Saturday, June 4, 2016

Cataracts and Cancer

Even before my brain surgery, I had been noticing how blurry my vision had been getting. Once I found out about my tumor, I assumed that that was the culprit. Unfortunately, my vision got worse after my surgery. It worried me a bit. I even thought that I needed to prepare myself for going blind - that is how bad it was getting.

When I finally went to the optometrist, she said that my prescription was the same but that I probably had cataracts. Was not expecting to hear that. Cataracts come to everyone with age. She told me that I could have it corrected with a simple surgery. Better yet, she told me that they would switch out my cloudy, cataract lens with a prescription one so that I wouldn't need to wear glasses! Whoa!

When I called the ophthalmologist for an appointment, I was told that I had to wait 2 months! Let me tell you that by this time, my vision was getting blurrier and blurrier. It was like walking around without my glasses - even though I had my glasses on. I couldn't read signs. I couldn't make out what products were around me when I went to get gym shoes with A1. I couldn't tell who people were. I was afraid of going somewhere and walking past someone. In Asian culture, that is really rude... especially for a pastor's wife. If you saw me somewhere and I passed you up, I am really sorry.

Well, the week after I made the appointment with the ophthalmologist, I got a random call from a nurse. She worked for the insurance company and was wondering if she could help me with anything. I asked her what type of things she could help me with. One of the things she mentioned was appointments. I told her my situation, and she was so happy to help me. I mean, she was really excited and happy that she could help. It turns out her mother had cataract surgery with the same doctor that I was going to see. She told me about how nice and skillful he was. She also told me to prepare to stay at the office for at least 2  hours because of tests. She called me back the next day and my appointment was moved up, and she told me that she had talked to the front dest about contacting me about any other cancellations - so that I could take that appointment. A few days later, I got a call for a cancellation the next day or so. 

Side note: Can I tell you? When I went to the ophthalmologist, I was the youngest patient there. People were looking at me wondering why I was there. 

So hear I am. I saw the ophthalmologist, had all the tests, and am scheduled to have cataract surgery on my right eye, on Monday. If everything goes well, a month later, I will have surgery on my left eye. 

Now, I have to go to my oncologist's office on Monday, before my surgery, to have a blood test. My platelet count has been really low on top of my low immune system. Platelets help your blood to clot when you bleed. They just want to keep me safe. 

Oh yeah. The cause of my cataracts: the steroids I took before, during, and after my brain surgery. Also took those steroids before the chemo treatment I used to have (Eribulin/Halaven). Steroids are strong.

Asking for prayers, once again.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Weird Happenings

It was the Thursday night after my cerebellum surgery.

It was so clear that I couldn't ignore it. I thought I might have heard something. I only heard it once. I never heard it again.

It was a "ding" sound.

The room was silent... other than the oxygen and IV machines.

My eyes were closed. I could only speak in a whisper. I had to keep "distracting" myself to think of "other" things because my sense of smell was so sensitive... even to those "mild" smells.

That "ding" sound made me open my eyes and look around the room. Did I imagine it? Was I going a little loopy? Was someone playing a joke on me?

I looked around a few more times...

Don't know what happened, but it happened.

Then, there was that other happening... It was like a "little box." The little box of my cerebellum. It was opened during my surgery - literally and figuratively! I had these little thoughts there. When it got filled, the words would spill out. Well, they would spill out during my sleep. I would wake myself from my sleep blurting these things out. They even showed up in my dreams. Sometimes, I would wonder, "How did you know?"

I would think it, the thoughts would go to my brain, and they would, eventually, come out.

That is the only way that I could describe it. It happened for one and a half months, and then it stopped.

There was also the times that I saw large bugs out of the corners of my eyes. Yes, bugs. Later, I realized that they were one and a half inch cockroaches. I saw glimpses. Never saw them directly. I would lift the blankets or whatever was in front of me to make sure they weren't there.  I told my husband about it. I can't imagine what he was thinking about life with me after my surgery!

We never had cockroaches. Spiders and ants - yes, but never cockroaches! I would have left this home a long time ago if they were here! It happened for a few months. Then, it stopped. It  was hard to tell whether they were real or not - at times. But, they weren't!

These are the weird happenings of my life after brain surgery and crazy meds!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

MRI Results and This Navelbine

Friday, I went to see my neurosurgeon about the results of my second MRI. We had to wait a while, because they were pulling up the scans on the computer. Can I pause and tell you how nice the nurses in that office are? They have been consistently nice and so caring! My husband took a few minute nap and was refreshed for the diagnosis. I needed him to hear everything the doctors said, because I forget so easily.

The doctors came in and told us the news. The scans showed that everything was clear. So thankful!!! No new growths. The downside: I'll have to get MRIs every three months, so they can monitor my cerebellum. Was hoping for the next one to be in six months.

I am continuing to go through my Navelbine side effects. I have experienced a sore body, fever, sharp pain in my head, fatigue, jaw pain, ear ache, and it felt like sores were forming in the back of my mouth. Yesterday, I drank a green shake, one ravioli, two bananas, a few spoonfuls of vegetable jjook (congee), and drank two cups of grape juice. My jaw hurt so much that I couldn't chew. Everything felt like rocks, when I chewed. It didn't help that when I chewed, it would pull on my ears and pain would manifest itself.

Don't yell, but I forgot to take Tylenol yesterday. I think that I didn't take it, because it didn't help with the ear ache on Thursday. Will try it today.

For those of you on Navelbine, you are not alone in experiencing ear aches. It is not listed as a side effect, but people are experiencing it. For a while, I was a bit afraid that something was growing in my brain again. Looking it up on the internet helped me to see that people are experiencing this side effect. I wasn't going cray cray!