Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Look Ma, no autoimmune disorder...

The past couple of weeks have just flown by. OK, who am I kidding here?! This year, since late March, has whizzed by at the speed of light. Not only have I been kept occupied with graphics work, tire store work and just life in general while living in a house with two racers, one horse rider and our menagerie of animals but there have been a couple of medical developments as well.

I'll go first. As I've mentioned before, I have Meniere's Disease. I'm not going to go into the stats of a person having this except to say that it's not found on every street corner. I've been going to a fancy-shmancy ear clinic in a not-so-close really big city for the past several years but decided due to insurance changes to go to one closer in Big City, which is just a couple of hours away. The doc there was highly recommended by a friend (Thanks Asim!) who is highly knowledgeable about this condition. I was very impressed with the staff there and would recommend them to anyone who's looking for this type of doctor. This doc, Dr. House, (and just how cool is that to say you see Dr. House?!) did the typical hearing tests to check for changes. Apparently, while I'm not having many of the "fits" associated with this disorder, I have developed rapidly progressive hearing loss in my left ear. Now, my MD was diagnosed in my right ear. So, of the .2% populace that has this, I've entered the realm of the "bilateral" section, meaning it's now in both ears.

Blood tests were done to see if it might really be AIED. While noone I know really wants an autoimmune disorder, at least there are treatments, often with some reversal of the loss. I found out yesterday that I do not have AIED. Where does this leave me? This leaves me with no real treatment options to stop the loss of hearing. This leaves me, after a week of researching the treatment options and terms like "possible reversal" feeling pretty sorry for myself. And that sucks. I don't like feeling sorry for myself and expect that this nonsense will end shortly. I don't have time for this kind of energy drain.

However, I'm going to let this rant out. Then maybe I'll be done with it. Do you know how much it sucks to be 36 and be losing your hearing at the rate of an 80-year old construction worker?? Do you know how much I want to grab whomever came up with the "reduce stress and nicotine" theory to keep the fits from happening?! WTF? I am barely hanging onto my sanity as it is right now, and most likely my stress level will not decrease anytime in the near future and you want me to stop smoking. Yes, I'm planning on doing that again this year, but not right now. I feel it's safer for everyone involved if I don't attempt to put them down at this moment. I know that there are hearing aids to assist with hearing. I've tried them and they drove me CRAZY. Can you imagine having tones, rushing noises, ringing, etc with something stuck down your ear? It sucks. Yes, I know that they also have implants that will improve hearing should I lose it to that degree. And yes, should it come to that, I'll give it a go. But none of this information makes having this shit any easier for me right now. No, this is not new news that I have this disorder. But to have the hope that there could possibly be other options, other solutions, ripped away is tough for me to take today. It always sucks when hope is taken out of your reach.

Anywho. Mother's oncology office called and told her she needs a CT scan ASAP. It seems they got the tumor marker back. We don't know the official number yet, we'll find that out Friday, but we've found it's not a real good sign when they call to tell you they've moved up the scan schedule by more than a month. Her number has gone from 55,000 after surgery to 38,000 after a few rounds of chemo to 45,000 to 83,000 to 103,000. The trend doesn't bode well for finding out the newest number.

I'm tired of typing now. I'm sure you're tired of reading. I promise to try to make the next blog entry something a bit more lighthearted. I just didn't have that in me today.

Take care - Me

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hope offers choices...

Help Kate and her ugly shoes!

So, what happens when you choose to live and life throws your choice out the window? Many people that are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have to deal with that question. Whether they want to or not. Quite literally, they are told that their choices to make are few. There are few treatments that work, there is no choice for surgery because it's too far gone. I've already complained on here about the lack of funding, the lack of awareness, and I'll not do that again today. Instead I offer you a choice. I'm hoping you'll choose to help out, be it by helping to fund the PANcan or by forwarding this site to others.

Help Kate and her ugly shoes!

Take care - Me

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What's your choice?

I have a theme running through my head lately. It's right there with the constantly running list that goes through my head like a bad jingle from a commercial. That theme is choice.

Every morning we have a choice. We can choose to get out of bed and start our day, or we can choose to stay there and let life pass us by. Everyday, every minute, we make a choice on how to live. Do we choose to look at only the bad? To let the things going on in our lives control our every movement? Do we choose to dwell on the things that have gone wrong and let those bring us down? Or do we choose to let them go, as hard as that may be?

Everyone has something. Something that is not going right for them. Something that is just weighing on their mind, heart and soul at any given moment. It's the choice we make on how to deal with it that matters. If the choice is made to think of nothing except the negative, then that is what will drive our lives - the negative. That negative will explode, contaminating everything else in our lives. Instead, if we can let the negative go, positive will win out. And that positive will touch the things in our lives.

Some people might call this denial. Denial that things are as bad as what they seem. I choose to call it choice. I choose to live my life. period. Because that's what it is - LIFE. If we are not living our lives, then what good is it to wake up and breathe? We all take life for granted. We hear or know of others that could possibly not have their lives months, or even weeks from now. We think, oh, what a shame, or we may even say to ourselves, you just never know. Then there's the proverbial bus that could hit you. And we think about how our lives could be cut short. That thought only last as long as a breath normally, then it's back to getting sucked in by the mundane.

I choose to live. I choose to let things that are out of my control go. Worry and anger have less control over me now. I do not want to live whatever time I have left worrying about my dirty house, the spot that won't come off the car or what my children will grow up to be. I want to live, laugh and love. I want to roll with the punches and come out of adversity wiser. I choose life and I choose to live it, not just go through the motions.

Take care - Me

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Family Update No.128...

This is just a mish-mash of updating, so be prepared for run-on sentences and blah blah blah...

Speedy: Raced a couple of weekends ago, broke the breather, didn't finish race, has to fix breather. On the home front, he's still hanging in there with me, so you know he's a man to keep! I figure anyone that can live with me lately and not go running off into the woods screaming is a pretty good person.

Moosie: We have added another turtle to the family. We think it's a box turtle, but as I did not study herpetology, that is a guess. The new turtle's name is Pine. We now have Pine and Tuss, the red-ear slider. We also now have two cages that must be cleaned out frequently or the house will be over-come with the reptilian room scent. Amazing that Glade has not come out with that one for the plug-ins. Moosie is now able to ride in the woods on her newest horse, Sid, without a lead rope. Oh the joys of hair dye.

Rokimus: He competed in his second race ever this past Saturday. From 9am to almost 9pm our family was at the go-cart track. Have I mentioned that I love my family. Because, let me tell you, there are many things that could have been accomplished in that 12 hours that did not get done. No matter, who needs clean undies when you've got a WINNING driver son?! That's right, he won! As in 1st place. As in, did not lose. Yes, I'm somewhat proud. And best of all, he showed wonderful sportsmanship toward the other losers, oops, I mean drivers. The average speed per lap was 42 mph. Have I mentioned hair dye?

Mother: We started another round of chemo this past Friday. We had to stop the Xeloda, as it became toxic to her system. While this gives her system a few weeks to recoup on the blood counts, it also gives the cancer 3 weeks vacation from being attacked. Still attacking at a local oncology clinic near you is Gemzar. As Mother said, it does seem as though we're taking one step forward, two steps back with this whole cancer thing. Good thing that woman knows how to dance! :)

Me: Well, I did get my hair colored. A nice shade of auburn. What a shame that the stresses of life have brought out the gray in the past week. That's right, I paid $85 to have the hair cut and colored, and the gray is back in force. To minimize the stress, I have started a new knitting pattern. It actually has different stitches than just a knit stitch because I'm just crazy like that. I do believe that I was the only one at the race track knitting Saturday. I am still doing the graphics design work, and as you can tell by the length of this post, I'm procrastinating getting started on the newest job. I'm also still going to the tire store to manage the accounts and help out where/when needed. So I'm still a bit busy overall, but maybe this knitting thing is working, as I've not run screaming into the woods thing yet either. Of course, today is a new day and I might find the time for running & screaming as soon as I do some laundry, clean the kitchen, feed the dogs and turtles and start this graphics project.

Take care - me

OMG! Here's a picture of our family with the "big check" that Rokimus won Saturday night. For your viewing pleasure and my anal security issues, I've Photoshoped the faces & names.