One last hurdle.

operating room cartoon for colon surgeryThe test results are in.  My vena cava vein is free and clear of the tumor.  My doctor will try to do the surgery laparascopically, but will be ready to do an open surgery if necessary.  Since the tumor is large, he doesn’t want to take any chances.  It is still not known if the tumor is benign or malignant, which is why they are exercising caution.  The vascular surgeon will be there as well, just in case.

My surgeon seemed a bit excited about this surgery.  As did the vascular surgeon and endocrinologist.  Seems this type of tumor is rare, and everyone has taken a keen interest in it.  Hmmmmm, is that a good thing? 

Surgery has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 7th. The day my grandson turns ONE.

I can’t think of a better good luck charm.




An attitude change. Patience. Rest. Be.

Those that know me best, know that patience is not one of my virtues.  I like to be in control of things and feel compelled  to get things done sooner rather than later.  I found out on September 3rd that I’ve had this tumor, and it is now September 28th.  Tests, doctors appts. and more tests have been my schedule for the past three weeks.  Tomorrow is my venocavography, and on Tuesday I meet with the surgeon.  Almost one month after my initial CT scan.  I should finally have a good idea of what to expect.

The drugs I’m on have literally rendered me useless.  My blood pressure this afternoon was 102/58 with a resting heart rate of 68.  The drugs are working, if I’m supposed to feel half dead.   (Not to mention the added bonus of water retention, thanks to these drugs, which added another 9 lbs to my already fluffy body.)

My husband has been taking over all of my household duties (cleaning, cooking, laundry).  Of course, the household ‘flow’ has been a work in progress, as I’ve had to remind him to do things.   Makes me feel more like a drill sergeant, than a wife.  Poor guy.  He’s working full time AND doing all my stuff too.   He must really love me to put up with my insistence that things need to be done NOW.

What’s most frustrating for me, though,  is the fact that it’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL outside, and I can’t enjoy it.    Yesterday, I walked Ben around the block and nearly passed out.  Sigh.

Okay, pity party is now over.

I think it’s time for an attitude change, don’t ya think?

Time to refocus.

First, I’ll exercise a bit of patience. Doctors need to take their time to get it right.  I will respect that.

I’ll also try to rest and embrace these quiet moments and just ‘be’.

How bad could it be to take a few weeks off from laundry, cooking and cleaning?

Soon the wait will be over.

Patience. Rest. Be.





A health update and where I am

A week ago I was diagnosed with a pheochromocytoma, located on my right adrenal gland.  In order for the surgeon to successfully remove this tumor without any unnecessary complications, I was put on two medications (alpha and beta blockers) to avoid any spike in blood pressure when I am in surgery.  This article is extremely helpful in explaining my condition, if you are interested.

Needless to say, I thought I would be able to carry on my normal activities until I wait for results of one more test (venography), and the surgery itself.

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.  Um, have you ever been on both a beta blocker and alpha blocker at the same time?  Good grief.   

Here are the lovely side effects of the alpha blocker:

  • stuffy nose;
  • mild dizziness or drowsiness;
  • blurred vision;
  • upset stomach; or
  • tired feeling.

And here are the side effects of the beta blocker:

  • Dizziness,
  • lightheadedness
  • tiredness
  • Nausea/vomiting,
  • stomach pain,
  • vision changes,
  • trouble sleeping, and
  • unusual dreams

The only side effects that I don’t have are the nausea/vomiting and stomach pain.  I am grateful for that, but I’m EXHAUSTED all.the.time.  I’ve been working and trying to get as much done as possible before surgery, but today is my day off, and I can’t keep my eyes open.  (Not to mention that the computer screen is a bit blurry!)

Besides the drug effects, I still have pain in my right side, mainly from the tumor pushing on my glands.  So, to say I would like to resume ‘normal’ activities, is not really an option.

My next test is on Monday, and I meet with the surgeon on Tuesday.  I am getting VERY anxious to have this all behind me, but I understand that anxiety is one of the ‘side effects’ of this disease.  Go figure.

Today should have been a post about money.  And I definitely have one (in my head) about how an unexpected health issue affects money management, but that will have to wait.

For now, my heating pad and a nap on the couch are all I can do.


Good things.

Good things happening this weekend:

  • My sister is coming for a visit;
  • My daughter is coming home from college; (I’ve missed her!!)
  • My son is running in my FAVORITE cross country meet; and
  • The weather is supposed to be mid 70′s and sunny!

Needless to say, this little space will be quiet for a couple of days so I can enjoy all of my company.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

A diagnosis, a postponement and another update.

Here’s the update:

Last Friday I received my blood test and 24 hr. urine test results.  All signs lead to a pheochromocytoma.

Pheochromocytoma is the ‘good’ tumor to have if I have to have one, apparently.  There is only a 10/20% chance of malignancy (depending on what website you read).  It has made me hopeful, and that’s a good thing.

With that diagnosis, came a change in my procedure schedule and an appointment with an endocrinologist to get appropriate meds. I’ll need to be on alpha blockers for at least 3 weeks before the actual surgery.  Yesterday, they cancelled my venagram procedure for a couple of weeks, to give the meds time to take effect.


I’m not going to stop what I’ve always been doing, so I will resume my regular blogging schedule.  Waiting will give me time to organize, get some meals in the freezer, and enjoy the beautiful weather in September.

Thank you again for the prayers, thoughts and comments.  They have truly lifted me up.  I’m not out of the woods yet, so to speak, so your continued support and prayers are very welcome! :)




Menu planning. Getting through the week ahead.

With medical appointments, tests and work, our menu for this week has to be simple.  After looking in our fridge, pantry and freezer, here is what I’ve come up with this week:

Monday:  Cheeseburgers, ff’s, salad

Tuesday:  Freezer Meal:  Chicken soup, cheesy bread  (This is the day I have a medical procedure/testing to find out if the tumor is attached to my vein.  It’s a test that will last from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. which includes recovery time. Chicken soup is the food that can cure just about anything and all we have to do is thaw it out. :) )

Wednesday: Crockpot something. (I need to use up leftover chicken.  Any ideas?)

Thursday:  Shrimp Pad Thai

Friday:  Homemade Pizza (Husband makes this REALLY good)

Saturday:  Out to eat or ORDER in after x-country race. :) !

Of course, based on test results and other stuff, the order of this might be changed.  BUT, at least I have a plan.

What’s for dinner at your house this week?


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