Saturday, February 27, 2010

Visits, Visits, and More Visits - It's all good!

I forgot to report that I had a visit with my oncologist on Wednesday. He just noted the side effect I get from Herceptin (fatigue), mentioned my swollen lymph nodes, discussed whether or not I was in the trial (I didn't know when I saw him - I found out several hours later), and I requested a referral to see a physical therapist. I forgot to ask about the echocardiogram results - it's normal for the most part. We noted the slight decrease in the CA15-3 tumor marker.

In other words, there really wasn't much to report. Status quo. Which is a good thing.

I decided that I wanted to see a physical therapist because there's been some recent reports that lifting weights and/or exercise is good for lymphedema. I have lymphedema around my ribs on the right side (where the cancer was). I have also had some lymphedema on my upper left arm the past few days. I think the swollen lymph nodes are causing some back up in the arm.

I also have decreased strength in my arms and also it seems that my legs aren't as strong as they used to be - or maybe it isn't leg strength, it's core strength. I can't balance on one leg as easily as I used to. My decreased core strength is due to the TRAM flap, of course, where they released the left TRAM muscle that runs down on the side of the midline on the front of my torso. My right shoulder also curls forward, due to the right side getting radiated twice and after two major surgeries. I want to try to strengthen my arms, my chest and torso, and my legs possibly. I figure I should work with a professional to make sure I don't overdo any exercises and get advice on the best exercises I can do.

So, back to my visits. On Wednesday, there were some tribal reps on campus hammering out an agreement for a repatriation - and since the Army Corps of Engineers has ownership (we are only holding it physically), their rep was there, too. Turns out it was an archaeologist that was in my classes when I worked on my master's degree here at OSU. It was nice to see him again - hadn't seen him in a long time. We had a chance to get caught up.

On Friday morning, I chatted via Skype with a colleague in Oxford, England. I went to Oxford last August to attend a workshop and to meet with him - we're collaborating on a project. We needed to assess where we're at in terms of data collection and to get a sense of what we wanted to do with the data in terms of analysis after we're done with data collection.

I went to a noon lecture on Friday, then we met with our Ph.D. students to discuss some advanced theory. This group had discussed just prior to our meeting that they wanted to grab a beer with a couple of other folks - so in the end, about nine of us met at a local place to have a mid-afternoon beer and visit. It was fun! Then most of them left and my Ph.D. student and I had a chat about her dissertation research - another good conversation. Because of her changed direction, I invited her to go to dinner with me at my colleague's house - my colleague's guest works for CAFE (Center for ?? Faculty Excellence) at University of Alaska Anchorage. I thought it might be good for J to meet her.

Dinner at my colleague's house was fun - there were several people from Alaska there - heard a grizzly bear attack story! - got to chat with lots of people and get caught up.

Then, my volleyball teammates were having a beer after the game - so I stopped by to visit with them a bit, too.

Basically, other than the noon lecture, I talked to people from about 10:15am to about 9:30pm. I was bushed when I came home last night. But a good tired.

Today, my folks and I went to the Friends of the Library sale ($10 for 8 books), then over to Albany to do some shopping (Eddie needed new shoes and I wanted a new shirt that was spring-like) and to exchange a couple of things, then dad and I with some help from my brother started to straighten out the garage. We loaded up my car and after dinner, took it to Goodwill.

All in all, a good couple of days. Good friends, good colleagues, good conversations, good errands. Good days. Thanks!

1 comment:

Joanna said...

Your oncology visit sounds positive to me. Numbers going down, no new negative findings...This is the right direction.

Good luck with the trial. You are very strong, obviously.