Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wrapping Up The Year...

 I have to admit that I'm happy for this year to be ending-even though it's on an uncertain note with my biopsy results still pending. I had a lot of procedures this year and am happy to be entering 2015 without that hanging over my head. (I'm thinking positively...)

 Some of the end of the year activities included staying after at church to help take down the Christmas decor. They bribed us with lunch after. :)

Before the take down... 


Almost done! 
 I was hoping to go to my city's First Night celebration and just discovered I can't due to new medication that makes me dizzy. :( I have to take it twice a day and that little pill made me dizzy for an hour after Round 1. :( I hope the side effects go away soon! I figure though with that and the really cold temperatures right now (for Southern California) that it wasn't a good combo for me to be driving....

 So, it looks as if I'll be boringly wrapping up the year this new year's-at home. Happy New Year to all! May 2015 be the best year yet! 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Panic At The Disco (Otherwise known as a biopsy update)

So I went today for a wound check of my biopsy sites and to hear what the diagnosis is.

 Wounds? Fine. Diagnosis? Nothing yet.

Even though I've never been to Boston, my tissue samples are there right now, sitting at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. I asked the Physician's Assistant why and was just simply told my medical group felt it needed an expert diagnosis in this case. She told me that if there was any place she could choose to send her own pathology samples, she'd want them to go there because it has such a great reputation.

 The surgeon is supposed to call me with the pathology results-whenever they get done.

 Until then, I'll be the one distracting myself and trying to stay calm.... Please keep me in prayer until then. Thanks. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas in Southern California

 I seem to like tradition. Especially at Christmas time. This year's holiday celebration was no different.

 Christmas Eve began with a church service at my parents Lutheran church. I grew up in a Lutheran church, but the one we were at dwindled down so much they (and half the congregation) switched to another one in a nearby city. We went to an early enough service that we could come home afterwords to have some dinner, which ended up being sandwiches we made ourselves, cole slaw and Frito's. :)

The nativity scene at my parents church...

 Christmas was also pretty traditional. Mom made the usual roast-which was awesome. I also ate way too much creamed spinach. I get dessert duty next year, apparently. I guess it's time to Pinterest. :) I was happy that I got a gift card to go clothes shopping! Yay!

Wrapping presents-I kept commenting to myself that I like this paper. :) 

Christmas present flowers to my parents from my aunt and uncle.

Mom getting all experimental with a Christmas centerpiece. :) 

Me petting Honey, my parents 10-year-old Pomeranian.

Christmas in Southern California-chilly weather in the 50s but no snow :) 

It isn't Christmas unless Dad gets the popcorn in a tin (left hand corner of the photo)

And so, Christmas has come and gone. We can always remember the birth of the Christ Child though throughout the year....

Friday, December 19, 2014

And Yet Another Procedure...

  I had my fourth surgery for the year today. I want this to be it- like, forever.

 This was a breast biopsy on my left side this time. I had a similar biopsy on my right two years ago, which came out fine. I have to admit that this one concerns me a bit more though, as it was caught in a mammogram. I have a lot of anxiety right now. It's scary to be in this position yet again two years later.

 I can't remember now if I had this much anxiety two years ago. I think yes and no. Yes-because I had never been through this before. There was also the new possibility of the adenoma. A double whammy. And I had terrible insurance. I remember a former co-worker who had breast cancer asking me how my insurance was. Even though it was good that she asked, I was a little freaked out.

 I just keep thinking about what if this really is breast cancer. What if this go round I do indeed have breast cancer? The good news is that if it is, I caught it early. The surgeon was telling me that it's also not necessary to have my breasts removed either if it is. (I think I'd like that though. I'd like to not worry about this ever again.)

 The surgeon told me though that I'm probably fine. I read the pathology report from the core needle biopsy- ductal papilloma with atypical cells was the diagnosis. Since they only got samples, the surgeon said she was concerned that maybe cancer cells were sitting next to the spot where they got the sample. It was too big of a risk to simply leave it be. I agreed.

 So, the biopsy was yesterday morning. They put the wires in again, as they did two years ago. This time was much less painful. The radiologist was really good and explained to me what she was doing every step of the way. I'm not even in pain after the surgery. I've only taken one pain pill! Not kidding! Usually I love the stuff!

 So anyway, I have some anxiety and am trying to leave this in the Lord's hands. I find out the results on the 29th. Until then, I'm keeping busy.... 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Holiday Lights

 I really do live in an area with some nice Christmas light displays. I've seen all the major ones by me this year as of now. I guess I decided to be organized this Christmas season. :)

 The first one I like is in the city I live in. They're called Sparkle Balls because they're balls of lights and they sparkle. :) It's neat to see as you drive down the street. A neighborhood block started the tradition years ago, which has spread to surrounding neighborhoods in the same development. It really is cool and a great tradition to see every year. It's not overly gaudy and has been called almost Seussical by some, as the street twinkles in big balls of handmade lights.

A neighboring street that does this yard display every year. 
 Another traditional light display that I love is the lights tree on an office building in the city I was born in. My grandparents lived near this building when my sister and I were kids, so my mom would often drive us by this "tree" and say, "Look, girls! A Christmas tree of lights!" And we'd oooh and aaah.... :) I was thrilled this year because I finally captured the color in the now LED lights. A Facebook friend told me he also loved this tree as a kid and was happy I captured it this year.

Aaaand......It wouldn't be Christmas without capturing the housing development by me that goes overboard with Christmas lights each year. Granted, I love the spirit of this development each year, but it's a pain to drive around in. I guess I have to actually do what others are starting to do and park in the elementary school a short distance away and actually walk in....


This house is just overkill. They even offered house tours one year!

 Now that I've seen the lights for the season, I guess I can concentrate on other fun stuff. What should it be? 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Support Groups: Never Say Never

As I've said before, I joined a few online support groups for those of us who have pituitary adenomas.

 Never in my wildest dreams would I have considered a support group an option-especially an online one. Never say never, folks.

 I thought I could just get some info for my condition and be done with it. Instead, I ended up relating to a ton of people and not feeling so unique in my hormonal symptom self. That's good. No, really, it is. I feel (relatively) normal when reading through some of these boards. I can relate to so much of it, which makes me feel better. I'm not alone. I don't feel like a unique basket case. There are several of us out there. :)

 At one time I never would have considered joining anything like this. They're just for crazies, I probably thought. People will probably just blah, blah, blah about their problems, which will offer me nothing.

 People do blah, blah, blah about their problems. Oh yeah. But, the beauty online is that I can tune out the majority of them and only respond to those I can personally relate to. I've also asked questions and got some helpful suggestions for my next endocrinologist appointment.

 So people, the lesson to be learned here is to be open to what can help you in the long run. Something that's nuts to you now may actually be helpful to you in the long run.

 And give you good insight for your next doctor's appointment.... 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014-The Good, The Bad, The TMI Stuff

 Thanksgiving has come and gone. I can officially say it was one of my more eventful ones-for not good reasons. I forgot a ton of ingredients for my stuffing recipe that everyone usually enjoys. My mind was too racy to make my promised mini pumpkin pies-and I got sick....

It isn't Thanksgiving unless this jello recipe comes out! Maybe that's what got me sick? Lol
 I have a few ideas of what may have happened, which I won't mention. I just hope to never have this happen on Thanksgiving again!

 My mom's side of the family then got together yesterday at El Cholo's. I jokingly call this restaurant white man's Mexican food. Yes, it's very good, but not authentic in my opinion. We never hit that place unless we're celebrating some special occasion. My aunt and uncle went on their first date there though, which is why we always go there for family occasions. My immediate family though? We hit up the authentic Mexican place close to my parents house. :)

 Traditions are good and it was also good to see my family. My cousin and her hubby brought their 2 1/2 year old, who I obviously thought was a total cutie pie and shot a zillion pics of him. (And I got my cousin's permission to stick these online. I'm very cautious in that respect.)

My uncle, my cousin, my cousin's little guy and my other cousin

Me and my mom

My cousin's little guy meeting his great-uncle, my dad

And the Christmas season begins now! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

This Is That Time Of The Year.......

 It's that time of year again! A time when all the holidays are advertised way too early. A time when thoughts turn towards Santa Claus, turkeys, gratitude....

 A time when I begin to prepare to unload my crafts at boutiques...

 Yes folks, it's almost Christmas boutique season time! A time when all I see are craft related supplies to get my half finished projects completed to sell.

I can't begin to tell you how big this pile of letter stickers is. These are years old-and I still have them! 

A drawer full of almost finished Christmas cards. They too will be finished up and put on the selling block.

Book cover 1 (Yes, I need to vacuum...) 

Book cover 2 (excuse the wires-lolol) 

And a completed book!

 I really enjoy doing this and need to do more of it. It's a great tradition though at Christmas time, which I love doing each year.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I May Look Okay, But I Feel Like I'm In Menopause...


 I was recently talking online with a cousin of my dad's, who asked if my pituitary gland "thing" was still bothering me. "Thing." 


Yes, I still have my brain tumor, I told her. (I think I was in a snarky mood that day. It was the truth, but I guess I was annoyed.)

 What???? You have a what??? I could tell she didn't believe me. The conversation became odd after that. I could tell she must have thought I was trying to pull one over on her.

 For those of you that don't know, pituitary gland tumors are indeed considered brain tumors. The pituitary gland is attached to the brain, therefore, it's a brain tumor. (Two endocrinologists I've seen have confirmed this.) That's probably why I got so freaked out when I was first diagnosed. Wouldn't anyone diagnosed with a brain tumor?

 The pituitary gland is the master center for your hormones, including the thyroid. Anything that goes wrong with it can seriously put your body out of whack. Like facial hair, weight gain, mood issues... The list goes on and on.

 I think the problem is that a lot of people simply don't know that a pituitary tumor is considered a brain tumor. You really don't hear about them and we can (relatively) function at a normal level.

 Except for the fact that I've been feeling like I'm in menopause this week. Yeah, not fun...

 So imagine when someone does need surgery for this what people will say? I've joined online support groups for this and apparently not a lot of folks believe us when we say something is wrong. Someone even told a person who had surgery that they didn't believe them! The patient even said come with me to a doctor's appointment!

 I haven't needed surgery yet. So far this has been treated with medication to lower my prolactin level-which has been successful. There's also a possibility that this could be Cushing's Disease. I hit almost every category for this, but every blood and urine test has come back fine. I want to talk to the endocrinologist about this at my next appointment because no doctor has run one other blood test for Cushing's.

 I could get surgery if I had Cushing's. This tumor could be removed. I'd kind of like for it to be removed-except for the fact that a neurosurgeon would have to do the surgery-through my nose. Icky.... I guess it's better than a drill through your skull.... Chills just talking about it....

 So what reaction do I get when I mention this to a few people? Shock, of course. As my aunt said to me a few years ago right after I got diagnosed, "Um, you look fine." When I begin to explain this to others though, they're glad I got a diagnosis and tell me it makes a lot of sense. It honestly does. And then some simply don't believe me. (Their problem.)

 Have you ever heard of a pituitary adenoma? I'd love it if you'd comment and let me know. Let's spread the word!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Monday Pictoral Recap

 Aaand, we come to the end of this exciting, action packed week. I also took next to no pictures on Monday either. So, here is Day 7:

Yep! A selfie! Lol. Disorder status! 

Sunday Pictoral Recap

 Sunday was the day that I almost forgot to take pictures. I cleaned, therefore I was...  Enjoy what I have for Day 6: