Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A room with a view...well, kinda.

This has been my view for the past five days.... least, from my standpoint...or laypoint, I guess I should say.

I raised up high enough at one point to see that I was somewhat mistaken.
I actually think the yellow Porta-Potties add a nice spring-like contrast, don't you?
(sorry for the horrid cell phone shots)

But at least I always knew what time it was.
It's fun to watch the minutes and hours tick by when you feel like crap are as sick as a dog, right?

Before I go any further with the story, 
I want to stop right here and apologize for not answering emails, 
replying to your comments or visiting your blogs. 
I guess you see that I have been just a bit preoccupied. 
I know that y'all have been praying for me and I HAVE FELT THOSE PRAYERS...
and the best part is THEY ARE WORKING!

So when I last left you, I was due to go in for the final dreaded biopsy #5.

And that, I did.

I pretty much knew it would the most invasive procedure that I had had so far.

Have was.

It was an outpatient thing and I was home by late afternoon the same day (Tuesday).
Wednesday was really painful but by Thursday, the pain was beginning to subside somewhat.
I thought I was on the upswing.


Although the pain was better, I was very lethargic and just had an overall feeling of yuck.
I began noticing the jaundice a bit on Thursday evening and had pretty much decided that
Friday morning we were probably going to have to head 30 minutes down the highway for Duke ER.
Friends, let me tell you, I was as yellow as minion, including the whites of my eyes.
After several lo-o-o-ng hours, many lab tests and a CT scan, I was admitted.
Did you know that most insurance companies require you to spend at least six hours in the ER
before they will allow them to admit you?
SHHH...don't tell's a secret...
If you ask them they will deny it...unless that is if you are a trauma case.

My bilirubin level was dangerously high...the normal level for an adult is somewhere around 1.2 milligrams per deciliter (whatever that means)...mine was 19.4.

So you know those consent forms that we have to sign before having any kind of procedure?
There's always a potential risk and our anatomies are all unique as well...

BUT...and it's a BIG BUT...'s the absolute BEST NEWS YET...

...that last biopsy from he## that made me so sick also was NEGATIVE, PEOPLE!!!!!
Although I know that my God has always had this...and still does,
I'd be lying if I said I haven't had my share of doubts.
Being human has that effect on us, doesn't it?

By Sunday, St. Paddy's Day, I was feeling so much better and getting back to my old self...

...taking advantage of anything I could find to make the time pass more quickly.

My bilirubin level dramatically decreased over the weekend...
...on Saturday it had already come down to 7 and by Sunday, down to a 3.9.
I had been scheduled on Monday for an endoscopic procedure to see how things were looking
but the results of my labs were so much better than anticipated and it was cancelled...YAY!
Also, the CT results showed that the so called tumor had not grown in size at all...YAY!

On Monday morning, the BIG DOG doctor came to pay me a visit.
He just shook his head with when he saw a good way, of course.
Just a month earlier he was sure it was cancer.
He told us that among the hundreds of patients he sees every year,
he might get two, maybe three tough nuts to crack like me among them. 
So finally it seems we are now looking at the autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) diagnosis,
the one that we have all been hoping and have prayed so hard for.
Autoimmune disease is when your own body doesn't play nice with other parts of itself.
Now, I wonder what in the world my pancreas and biliary system ever did to deserve such a thing?!
But you know what?
Even before the day I made the journey from my mother's womb into this life,
my Lord had already decided exactly how this body that He created would function...or not.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139: 13-14

So yesterday I began a short course of steroids which is the treatment for this AIP.
Hopefully, it won't be long before the "tumor" shrinks and I'll be good again.

But whenever I begin to look like this, it's time to matter what.
So I'm home, I'm feeling so much better and I'm looking forward to proceeding (with caution)
to a future filled with hope, dreams and many more of God's blessings!

Love to all, 

Monday, March 11, 2019

A tough nut to crack...apparently.

A tough nut to crack:
a problem that is challenging to solve.
Whenever I hear that expression, "a tough nut to crack",
I immediately form a picture in my brain of the Christmases of my childhood.
My mom had this big wooden bowl that she got out specifically to fill with a variety of nuts
and it was of course accompanied by a couple of nutcrackers.

For a little girl, it was not always easy to crack them, some more so than others.
I never really got much joy out that particular holiday was too much work!
And while we're on the subject...just for fun... you happen to know which nut is among the hardest to crack?
Apparently, it's the macadamia nut...I don't recall even knowing about them back then.

It says here that it takes 300 pounds of pressure per square inch to be exact,
making the Macadamia the hardest nut in the world to crack!
(just thought I'd throw that in) 
So I figure that you may be wondering about what's up with me since I've been a little absent
from Blogland for the past couple of weeks.
It seems like every week I have another procedure and I just haven't found the time,
nor have I been very inspired to post anything, much less, another non-update.
They are all sounding a bit boring and repetitive...another biopsy, inconclusive, non-diagnostic...
If I seem to sound a bit tired of all of this, you just might be right.


* I am thankful for a group of caring doctors who seem to stop at nothing to get a proper diagnosis.

* I am thankful for the many dear friends and the prayers being spoken on my behalf.

* I am very thankful for a devoted husband who has been there with me during every appointment.

* I am also thankful for a loving family, all Christ-followers, who believe in miracles.

* I am SO very thankful for NO CANCER (so far) to be found.

* And I am MOST thankful for my JESUS who is keeping me sane throughout this whole ordeal!


Aren't these little guys cute?

So here's the latest...
The needle core biopsy (through my back) that was done last Wednesday was "non-diagnostic".
Tomorrow (Tuesday) I will have biopsy #5...also performed by an interventional radiologist...
a procedure resembling a cardiac catheterization except the catheter will be going into my bile duct.
They say this will be the last one.
I think I remember hearing those words before.😕
Sooo....there you have it...
...I am enduring all of this poking and prodding pretty well, if I do say so myself.
I'm pretty tough.
And unfortunately, a pretty tough nut to crack.

I'm thinking about changing my name to Mac...
...short for Macadamia.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...