Monday, January 25, 2010

Strong like Athlete and Sweet like Sugah!!!!!

Happy Monday, dear reader.

I cannot begin to describe how thrilled I am that you've joined me this morning.  After all, a writer needs an audience....and so do wannabe writers like me.  The whole purpose of writing is to convey a message to the readers, or to entertain the masses.  I too, write for these purposes.  I want to entertain you, make you chortle and maybe even force you to guffaw.  And, at the very least, I want to convey messages.  That then, dear reader, brings us to the crux of this post.  I have a message.

The message I have is two-fold.  One part (and the first part) of the message is concerning my dear wife.  But, hold on whilst I switch the font color......

Alright then....moving right along.  This past week, my wife had to go for her regular heart test.  She gets these tests in order to make sure her heart is good, and that she is still able to receive the Herceptin.  Well, as it turns out, based on this heart test, she cannot receive the next 2 scheduled doses of Herceptin.  Now, before you go off and panic, hear me out.  The data that came back from the heart test show that her numbers have dropped by 10 points (please don't ask what that means, because I don't have a clue).  This does NOT mean that Dianne's heart is a matter of fact, she has been told she has the heart of an athlete.  But it is the rule (written in stone type of rule) that if the numbers drop by that much, then Herceptin is delayed for at least a month.

So dear reader, there is nothing to panic about.  This is merely a safety measure.  Towards the end of February, Dianne will go for another heart test, and after that it will be determined what will happen in regards to the Herceptin.  As always, I will keep you up to date.  Now, let me switch back to a normal font color and proceed to part two of my two-fold message.

Ah, there we go.  And welcome to part two, dear reader.  This part of the message concerns myself.  For further information, please read on.  If you have no interest whatsoever, please click the 'home' button on your browser or the little red x on the top right of your monitor (or top left if you're on a MAC).

Right  For those of you who haven't heard yet, I have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  My first clue that something was wrong revealed itself in my great thirst.  For quite some time now, I have not been able to get enough liquids in me to quench my thirst.  My second clue was my great weight loss.  I have dropped 55 pounds in 4 1/2 months...and not intentionally.  Dear reader, there is no denying that dropping  a few pounds is not a bad thing, but let me just make it clear that my diabetes was NOT triggered by obesity or too much weight.  A person my height and my build can easily carry the amount of weight I was carrying.  Most people have not even noticed that the weight is gone, for goodness sake.  There...I just needed to get that off my chest (sad attempt at a funny).

Some of you may be wondering what my blood / sugar levels are at?  Let me give you some information on that.  My initial test (official test) which was done after a 12 hour fast was between 16 mmol/L and 18 mmol/L.  A normal person should be around 6, and no higher than 8. My blood is sweet like sugah!!!! Since diagnosis, I have been been monitoring my blood / sugar 4 times per day, and my levels have been anywhere from 22 mmol/L down to 11 mmol/L. 

Just what does mmol/L mean?  Basically it is the world's standard for measuring the amount of glucose in the blood.  It stands for millimoles/liter.  A mole is about 6*10^23 molecules.  Which honestly, dear reader, is all greek to me.  I don't have a clue what any of that means.  What I do know is that the whole world uses this method of measuring...except the US.  (This next sentence is for Emma in Oklahoma) - the backwards, non-conforming Americans measure completely differently.  But I won't go into that LOL. 

Dear reader, you're probably wondering what the prognosis is going forward.  And if you're not wondering, please refer to my previous post in which I explained about how I can make you ask, think and do anything I want.  Anyways, moving forward. 

Right now, I am less than a week removed from my diagnosis.  My Dr has determined that we will try for 2 weeks to get my blood / sugar levels under control with the use of Metformin, a drug made for this purpose.  If after 2 weeks, my numbers are not within an acceptable level, I will be started on Insulin shots.  I really hope it doesn't come to that.....the thought of jabbing a needle into myself is daunting. 

Along with the pills being used to get my levels back down is the obvious dietary changes.  The nice thing with this is that my meals don't have to change a whole lot.  We eat healthy to begin with, so some minor adjustments will bring that in line.  The big thing is my snacking.  I love snacking.  I love eating potato chips, chocolate, candy......*sigh*.  No more.  Now I have to eat at regular times, snack at regular times (watch me bust out a banana in church!!!!) and control what I snack on.  Fruit, vegetables, cheese and the like are part of my regular diet now.  Hopefully someday I can have potato chips again...even just a few.

And that, dear reader, brings you up to date.  Once again, we are faced with a challenge..and once again, we know that our Lord is with us, and will never let a hair fall from our heads without His will.  Is it frustrating?  Yes it is.  I will not sit here and tell you all is ok....because it is frustrating.  But, on the other hand, it is what it is.....our family has gotten through an awful lot, and we will manage this as well....but not alone.

Dear Reader....thanks for reading.  See you soon.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

So, what's new?

Belated Happy New Year, Dear Reader!!  I have been remarkably absent from these pages, and recently have started to feel remarkably bad about it.  So, here I am.  And there you are....I think.

/me peers out into the interwebz to see if he can see u

So, what's going on, you ask? And if you didn't ask that, then I just put words in your mouth.  I'm a (wannabe) writer, I can do that, you know.  I can make you ask questions you never thought you'd want to know the answer too.  And because I have the power to do that, I will do that.

/me laughs an evil laugh.

Now, to answer the question.  What's going on?  What's new? What's happening?  The long and the short of it is this:  lots.  Oh wait, that's just the short of it.  Read on, dear reader, to get the long of it.  (I think grammar wise, this paragraph is an epic fail.)

I suppose that some of you are getting curiouser and curiouser about Dianne.  How's she doing?  How's the recovery going?  Things are going well, dear reader, things are going well.  Recovering her strength and energy is a long tedious process, but this is very understandable in light of what she's been through in the past year.  She works hard to do things, and to not let the after effects drag her down...and she does an amazing job of it.  Dear reader, we are so blessed that Dianne is able to do the things she does, and we thank our Lord for being with her.

Dianne now has more hair than I do.  Of course, mine has remained off by choice, and I steadfastly continue to shave it off.  And at this point, I am determined that it will remain like this for a long long time. Dianne, however, has different opinions...she wants her hair to grow back...and it is.  I figure we could have remained bald together forever, but I couldn't find it in our wedding vows anywhere.  Thus, her hair groweth.  And it looks very nice, I must say.

What's in the future for Dianne?  I don't know if we've covered this before, so I'll go over a few things again.  Dianne will continue to get Herceptin IV's until at least May, 2010.  This drug works against the protein factor which made her cancer so aggressive.  So, if there is any cancer left, it won't be affected by the HER2+ disease.  She also is on Tamoxifen for the next 5 years.  Tamoxifen "prevents estrogen from binding to its receptor. Hence breast cancer cell growth is blocked."  (the text in " " is a direct quote from Wikipedia).

Dianne has also had a visit to the plastic surgeon in light of reconstruction.  I am not going to go into any details at this point, because a decision has not been made as to what's going to happen.  I just wanted you to know that the initial consultation has taken place.

Believe it or not, dear reader, Dianne's 6 month checkup is scheduled for February 4, 2010.  This, of course, is 6 months after the last chemo.  But it seemed to have arrived very quickly.  I am hoping to attend this with her, and and soon as we know something, I will let you know.

And that, dear reader, is what's new.  I was nice, and didn't make you answer any questions you didn't want to know the answer to.  I make no guarantees that this will happen again.  Know this: the desire to write again is coming back after a short hiatus.  Thus, I hope to see you again soon. 

(Updates on myself will be in a separate entry)