointment on this past Thursday with Dr. Tris ... 3:15 p.m.
We got there a little early, filled out paperwork. Sit and wait. Others are seen.
My emotions are straining with every minute passed on the clock.
Dr. Tris has been my doctor for over 30 years ... yet, this is the one time, he doesn't speak to Rick, or to me. He won't even look at us. ???
A premonition of something wrong is growing by leaps and bounds.
Finally ... Linda calls me back.
I am weighed. She asks more questions. I am trying to answer them as calmy - and as quickly - as possible. She alludes to something we do not want to even consider, let alone hear ... "C" ... sigh.
I am led to a room. Left alone with Rick. We talk - "what if it isn't good?" At this point we can't even bring ourselves to say the word "Cancer" ...
waiting ... waiting.
Door opens, we are expecting Dr. Tris.
No. It is Linda.
She comes and stands in front of me ... no ceremony, no delay any longer.
I am told that I have "Uterine Cancer".
Looking at her, she is waiting for me to fall apart. Not my way - not now, not here.
What do we do? How do we do this?
First, the pathology report.
"Non-invasive" ... meaning that it is only in the lining of the uterus. Not in the wall of the uterus.
"Cervix is clean" ... the cancer has not spread to the cervix. (Which later we find out means that at this point that would put this cancer between a 0 and a 1. The worst is a 5.)
"Non-metastic" ... meaning that it is not some other kind of cancer in the uterus. It is uterine cancer.
There is no staging at this point ... and no firm numbers.
Hysterectomy without question.
However, since there is Cancer - Dr. Tris doesn't want to do the surgery. He doesn't want to take a chance on missing something, or on doing anything wrong in this. So, I am being referred to a
The problem is - I have no insurance. So, the oncologist that works with Dr. Tris, probably will not accept me. There are some options, and Linda said that she was going to do all that she can to get me in as quickly as possible to someone, somewhere. Sigh. Sounds like it might (not likely tho) be Baylor, more likely Parkland, and even more likely M.D. Anderson in Houston.
The good news? A hysterectomy will most likely take care of the problem. Little to no radiation or chemo. IF - and a great big IF - the oncologist agrees with the pathology report, and once the surgery is done, the pathology on the hysterectomy concurs with this preliminary report.
If - and again, a great big IF - the grade is low (meaning a slow growing cancer) and the stage is no higher than a 2 (and it has to be in the cervix to be a 2) ... then the survival rate is 90% even after 5 years.
So, now ... we wait ... wonder ... trust in the Lord ...
That's how we feel right now ... suckered punched. A punch out of nowhere, and for no good reason (that we can see).
As I wait on Linda to call me and tell me where I am to go - who the gyna-oncologist is ... I research. Not wanting to be ignorant of this beast that is growing inside of me, turning our lives upside down and inside out ... I research.
Mayo Clinic ... National Cancer Institute ... American Cancer Society ... any well-known and reputable site that has anything about Uterine Cancer. (Oh, and I will be sharing some of those sites -but I am checking them out first! This is too serious to just throw out a bunch of sites that I'm not sure they know what they are talking about!)
**About 50,000 new cases of uterine cancer are diagnosed every year in the United States. One of the fastest growing cancers in America. But sadly, one of the least funded, least researched cancers in the world!**
**The only reliable test for uterine cancer? A DNC and biopsy. At this time.**
**What are the symptoms? None at first, and some women have no symptoms until well-advanced.**
Linda told me that I have several things working in my favor --
...no tampons used.
...I do not smoke or drink or do drugs.
...no sex outside of marriage with Rick.
...and I am overweight - not horribly, but enough that thru all this, my body has a reserve to draw from.
The things against me?
...I am a female.
...my mother had uterine cancer.
...and I am overweight.
In this I have come to a conclusion, and I have a Word from the Lord to support me - my heart is pure, my conscience is clear. I didn't do anything to do this to my body. God knew that the "if only's" would literally drive me insane ... so, He took them away before I could be tormented by them.
The Word that supports this? Psalm 35: 7 ... "Since they hid their net for me without cause and without cause dug a pit for me ..." God gave me verses 1 - 10 yesterday morning as a lifeline to hang on to ... and believe you me - I am HANGING ON!!!
I do not understand why I have to have cancer ... why I have to go thru this ... but - God knows all. This may have suckered punched us ... but it didn't take God by surprise!
Joshua told me Thursday night that he knew God was going to take care of me thru it. That God was going to heal me - one way or another. Either here on this earth so that I could have more time with my family and to serve Him - or He was going to heal me by taking me home.
Joshua said, "Momma, between you and me - if God decides to take you home, He and I are going to have some words!" God, love my son!!!
My son is afraid. And so am I.
My daughter is afraid. And so is my husband.
But in being afraid - we are also trusting in the Lord with all our heart, leaning not on our own understanding. In all these ways, we are going to acknowledge Him. Knowing that His promises are true and for real - He will direct our paths and make them straight.
At one time I had a picture on my wall. It was an old buzzard standing there, glaring ... underneath it said -"51% Sweetheart, 49% Bitch ... don't push it!" I got teased and picked at about that ... but it sure means a lot to me now ...
51% Trusting in the Lord ... 49% Scared to Death ... don't push it! Sigh.
When our kids were little, there were many times they would have a bad dream or a nightmare, or just be scared of the dark. They would come running to daddy and momma. We never hit them, screamed at them, or pushed them away. Never condemned them. We wrapped our arms around them, held them close to our hearts, and loved their fears and worries away. Usually singing over them, or talking to them, finding a way to make them smile and laugh.
If we being evil by nature know how to do good to our children, how much more does our Heavenly Father know how to do good to us?
Just because we are scared to death doesn't mean we aren't His children, or that He doesn't love us anymore. He isn't going to "send us away" from His presence because we are scared.
He gathers us into His arms, holds us close enough that if we listen - we can hear Him singing over us, we can feel the beat of His heart, the rise and fall of His breath.
Be scared to death. But be still in His arms.
I have been trying to rest and wait ... the waiting for results is the hardest part! Appointment with Dr. Tris tomorrow afternoon at 3:15. Should find out the results of the cervical biopsy and the DNC. Praying that there is NO cancer ...
Should also find out what Dr. Tris wants to do now ... birth control pills for a short time to try and regulate the lining of the uterus and the bleeding and then a hysterectomy? or a hysterectomy now?
In the meantime ...
Rick injured his shoulder at work. Cranking on a trailer jack.
Monday he saw Dr. Hammons (sent to him thru work ... first step). Dr. Hammons took x-rays, and said that Rick needed to see a medical doctor. Possible rotator cuff?
Yesterday afternoon - Rick saw Dr. Cutrell. Dr is ordering an MRI so that he can get a good look inside at the shoulder. Said it could be a separated shoulder, or a torn rotator cuff. But before he can refer to an orthopedic specialist, he said he needs an MRI. We are waiting to hear from workers comp. Dr. Cutrell did tell us that we are looking at a month off work - at least. And that is if there is no surgery needed.
Growing older is certainly being a health adventure!!! Sigh.
Some of these pics were "stolen" from other websites ... just thought they were cool and different ... lol
Rick got me to the hospital yesterday morning at 7 a.m.
Nurses got me prepped and ready for surgery.
Dr. Tris stopped by and talked to us a little about the sonogram - he said that he didn't see any cancer. And he didn't see any reason to not do the DNC and cervical punch biopsy. Told me that he would see me around noon.
So, we waited ... spent time visiting with Rick's sister - Tina. Lots of laughs. It was good. :-)
Anesthesia specialist came and talked to us about his part ...
I was given the shots to help with my tummy ... and had to drink the "good stuff" - bitter, salty, citrus flavor - YUK!!!
Wheeled away to surgery ...
An hour or so later, back to the room ... trying to wake up LOL ...
It was good to see my husband and to hear his voice ... then to feel his touches.
Just to know that I was awake and alive!
A little pain - Tylenol with Codeine is my FRIEND!!! LOL
I got up and went to the bathroom ...
Then ate a bowl of cream of chicken soup with crackers and drank a Sprite.
IV was taken out.
I was allowed to get dressed.
More waiting on Dr. Tris ...
His first report?
Endometrial Hyperplasia ... he said that the lining of my uterus was very thick. Did not see or smell cancer - but it will be sent off to make sure there is not one cancer cell showing. We were told that as thick as the lining is that it is only one step below cancer at this point. Had I not gotten in when I did it would not have been very much longer before it was BAD - according to Dr. Tris.
Also, he said that I have very large fibroid tumors. Which is causing part of the problem with the heavy bleeding.
If there is not a cancer cell showing up - Dr. Tris wants me to go on birth control pills for a very short time. Just long enough to regulate the bleeding, and to keep the lining of the uterus from growing any thicker. He said that with my blood and iron counts as low as they are, that he doesn't think I would survive surgery at this point. (If it is an emergency, they will attempt it - but ideally, it will be later.)
After 3 units of blood on Thursday - my blood count had come up to 7.1 yesterday morning. Still very critical.
We were told that the only option at this point is to have a hysterectomy ... but trying to decide when the safest and best time is - that's the question.
Iron supplement program. High iron diet.
Resting program to allow the body to heal not only from the DNC and cervical biopsy, but to allow the body to build up the blood.
We are to consult with Dr. Tris later in this next week - find out the results of the uterine lining screening and the cervical biopsy. Praying so hard for NO cancer cells!!!
Dr. Tris and the nurses all told us that at the rate I was losing blood - basically one decimal point per day, from 5.0 to 4.9 ... - I would have been passing out in another 2-3 days. They said that death happens at some point below 4.0 usually.
Rick and I both knew that I didn't feel good ... and that the blood count was way too low - we just didn't know how low! Or how dangerous!
~ As we are already dealing with Rick's health, this has hit both of us pretty hard. We are overwhelmed, scared, feeling very vulnerable and emotional. Confused. Frustrated.
~ But we are also VERY thankful that Dr. Tobin was caring enough to even look at me, and to take the first blood count. That he was caring and thoughtful enough to get this started.
Thankful that Rick had an appointment with Dr. Tobin this week.
And thankful that I went back into the room with them.
God is good - all the time.
Sigh. Well, after the last couple of days in the hospital (see "Journey to Recovery") - I was given direct orders from Dr. Tris, the nurses, my children, my husband ... REST for this weekend! :-) So, I guess I will be "forced" to obey! LOL
Spending the time working on the website/blogs ... cleaning up the computer ... working on some pictures/scrapbooks ... watching movies with hubby ... talking on the phone ... texting ... reading ... praying ... journaling ... drinking LOTS - water, tea, coffee, juices ... enjoying fruits ... Rick said he would help me fix spaghetti for supper (no tomato sauce, alfredo only) ... enjoyed a visit with Rick's parents ... looking forward to spending a little time with my daughter and her bunch ... Rick's sister said she would be coming up ...
Rick and I were talking about everything ... we don't agree with God all the time when He allows something to happen - but then, He doesn't need our agreement! He is God! We are not.
We ask God to "Bless us, enlarge our territories, keep your hand on us, and keep us from evil and temptation that we won't cause pain" ... and then when He does - but not like we were talking about, we complain! God has already enlarged our territories thru all of this. No, we would not have chosen this way to have our territories enlarged, but there again - He is God, we are not. We see with the eyes of this world and light ... God sees with the eyes and light of eternity. Big, Big difference!
I told Rick (and Bro. Jeremy) that it sure would be easier to have faith if either had money in the bank for the bills, or knew for sure that the money was coming in! LOL Course, I was told that then it wouldn't be faith ... but it would to me! LOL Oh, I'm still trying to convince God that that would be faith, too! LOL Not working very good ... but hey, gotta give me credit for trying! LOL
We received an invitation to get together with Bro. Jeremy and his family this next week - for a potluck supper at their house. I am looking forward to it! It will be good to visit and fellowship with others! I'm sure there will be good food and lots of laughter! :-)
I know that a lot of people complain about Facebook - but I want to take a moment and say that I am so thankful for Facebook! Especially during all this time with health crisis - Rick and me.
There have been so many prayers and thoughts ... so much encouragement ... wisdom and suggestions ... It's been awesome! Sure has gone a long way to make us feel not so lonely and alone in this darkness!
After the blood report came back on me - should be a total count of 12, and it was 5 - Dr. Tobin ordered me to the hospital as an out-patient yesterday for 3 units of blood.
We got there at 8 a.m. and by 12:30 p.m. I had received the 3 units.
The nurses in Day Surgery are awesome! :-) Friendly and caring. Patient with all my questions.
Blood was taken and counts were done ... 3 units of blood brought the count up from 4.9 to 7.0. Still not enough - but better.
The R.N. in Day Surgery asked me if I had seen a Gyn about all this bleeding. I said no - that we had been out of state, and on the truck during the most of these last 5 months.
I told her that I had tried to talk to Dr. Tris, but couldn't get past his receptionist.
The nurse said she would make a call.
Less than hour later, Dr. Tris stood in the doorway! :-)
He said that before he could even discuss everything he needed some diagnostic tests. So, he ordered a sonogram to begin with.
Had the external (and internal) sonogram yesterday afternoon.
And was scheduled to be back at the hospital day surgery this morning at 7 a.m.
We are to meet with Dr. Tris first. He is supposed to tell us the results of the sonogram.
A DNC and cervical punch biopsy are scheduled for around noon today under general anesthesia.
So, once again - all modesty and dignity go out the window when we get to the hospital this morning! LOL
I realize that this is the first steps to finding out the reason for all the bleeding. And to fixing me.
Trying hard to breathe in and breathe out. Just take it all one step at a time.
I know that Dr. Tris does these day surgeries all the time ... but not on me!
And I know that every day people go under general anesthesia and there are no problems or complications ... but I also know that sometimes there are problems and complications. Lord, please - NO problems, NO complications today for me. Please.
Rick was with me yesterday, and will be there today, too. His truck is broke down anyway, so he isn't "missing" work to be with me. But he said he would anyway! LOL
My kids are wanting to be here today ... but neither one is able to. I know how they feel. Life sucks when you aren't close enough (or have money enough) to be where you need and want to be. I remember well the times of being in Idaho - Mandy giving birth to our first grandchild, emergency C-section - Joshua having a head injury due to a fall with a horse, and then a truck accident that totaled the truck and shattered his knee. We were in Idaho and could not be here. 2000 miles away from Momma's babies!!!
And now? They are the ones away from Momma. Sigh.
Lord, give them peace and comfort today.
I know that God is God - and I am not.
God is in control - no matter what.
I am trusting in Him.
Believing in Dr. Tris - I was one of his first 5 patients over 30 years ago when he first moved to Sulphur Springs. And since then, he has delivered both our kids, 3 of the 4 grandkids (2 for Mandy and 1 for Dessie).
He even treated Rick at one point years ago - Rick had smashed his finger at work, and we were waiting to be seen at the E.R. Dr. Tris came by and wanted to know why I was there, and why we hadn't called him. I told him it was Rick - not me - that we were there for. He took one look at Rick's finger, called us back to an E.R. room, used Rick's lighter and a needle, went thru Rick's fingernail, released the pressure of the injury, and sent us home with an antibiotic prescription. We still laugh about the look on the pharmacist face when he saw that Dr. Tris (OB/GYN) had written a prescription for Rick. LOL
So, I do believe in Dr. Tris. and this will be one more time that we are putting my life into his hands. Lord, give him wisdom and direction. Give us peace. And please - give me LIFE and HEALTH.
We trust in YOU God. YOU.
Deep breath ...
It's not all good. It's not all bad.
Just trying to make some sense from it all.
Most of Rick's blood count numbers are better than they were in January and February. Thanking God!!!
At the doctor's office yesterday, his blood pressure was 132/82!!! And he has "white coat syndrome"!!!
His blood sugar is running lower - at least for him. His average was around 200 for a long time. And it didn't seem to matter what medications he took, nor what he ate, not even exercise ... averaging 200. But now - his average is around 140. Still not "perfect" - but certainly better than before!!!
I will be posting a complete update to his numbers later today.
The doctors have requested a diet lower in protein, lower in sugar, and a little lower in fats. Increase his water intake. Increase his exercise - such as walking.
He is to return to Dr. Tobin in 2 months. And return to Dr. Arneke in 3 months.
And now ...
The toxin levels of his kidneys is worse. Those numbers show more toxins in his body, less being flushed out thru the kidneys. Showing greater damage to the kidneys, less kidney function.
Dr. Tobin said that in January, Rick had about 21% kidney function. He now puts it around 16%. (Dr. Arneke only disagreed to say that he would put now around 18%.)
The discussions have turned more serious towards dialysis.
Both doctors have suggested a transplant - but Rick's convictions are saying "NO". I love my husband enough to respect his convictions. To just shut up and pray. Sigh.
We were told that the life expectancy of dialysis is from 3 - 18 years.
Without either a transplant (not even considered at this time) or dialysis ... we are told that it is a painful process of dying from kidney disease. Not so long, but painful.
Rick is considering the option of dialysis. PD ... the kind that he can do at home. There is much to be learned ... and we have just put a small toe into the waters of all this!
Dr. Tobin told us that at this time there is not a decision to be made ... he has given us 2 months to think about it all, learn what we can, come up with all our questions.
In 2 months, Rick goes in for more labs - and another visit with Dr. Tobin.
At that time???
Dr. Tobin did tell us that in order to do the PD - there is first a day surgery of putting the "shunt" into Rick's belly area. And it will take about 2 weeks for that to "cement" enough for dialysis. Then, there is 6 - 8 weeks of training on how to do dialysis. So, 2 months after the decision is made before dialysis actually starts.
And federally limited to waiting until the kidney function is at 15% or below before even the "shunt" can be put into Rick.
We are in contact with the National Kidney Foundation ... they have a lot of good information about diet/nutrition and exercise. Rick and I have talked about the diet and exercise program that they recommend.
If he tries it for 2 months and it makes no difference, then what has he lost?
But if he doesn't try it and it could have made a difference, then what has he lost?
So, deep breath ... we begin a "new" diet/nutrition and exercise program today.
He has gained about 30 pounds since January - which the doctors both agree, is not helping any health situation within his body.
One thing that still has the doctors "bumfuzzled"?
If you take a sheet of paper and on the left side you write out Rick's lab results ... and on the right side, you list all the should be symptoms ... NO MATCHING.
Rick has the lab results on the toxin levels of the kidneys ... but few if any of the symptoms for kidney failure.
*Same as in January and February when all this started.
When we were in Dr. Tobin's office, he kept looking at me.
At one point, he stood up and came towards Rick to examine him. But he came to me. He looked at my eyes, and said very directly -
"You are not well. If I had been told to come back here and see the kidney patient, and I did not know Rick was my patient - just to walk into the room, I would have thought the patient was YOU. I want you to come to my office in Paris and have blood work done ASAP."
So, yesterday morning, we went to Paris. Blood was drawn. And we are supposed to hear this morning what Dr. Tobin has to say.
After all the doctor visits and reports ... we decided to take a drive to Greenville yesterday afternoon. We found ourselves at the Christian bookstore there. And bought each of us a new Bible cover. :-) If you have not been to the bookstore there - you ought to make the time and go. :-)
Then, we went to Red Lobster. Oh my! Good food! Rick had the Parrot Bay Shrimp and I had the Chicken Linguine Pasta ... plus we had soup and salad and desert. No - we did not eat it all! LOL ... We have enough leftovers for a complete meal today :-)!!!
But even better? We met up with my cousin and his wife, and his adopted little brother. It was so AWESOME to spend time together over good food!!! We laughed and talked ... we were serious and NOT! LOL
And yes, the waitress got a GOOD tip from both sides of the table!!! She deserved it after putting up with all of us!!! LOL
**Momma has a couple of prayer requests for her kids ... unspoken except to God. But He knows. And I am confident that He not only knows, but He has answers!!!
Rick's truck is still down ... he is to call dispatch this morning. We wonder if they will leave him sitting waiting the repairs out, or put him into a "new" truck, lease a truck for him, or have him "borrow" one. And where will they send him?
We wait ... and wonder ...
Waiting on the call today to see what my blood work is going to show ... and what to do ...
Trusting in the Lord ...
He is worthy to be worshipped and praised and adored - no matter what!!!
He is God, we are not!
We are just HIS.
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here