Hey everyone! Let me start this off by saying I have absolutely no updates on the cancer. I don’t go back to Mayo until March, so I don’t anticipate having any cancer news for you until then. My vision in the left eye continues to deteriorate, but slowly. For the most part I’m adapting pretty well, and half the time when I think “oh my gosh it’s gotten so bad!” it just turns out I have a gigantic thumbprint on my glasses. Still figuring out the glasses thing – like how do you check on anything in the oven without them fogging up? And I seem to have accidentally purchased a magnetic pair of glasses, as they attract every spec of dust, dirt and grime. Seriously, glasses wearers, how do you not spend every waking hour cleaning them? Ah, the mysteries of life…
No, the purpose of today’s post is to fill you in on the latest development in the three-ring circus that is my health. My Facebook friends know this, so apologies for repeating. The good news: the metal issues are going to be resolved. The bad news: the only way to do this is to have my hip replacement replaced.
Yep. ‘Cause I mean, what on earth was I going to do with all my free time before my scans in March? Just deal with the RA? Please. That’s just one thing. Where’s the challenge in that?
I actually had an inkling of this in September, when I started having some discomfort in the hip, along with a catching sensation and some weird noises (try explaining THAT to your yoga class. “It was my hip! Honestly!”). So it wasn’t a huge surprise to learn after my repeat blood work that my metal levels were even more elevated than before. The repeat MRI didn’t show anything new, but when I went in to chat about it all with my orthopedist last week, he was clearly bothered by the metal levels. And quite honestly, as a person with cancer and 3 autoimmune diseases (yes, I have 2 others – Hashimotos and Reynauds, but I’ve had them forever and they are no big deal), I’ve been troubled by the potential effects of high metal levels on all that. He did offer me the option of waiting 3 months and then retesting everything, but when I pressed him for his opinion he just sat back and sighed, “Your metal levels keep me awake at night.” Well then.
So I will be saying goodbye and good riddance to the metals (and my hip) on January 15th. Why so long? Because we are going to Disney World with friends in early January for the marathon and half marathon, and my orthopedist is totally cool with waiting till after that. He even said I could do the half marathon! Not sure how feasible that is, given my current level of pain in the hip, but at the very least I am walking that sucker. I might even try to walk the marathon – I cringe at what a long day that would be, and after doing the half marathon the day before it could simply be out of the question, but it would be my 30th marathon. And type A folks like me like nice, neat, even numbers. If I don’t do the full, I will have awesome friends to hang with, and we will all be cheering on Rich and Riley (running his first marathon! I’m so excited!). So it’s a win-win. Then I go home and have my hip replaced a few days later. Such fun.
Speaking of fun, I see my rheumatologist in a few weeks, at which time I get to inform him that my oncologist wants to cut my RA meds in half. My rheumy’s a pretty low-key guy, but I can’t imagine this going to go over well. I will be sure to tell you all about it if it gets entertaining.
If all this news sounds rather lighthearted, let me explain that I am currently in the middle of The Week of the Girlfriends. I have had quality girl time every day this week, including twice with friends from out of town that I don’t get to see often. Girlfriends are just good medicine. They’re good for the soul. So I’m feeling pretty upbeat about everything this week. It’s just hard to get down about stuff when you are surrounded by people who love you and support you, no matter what crazy crap life tosses your way. Seriously, get out and have some quality friend time – you’ll be glad you did.
During lunch with my dear friend Melissa (which included her mom and two of her friends – life lesson: great people know great people. Get to know your friends’ friends), I got chatting with Elaine, who said she’s been following my Caringbridge posts. “Is it weird that strangers know your story?” she asked. The simple answer is no. For one thing, as any mom knows, having kids means not having secrets. My sweet Tessa, at the age of 4, loved to tell total strangers – bank tellers, grocery clerks, the guy at the car wash – random things about me: my age, how much I weighed, that my actual hair color was gray, that I couldn’t wear a bikini anymore because I had babies and my stretch marks were “REALLY bad – Mommy, show him!”…yes, I gave up on privacy right about then. But in all seriousness, I am just humbled that anyone would care enough about my story to read this. Life can be tough sometimes, but having other people along for the ride makes it better. Even if I haven’t met them.
So that’s the scoop for now. I’ll share more details about the hip stuff when we get closer. December 4th is coming up – my one year “cancerversary” as I’ve heard it called. I’m hoping I can slow down enough to reflect a bit on the year. If I come up with anything deep or profound I’ll share it here. I’ll probably share the shallow and stupid stuff too, because that’s just funny. And I do love to laugh.
I have my rough days too, please don’t think it’s all rainbows and cupcakes, but for the most part I’d say life is good. I’m just having one of those weeks where everything is funny to me. I’ve learned to take these times as the gift that they are, rather than judging them or waiting for things to shift.
Thanks for laughing with me. I’m grateful for all of you!