Friday, August 10, 2012


 Results are not necessarily the best part of my life lately but it at least puts me one step closer to the end--whatever that may be.  This has been a whirlwind week of appointments and tests at the Mayo Clinic.  Twice this week I was told I have the body of an 80-90 year old---ummmmm, laugh, 
just laugh I did.

I'm not sure where to even begin--this is getting ridiculously weird.  Most people who read this or who know me well, know I am deaf in my right ear caused by a blow to the right side of my head from my father when I was 3.  My ENT (ear nose and throat) doctor was with me from the time I was 3 until the last time I saw him when I was 29. (20 years ago)  From the beginning to the age of 29 I had many surgeries on the right ear, at age 29 I began having some very strange symptoms like my equilibrium was off.  Dr. Borland looked in my ear and sent me to a different specialist who diagnosed me with a tumor in the ear canal--I had that removed and pretty much life up until now with my ear has been fine.  A couple of months ago I was at the gym working out and something popped in my head that made me feel like I was in a tunnel, I could not understand what people were saying, it was really, really strange and hard to explain.  The right ear began to drain, and even sometimes bloody.  I asked my favorite Dr.  Kreymerman if he knew a good ENT at Mayo--of course he does--Heather referred me over and this where the story gets weird--Dr. looked in my ear, could tell there has been some damage along my life's path and decided to order a MRI and CT scan.  

On Thursday last week, I had the MRI and CT scans done--Friday I received 2 phone calls from Mayo--the 1st one telling me I had 3-4 spots on my brain--and that I needed to see the Neuro Surgeon on Tuesday--this phone call came while I was in the car with Eric, Katilyn & Brian, I wanted to cry so bad--but I didn't I just hung up and held my composure.  The 2nd call was from Mayo Clinic again confirming my appointment with the endocrinologist on Wednesday, again I hung up and Kaitlyn asked who that was--I told them--we chatted a few minutes about it, but honestly I didn't want to worry anyone, we've had enough of that for awhile.

I spent everyday this week at Doctors offices, scanning probing, poking and to top it off was told my hearing is that of a 90 year old..... duh?


Tuesday-- Neurology appointment--loved the Doctor--she showed me the results of my MRI on a big screen--there were around 15 spots on the right side and the ones we could see on the left were around 5.  She explained to me that the spots are extremely rare for someone of my age--in fact that the neurology team at Mayo has never seen that many spots on a persons head, usually those types of spots show up on 80 year olds.  Basically what I was told is that I am a walking time bomb for a stroke--and that she was surprised I had not had one before now--this would explain many of my symptoms I have been experiencing for the past year--I have explained those symptoms to my oncologist many times, but they also mirror the symptoms of having chemo brain and going through as much chemo and radiation I have had.

Wednesday-endocrynologist (thyroid) I was diagnosed with Graves disease.   I have some options, right now I am taking some different medication as my thyroid has gone from Hypo to Hyper (this is why I went to the endo) until Oct 1st when I will see him again, this gives my body time to regulate the thyroid and gives me time to decide if I want to do radiation therapy on it or have it removed surgically.  Hyper thyroid is not a good diagnosis because you will begin to lose weight, not only fat but muscle it is sickly looking and very difficult to treat--Graves could  turn to cancer-- if not properly treated but it is a secondary cancer not related to the breast cancer.   have a long family history of auto immune diseases and stroke so no big surprise--I was told my genes suck--oh really?  wow, good to know.

Today I went to see the audiology department Mayo Clinic on Shea, had a series of  tests run on my hearing, then changed campuses and went to the Mayo Hospital to see the ENT.  First thing he said to me when he came in was "so I take it you came alone today" I nodded yes then he sighed..... not a good sign--he first did another ear exam in both ears, then asked me to sit down so he could show me the results not only of my brain (again reminding me of the high risk of stroke) and adding that I have some significant hearing loss in my left ear, nothing to really worry about except that I am completely deaf in my right ear.  Part of the reasons for the left ear hearing loss is age ( because you know---I'm in my 90's) and the other is because I have over compensated using my left ear to hear out of my entire life.  Just a little FYI I can read lips from across the room--better not be talking about me--ha ha
Conclusion with the ENT--I have a tumor in the inner ear canal, it looks about the size of a pencil eraser, it is the color of grayish white--this is the color consistent with a malignant tumor but does always mean it is, this could also be a benign.  He then explained to me about a procedure he would like to try it's called BAHA implant, it is screwed into the bone behind my ear, IT WILL NOT RESTORE ANY HEARING, what it does is connects the nerves so that I can feel more vibration in that ear which is coming from the left side--make sense?  Yeah--me either not sure about that one--I am going to see another doctor about that on Aug 21st.

More with the ENT that is completely non related to the above, after checking my nose --I'm not sure if I have ever mentioned I broke my nose at Camp Lo MIa when I was 13 and never got it fixed.  I have had a hard time breathing, and since chemo my right nostril runs morning noon and night, winter, spring, summer or fall. It took him about 2 seconds to diagnose that problem after he stuck the speculum up my nose I have a deviated septum, the right side has completely collapsed into the left side....what is it about the right side of my body???  Right breast, right hip, right ear, right brain and now right nose--I will be having the septum surgery on Sept 12th.

I have come to learn that none of us are immuned from life's difficulties and trials--Live-Learn- and Teach others--NO REGRETS--I'm trying my hardest to be positive and happy--I believe these are all non related to the breast cancer.  It's just another test, Heavenly Father is trying to see how far I can be pushed, and if I have actually learned anything from the past 3 years--Just when I get comfortable , SNAP-back to reality-
time to serve more--
love more--
judge less--
the Lord will take care of the rest.


Janel said...

Wow! What a week you have had! My prayers are with you! Today I discovered that we have shared one more similar experience ......I broke my nose as a teen also.....
Thank you for your courage and faith! God is on our side always!
Love you!

Lacey said...

Thoughts and prayers are with you. He must have something special for you in heaven if he's giving you so many trials here. Just know your loved.

Tami said...

I love your faith and strength at the end of all the news you had received. It's true about trials pushing us, making us who we are and growing our hearts.
Keeping you in my prayers, Tami