Monday, January 31, 2011

just waiting

Looks like I haven't posted in awhile! It's been a busy month. Still looking for a job. I have never filled out so many applications in my life with so little results. I guess the economy is still rebounding because I used to be able to get any job I wanted. At this point I have started to apply for accounting jobs again in addition to cna jobs. We'll see what I end up with. There are quite a few cna jobs out there but they all want people with experience and since so many people are looking for work they don't need any rookies.

I have become very familiar with kaiser in the month of january. As I expected, no free parking at the facilities here. I knew utah was abnormal. Every hospital there not only had free parking, but valet free parking! But I found street parking about a 5-10 minute walk away. I figure I have already saved $20 with the amount of times I have gone in this month. Been to my diabetic educator a couple of times and now I remember why I usually stop trying to control my blood sugars - it's damn frustrating! Our body is an amazing machine (as I've been learning in my a&p class) with so many variables going on and they all affect the diabetes. It is much easier to fail when you don't try then to fail when you are making an effort. Not that I'm failing all the time, my numbers are getting better. But there are some days where I poke my finger and I get a crazy high or low number that doesn't make any sense and I just have to say wtf?

Anatomy and Physiology class: it's been one week (2 classes - 6 hours). Loving it so far! This is good news since my biggest complaint about school is that I don't like sitting in class. But so far, I haven't been bored or staring at the clock or contemplating skipping or leaving the classroom to take some breaks. I've already picked up a brain with the spinal cord attached and dissected a rat. Best thing of all is that I didn't have to buy any books. My professor lets us use old editions so wt is sending me her text and lab book, saving me $314! DW has an old anatomy coloring book with hardly any of it colored in so I'm using that as well. That is one of my favorite books, since I love to color! I did decide to drop my chem class for now. I haven't been in school for a long time so didn't want to overdue it. I'm glad I dropped it since we have been busy moving. Now in oakland and enjoying it so far. The dog is adjusting to the grassless sidewalks and steep hills and is enjoying all the new smells.

Been busy waiting this month with this surveillance thing. I had my mri at last a week ago. I was pretty nervous since there was an area my bs was worried about. They didn't find anything there but they do want a closer look at my good boob. Now I'm waiting for my old films to show up from utah so they can compare the changes. Then I will need some new mammos taking a closer look at my scar site and the questionable area on my good boob. "Probably not something" is what they are telling me. Or if something, could be dcis. Again. They say don't worry about it, most likely negative or benign. What does that mean? Are they already assuming I will need a biopsy? Don't worry. They make that sound so easy. Do they not realize that is what they told me the first time? And now dw is worrying and she wants to know if I can really go thru this stress every 6 months. This is what I signed up for so I guess I can't complain.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ha, no longer a cancer

I'm not really into astrology, and I hate the name of my sign (cancer) anyway. So when I heard tonight that changes are in the works to change the zodiac signs I was not upset. According to the new dates I have been upgraded from a cancer to a gemini! I now join my little sis (and of course my wondertwin) in this wonderful, new-to-me sign. I've looked up the characteristics and looks like I am now compatible with my wife. That's a relief - maybe the next ten years will be even better than the first! Some of you will keep your signs while others take on a brand new, don't even know how to say it, sign: Ophiuchus (Nov. 29-Dec. 17). How do you all feel about that?

Yeah, cancer sucks. Just about a week ago I found out that my dad is now on his third cancer diagnosis. Breast, basal cell and now prostate. That last one is the one that killed his father right at about the age my dad is now. They both got breast cancer at about the same age as well. Like father, like son. Although my dad says his is very treatable and that my grandfather chose not to treat his. Not sure what he meant. Did my grandpop find out really late that he had a problem or did he have a problem and not go get it checked out? So spent some time this week surfing the acs website learning all about p cancer. I find myself understanding things so much more than when my mom got her cancer and when my dad got his first. I didn't know what any of the mumbo jumbo meant. Grades, stages, etc. There are about a million ways to treat prostate cancer and many of them depend on what the patient and doctor are comfortable with. I can sure relate to that.

For the last year and a half, I've known about my family history of cancer and I even have a genealogy chart showing it all. Despite that, the depth of it didn't dawn on me until my dad's third cancer diagnosis. Everyone in my family (blood relatives) that survived their first cancer has gotten a second cancer. That's on my dad's side. No one on my mom's side has survived the first cancer. What does that mean for me? Did I beat the odds by getting my colonoscopy early and getting rid of that precancerous polyp? Was that supposed to be my second cancer or is it going to be something else? Will I get brain or stomach or lung (probably not)? Will it be prostate (not!) or maybe basal cell or bile duct or colon. WT hasn't gotten cancer. She cut off her breasts and ovaries. Will that give her a "get out of cancer" free card? I wish that was guaranteed for her. Guess that is why it doesn't bother me too much that I still have my breasts because the worry doesn't stop even if I cut them off. But I need to stop talking like this cuz dw won't like it.

What I would like to do is find a cool gemini t-shirt and embrace my new sign:) So long, cancer.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

fucking bastard

Many of you have probably heard about the shooting that happened yesterday in Arizona at the local town hall meeting. This was just an informal meeting where the local congresswoman meets and answers her constituents questions. These types of meetings take place all across the country and are supposed to make our politicians more accessible and get the community more involved. And then some asshole comes along and shoots up the place. We'll probably find out that he is mentally incapacitated in some way. Really, he must be, otherwise why would you do something like that? He cut short 6 lives, injured several others and damaged all the bystanders and families and friends of those lost and hurt.

When I hear about shootings like this I do remember that day at the bank when I got caught up in a robbery. I still grieve for the stranger who lost her life and her child that was left motherless. That day did change me. That's the day that I became a proponent of the death penalty. I know that system has a lot of flaws, but I do believe that some people don't belong on this earth. Forgive me for my bitterness. Today I am angered and saddened by the loss of my friend's niece in this tragic shooting. I have nieces the same age and my heart goes out to her and the family. May they find peace and comfort and a way to get through this.

 Christina-Taylor Green, 9-year-old killed in Tucson, remembered, mourned

Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, January 9, 2011; 1:28 PM
Christina-Taylor Green's short life was pinned between two national tragedies: She was born on Sept. 11, 2001 and died Saturday as a gunman apparently targeting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) shot 20 people in Tucson.
Christina-Taylor, a budding elementary school politician, was among those killed. The third grader had gone to meet Giffords with a neighbor when a gunman, identified by authorities as 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, opened fire at a political meet-and-greet outside a grocery store. She died at University Medical Center.
Christina-Taylor, who had big brown eyes and long brown hair, had recently been elected to the student council at Mesa Verde Elementary School. She had been interested in politics from a young age, her father, John Green said Saturday night in an interview with the Arizona Daily Star.
She was a good speaker, athletic and patriotic, her mother, Roxanna Green, told the paper. Christina-Taylor was inspired by her birth on the day of the 9/11 terror attacks, her family said. She was one of 50 babies born on 9/11 featured in a book called "Faces of Hope."
"She was born back east and Sept. 11 affected everyone there, and Christina-Taylor was always very aware of it. She was very patriotic and wearing red, white and blue was really special to her," Roxanna Green told the Star.
As a student council member, Christina-Taylor would have been a leader in her large school district. In the past, elementary school students who were elected to student councils had attended school board meetings and led the pledge of allegiance, said Jeff Grant, Board President for Amphitheater Public Schools - a district of 15,000 students.
Grant described Mesa Verde, which has students from kindergarten to fifth grade, as a very close-knit community. "It's just a tragedy that I think the entire community is in the grips of right now," he said.
Her father John is a scout for the L.A. Dodgers and her grandfather is former Major League pitcher and ex-Philadelphia Phillies manager Dallas Green, according to ESPN.
The elder Green managed the Phillies from 1979-1981, winning a World Series title in 1980. He went on to manage the Yankees and the Mets.

Friday, January 7, 2011

vacation is over

Little sis-in-law left this morning to head back to her home state. She was here for a month visiting while her friends were on college break. DW headed back to work after two weeks off for the holidays. And I am officially off my self-sanctioned five month break from doctors as I transitioned from one state to the other, one insurance to another. I moved here in october and didn't bother getting new docs since I knew I was switching insurance to kaiser. Kaiser, if you haven't heard of it, is a bit different than the normal insurances like bcbs. They have their own system, own docs, own way of doing things. Seems scary at first just because you don't know what you're getting into. But it is an hmo and that means potential big savings for you, the patient! My plan seems pretty good so far: free diagnostic crap like mri, x-rays, etc with no copay. Low copay to see the doc, decent prescription costs. And they really like to treat the chronic diseases like diabetes. "Thrive" is their motto. They have a ton of diabetic programs, with educators and nutritionists and the works - all for free.

So saw my new primary doc this week. I needed to get all my prescriptions renewed and of course, get that breast mri ordered:( New doc is very nice, listens to me, seems fairly knowledgeable about my conditions. My apt was mostly just her entering all my info into the computer. Took at least half and hour to get all my drugs and family history in. She just came back from holiday skiing at park city- bitch (ok, I'm being jealous). She has an interesting background in that she works half the time in the internal/family medicine office and the other half in the ob/gyn office. Not sure what that's about but sounds good for my needs. Brought some old lab reports with me and of course she sees that my diabetic control is not where they like it so suggests seeing the endocrinologist. It is something I have thought about so I agreed to it. Said she'd talk to the gyn/onc about follow-up care for my surgery and managed to throw in a question about tamoxifen and mastectomy. I brushed those questions aside gracefully and she let them fall to the floor but I'm sure they'll be brought up again especially if she gets her hands on my records from my breast surgeon. All in all, I'm happy with my choice so far. Kaiser does everything on the computer which is super cool. You can see a profile of all the docs to choose from and most of them have a personal page where they write a little intro about what they like, how they practice medicine and some of their beliefs. You can also send emails to your doc and I've already taken advantage of that. That is one thing my other docs did not do but is a really nice feature. Had labs taken on Tuesday and was already getting some results back the next day online! Sweet! No more waiting. I'm very curious to see how that works with my mri. Will I get to see my result online (good or bad) or is that going to be delayed? Would you rather get a phone call or find out when you're surfing the web that you might have cancer? What if you're standing in line for a latte, checking your iphone and notice that your ca125 has hit the roof - would you order it anyway or run to the liquor store instead? You know me, I'd get me some ben & jerrys and some apricot beer.

Saw the diabetic educator (cde) today. Yeah, wondertwin, thought of you! She was trying to talk me into going to a series of classes since I'm not working and have some time. Is there nothing I hate more than sitting around in a class learning stuff I think I already know?! So I said not now, thanks. Talked about what I think my problem is and I said I need someone to hold me accountable to which she said, "oh, you don't want to own your diabetes?" Touche...made me remember that I am 42 after all. Guess it is time to grow up and be healthy without anyone nagging me into it. And the bonus would be (besides everlasting health) that I could stop seeing the damn docs so much. Yes, new doc has already said that if I work with the cde and my numbers get better than she won't be seeing me around so much. Sounds good to me cuz I am already burnt on this doc thing and I just started back this week. Seeing the nutritionist & cde in a couple of weeks right after my mri and I also need to schedule my first bone density scan. Wouldn't it be nice to only go in three times a year? One pelvic, one mammo/cbe and one mri/cbe. Time to buckle down and get serious.