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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Finding Worst Case Scenarios? This Isn't One of Them

I know some people probably come by my blog...see the words "Pregnant With Cancer" and run screaming the other way. I probably would have if I were pregnant. The good news is that this is very very rare. Of all pregnancy complications, chances are this will never happen to you. Even if it did, most likely you could wait for treatment. I was just not that lucky. I had to be treated during my pregnancy. But again, my baby is now 14 months of age and perfectly healthy. She is even quite chunky. I love my little lady. I do think sometimes that people will avoid reading my blog because the idea of being that sick while pregnant is scary. I of course understand this better than anyone. Yet these are not terrible memories for me. I mean the fear was not good, the uncertainty but I have never felt so loved and cared for as I did then.

I realized what I meant to everyone. I knew how much my husband loved me and couldn't live without me. It was already a fact, it just helped me to really see it. I saw the love my children and sisters have for me. There were ups and downs but I learned I had a strength I previously didn't realize I had. I have more confidence in myself now. I know I am strong and I know I can do so much more than I ever thought I could.

So, some good has come from all of this. No one who saw me and my baby girl would ever guess what happened to us. No one would guess what happened to me either. My scar is noticeable but even then, most people do not even ask. I am still so so tempted to say I was in a knife fight. haha I just find that amusing for some reason. I hope those that come to my blog get, confidence, reassurance, strength. I think since I have gotten better that is one big thing I'd like others to get from my blog if nothing else. I do still of course have those fears of it coming back and this blog helps me with that too. It's so good to have a place to let it all out.

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend. I will be going out to a friend's house tonight and hanging out with my sister and her hubby and some other friends too. Maybe I'll get pics. :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Skin Trouble With Age?

Well I won't say I have ever had terrible skin problems by any means. I had the few usual pimples that all teens get. I washed normally and things were fine, but when I got pregnant with my first daughter I broke out terrible. It was awful. I got fat with pimples all over my cheeks and they hurt! I was so depressed but as soon as I had her, they went away. I had clear skin again. I was so incredibly happy.

Fast forward to baby number two. I didn't break out at all. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed really healthy clear skin. I was so ecstatic because I had feared another breakout. Then I delivered her. Less than 2 months later I broke out horrible all over my forehead. Eeek! I was really really depressed now. That was when I decided to try Proactiv. This is no infomercial. I am leading up to a point here, I swear! It worked for me. Two weeks and I was clear. I know my family remembers the change in my skin. I was loyal with it, day and night. It was awesome.

I have used Proactiv since 2000. So that is about 9 years now. Right around the time my cancer symptoms were just starting, I began to break out again. In strange areas. The base of my chin was affected, even my chest and shoulders which has NEVER happened to me. I was so depressed, feeling sick and not understanding what was happening to me. So I went to my doctor and he got me on YAZ. It's a birth control but can help with acne. Proactiv didn't seem to work at all anymore. 2 months later, my face was clear. Proactiv had worked perfectly up until then. It was around 2005. Then my face was clear again, thanks to YAZ. Not to mention it helped my moods! haha I stayed clear until we moved after Gabbi was born. I had some minor breakouts. I had been off YAZ obviously because I was pregnant. Yes I was taking it before I got pregnant. haha Anyway I got back on the YAZ and I was clear again. Yeah. Except now I am getting some minor break outs again. It's nothing terrible. Hubby thinks I am crazy because he doesn't even notice it but I sure do. I get very upset. I am wondering what is UP with my hormones. I must have just wild and crazy hormones because I have times where I will break out. It lasts about 1-3 months then I'll be clear for months. Just when you start to take it for granted BAM. I try not to be too mad. I guess it could be worse. Still. I am now on a stronger version of Proactiv. They have a stronger formula but I cannot use the toner. I am terribly allergic to Salicylic acid. That stuff turns my skin red and raw. The regular Proactiv toner isn't like that. Oh well. If anyone has some great idea, let me know. I am going to try and drink more water. I guess all that I have been through has probably taken a toll on my body too. I would just really enjoy never having to worry about it again. I take really good care of my skin. I'd like for it to always look it's best.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

What is LDH?

Well I looked it up. I found some wonderful info. I knew obviously it was something to do with detecting lymphoma or checking to see if something is wrong with my blood but I like to know for sure. Here is what I found.

  • Elevated levels of LDH may be seen with:

  • Cerebrovascular accident (CVA, stroke)
  • Drugs: anesthetics, aspirin, narcotics, procainamides, alcohol
    Hemolytic anemias
  • Pernicious anemias (megaloblastic anemais)
  • Infectious mononucleosis (Mono)
  • Intestinal and pulmonary infarction
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Pancreatitis
  • Lymphoma or other cancers (this is the one that applies for me)

With some chronic and progressive conditions, and some drugs, moderately elevated LDH levels may persist.

Low and normal levels of LDH do not usually indicate a problem. Low levels are sometimes seen when a patient ingests large amounts of ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

My levels were not even close to high though I forget the exact numbers without looking at the papers. This as good information for me to find!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Why Do I Feel So Much Better? What Stress Can Do to Me.

It seems inevitable that every time I get closer to a follow up I start to feel worse. I start to feel horrible symptoms and begin to believe the cancer is back. It happens each time and even though it does I STILL think each time "this is different." I had some strange feelings before my last appointment. I have been worried about that excess fluid that was around my heart and the occasional heart palpitation. Being married to a guy who has never had one does not help. It makes me feel I'm all that much more odd. haha Anyway I had not been eating well. I was stressed and had dropped a few pounds. I always do when I am stressed. I think the combination of these factors made me anemic at my appointment. Yes...I was slightly anemic so of course that made my doctor a little concerned so he ran some extra tests. I had my iron levels checked. I got those results yesterday and everything is normal. I am good. My CBC was normal and LDH. I hate to admit I am not sure what that is. I am going to desperately look that up in a moment. My thyroid tests will take longer so I am still waiting on that.

My next appointment will be a much longer day because I have to have a CAT scan of my chest and neck and the ECHO done on my heart. I have to say this could be it. If these tests go well and everything looks ok, I may JUST believe I am going to be ok. I hate to say it but once you've been this sick and you see all those worst case scenarios it becomes hard to believe that you could actually be OK. Just fine. Seriously? JUST FINE? Those words are just too wonderful to be true. I have heard them...but haven't had the easiest time having faith in it without any follow up scans. Lymphoma does show up often in blood work so I do try to have faith. I do, until my follow up then I am just scared to death they'll find something. Now? My appointment is over and guess what? I feel fine. I think maybe my stress level MAKES me sick. I started taking a one a day and I am trying to eat better. I think these things alone make me feel a lot more healthy! Now, here's to another 2 1/2 months of not worrying too much!! haha ;)

Thanks For All The Votes in the Wellsphere Competition!

I was informed by e-mail this morning that my blog was voted one of the top 100 on Wellsphere. I was not number one but I checked and my blog was 26th out of 100! I think that is pretty awesome so thank you very much to all those that voted and left good reviews for my blog. It means so much to me. I am thrilled to have anyone recognize my blog here or any of the work I do. Thanks so much!

People's HealthBlogger Awards
People's HealthBlogger Awards - Best 100 Winner!

Monday, February 2, 2009

My Vacation Pictures

I hope you enjoy browsing through my pics. Just click the link to browse through them! They consist of several states, including pics in Ohio, Indiana, maybe some in Illinois, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and I think that covers them all. I think. I may think of another later. I can't remember where each one was specifically taken. I just snapped a bunch. It was my father in law's 60th birthday. We went there to be with him on his birthday as well as a way of just getting away too. We had a great time! There cocker spaniel is named Holly. She was very interested in the birthday presents.

I love my family!

Back Home and Settling In

I have been working to get things organized today and still need to get showered and feed baby some lunch but I am getting back into the flow of day to day life. The girls are off at school and hubby is off at work. I am doing laundry and cleaning and putting things away. I still need to run the vacuum but seriously, why bother until everything is put away? Or at least that is my reasoning. It's getting there.

I have a lot of pics that I'll upload to village photos and share later today. I have some things to do before I get to that. I want to thank all those entrecard droppers who dropped me even though I was not around every day to drop back. Thanks a million!!!