A Very Merry Christmas!

I wanted to pop in and wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas or whatever you may celebrate (or not) this year.

To be honest, Christmas is not my favorite time of year.  It seems to bring home more of what I don’t have, than what I do…

I have lived with my oldest sister since I got divorced.  It’s been much longer than I planned.  We get along really well and enjoy having someone around.  I don’t know where I would be without her.  She has helped me so much.  She’s waited for me while I’ve had surgeries; come along to important doctor’s appointments; taken me to the store when I was unable to drive, etc., etc.  I don’t have her come with me to my oncologist’s appointments (I think she’s been to two in the past 3 1/2 years).  I don’t feel I need someone to hold my hand.  Mostly because there is nothing major to discuss.

My previous insurance had a great online portal where I would get all my results, including scans, before I saw my onc. so I knew what was what before I went.  I don’t have that luxury anymore.  I do have a online portal,  but they are not very fast getting it updated!  Blood results I get from the cancer clinic portal pretty quickly, it’s just my scan results I hate waiting for!

My next appointment is for blood work in early January.  Including my pancreastatin, CgA, etc.  I have a triple phase CT scan scheduled the end of January and then I see my new oncologist in early February!  I try not to stress or have “scanxiety” when it is time but you can’t really help having some.

At my last appointment with my oncologist, we mostly discussed his leaving and going to another cancer center.  He did tell me that he would be happy to see me there.  Huntsman Cancer Institute is a great place to be treated for most types of cancer.  I don’t think they would do anything different for me (Carcinoid or Neuroendocrine cancer) though.  However, they are a research hospital so I would likely have a better change of getting into a clinical trial if needed.  My plan is to see how this next round of tests goes and meet my new onc., then decide whether to make the move.  I really like where I go now simply because it is five minutes from work!  I know that’s a silly reason but since only a couple of co-workers know about my cancer, I don’t want to take a lot of time off to go to get my shots, etc.

So how do I feel?  Mostly pretty good.  I’ve been on some steroids for my neck. At my last follow-up with my GP, I told her how bad my neck was hurting.  It’s a long story but it’s bothered me forever.  I know I have degenerative disk disease from an MRI I had about 13 years ago!  Well, she gave me a prescription for celebrex and wanted me to go get an x-ray to see if I needed another MRI and/or go see a orthopedic doc. X-ray was not too bad.  Moderate DDD, osteoarthritis, some bone spurs.  I made the apt. with the ortho doc and he wanted me to do PT which I declined for now (too expensive), hence the round of steroids.  My fingers are numb and have been for a long time–so long I hardly notice it!  He thought the roids would help reduce inflammation and hopefully help with the numbness. I did ten days.  I finished yesterday.  Yeah!  The only thing I noticed is it made my hot flashes more intense.  I think that’s what was happening.  I’m not sure.  I’ll see how they are now that I’ve stopped.  My fingers are still numb.  Maybe not as bad.  It’s hard to tell.  I couldn’t take the celebrex while on the steroids so my neck hurt a lot more!  It had really started helping even though I only took it for about a week.  I got to start taking it again today!  I go see him Wednesday, so not expecting much from that appointment.  I don’t think there’s really any “next steps” unless I want physical therapy.  I just don’t have the time/money to go do that 2 or 3 times a week!  I’m just glad I’m not at the point that I need surgery to fuse these disks.  That’s what they told me I would need all those years ago after my MRI.  Sheesh….  Not if, but when.

The other thing I noticed on the steroids was that my heart was really pounding at times.  Almost like it would jump out of my chest.  I’ve had palpitations on/off since before my diagnosis (Carcinoid).  I hope it was the steroids.  I hope that it is not carcinoid related.  Carcinoid heart disease is NOT something I want to deal with.

With Christmas quickly approaching, I just want to get it over with!  We had a huge snow storm come in yesterday–which we really needed.  I’m hoping to go South to my other sisters for Christmas Eve and Christmas.  Her daughter, my niece just had twin boys and I haven’t seen them yet.  I know I’ll get it the spirit of Christmas with all of them!  It’s a 4+ hour drive so I’m hoping the weather will cooperate!







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