Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Good days and a chunk of liver

Good days

I am now more than ever cherishing the "good days" in life. Even they have changed! A good day used to be a very productive day, a day in which I reached a new spot on the mountain, or made major progress in some new art project in the studio.
In my new normal, a good day is a day without pain or fever. Sometimes a simple blood test can trigger a pesky low-grade fever, not high enough to worry, but one that makes the body feel out of sorts, as they say in Merrica.
An oasis in the desert
Wetlands park just down the street

I just had a few good days in sequence, enjoyed some light yard work, a few walks, started an indoor bike riding regimen and so on. To be completely truthful, the indoor bike has less to do with my "condition" and more with the Australian Open (tennis) which is now in full swing. Luckily, my indoor gym is well equipped, my Garmin watch talks to my indoor bike after some cold welding and tweaking, and the extra TV is tuned in. I get to combine my love for sports and my new strict health and fitness routine. Not bad!

Oh yeah, the liver thing

With most of the diagnosing and testing done, there was an unresolved condition regarding my liver. If I understand it correctly, I have iron overload and liver enzymes are off the charts. My very patient oncologist explained the situation to me and thought it best to take a chunk out of my liver and see what is really going on. So happens, if in the future I need some chemo, the liver thing has to be resolved.
That's how a biopsy is done
fortunately they first numb your skin
so you don't feel a thing!
The (slight) pain comes later
on the biopsy site, along with bruising

So off I go into the "special procedures" realm. You know by now how this goes. First a bunch of instructions which almost always include starving the patient before the procedure. The patient is me and my blood sugar plummets so easily now...sigh.
I can do this really fast now: Sign in, wait, check in, wait, go to the secret room, disrobe, wait, IV in my arm with some sedative that didn't make me feel gushy and dreamy (drat!), wait, wheeled over to the CT/poke room, breathe, don't breathe, little pinch, poke and click!, there goes my liver chunk off to some mysterious lab.
Now they want to keep me for two hours to make sure I'm "stable." HA! Obviously they don't know me...go ahead and try to be still for two hours...they go by sooooo that
I'm laying on my poke-site so there is pressure on the hole between my ribs so the hole won't bleed. After a while I'm having trouble breathing normally so I sneak onto my back. Much better. Somehow my diaphragm is not working properly but I shallow breathe for two hours enough to keep my oxygen normal. While watching the vitals monitor, I play with my heart rate and watch it go up when I move my legs and down when I lie still. How fun!

Two hours, done, discharge beloved husband comes to pick me up and I sit like a zombie for the rest of the evening, AFTER I gobble down something tasty.
Another test, another wait for results. I wonder where my tiny chunk of liver went.

I'll wait for another blog post dedicated to the nightmare of paperwork that comes along with the medical stuff. It's really unbelievable the amount of paper and money involved, and I consider myself extremely lucky that my insurance and other finances are in good shape so far.

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