August 19, 2010

Good evening, dear friends. This has been the best week the Grubbs’ have had in a while. I think we’ve both relaxed quite a bit this week. We are moving forward now, after the catch in our throats.

Some of the reasons: of course the good results from the CT and the X-Ray. Next, we bought a new mattress. I realize that sounds funny, but I can’t begin to tell everyone the difference that has made in bone pain. I actually rest at night. I still wake up some during the night, but not for hours on end. WOW. What a difference that makes.

Then this past Monday I had my semi-annual check up with Dr. Reed. I let her know that, even though there seemed to be nothing with the cancer causing it, I was extremely fatigued. She did a thorough job of questioning, making sure I wasn’t suffering from depression (cancer-related, I’m sure) and other maladies.  I told her that I didn’t think I was tired because I was depressed, but instead I was depressed because I was TIRED. Most nights I felt like crying, because I was so wiped. And then suddenly we realized my thyroid had not been tested in quite some time, if ever. So, another trip to the lab. AND, it is “moderately” low. I began medications this week. After reading the symptoms, I can’t believe I hadn’t thought to mention it to my dr.’s before. The extreme reaction to temperatures, MEMORY LOSS, lethargy, fatigue, occasional anxiety, and–this was an eye opener–fingers turning white with no apparent reason. I blamed it on cold temperatures some, and once or twice thought I’d hit a nerve on my hand, deadening the finger temporarily. It would go away relatively quickly, so I ignored it. Lesson learned. I’ve had that off and on for years, and had no idea why.

ALSO, scratchy voice. I’ve been blaming that on the bad case of mono that attacked my vocal cords several years ago. Plus Faslodex causes sore throats. WELL, Surprise! The throat thing has been bothering me more and more. Sometimes at the end of the day it gets so scratchy people can’t hear what I say. I didn’t even think to mention that to Dr. Reed. I will make sure to tell her about that when I go back. After all, that’s where the thyroid gland is–around the vocal cords.

I hope we’ve figure this out. I’ll take the medication
for two months and be re-tested. I am so hoping this will handle these symptoms. Wouldn’t that be great for everyone?  Husband? Co-workers? Friends??????????

I aleady feel a difference, now that I’ve started the tamoxifen. All I can say is, the side effects of the Faslodex must have been stronger than I realized. I haven’t had a shot in about 6 weeks, and my head is clearer. That’s a hard thing to explain. The past several months have been so hard, dealing with the fatigue and lack of concentration. I, like the doctors, was thinking everything was due to the big C word. As Dr. Reed said, we tend to forget that cancer patients’ bodies are still dealing with all the normal things that go with life. I am guilty of not passing along all the feelings I had, thinking they were just parts of the disease. Plus, it makes you feel like Wendy Whiner for sure. Thank goodness for a general practitioner who is willing to engage in conversation and find the truth.

I have to give thanks to my co-workers for putting up with all of this for the last several months. I can look back and know that I’ve had some real issues from all this stuff. These dear folks have picked me up and carried me on their backs, and I can’t thank them enough.

Mike had his wellness exam this week, and it seemed to go well. His dr. told him that the polyp removed during his colonoscopy was a slow-growing pre-cancerous growth, so he was a good boy getting things taken care of. He does have some ear problems, that can be fixed up with a visit to the ENT. That’s good–that way there’ll only be on one deaf person in the house! And he’s been told to take Vitamin D, just like me. So at least we can share that bottle of pills. Wonder if he wants some of my calcium?

Tomorrow is my first Friday off with no dr. visit. (of course, I did have one last Monday, but it wasn’t so bad). There’s a box of old family letters just waiting for my attention. Time to go through and clean out some closets.  I’ve made a list of things to do, a little at a time. There’s a lot to catch up on, things that have gone undone totally for two years, as well as the regular things that catch up on all of us.

Next Thursday is Mike’s birthday. Everybody send him good wishes. Cards are good, too, hehe.  Bless his heart, he deserves the moon! Maybe I’ll give him a new set of sheets for the new mattress, lol. OK, maybe not. I have ideas, but of course can’t post them here for him to hear about or see. This I do know. I am NOT going to buy him the composter he wants. He can buy his own trash making gizmo. ;0}

We are so blessed. Thank you again for your prayers. We take every day as it comes, know it’s a gift, and cherish all the good times with all of our good friends.

Love to Dani, Leslie, Phyllis, Aaron, and now Carole. You are resting on my heart and in my prayers. And Rick–you are our hero and our role model, you know.  We’re thinking of you right now, with Susan’s anniversary coming. And love to our church family. Your support is invaluable.

Love to everyone, Anne