Life as MommyMo

Friday, August 24, 2007

Good news and reality check

The good news is that the gallium scan was negative. NO CANCER. WooHoooooo!! I go back to the doctor again on Thursday to discuss some endocrine tests, but the worst of the search is over. Thank goodness.

The reality check happened this morning at breakfast. My father is in for a visit. Sam was drinking out of his favorite Kansas mug. We talked about how Grandpa lives in Kansas. Grandpa asked him where Sam, Mommy, and Daddy live. Sam replied that he didn't know.

We decided to make the questions less complex:

Grandpa: Where does your mommy live?

Sam: Ummm.. At a hotel.


I did revist the issue a few minutes later and he said he knows we live "like a family" and even knew our town and street name.

That's a relief...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

He's growing up

First, suffice it to say that the prep from two nights ago was quite effective and I now regret making drinking it sound like the worst part of the ordeal. Such superlatives leave me no room to convince anyone how bad it was. Enough about that. I shudder to recall the drama.

We took Sam to shop for a new nap mat for daycare today. We found one he really wanted online, so went to JC Penney's to see if they had it at the store. They didn't, but we did end up finding some pretty cute clothes there to get the new school year started in style. Both Rob and I were both fascinated and kind of sad to see that he's getting to be big enough that he can pick out some clothes on his own and know what he's doing. Combine that with the new haircut, and it was almost surreal to catch a glimpse of him shopping and be reminded what a little person he is.

He's always been a good talker, but he's also amazing us with the things that come out of his mouth. The "why" questions have started in full force, but he often dreams up answers of his own. He saw a bunny in our backyard this morning, and came up with a chapters-long story about how the rabbit had found herself in our neighborhood and where she was planning to go next. It's so cute to listen to!

Sam has also become quite the reader. He's got the patience for much longer bedtime stories and even "reads" a couple of them himself. I'm amazed to hear him recite all of his "I'm DIRTY" book, complete with the lines about "hydraulic rams and a specialized, maximized loader bucket."

Monster trucks are still dominating playtime. Not only does my child memorize stories, he's great at remembering songs. His current favorite is the incredibly annoying theme song to Hard Hat Harry's "All About Monster Trucks" DVD. A close runner-up is the "Schipoopie" song from The Music Man soundtrack that Rob has apparently been playing as background noise. I myself haven't even dared ask why he owns such music.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Now I know...

Disclaimer #1: I work for the American Cancer Society and truly, truly believe that regular colon screening according to published guidelines is one of the most critical health actions an individual can take to avoid a cancer diagnosis.

Disclaimer #2: Discontinue reading this post if you don't care to read a slightly personal update than you might have in the past.

So... The Fever of 2007 persists and Fancy Pants doctor ordered one last screening to make sure no stone is left unturned in the big hunt for possible malignancy. This last test is called a gallium scan. It seems it's a rather uncommon procedure and involves the following: an injection of gallium on Day 1. A 60-minute scan on Day 2. Another 60-minute scan on Day 3. It also involves the changing of the camera equipment in the nuclear medicine facility and thus can only be scheduled either first thing in the morning or as the last appointment of the day.

And... oh yeah... If you didn't know, it also involves a "bowel cleanse." That's a little tidbit that they don't tell you when you call to schedule this lovely scan. "Ms. Becker, our protocol indicates no prep is needed for this test. You will feel a slight pinch when receiving the injection, but no other advance preparation is required. You will feel no pain during the exam."

Ok... So the scan itself might not hurt (though I do have to lay still for an entire hour, which is darn near impossible for me) but the lovely little kit they send you home with -- did I mention I wasn't warned about this?? -- is plenty painful enough.

I had a few hours of intense water consumption leading up to the first actual dose of magnesium citrate. That left me plenty of time to consult Dr. World Wide Web to see what I might be in for as the day progressed. I found very little information, but did read one message board post that I chose to hang my hat on and cease the research process. That post indicated that the specific prep I was prescribed was far more palatable than the more common Go-Lightly that is used for colonoscopy.

Well, after having consumed the innocuous looking powder substance just moments ago, I am giving notice to my boss the minute I'm due back from vacation next week. I'm quitting a career I love to devote my entire life to the flavor enhancement of intestinal preparatory solutions.

It's THAT bad. I don't like anything salty, so the description on the package that called this particular pharmaceutical a "saline laxative" should have been my first clue that I was in for a less-than-tasty experience.

I should also add that in addition to not being warned that I was going to need to "prepare" myself for the scan, I also wasn't told that the prep involves a completely liquid diet for three entire days! The first thing with any flavor all day turned out to be, without exaggeration, the nastiest thing I have ever ingested.

I literally gagged down eight ounces of Lo-So Prep and then ranted to Rob about the injustice of the entire situation for a full ten minutes before he escaped to "do something upstairs."

Without belaboring the most unpleasant part of this whole experience, you've probably gathered what I have to look forward to for the rest of the night. I can't believe I'm already this miserable, and the "purpose" of the prep hasn't even commenced yet. At least the next dose of medication isn't liquid. Some genius must have tasted the stuff and figured no one would subject themselves more than once.

I'm also convinced that the beyond horrific taste of Lo-So Prep is quite possibly why the American Cancer Society recommends colon screening just once a decade (after a clean colonoscopy beginning at age 50 unless you are in a high risk category!)

Rant over. For now.

Monday, August 06, 2007

True Companion

August 7, 1998 doesn't seem like it could have possibly been nine years ago. I certainly don't feel old enough (well, on most days!) to say I've been married for nine years. Even harder to believe is that Rob and I have been together for more than half my life now.

I'd get all sappy and sentimental, but I'm sitting here blogging next to my dear husband who would not only make fun of me for doing so, but may not remember what significance the date holds. That's probably not a totally fair statement. If you asked Rob when our anniversary is, he'd know the date right away. Ask him what he's doing on Tuesday, August 7th, though, when you're a volunteer just trying to schedule a Relay wrap-up meeting and he'll reply, "Ummm. I think there's something on that day. I can't remember. Oh, well. Sure! We'll be at the wrap-up meeting. What time?"

Had I not diligently read my email from our staff partner, we would have spent tomorrow night in the company of the other Haddon Twp. Relay For Life volunteers. As sweet as that group of people is, I'd rather not spend my anniversary that way. It wouldn't be the first time, however. I seem to recall another wrap-up meeting for the very same Relay that was ALSO held on our anniversary. At our house. At Rob's invitation. Once is enough, no?

So... I've gently reminded Rob of the special day, and he called to arrange for a babysitter with a whopping 18 hours to spare. My beloved is nothing if not a planner!

Actually, I'm really happy with our plans. It will be nice to go out together and just spend some time hanging out. We're going to see "Hairspray" and then to dinner at Elena Wu. It's exactly the kind of date we might have had ten years ago, before demanding jobs and an adorable toddler changed our schedules entirely.

I'll close with a bit of sap... Rob and I may sound like "The Bickers" on occasion, but at the risk of speaking for him, too, I think we're happier now than we've ever been. There's something incredibly comforting about truly having a partner in everything you do. We know each other better than anyone else and would still rather spend time in each other's company than with anyone else in the world. Too bad there's not more time to spend!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

An un-update

I waited patiently for two weeks after having sixteen tubes and four jars of blood products sucked out of my arms to have ZERO to show for it. Well... that's the half-empty interpretation. My blood tests were totally negative. The half-full version of the story is that even more of the serious stuff has been ruled out. I'm headed for one more scan to find "occult cancer," which means yet again that the doctors are thinking a particular type of malignancy is a possibility. While that sounds ominous, I don't believe it's what will be the end result.

Using my stellar diagnostic skills, I suggested a possible solution myself that Dr. Fancy Pants actually agreed with! So... next stop: endocrinology. Basically, I'm hopeful that my inkling that my fevers are temperature fluctuations from some hormone imbalance proves true. Then... no more doctors!!