2017

2017 started with doctors appointments. I had my six month appointment with the dermatologist. He is one of my favorites doctors. The staff is very nice. Doctor knows what he is doing. They are always on time. He has become the family skin doctor.

Two Monday’s ago I saw him.  Everything was ok till he got to my right cheek. He thought it possible could be a pre cancer or possible basal cell cancer. I needed a biopsy. I’m no stranger to biopsies. The doctor is good at them. If I have basal cell cancer this would be my third cancer.

So he finishes. The answer to all my questions is “We’ll be in touch” I wait till the following Monday,  call the office back. Tuesday morning a nurse calls. Doctor talked to the pathologist. Report is he’s not sure. Doctor wants to see. Saw doctor Friday afternoon. He did another biopsy on the same site says results should be back by Wednesday at the latest. Thinks he got everything this time.  Depending on the results I might need to see another doctor for further treatment.

I know with PTEN skin cancer  I am at a higher risk for skin cancer. Every year I buy sun block but forget to use it. With my large head size I have one ball cap that fits.

Treatment for pimples in my teens included time under a sun lamp and night cream that smelled like sulfur.

This summer I will use sun block not just buy it. Hopefully there is somewhere out there that has cute wide brim hats for summer.

Most important my hope is my family, friends will make a point to use sunscreen with me.

Update

 

I just finished the snowman

img_1093I usually don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. My resolutions were mostly art related. Limit the number of exhibits I did. Be part of the Christmas exhibit in Marie’s Cafe on the square. I did both. I’m still membership chair of our local art league. Next year I would like to do more for pulmonary hypertension.

I have shortened my list of doctors by two. Said good-by to the GI doctor and my oncologist. GI doctor canceled my appointment. After talking to my PCP we decided she could take it from here. The oncologist has an ultrasound scheduled for March. After that if I need him I know where to find him. My thyroid is good enough to see him just once a year.

My PH is progressing. I am now on two PH medicines. The second one is inhaled. It comes from a specialist pharmacy in the mail and cost big bucks. We are very grateful for good insurance and Caring Voices. Caring Voices awarded me a grant for co-pays.

 

This I called Playhouse. Its made from junkmail. One of the shows I wanted to do was In The Pink. Small pictures are raffeled of for our local cancer center.

 

img_0987

My arteriouveous malformation continues to grow and give me problems. An arteriovenous malformation is arteries and veins grown together. It is no longer safe for me to have them operated on. Hopefully I won’t get another man cold and the new medicine will work.

Update

I just haven’t felt good in a while. Been having more heart palpitations. Losing weight without trying. We had a family wedding over Labor Day. Most people would gain some weight. I lost two pounds. The wedding was fun. Dave and I had a good time in Columbus. We did lots of walking. I looked good and didn’t break any bones. Our 17-year-old dog got sick from being boarded.

Early September, I had a pulmonary hypertension appointment. The last time I saw the doctor I did the 6 minute walk test and two breathing tests. The six-minute walk test is pretty easy. They hook you up to a watch type machine that measures your oxygen levels and you walk the hall for six minutes. Everyone stops for you. For the breathing tests they had you nose clips and walk you through the test. I hate the nose clips.

Both test showed less lung function. The doctor had to stop and think. It ends up he added another medicine. So after almost a month I am waiting for the speciality pharmacy to return my call. The insurance finally approved my Tyvaso. The next step is to learn how to use the medicine. Tyvaso is inhaled. Pulmonary hypertension medicine is known for side effects.  Add that to I need to have a couple of teeth pulled. All this has to be finished by the end of the year.

Yes I am still doing my art. Two of my picture are hanging locally. I contributed to In The Pink this year. A local store gives artist 6 by 6 canvas and then raffels the pictures. Money goes to a local cancer support center. I have been attempting to lessen the number of doctors I see.

Our Cleveland Indians are playoff bound.

 

What !!!!

The skin doctor is finishing up my appointment. He’s telling me the problem area looks great. I agree with him. Last thing I have one more spot I need checked. Silly me not a big deal, he’ll look and I get another appointment in six months.

What I think I heard him wrong. Your not sure what this is. Out comes the doctor tool, he gives a measurement to the assistant. You need a biopsy this needs to come off. Any vacation plans coming up? Do you swim? Well yes my reunion is this weekend. Ok lets schedule the biopsy after the reunion.

Dr shakes my hand and leaves. I get dressed and then think of the questions? Dr is in the hall. Yes you will have stitches for ten days and need to stay off the area. Right again after the numbing meds wear off the area will hurt. We start with scheduling my return appointment. The nurse tells me everyone who has not had skin cancer gets yearly appointments. He’s new. I ask about Cowdens Syndrome. He looks surprised and I get a six month return appointment for a skin check.

After all my questions are answered I get a biopsy for early August. The biopsy is on my bum. It looks to be a long ten days.

 

Why not just get rid of it?

Its been suggested that because of my high rick for cancer just get rid of it. Your know have surgery, take it out. Everything will be better without the risk right.

No, I have Pulmonary Hypertension. Pulmonary Hypertension is high blood pressure of the lungs. Take a look at http://www.SometimesItsPH.org

The site give a good definition of PH. I have many of the symptoms. Anyone can be diagnosed of PH. About half the people I met at the last convention are on oxygen. I have many PH symptoms but so far am not on oxygen.

I had complications with being put to sleep for surgery because of PH. My doctors have said its better for me to avoid surgery when possible. So I am not a candidate for any cancer prevention surgery.

I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension the same time I was diagnosed with right side heart failure. But thats another post.

A couple of sites

SometimesItsPH.org

PHAssociation

AmericanHeartAssociation

Check out heart failure on the American Heart Association site.

So What do We do Now?

For a while I have been attempting to shorten my list of doctors.My

doctors are educated nice people, but over a years time I see way to many

doctors. Part of this comes from three emergency visits and two hospital admits last year.

October of 2015 I saw the breast specialist had my mammogram, she

found something so I had the ultra sound. Ended up getting cream for the

nipple and a follow up in three weeks. Then ended up with a nipple biopsy.

Everything turned out ok, but its getting old. The breast specialist handed

me a paper to get an evaluation with a gyn oncologist. My appointment with him was yesterday.

Yesterday’s appointment turned out better than I thought.

The physicians assistant asked lots of questions. She said yes I was in the right place.

When the doctor came in he talked, about Cowdens and my risk to get a third cancer diagnosis.

He talked about options and how I can prevent a third cancer diagnosis. Then he asked for my questions.

 Dave was out in the waiting room so I asked if he could come in and have the doctor repeat Everything.

So in Dave comes and I get another chance to listen.

I could have my uterus removed and  be done with everything unless they found cancer.

I could have yearly screenings, or we could do nothing.

In my case I have been told many times no more surgery. So that one is out.

IMG_0115We ended up scheduling a biopsy in February.

Ok so what if someday they find cancer. I have a 28% risk. The doctors talked about options other than surgery.

First time I went to the Gyn doctor and got to keep my clothes on.

I left knowing its up to me.

Cold and Frustrated

 

quilt at conference

quilt at conference

I am cold and frustrated. Winter has finally hit Ohio and if it were up to me it could have stayed away.  We do not have a fenced in yard, so whenever the dog has to go out someone has to take her.It was 27 this afternoon when I took Bailey out. Bailey is our dog we got this past April at the age of 15. She is a border collie mix, sweet dog. Bailey is a really slow walker, has to sniff at everything. This past May Bailey turned 16. I didn’t want a puppy, wanted a dog who needed us. But on a good day it takes at least 30 minutes outside for Bailey to finish everything.

I have been inside over an hour and my hands are starting to hurt again. My fingers are still cold. I am typing wearing gloves.I found an old Christmas present of gloves with the fingers cut out to text with a mitten top for over the holes. They work really well. Hope they still make them.  One symptom of pulmonary hypertension is cold hands. Mine get worse in the winter.

Tomorrow I see a new doctor. Can not remember the last time I saw a gyn. My breast specialist referred me. I looked him up, among other things this doc speciality is hereditary cancer. A new doctor to explain my overgrown pelvic AVM too. I have been told some odd things about the pelvic AVM over the years. Lose weight and it will go away. The AVM causes no pain just looks different. Wrong!!!  Hope he is kind.