Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dine In for Charity

I know I haven't posted in a while and I promise... I will soon. Very soon. Things have just been super-duper hectic the last couple weeks.

In the meantime, I was at my doctor's this morning and saw a poster for an event Union City Grille was doing in Wilmington, DE.

Dine In for Charity.

April 25th their charity is Resolve: National Infertility Association. If you happen to want to get out and eat (and who DOESN'T like to eat?), I would like to recommend support for this organization that night. Unfortunately their website doesn't give much detail, but I think the flyer in my docs office mentioned something like 20 or 25% of the bill will be donated to that night's charity.

So... if you can... go.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Straight Talk or Why some words scare the crap out of us...

A few years ago, I sat in an exam room at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center at Christiana Care terrified. I had an unusual reaction to Penicillin which resulted in lots of blood tests. Some of which came back with abnormal levels of red and white blood cells and platelets. It was determined at that time that I should be referred to a hemotologist / oncologist to figure out the problem.

The doctor walked in and I had enough time to think "she's my age" when she looked at me and stated "First of all - you don't have cancer."

I was always quite grateful to her for that simple statement. That acknowledgement that there is TYPICALLY only one reason someone is in her office and it's a tough battle to fight. It never really was determined what was causing my abnormal counts, but in subsequent tests the numbers went back to normal and it was chalked up to a very rare and unusual inflammatory reaction to the penicillin.

Four years later and I'm fighting multiple odd symptoms once again. But, I'm going through fertility treatments, I'm under a lot of stress from a variety of things and my body is pretty much all out of whack. So when I went into my primary's office the last thing I expected to hear was "carcinoid syndrome." It was almost the exactly opposite feeling from being in that oncologists office. I sad there dumbly, not sure what to do think or what those words meant. But it sure didn't sound good. 

First of all, before I continue my story, let me put your fears to rest... by all accounts it appears I DO NOT have carcinoids. But look it up. And look it up in it's more advanced phases and you may begin to understand the new emotional roller coaster I've been traveling. 

All fertility efforts were put on hold. The last month or so has been running between doctor's offices and the hospital for tests. My fertility specialist would not proceed until we had an answer. And answers have not been forthcoming. I'm currently wearing a heart monitor, though, for all purposes, it does not appear to be my heart.

This has been my life for 20 years. This will be my life for 20 and more. You'd think I'd be used to it by now.

But it's hard to not be comfortable in your own body. It's hard to carry on life day-to-day in pain or frustration. It's hard to get past the problems of others when your life is consumed by this. This is what I fight against every day.

To end on a happier note: I did see the fertility doctor on Friday. We have decided to proceed finally because the big scary diagnoses seem to be out of the way. Because of the cyclical nature of my current symptoms, we're going to proceed with "hormone" or "auto-immune." He recognizes I'm not "normal" by any stretch of the imagination and require some "outside the box" thinking to reach a conclusion. He's placed other options at my feet, which are under consideration. But I'm taking it one day at a time. Trying to find an answer, so that I can determine my path forward. Trying to reach acceptance of my own life; so pardon me if I'm sometimes seem unconcerned with the lives of others.