Everything’s All White

Get it? “All White” as in “all right”? Clever, no??

Wednesday morning I rushed around to make sure I got out of the house and on the road in time to make it to my oncology appointment by 10:30. His office had moved since the last time I saw him so I wanted to make sure I had enough wiggle room to find the new one.

Two minutes down the road I glanced at my planner and I realized my appointment wasn’t until 11:45. ** Which begs the question, what do I have scheduled for 10:30 and when? I have no idea. ** Instead of turning around and going back home, however, I decided to take the scenic trip through Valley Forge to look for a tree. Last winter I became enamoured with a huge tree of some sort with a big, blackish trunk and beautiful WHITE branches. I’m pleased to report it’s still there. Now I need to go back with my camera so you can see it, too.

After finding my tree I got back on the road and located the new offices with nearly an hour to spare. What to do? What to do? I know! Track down the nearest Starbuck’s – STAT! Less then a mile down the road I spotted the glorious round, green sign with the funky lady in the middle. I think those signs have some kind of hidden homing device or something because my car just seems to be drawn to them. Anyway, I spent a lovely 45 minutes in Starbuck’s with a WHITE Chocolate Mocha and my current read (Bookends by Liz Curtis Higgs). So I had a pre-appointment coffee instead of my usual post-appointment drink.

The new offices are gorgeous and lucky for me the doctor had had an emergency, throwing him behind nearly an hour. I’m serious when I say “lucky” because that gave me even more time to read. When I was called back the nurse did all the preliminaries like weigh me (WAHHHH!!!), draw blood, check my vitals, etc., then showed me to a room where I got to read some more. It was shaping up to be a nice day. Except for the weighing part.

After a few minutes the WHITE Russian came in. He said, “It’s such a pleasure to see you. You’re the healthiest person I’ve seen all day.” Makes you wonder what kind of day he’d had, doesn’t it? I had three items to discuss with him:

1. Can I get off Tamoxifen and start on Arimidex or Femera?

Since I no longer have ovaries my estrogen levels are considered post-menopausal. Therefore, I can stop taking Tamoxifen and start on either one of those medications. He switched me to Arimidex, but the major side effect of that is arthritis. If I start suffering with joint pain and stiffness – more than I already do – then we’ll try Femera. The major side effect of that drug is higher cholesterol, but I don’t have any cholesterol problems so that might be okay. He then sent me next door to have a baseline bone density scan so we can watch how the Arimidex effects my bones.

I hate to sound vain, but I looked really good in my navy blue hospital gown, tan and brown striped socks and pink crocs with the oatmeal liner. I’m talking HAWT! And have any of you ever had a dexascan? You lie on this table and the technician lines up the machine to be centered on your abdomen below your navel. To line it up she kept pushing on my hip bones and my pelvic bone! She never told me she was going to do that and I just about jumped off the table because I was NOT expecting that! I am not that kind of girl! I may show my boobs to anyone who wants to see them, but that’s where I draw the line!

2. Can I have the hair removed from my left underarm by laser?

It’s not invasive and you don’t run the risk of a cut so it doesn’t threaten to cause lymphedema. I think I’ll be a bit wild and have BOTH underarms laserly de-haired.

3. What about the pain in my right hip and left lower ribs?

This, of course, was my main concern and with good reason. As I stated before, bone metastasis is very common with breast cancer. The doctor is not worried at all. My cancer markers are very low, my blood test doesn’t indicate anything going on with my bones, I’M NOT LOSING WEIGHT. ** When I complained about the not losing weight part even though I’m trying he said I have several factors working against me. My age, my total hysterectomy, my thyroid issues, the Tamoxifen, my love of Starbuck’s and all things chocolate (Okay. I give. I threw the last two in there.) I think onocologists are the only doctors who like their patients overweight. ** But because bone metastasis is always a concern he scheduled me for a bone scan next Tuesday.

Looking through my chart, he saw that my last bone scan was two years ago. At that time it showed degenerative disease (dramatic way of saying arthritis) in my clavical. My clavical! How does that even work? It’s not a joint, is it?? That makes no sense to me. Of course, this is me we’re talking about. If it’s weird and can happen…, well, you get the idea. He thinks the pain in my hip and my ribs may be arthritis.

All in all I’m feeling pretty good about everything. The appointment went very well and Dr. Mikhail eased whatever concern I had about the bone pain. And Katybug – it doesn’t feel like normal muscle pain. It’s hard to describe, but it does seem more “bony” than muscle.

OH! And get this. I had told the kids not to get on the bus, I would pick them up from school because we had to go buy a jacket for Taylor. I hadn’t planned on a dexascan, but by the time I got out of there I knew there was no way I could get to them. So I called Todd and asked him to call Katie’s school to let her know she had to take the bus home. I texted Taylor because I knew he’d check it as soon as school was out.

So I’m driving home, feeling good about things, listening to my favorite playlist on my iPod, when Katie calls me. “Mom! Where are you?” Long story short – the office called her last period teacher and told her, but the woman never told Katie. Todd was too far to get her, I was too far to get her, we tried calling a couple people about getting her but couldn’t get a hold of them. So I told her to go wait for me in the office and I’d get there as soon as I could. But the secretary couldn’t wait for me so she drove Katie home. The whole thing made me see WHITE! Like madder than seeing red! I’m still miffed about that.

**Deep Breath**

Tuesday I’ll go get injected with radioactive dye that, unfortunately, will not make me glow. Then three hours later I’ll go back and take a rest on a cold, hard table while the scanner runs over me like a car wash. Hopefully I’ll be able to see my skeleton on the computer screen because it makes me look tall and skinny. Maybe a little too skinny.


  1. SeaSpray on January 25, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    P.S. Is that radioactive stuff harmful to us? I had that with 5 lasix mag 3 renal scans and one or two of my CTs.just wondering.

  2. Monnik on January 25, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Oh Jenster. How I love your posts… You have the cheeriest attitude ever.And you crack me up! (skinny skeletons… ha!)I’m still nudging The Big Guy for good results on Tuesday. I’m certain He’ll comply.

  3. Jodi_Lee on January 25, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Yay for being the healthiest patient of the day. I never even hear that!! 🙂

  4. Sing4joy on January 25, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    Jenster,While reading your posts these last few days, this song keeps coming to mind – it would be a good one for your playlist (if you don’t have it already)Small Enough by Nichole NordemanRadioactive is fun sometimes. 🙂

  5. Dev on January 26, 2008 at 12:13 am

    I hate getting weighed at the doctor’s, too. They laugh because I do try to get out of it everytime ~ but when it’s a no-go, I just turn around so I can’t see the numbers. It helps.

  6. Lynilu on January 26, 2008 at 1:56 am

    Have you noticed that the scales at the doctor’s office ALWAYS are 10# higher than those at home? I mean, ANY doctor’s office, ANY home scale!!!

  7. CindyS on January 26, 2008 at 3:43 am

    Phew! Not so bad except for a ‘handsy’ tech person and some teacher not having a friggin’ clue. I’d be pissed about the teacher too!And you know you were working those crocs baby.CindyS

  8. Lisa on January 26, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Um… Did you ever remember what was scheduled for 10:30? ;o)

  9. Jenster on January 26, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Seaspray – I think you have to have a whole lot more of that radioactive dye to be dangerous. At least I hope!!Monnik – Thanks for the prayers!Jodi_lee – Obviously you’re going to the wrong doctors.S4J – I don’t know that song, but I’m sure I’d like it because I love Nicole Nordeman. I’ll have to check it out. THANKS!Dev – I couldn’t turn around because I slid the weights for the nurse. Next time I’ll try that!Lynilu – YES! What’s up with that???Cindy – You know it! Some women do their thing in stilletos. I do my think in crocs.Lisa – I think it’s my hair appointment on Monday.

  10. Eileen on January 26, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    So glad things went well at the doctors! I was thinking about you. Glad you got your Starbucks too!! I think it was WELL deserved.I had to have a radioactive dye injected in my lungs once, when melanie was a baby. The hardest part was not being able to go near Melanie for a day!!! Have a fun weekend, you deserve it!!

  11. Sherry on January 26, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Jen, I am so loving this “white” post!!! I’m glad to hear that you are off the tamox!!!I love your descriptive words — and we do look tres chic in those gowns!!! LOL!!I think everything is going to be a-ok with the bone scan. When you consider how harmful our treatments are we are bound to have longterm damage to our bodies.One other consideration for the hip pain is one I’m dealing with as well-our additional weight on our already fragile bone/skeletal structure.

  12. Shauna on January 26, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Yummy, there’s nothing like Starbucks. And I LOVE “Bookends” by Liz Curtis Higgs. Are you enjoying it?I can’t believe the teacher forgot to pass that message on to Katie. That is exactly the kind of thing that would make me panic. 😛 LOL on the bone scan and radioactive dye! Now I have that song “… I’m working at the car wash …” playing through my head, tee-hee.

  13. Jaime on January 26, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Jen,so glad to hear about your visit…..I’ve had a Dexascan before – because of my caffeine consumption and eating issues, we thought it’d be wise…..and I had forgotten to take my bellyring out, and the tech was like, um, do you have any piercings?? But yeah, she was very touchy, too!! What’s THAT about??? 😉

  14. KT on January 26, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Hi Jen, just taking a break from polishing the dining room table. I know I just posted that I’m taking a few weeks’ blogging break, but I can’t give up my favorite blogs for that long!I am so glad you had a good visit. You’ll feel much better after your next scan. My oncologist is really great about scheduling, too. I call them “feel-good” scans.I had pain in my left hip, too, not long ago. It would come and go, but in November it stayed. The orthopedic guy ruled out arthritis and my oncologist very nicely scheduled me a bone scan which ruled out bone mets. They decided it was soft tissue, tendons, etc. that I just had to work through. It made sense because I had started walking regularly when the pain worsened. It’s all gone now, and all I have to deal with is ankle pain, but that’s because I’m wearing very old crosstrainers to my aerobics class. Will remedy that soon!With you starting a new exercise (sorry to use the E word) regimen, maybe your bod is rebelling with some crazy aches!That’s all for now, back to preparing my house for Tuesday Bunko. And then to getting ready for Frances’ birthday and playroom for Emma’s party. Yikes! What am I doing at the computer? 😉

  15. April on January 26, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    I am glad your mind was put at ease. I hope your car wash goes well despite the cold table. Keep us posted.

  16. Jenster on January 27, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Eileen – That would be awful! It’s such a minimal amount for a bone scan that you can go about your day like normal.Sherry – Absolutely the extra weight isn’t helping anything. :o(Shauna – Why do I feel like roller skating now that you mentioned that song??Jaime – I would have been glad if she’d just told me she was going to be pushing on my pelvic bone! lolKT – I’m so glad you came out of hibernation to play for just a little bit!!April – Thanks!

  17. Lori on January 27, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    I’m so glad everything seems to be going really well! And about that laser de-hairing thing… hmmmm….I would have been really ticked as well at the school!

  18. Gretchen on January 27, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Oh, Jenster, this post fills me with relief and gratitude! I’m so glad everything is all white. Enough about you…Now you’ve got me thinking that I might invest in lasering my pits, too. ;)I cannot stand it when someone drops the ball on communication when you’ve done your level best to have all bases covered. I see white for you, too. All the scanning, poking and prodding and dye injecting sounds like so much fun. Not. But the bottom line is that you are doing well, and I praise God for that! After all, we have to MIRL. And have white chocolate mochas. xxxooogretchen

  19. Kris on January 28, 2008 at 12:34 am

    I am glad that everything went well. I had a biopsy on Friday and find out the results this week. That was not comfortable.

  20. Becky on January 28, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Glad your report was a good one…I’ll be praying for the same for your bone scan. I would have been white hot, too…someone taking my kid home like that! LOL on the skeleton image making you look tall and skinny!

  21. radioactive girl on January 28, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    The scans are not dangerous with the radioactivity, but my radioactive-ness after my cancer was dangerous enough to others that I had to be secluded in a hospital room for several days. Kind of made me nervous because my body was dangerous to others, and I was *in* my body. But, you know, it was either that or let the cancer keep on growing.I love love love reading how you react to everything because it is exactly the same as I would react. The losing weight thing is actually what has me the most worried about my current situation. I know exactly what you mean about that, and I understand completely about doctors being happy when you are heavier.

  22. Trish on January 28, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Ack! Sounds exhausting…hence the need for a Starbucks to start it all off.

  23. susan on January 29, 2008 at 11:26 am

    You are so funny! I’m glad that everything is pretty much all white in your world.

  24. Lynilu on January 29, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Waiting to hear, dear Jen, fingers crossed!xo

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