16 July 2014

Preparation for Upcoming Radio Silence

I know that it's not like I post here every single day, or even on a regular basis, but there may be some time coming up when you really don't hear from me for a while.

You may remember that last month was The Big Fall, when I was in the ER for a couple of days, and then home recovering with stitches, etc.  During the time I was in the hospital, they did many many tests to be certain I didn't break any bones (I didn't), and that my fall had not been caused by a cardiac problem (it wasn't).

But as a result of the tests, they did find a mass on my right kidney, which has shown to be cancer.  Today I will go for several x-rays and MRIs in preparation for my upcoming surgery.  I already had a day of tests and dr visits this past Monday.  Friday afternoon, I have an appt with a cardiologist.

So many doctors.  So many tests.  But it works out to be a good thing in the end.  The urologic surgeon said that if I hadn't fallen, I probably would not have symptoms of kidney problems until the tumor had gotten to the point where they could not do much to help me.  The Big Fall turned out to be a Big Bonus.

I am lucky.  I have great doctors, live in an area with wonderful healthcare, and via The Tim's employer, I have good health insurance.  The surgeon told me that he thinks I will recover just fine.  Those things are keeping me sane.

Sadly, my employer does not offer short-term disability, and because we are not allowed to carry over sick time or vacation time, I will only be paid for six days of the six weeks I will be out of work.  Thanks to the Family Leave and Medical Act (FMLA), I will be guaranteed a job when I return to work, but it's gonna be tricky to have to pay bills, etc. with only one person's paycheck.  These are the things that are worrying me.

But in the end, the good outweighs the bad.  I have a supportive spouse and family, and lots of friends.  I have the kitties and Dug the Doodle Dog.  I have determination to work hard to get back to my usual level of health and activity.

So please keep a good thought for me.  On July 28, I will be having a partial nephrectomy (unless when they open me up things are worse than they initially appeared to be, and they do a full nephrectomy), and then going into my recovery period.  I may not post for a while, but I will definitely be back!

Here's hoping the rest of your summer is less eventful than mine ... :-)

12 July 2014

Marble Lip

I am recovering (or really, have recovered) from The Big Fall about a month ago.  Most of the bruises have faded, and I have regained my confidence to just walk around without worrying.

However, I'm still stuck with Marble Lip.  And it a) hurts, and b) drives me nuts.  What, you may ask, is Marble Lip?  Well, as a result of my fall, I got stitches in my upper lip, both inside and outside.  And I guess that I have some scar tissue, because I have a big bump on the right side of my top lip, where the scars are.  I don't mind the scars at all, they are no big deal, but the bump drives me nuts.  It keeps my lips from "closing" properly, and when I touch it or accidently bump it, it does hurt.  

The only way I can describe it is to say that it is what I imagine it would feel like/look like if you had a marble under the skin of your lip - really uncomfortable!  Because of Marble Lip, I can still only eat or drink out of one side of my mouth, and my sandwiches must be in small strips, like tea sandwiches.  I also have to use a straw to drink anything.

I have an appt with the plastic surgeon who did my breast reconstruction years ago, to see if it can be dealt with.  Having said that, I won't be able to do anything about it if insurance doesn't cover it; and I really don't have time to take off work to have it taken care of.  But if nothing else, at least I'll know if it is a temporary condition, or if Marble Lip will become a permanent part of my face.

As one of my sisters would say, "White People Problems."  :-)

06 July 2014

New Sandals!

I love shoes.  I love looking at shoes.  Unfortunately, due to foot problems, and the fact that I walk back and forth to work every day, I can't wear most of the styles out there.  In the summer, I am a big fan of sandals, but I have always had a hard time finding ones that I could wear that would look OK with dresses or skirts without being too casual.  Not necessarily dressy, but with a little bit more oomph than plain old sandals or certainly more than flip flops.

So I was pretty excited when I stopped at one of the shoe stores in my neighborhood yesterday after I got my hair cut, and saw these:

Well, OK, technically I didn't find them on my own - the woman who was helping me was wearing a pair in the Natural shade.  I complimented her on them, and she said that she liked them because they were lightweight and comfy, had good arch support, and were stable because of the way the sole was constructed - she wasn't in danger of falling off her shoes, so to speak.  Then she said they were Danskos, and it all made sense.  I love Dansko clogs, and decided that even though they looked "high" to me, I'd try them.

Crazy.  They are just like the clogs, where you are "up" on a platform, but your foot is even with itself, so it's not like wearing heels.  They feel *very* steady, and they are incredibly lightweight.  Plus, they actually look nice on your feet!  Add all of this with the fact that they were on sale, and they came home with me.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I must say that I have been known to kinda sorta fall off of my clogs, but fortunately the results have just been embarrassment rather than injury.  However, 99.9999999% of the time, I'm just fine walking along.  I sure hope that's the case with these as well.

If you want a pair for yourself, Zappos has them on sale here.  They are not uber-cheap, but they are worth the money - I find that I get tired of my Dansko clogs before they ever even come close to wearing out!

04 July 2014

Happy Independence Day!

"The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness,
you have to catch it yourself"
-- Benjamin Franklin