Thursday, May 28, 2009

De Quervain??? De What?

Today, I was back at my surgeon's clinic because I could not sleep well for the past 2 days since I discovered a tiny bump on my right arm. It was just a little under my elbows. A tiny little lumpy growth that the hubby initially thought was an insect bite. Only that it's been 2 days and it never itched. So today, I decided to skip work and set an early appointment with my surgeon. I was due for my regular check up in 2 weeks anyways.

First thing she asked when she saw me was, "you're back early, may nakapa ka????" Hahaha. I pointed worriedly at the bump on my arm. To which she immediately replied, "oh nothing. If you're thinking it's related to the PT (phyllodes tumor) it's not." (She actually mentioned the term for the tiny cyst...but the term now evades my memory...tsk tsk...old age?)

I asked if I need to have it removed. She told me I can, if that would help me sleep well. But it's still too small. It's not really a cause for worry. I asked her what could have caused it to grow, and she told me they don't know. She added, "sinuwerte ka lang". Then we started laughing, it seems I've been really lucky with the lottery on lumps lately. Too bad really...this is one lottery I never and will never ever dream of joining on.

So since I was there already, she decided to check on how my mastectomy recovery is going. Okay. All's well. I'll come back on September na lang. That's my next sonogram schedule. We're hoping the 4 tiny nodes on my other breast will disappear already. It just keeps throwing me stuff that aren't worth catching. Haha. But I keep on catching them anyway. Ano ba Faye!

So when I was about to leave, I also mentioned I was having this problem with my wrist. Told her my OB (Again???) thought it was probably still related to my mastectomy. I was prescribed some nerve vitamins to make the pain go away. But it's been two weeks and the pain still lingers. She told me, "oh that's not related to the mastectomy. I'm guessing it's decorvein..."

What's that doc??? De-cor?-vein???

No, De-qua-r-vein... that so? What do I need to do then?

Go see an orthopedic surgeon after this. Get it fixed while it's still early. Pag pinatagal mo pa yan, you might need another surgery for that. Hu-whatttt??? Sige, I'll find an ortho pronto! Hahaha.

So after I left my surgeon's clinic...I went looking for an ortho right away. Good thing, there's somebody available to see me. It turns out, I still got the spelling wrong. What I have is called

de Quervain's Tenosynovitis.

The ortho asked me how long have I been experiencing the pain. I told him it's been a month already. He said it's still early and it's still easy to treat. But it's been a month, he might as well inject some medicine into it. He asked me to buy the supplies at the nearly drugstore and when I came back he injected me with cortisone to treat the swelling. It was painful. Haha. But tolerable.

So now, while I type away...I'm trying hard to concentrate on not getting my left thumb worked up. I've been using them too much and now they're complaining.

Lesson learned today. Use the mouse more often. Hehe.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Weathering Storms

When one is forced to face storms? Is there an effective way of weathering it through?

In the past 30 years, I have had my share of stormy times already. But I guess, the worst storm that I've ever been through was my stormy battle with cancer. I used to dread saying it. But now, I learned to live with it. It doesn't scare me anymore. I know there's still so much hope out there for me.

What gave me the change of heart?

After my surgery I was scheduled for 6 consecutive weekly visits to my surgeon for follow up check. I went home with my Jackson Pratt drain after all and the surgeon has to monitor that. It was on the 2nd week that I was told my pathology results revealed that my breast tumor was malignant.

Anyways, it was on my last visit that I met this fellow patient named Helen. She had this wonderful aura around her and she was so cheery it felt contagious. Soon I was joining her chat with our surgeon's receptionist.

It wasn't long after when she sad down beside me and asked me what my story is. And I obliged. I just felt an instant connection I had no qualms sharing a personal story with her. She patiently listened. And when I was finished, she immediately share her own cancer story. That's when I learned that she was recenlty diagnosed with breast cancer and have just had bilateral radical mastectomies. When I chanced upon her on the clinic that day, she has gotten through 6 sessions of chemotherapy. She was back at the clinic that day to pick up her bone scan results. She happily shared the results were good. And that she won't be coming back to the clinic anymore for the next 6 months. Such a relief she says. But she adds, there are still days when she wakes up and remembers the hell that she's recently been through and can't help but cry for a bit. But she says she's just glad to put that all behind. Because life is still good after all. And we still have a role to play in the world of the living.

Isn't that so inspiring to hear? This was after all coming from a 39-year old single lady who still had so much coming for her. I may be only 30 but God was good enough to give me Maia before tragedy struck. I felt I have every reason to stay happy and positive. But her...well...she found her purpose by sharing inspiring stories to cancer patients like her. By giving them a boost of positive energy to weather their battle.

Thinking of people like Helen...makes me appreciate life everyday.