Tag Archive | neck surgery

#141 Canceling Christmas? I hope not


 

I never have been one to make a big deal about Christmas…but Rick waits all year for it so I try to go along with whatever he wants to do. We did get some very exciting news yesterday that is going to make the holidays much happier for my family. We didn’t win the lottery or anything like that, but we did find out that our lives are about to start getting back to normal if all goes well from here on out. After Rick was hit by a car while unloading his truck at work we had to get a lot of lawyers involved. Three different firms have been helping with getting him the compensation that he deserves, as well as all the medical treatments that he’s had to have for the past few years. A few days ago we found out that worker’s comp wanted him to go back to work and they also agreed that he has a permanent partial disability that will limit what kind of work he’ll be able to do for the rest of his life. I know that I mentioned in an earlier post that Rick thought he might like to go back to working in management of a telemarketing company, and he also wants to work some place where he can put to good use all the experience that he has from being in a truck. Now he’s able to start actually going on interviews. Yesterday his own Dr agreed that Rick is able to start working again, as long as he starts off only working part-time with limitations. We were told that for the first six months he’ll have to also go to physical therapy and have massage therapy to help with the pain of getting used to a work setting. What was funny was that both when the nurse walked in, and then also when the Dr came in, they both came straight to me, took my hand, and asked how I was doing. Rick finally said something after the Dr did it too. Sorry babe, but I’m just more important. jk ūüėČ

 

We really thought that this was going to be a very sad Christmas because we simply won’t have any way to go and get any gifts for our kids…let alone all the rest of the family and friends that we would normally get a gift for. It’s not that we ever were rich, far from it, but we always managed to find a way to give a little something to everyone. The year before last my mother and I spent two weeks straight baking every kind of cookie we could think of for the family, and everyone else we could think of also received a nice dish of assorted goodies. Chocolate dipped pretzels were the easiest to make so I loved doing those. Mom likes to make candy so we also had a few hundred home-made peanut butter cups…a lot of those ended up at my house because they’re Rick’s favorite. But, last year we didn’t have enough money to buy all the ingredients to make as much as the year before, not to mention that I spent most of November and December in the hospital having surgeries, so I couldn’t help mom bake. I was released from the hospital after my mastectomy late on Christmas day. I missed all the good stuff. Rick did bring me a tiny little Christmas tree in the hospital with a few of my gifts from the family to put under the tree, so I know that I wasn’t forgotten…but it’s never the same as being home with the family. The nurses wanted to know if he had a single brother.

 

I doubt that I’ll be able to do much, if any, shopping this year, but I do have the knowledge that everything can and will start getting back to normal. I don’t have a clue how long we’ll have to wait for the lawyers to finish with all the final details, it usually takes another six months to find out what the end result will be. But in the mean time, Rick can get back to having somewhat of a normal life again. I love having the house to myself when he’s working, and I know that working makes him feel so much better about himself. None of this was in any way his fault, and I feel bad for him that he’s had to go through any of it. So this year Christmas, although it won’t be back to normal just yet, will be a time when we can at least be happy about life again. All the endless medical crap with both of us has definitely taken a huge toll on all of us, but now we have something to look forward to again. It’s been a long time since I could think about anything in the future and he happy about it. This year we have a Grand Daughter coming, Rick will be working again, and hopefully in a few months we can start slowly paying back all the family that’s been helping us, and if we play our cards right we might even be able to find a few small gifts for under the Christmas tree. This is the one that Rick wants to put up this year. He thinks that he can cut a branch of of out front patio tree and put his favorite little blue ball on it too. For the past twenty five years Rick has managed to hide a blue ball somewhere on the tree, no matter what colors I use for the rest of the decorations. He says it’s ‘special” to him. I think it’s funny.

 

Justin and Ashley made it to NC, where Rick’s little sister lives, and they’ll be staying there with her for a little while so that they can find new jobs and save enough money to get their own place after the baby comes. I do wish they had moved back to Arizona, but I know that they will be in good hands with Rachael. She always has done her best to help out all of her nieces and nephews when she could. She takes after her father in that way and many others. He was a great man. Rick is hoping that we’ll be able to go and see our Grand Daughter when she’s born, but I don’t know if we’ll be able to just yet. Like I said, it could be a very long time before we see a penny from him being hurt. But at least we know that this whole bull shit legal thing will be over soon. I just hope that I’m feeling well enough to travel that far. I walked a long way yesterday on my crutches to Rick’s Dr and now I’m paying for it this morning….but it was a well wort it trip.

#98 Grandma Cindy


I did get to go for my walk the day before yesterday but we had to cut it a bit short, Rick had a hard time going the full two miles because we didn’t go first thing in the morning. By the time I had enough coffee in me to be a person it was about 9am and the sun was already up high enough that we didn’t have any shade to walk in. So, yesterday instead of trying to go walking again Rick talked me into going swimming after he vacuumed the pool and I’m so glad that he did. The water was warm but not too much and we swam around for a long time to make sure that we both exercised enough to make up for not going for a walk. I think that until it cools off considerably we’ll just be going swimming in the morning. I was so happy to know that I could actually get outside and go around the neighborhood because that was the first time in a long time since I’ve had the energy to go anywhere without the car. In fact I was so excited that when we got home I went straight into my garage and cleaned out all of the garbage, but Rick made me go inside and cool off after a few minutes out there. I’ve put on about ten pounds in the past year and all of my favorite clothes don’t fit me anymore so I’m hoping that doing morning exercise again will help me drop the weight. I found out the other day that my son Justin and his girlfriend Ashley are expecting their first baby in February. I don’ like that I’m that old but I’m happy that I’ll have a grandchild. I remember how difficult it was for Rick and I to have children when we were younger so I hope they have an easier time raising a child than we did. Justin is 22 so they’re old enough to be responsible for a baby, but I do wish that they were closer so that I could help them a little bit. When I was on the phone the other day with Justin and were talking about his having a child I told him that I hoped that he had a son and that he was ‘just like him’. He got all upset and started screaming to Ashley that I had just cursed them. He told me ” mom,that’s not funny”…but I thought it was very, very funny. My daughter Jesse has an ex-girlfriend who had just had a baby when they first started dating, and when they broke up Jesse was already attached to the baby so to this day (he’s three now) she takes him a few days a week and he’s always called me grandma Cindy. I don’t know how I ever took care of my kids without losing my mind. I guess that having children is for young people because as I get older I have a hard time being around anyone under 18 without being very agitated. Now I know what to do to teach a child to be well-behaved, but that wasn’t always the case. Luckily my kids grew out of being out of control. It took me a long time to figure it out though. I don’t think that I had a harder time raising them because I only have one leg, I think it was simply that I didn’t know how to raise children to behave the way I wanted them to. Some things just take time and experience. I am glad that I had them when I was younger because now that I’m not able to do as many things they can do things on their own. I hope we can figure something out so that I can be of some kind of assistance with the baby because life is too short to miss out on the good things. I also wish that I could just tell Justin and Ashley what to do to have a well-behaved, well-mannered and well-adjusted child but as we older more experienced parents now know, everyone has to figure that one out on their own and in their own way and their own time. I don’t like to wait for things though so maybe I’ll be able to at least give them a few pointers? Rick replenished my M&M supply yesterday, so me and my tiny shovel are headed out to the front yard this morning to tackle some weeds that popped up in the rocks after it rained the other day. I’m going to go out as soon as the sun comes up so that I can see what I’m doing , hopefully it won’t get too hot before I get them all pulled out. I have to go and buy a new tiny shovel soon because I’ve worn off the handle and I don’t want to get blisters on my hands again like I had the last time I wore out one of my shovels. I need to pick up some new gloves too, mine don’t have much material left at the finger tips and I’m afraid to get a pricker in my finger. I have to be careful about not getting any kind of infection in my right arm that could turn into Lymphadema. That’s a side effect from having my lymph nodes removed during the mastectomy. Luckily I haven’t had any problems with my arm and I want to keep it that way. I have enough to deal with already.

#97 Knowledge is power but ignorance is bliss


So, the wait is over, and I know now what I knew all along. I do have to admit that just having a more recent scan is going to make¬† it easier for me to just show people the report whenever anyone has a need to know how I’m doing. Actually, it isn’t as bad as I thought it was which means that I’ll have more time to work with than I thought I would. Consider this good news… because I do. It could have been way worse than it is. I probably should call everyone I know and tell them all what I found out, but I’m not too sure that I want to be specific because when I do I get a lot of people who want to ask me a ton of questions on why I don’t do things like they think I should. I understand that there are many misconceptions about aggressive breast cancer, so I do try to give the people I love a little break on the questions. I know that they mean well no matter how hurtful some questions end up being… not to mention I’ve asked a few hurtful and rude questions myself over the years. I see my doctor on Wednesday to see what he thinks I should do because I won’t need hospice if I’m feeling well enough for a while. I was told that can go on and off hospice service as needed, and it only takes one phone call to start-up right away if I get to feeling very sick. On the other hand there are still things that I need that my insurance doesn’t cover. Also, if I have a pain crisis and have the need to take IV pain meds I don’t want to have to go to an emergency room because they always treat me like I’m a drug addict who ran out of her pills(even when I show them that I have all my full pill bottles in my purse). To say that I feel like I’ve been abused my er staff would be the understatement of the century! If I don’t stay on hospice I’ll have to find out very quickly what can be done for me without ever having to go the hospital again. That is definitely what I like about the hospice service the most, they always take such great care of all of me, not just my disease. I think I am going to have to do a bone scan still and I can manage that but if they start asking me about doing another biopsy I think I’m going to lose my mind all over someone. When I came out of the imaging place when I was done being scanned I found Rick waiting for me in the car, he had seen my post¬† on his Facebook page(on his cell phone)about me wanting carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. So, while he was waiting for me he drove to the store and bought me a cake-mix and frosting so that when we came home I could bake it. I made a whole bunch of cup-cakes and have been having them for breakfast yesterday and today. I have eaten a few others during the days but that’s not important. What is important is that I was a good girl so they gave me a snack and juice when I was leaving the imaging place and then Rick spoiled me with cup-cakes. I love that he still tries all the time to make me happy. He did do the vacuuming for me yesterday because I had been saying that I wanted to get that done. I left to go somewhere with my daughter and came back and the floors were mopped and the dishes were running in the dishwasher too…and I didn’t even ask him to do any of it. Other than being really tired and craving sweets, I think I’m doing just fine. If when I wake up tomorrow morning it isn’t raining like it was this morning I want to try going for a walk like we used to do all the time. I know that if I can get myself built back up enough(a little bit at a time) with walking I’ll feel better. I just hope that it gives me more energy and doesn’t back-fire.

#83 I thought nothing could get worse, I was wrong!


My husband tried to die on me again… but I wasn’t having it!

Rick and I have been planning my birthday party for a few weeks and we were in the middle of working on fixing a number of¬† much-needed repairs on things all throughout the house. We were trying to have at least most of the projects done before my party on Saturday night. I figured that I could get the yard at least cleared out and the fire pit built before then. Jenn had been here for a few days to help out with things that I couldn’t reach and we decided to go to Home Depot for the plumbing supplies and some new plants for the patio. We walked into the house about five minutes after some of his family members had shown up unannounced to visit and had startled him out of his sleep. He was napping because he¬† had been having some chest pains so he took his heart meds and a relaxer pill to try to get rid of the pain, they always make him sleepy so he went to nap in the recliner.¬† He was having some pains here and there for days before his family were even there. His niece had run in and went straight to love and hug him. He woke up not knowing who was there(he said that they were being really loud) or what was going on, but he obviously recognized his family after a few seconds. Since I wasn’t home and he was asleep, nobody answered the phone when they tried to call him, so they just all came over and walked right in.¬† The problem wasn’t the four nieces and nephews being there, it was Rick’s mother and the kids mother. I told Rick to let me know when his company was gone, I left my bags downstairs and went to go upstairs to my room, I didn’t want to start anymore drama. One of the girls said “Hi aunt Cindy” and I said “Hi sweetheart”(I’ve now told you every word that I said while they were here. Rick had them out of the house right after I walked into the bedroom and I came back downstairs to talk to him. He said he had no clue what they were thinking showing up like that and he said that he didn’t feel well and was having chest pains. He does sometimes have pains from the stint he had put in after his first heart attack and had been having pains for a few days before all of this happened.¬† He took one of his Nitro pills and we decided to just go up to bed and lay down so that he could try to relax and get rid of the chest pains, but as soon as he laid down he looked at me and said ” I’m having a heart attack”. From the time I walked into the house¬† from the store to the time 911 was called was under an hour. Rick was having a major heart attack. It was NOT the family showing up that gave him a heart attack, it was just that he was startled, but he already had blockages way before then, we just didn’t know they were there. I tried to explain to the rest of the family what had happened and somehow it ended up as me saying that his niece gave him a heart attack, I never said any such thing. I hate family drama. Now, back to the important stuff. Rick was taken by ambulance to the best hospital near us for cardiac patients, which is only a few miles from our house, they did all the usual tests and gave him some pain meds and had him in surgery pretty quickly. They found so much damage in his heart that he now has six stints and the worst area was where there was one place where it branches into two arteries and that whole area was 99% blocked. This could easily have killed him if the doctors hadn’t gotten in there to repair the damage as fast as they did. We were sent home yesterday with instructions for Rick to stay laying down in his recliner for the next five days with the exception of going to the bathroom. My mother wanted me to go out for dinner for my Birthday tonight but I declined and took a rain-check for four days from now. I won’t leave him home alone for anything. I may need to find a Rick sitter so that I can go and get some groceries. This definitely means the beginning of our diet again…and walking as soon as it’s OK with his doctor. I’m totally all right with not having a party for my birthday because I had, and still have more important matters to tend to. I really need to quit trying to make my own plans for my life because every time I do, God stops me dead in my tracks and reminds me just who is really in charge. I’m so exhausted and I need a shower, but other than that I only have the usual aches and pains…nothing I can’t handle. I did tell Rick that this is not a race to the finish and he better get his act together so we can both live a long, long time!

#65 Easter candy has healing properties


I had a wonderful dinner at mom’s house yesterday, she makes the best comfort food. ¬†(right up there with Rick’s comfort food) I wasn’t able to stay for long because the pain from walking on my crutches was worse than usual. Somehow I managed to get sores from the bandages so every step got worse and worse. I can’t wait to have all the bandages taken off by the surgeon so that I can start to get back to doing some daily chores without worrying about getting sweaty because then they start coming loose. I love ham and all the trimmings and mom sent Rick and I home with a dish of the chocolate covered strawberries. It’s always nice to have some leftovers for later. I would have liked to have both of my kids at the dinner table with us but Justin was working the night shift, not to mention that he’s on the east coast, Jesse had to have her dinner delivered to her at work, thank’s to her daddy she had her meal just like she liked it while it was still hot. He took her dinner before he sat down to¬†eat so that she wouldn’t miss out. I don’t know if she knows that he waited to eat until after she had her food but she knows that he would do anything for his little girl to be happy and well taken care of, that’s just how he is with his kids. His own father would never¬†put a bit of food on his own dinner plate until all the kids at the table had made their plates so I guess that carried over to how Rick takes care of us. We didn’t have a big party or tons of candy around, we just had a nice small family dinner with the ones who could make it to mom’s house and that’s perfectly fine with me. I like the quiet. I would have also liked to have the rest of the family there but everyone can’t always make it to every holiday. Easter isn’t as big of a celebration as it was for us when our kids were little so there wasn’t as much candy and gifts as there used to be. I did leave with a big bag of dark chocolate M&Ms though so all was right with the world. My mother has been planting a garden around a huge tree in her back yard and the plants were starting to come up so it’s looking like summer is right around the corner, and we should have plenty of veggies to eat soon. Rick decided to try to grow potatoes in our back yard so between him and mom we won’t be going hungry. I think they’re planning to make a ton of salad,¬†I am¬†surprised that the dirt in my back yard is good enough to grow anything but weeds. I want so much to go out and do yard work, any work outside would be OK with me. Unfortunately, I can’t do anything that makes me sweat at all yet. I never realized how much I love to be working outside until I couldn’t. I’ve run out of yarn so I can’t work on my blanket until I get some more so I’ll have to come up with an idea of something else to keep me busy. I’m getting very tired of just sitting around the house when I know there are things that need my attention. I know that I shouldn’t complain¬†when things could definitely be worse, but here I am complaining.¬†I need something to do. I think I’ll eat some of the M&Ms and think about that.

#62 “Cindy’s Law” strikes again


OK, so yesterday my daughter needed a ride to get her hair cut and I drover her. We sat around waiting for the barber to do two other people’s hair, she had her hair cut and we came home. Jesse gave me a sucker on the way home, I guess I was being a good girl. ¬†As soon as I came in the house Rick tells me that he had just hung up the phone with my surgeon. He said that she called because the hospital where we were planning on having my surgery done couldn’t put me on their surgery¬†schedule until the end of next month so she called over to another hospital near by and scheduled me for the 29th( next week). I was trying to convince myself that¬†it would¬†all¬†be ok because I’m used to the staff there(at the first one)¬†and I know my way around, I should have known better. The minute that I said anything about the hospital I should have known that something would go wrong. “Cindy’s Law” still apparently¬†exists and is still in full effect. There was one thing that I didn’t like about the first hospital so I’m still trying to be positive about having to do this but it’s getting more and more difficult. Rick tried to make me feel better by telling me that the second hospital keeps pudding on every floor and the first one doesn’t have any at all that isn’t fat-free. Who in their right mind would voluntarily eat fat-free¬†pudding. If you want fat-free¬†just don’t eat pudding.¬†That’s definitely¬†one of those foods where every bit of fat counts toward¬†the flavor. I guess it’s not the end of the world that I have to go somewhere else, I’ll just have to get used to the idea. My son is 22 today (Happy Birthday Justin), and my daughter turned 20 on monday.¬† They are both working and doing very well right now, and I can’t even take any of the credit because I only suggested things to them and then let them do things on their own. It actually works out very well when you do that…go figure.¬†I don’t have children anymore I have adults, and they both seem to be doing most of¬† their growing by trial and error, but that’s what works for them, and I’m ok with whatever works for them. I have to quit smoking again. I had stopped a few weeks ago but then I decided that I didn’t want to quit. I actually went a week or so and didn’t have one cigarette. Now yesterday,the surgeon was explaining what she’s going to have to do to get what she needs out of my chest. She walked mom and Rick and I through some of the images from my ct scan and she explained some things to me. My lungs look like two new york strip steaks on the scan pictures(marbled). I didn’t like it, it looks painful even to me, and I know that I don’t have a cough anymore after I stop smoking for a week so at least until after I have this surgery I can’t smoke. I can’t even imagine how bad it would hurt to try to heal and take deep breaths¬†with a cough.¬†The surgeon actually suggested doing the surgery this friday but I told her I wanted a week of no smoking first, so she agreed that it would be better to wait. I guess that I should be thankful that I didn’t let someone else do the other two surgeries that I was told at first were the only way to get to¬†the lymph nodes in my chest because this new surgeon said that if I had let anyone (including her) go into my chest the way they had suggested, that there was a good chance of me bleeding out on the table. I thought I was being funny and told my mother that I thought that was a great idea and that it would save me a lot of trouble. Can you believe that she didn’t see my humor but the doctor who has only just met me thought it was funny. I can’t help it that everyone doesn’t see the humor in the things that I think are funny. Rick and I just called and both sang Justin different Birthday songs a few minutes ago, he liked mine better because it was a funny one. It’s looking like today after I do my floors I won’t be able to do anything else because I’m already feeling tired and I haven’t even done much yet. I think that being tired all the time is the worst part about all of this cancer stuff. If I was just having pain I could do something about that but when I’m really tired all the time¬†there’s not much I can do to fix that but drink coffee, and I think I’ve almost hit my limit of coffee this morning.

#60 Prank war karma


My appointment with the cardio-thorasic¬†surgeon¬† turned out to be¬†Wednesday when I thought it was today so I’ve been stressing about it now for two days. I was trying to keep my mind off of¬†going to it so I decided that after dinner last night I would sit and crochet for a while watching tv because I’ve been working on making a little¬†blanket. I was working on my blanket and¬†minding my own business when Mandy(one of my daughter’s best friends) comes to the front door, and without a second thought Rick let her in and Mandy started running up the stairs yelling to me that she just needed to go up to Jesse’s room for a minute¬†and that she would be right back down. When¬†Jesse was getting ready for work that morning¬†she had told me that she had wrapped Mandy’s car in Saran wrap and painted it with mustard and bologna as a prank. I realized that Mandy must be up to something so I screamed for her to stop just as she made it to the top of the stairs. It’s a good thing I did stop her because in the grocery bag¬†Mandy was carrying was a five-pound bag of flour and glue and glitter, all to decorate Jesse’s room. I explained to Mandy that while I didn’t have a problem with her returning the favor and pranking¬†my daughter, she had to remember that she was doing this prank in my house and would be making messes that would need to be cleaned up with my new vacuum. I did let her write on Jesse’s mirror in glue and¬†glitter saying that she took Jesse’s Jordans hostage until she¬†comes over to wash Mandy’s car, and she wrote on the bedroom window with lipstick things like I love Justin Bieber, and boy crazy as well as, princess and a few other things. My daughter and her friends are all gay so the “Bieber” comment, and¬†the princess thing was kinda cute…to me anyway. I think I saved my daughter from a huge mess when I stopped Mandy before she opened that bag of flour, and I made sure to tell all the girls that this house was to be considered a “safe zone”. I could hear Jesse when she came home last night yelling at one of the other girls on the phone that her room was covered in glitter, so I just rolled over and went back to sleep… it was all done in good¬†fun. When Jesse came home from work today she was really tired. She dropped onto the couch¬†and had¬†asked her dad if he would bring her a drink into the livingroom. He brought her a full glass of red kool-aid. We have tan carpet and glass coffee tables, I’m sure you can guess what happened next. Jesse went to lay down on the couch after taking a drink and accidentally kicked the glass table with her Jordan high-tops on,¬† the table top bounced and the¬†red kool-aid¬†flew all over the carpet.¬†Jesse and I dropped to the floor right away¬†and I asked Rick to run and get me some towels to clean up the mess, luckily the table didn’t break and I have a few red towels so we were able to get it all cleaned up without ruining any of my good towels. I don’t know for sure which one of us it was, but either Jesse or¬†I yelled *F*** my life” before the kool-aid¬†hit the floor. I figure that it was my karma getting me back because I had let Mandy in the house when Jess wasn’t here knowing full well that there was a prank war going on. But in my own defense,2¬†I couldn’t just pass up¬†an opportunity to watch Jesse get pranked. I’m gonna have to keep the house locked up from now on and not answer the door for her friends because I can’t imagine what karma would do to me if I do anything else that’s bad. At least it took my mind off of that stupid doctor’s appointment. The girls have asked me to let them come in and antique Jesse(throw flour at her)¬†in her sleep at two in the morning, that’s where I drew the line and said no. Hopefully they’ll keep the future pranks to a minimum and do them somewhere else.