Monday, January 14, 2008

hello again

So, it seems everyone else is figuring out this blog thing, the picturus, the captions, the backgrounds, the links. I just can't do it! Oh well, I will figure it out, it just seems to be taking me a lot longer than everyone else. Haha, if anyone wants to give me lessons, i am totally up for it.
I got a call from my gynecologist today, Dr. Watabe. It turns out that the Oncologist thought my CA 125 level was normal....not sure how that is possible, since I had a conversation with him about it..but, I guess he wasn't listening. I had to go back in and have blood drawn today to check it again. If it is still elevated I will be going back in to meet with the Oncologist on Wednesday. We will just wait and see what happens. It's a little frustrating because it makes it feel like last weeks appointment may have been useless, but I really feel like things happen the way they are supposed to. Anyway, it was a week of relief and hopefully that lasts, but we will see.
Hopefully my next post will have to do with something other than my health. By the way, I just have to say that my husband really has been the best through this whole thing. He does so much for me and really is willing to do anything that will make me happy. I love him so much and hope I can do better at showing him that!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Okay, this is the last one!

Well,life is much better! I went to see the Oncologist yesterday and although nothing is ever definite until you have surgery,he feels very confident that I don't have cancer. Actually, he feels like the cysts will resolve themselves and that all of my symptoms, including the blood test, are indicative of endometriosis. I wasn't pleased with just saying, "oh, the cysts will just go away themselves" because I have been through this before and they didn't, but he did say I would come back in a month and do another ultrasound to make sure they are getting better. Also, he told me I MUST do something about the endometriosis, so he put me on a low dose birth control that I will be taking continuously. So...I guess I can no longer say that Ben and I are trying to get pregnant. For the past 18 months I have really tried not to do anything that would hinder my fertility, but it seems that my body is doing that on it's own. Hopefully this will means no pain! That would be GREAT.
I have to say that I truly appreciate everyones love, concern and support. I started my blog just at the right time. It makes it easy to let people know what is going on in life without having to have difficult conversations with everyone. Plus, sometimes I really think we are all too good at acting like everything is great, when it just isn't. It does us all good to be served and to serve. I truly realized how loved I am over the past week. I have a wonderful husband, family, friends, ward, in-laws and co-workers. I really am surrounded by great people!

another-nother update

No seriously, they hurt. I'll be sitting and they'll start hurting. I'm also finding that in the mornings, my right shoulder, hurts... Oh and yeah, Carmen went to the doctors and they gave her some medicine... No biggy. Something thats really odd, the past couple of days I've choked on some wicked water, like I'll be drinking water and like, out of nowhere, I'll start choking, it really hurts my throat. Oh I forgot a couple of days ago, Carmen's stomach hurt...
I've been getting some crazy mad shin-splits lately...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

another update

So I thought I would give you all a further update on our situation. I am feeling much better physically, so that is a blessing. On Friday I went in to see Dr. Watabe to have another ultrasound and to find out what the next step was in the process. The ultrasound was pretty uneventful, I have been through plenty of those. We went in to meet with the doctor, expecting him to go over the info in the ultrasound to figure out when we would be going in for surgery. I was really hoping that everything could wait until after Wednesday, Jan 9th, because I had this business trip that I really did not want to miss. Well, Dr. Watabe walked in, sat down,and said, "remember the blood test we had you do yesterday?". He proceeded to tell us that the normal level for the CA 125 blood test is anything under 35. They expect someone with endometriosis and my issues to have an elevated level, maybe about 50 or 60. My levels are at 2000. He proceeded to explain to me that with such high levels and the type of cysts that I have, they want me to go directly to meeting with an oncologist. So, that was how I left. "Well, you might have cancer, so enjoy your weekend".
I walked out of the office feeling totally fine. My little sister, Jessica, had a similar scare about 3 years ago and it all ended up fine. Then again, my older sister, Kristen, had also had a cancer scare that ended up being a reality. In a way, I think that made it easier to swallow. I have seen someone go through it and, although I would never wish it upon anyone, cancer doesn't mean a death sentence to me anymore. So, my initial reaction was good. I felt fine, wasn't worried at all. It wasn't until later that the fear set in.
I decided to look up stuff on ovarian cancer on the internet. Bad idea! I could not find anything about the CA 125 level being so high and I just didn't know what to make of that. It scared me. I honestly cried myself to sleep that night. I didn't know what to think. I woke up multiple times (the dog didn't help with that, he likes to wake me up). I finally just got out of bed at 5:30 on Saturday morning. I just couldn't sleep. I decided to go to the Temple, which truly was the best thing I could have done at the time. At the Temple I felt so much better. I realized that the Lord has a plan for me. I am doing everything I can to be led by Him, and what happens is His will for me. It may be hard to understand, but I felt a confidence in whatever happens.
Later that day, I finally found some articles that made me feel alot better. There are multiple articles about ruptured ovarian cysts causing such an elevated CA 125. I felt SO much more confident after reading that.
On Sunday, many of my family members fasted for me and our situation and I felt the power of knowing you are loved and supported. Sunday evening I was able to receive a priesthood blessing from two of my brothers, my dad and my husband. That was a once in a lifetime experience and one I will be forever grateful for. My brother, Nate, blessed me with comfort and I have felt that over the past couple of days.
I have since found out that the original oncologist that I was referred to is not covered by my insurance and have had to change my appointment. The situation ended up turning into me having an appointment tomorrow, instead of going on my business trip to California. I feel like I have let people at work down and I hate to feel that way. But, I felt strongly that I must put my health first and no matter how confident I am that I don't have cancer and my situation isn't extra serious, I need to do what the doctors tell me. So, I have an appointment tomorrow morning. We will hopefully be able to get some questions answered and to get surgery scheduled.
Oh, also, amongst all of this craziness, Ben and I have been released as Activities leaders and given new callings. Ben is now the Secretary in the Young Men's Presidency and is so excited about it. I have been called as the 1st counselor in the Relief Society Presidency. Although I am nervous and feel a little unprepared for this calling, I have great confidence in the other members of the presidency and look forward to learning from them.
I know this has been a LONG post and only hope you all realize that writing this down is not only to keep you all updated but just for me to keep record of the goings on in our lives. Thanks for being patient with me!

Thursday, January 3, 2008


So, I just have to first say thank you to everyone that commented on my last post. I am so blessed to have family and friends that care so much and I appreciate all of your prayers and concern. I will give you a quick update, since for the first time in about 48 hours I am feeling close to normal. After I wrote on the blog yesterday morning I slept for a few hours and then went into work at about 11AM. I have only recently started a new job and the last thing I want to do is miss work. Ben wasn't very happy with me for making that decision, but I needed to go in to find out about my insurance and stuff also. I went in at 11 and got off after 6. It wasn't a very good day, honestly. I was still in a lot of pain, was taking plenty of pain killers which were making me feel really woosy and out of it, but weren't really touching the pain. So, I tried my hardest to stay in my chair as much as possible and not walk around. By the end of the day I was feeling really tired and really nauseated. My mom came and picked me up and I went straight to their house. I hadn't eaten at all so I thought maybe having a little food would help me feel better. BAD idea! Within minutes of eating I was in the bathroom. I was throwing up all night. I am sorry about the details, but it's hard to express how sick I was without the details. It really was shocking. I was in and out of sleep, everytime I would open my eyes I would start puking. I really was worried that I had overdosed on pain killers or something because it just felt like my body was trying to get rid of something. The doctor said though, that with the size and state of the cysts the nausea is normal. (it didn't feel normal) Anyway, finally at about midnight my uncle was able to prescribe me some anti-nausea medication and I finally slept through the night. I didn't end up going to work today, I was still way to sick and way too weak. All day I felt like I was in a fog. Ben and I went to the doctor at noon and talked about the situation. The doctor wants me to have surgery as soon as tomorrow. When I told him I have a business trip I am going on next Wednesday and I would like to schedule the surgery around that, he wasn't very happy with me. I guess I am going in for another ultrasound tomorrow for him to see if the cyst has shrunk. If so, he thinks it can wait. If not, he would prefer me to not go to California. Not a good way to start a new job. Also, he thinks he may have to do a cesarian type incision. I hate that idea, for many reasons! Anyway, I really hope things work out. I am sure they will.
Oh, update on the insurance. I will be covered with my work insurance, which is good. The bad thing is, it is an EXTREMELY high deductible plan. So, somehow, somewhere, we are going to have to come up with that money. I did find out that my work has a Cafeteria Plan that lets you put money in an account for medical expenses. It is pre-tax and you choose an amount and you can take that full amount right away, even though the money to pay it back is just removed from your paycheck. So, instead of having to pay thousands of dollars at one time, it will just come out of every paycheck. I signed up for that, because in a situation like mine, I know we are going to use that money and it will be a lot less painful to pay for it one paycheck at a time.
Anyway, sorry if this was too much detail, but it's kind of theraputic for me to write it down. Again, I appreciate everyone's prayers and concerns and know that the Lord will watch out for us and everything will work out.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Unpleasant surprises...

So, just one week after Christmas, a day full of many pleasant surprises, we have been granted some not so pleasant surprises. It is 7AM on January 2, 2008 and I have not been to bed yet. Ben and I just had the fun experience of spending the evening in the emergency room. Why the emergency room in the middle of the night? Well, last night at about midnight I was getting ready for bed. Mind you, I was really sick yesterday with a soar throat, earache and achiness so I hadn't even gotten out of my pajamas all day. Getting ready for bed consisted of brushing my teeth and washing my face. During that process I was struck with extreme pain in my pelvis. Now, to be honest, this is not an uncommon occurance for me. Having stage 4 endometriosis pretty much guarantees me my fair amount of pelvic pain, but this was pretty extreme and it came on really fast and really strong. Within 5 minutes I was crouched on all 4 in the middle of the living room unable to move, crying, sweating and eventually throwing up (sorry for the graphic details) everything I had eaten for the entire day. The vomiting lasted for about 30 minutes, I was sweating profusely and felt like there was nothing I could do to escape the pain. In the middle of this I asked my wonderful husband to give me a priesthood blessing, which he did. Honestly, within minutes I had stopped vomitting and was able to move onto the couch, a grand feat considering the pain I had been feeling moments before. I am grateful for small blessings. After the throwing up subsided, the pain spread from my pelvis area to cover my entire abdomen. Thankfully I have a father who can be woken at 1AM. He called my uncle, Kevin Johnson M.D. and I was instructed that if the pain was not gone within 30 minutes after taking 2 vicodin (sp?) we should go to the Emergency Room. Let me tell you people, that was the LAST thing we wanted to do. The timing of this was awful. I was covered on Ben's health insurance until 12/31/2007 (yes, 2 days ago), and became eligible for my health insurance as of yesterday (a vacation, so none of the paperwork is filled out or turned in). We had no idea if any of it would be covered. I have expressed to you how stressed we have been about pay for an emergency room visit and everything that may go along with it was not the option we wanted. We waited...and waited...and waited. Finally, at 3AM, after 3 hours of tremendous pain, we decided we needed to go. We proceeded to the American Fork hospital, me decked out in my pajamas, a bathrobe and a winter coat over top. I looked hot! So, we were there for 3.5 hours and after multiple tests it has been decided that I will be going in for my second laparscopic surgery in 12 months. The doctor, (who by the way was Steve Young's brother) wanted me to come in for surgery today, but I explained the whole insurance situation and asked if it could wait a day. He told me, "it's up to you, can you handle the pain?". So, it looks like I will be going in for surgery in the next couple of days. We are PRAYING that everything with the insurance works out, if not, we might be beggin on the streets by the time this whole thing is over. I know the Lord will provide, but it's a scary position to be in.
Sorry to give you all the details, but it was quite the adventure and one I wanted to share! I hope everyone had a happy new year and a better night that I did, haha!