Monday, March 22, 2010

Chiropractors and Topiaries

As I was driving home from a birthday party last weekend, the pressure in my chest became so irritating, that I was sure I could not live with this symptom indefinitely. The kids and I stopped to see our chiropractor on the spur of the moment. He adjusted me and explained that a couple of misaligned vertebrae could have been causing the heaviness in my chest, but he didn't make any grand promises. Over the next two days, however, my cough went away, and I began to feel much better. I haven't had any trouble since. Yea for a good chiropractor!

And yea for a good beautician too. Jen gave me another hair consultation last week. These appointments can hardly be called hair cuts yet. My hair has become wildly, tightly curly. It's fun, but as it grows, I don't know what to do with it. My sweet husband called me Topiary Head, which I thought was a hilariously apt description for some of my bad hair days. As Jen was handling my hair at her salon, she referred to it as The Beast a couple of times. I really liked her styling ideas. But since my camera broke at Christmas time, you'll just have to imagine what I look like as a nicely styled topiary.

Friday, March 12, 2010

More Tests

I found another lump under my arm in February, so on Monday afternoon, I went to the oncologist to have it checked out. She was able to get me right in for an ultrasound and then (amazingly) a biopsy too. Usually, that would have required three separate appointments. Then she shooed me on over to the emergency room for a round of tests on my heart and lungs. When I had told her that I’d been having pressure in my chest for several weeks as well as a dry cough, she said, “Amy…people go to the emergency room for that. Did you think about that?” I had thought about it, and I’m familiar with how fruitless those visits often end up. But Jon and I were also worried about these symptoms so, off we went (…after we went out to eat for a belated Valentine’s date. We’d both missed lunch, the kids were being cared for, and I figured that after weeks of pressure in my chest, time to eat a meal wouldn’t make any difference).

In the emergency room, a series of tests were performed on my heart and lungs, all of which came back resoundingly normal. I was released before 11:00 p.m., and we were home and in bed before midnight. The next day the doctor called to say that the biopsies had also come back entirely normal. This was exciting, especially because what had been removed for biopsy was a lymph node that had been missed during surgery a year-and-a-half ago. It was completely clean of cancer or abnormal cells.

I’m still having pressure in my chest and a cough, but now, the assumption is that my heart or the muscles on the chest wall have been affected by the chemotherapy and/or the radiation. From what I’ve learned, these symptoms may come and go over the years. I hope they’re mostly gone.

All these tests took up only half of a day. Jon and I couldn’t have been more pleased. This could have taken most of a week – or even more - and lots of miles on the interstate. Instead we had one busy day, that’s all done, and the news was all good. And we didn’t have an accident on the way home.