PCM Visit

In my post ‘Pain Explained?‘, I wrote the following –

Could the pain I have experienced for 10 weeks now be a result of Lymph Nodes and Bones?

I will receive answers and have more information next week.

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Image Provided by: aelis.es

In my post ‘This Friday – The Next Stage‘, I wrote the following –

Friday of last week I met with Dr. L. to discuss the results of the previous week’s tests and my future.  At this time, there is no indication my cancer has spread to any major organs or my bones.  However, it is confirmed my cancer is in the lumbar region Lymph Nodes as well as the thoracic region Lymph Nodes.

In today’s post, I write the following –

A little over 3 months ago, I had major surgery to remove my bladder, prostate and other male related organs.  The surgery recovery, I feel is satisfactory, but I have experienced some pain ever since then.  You may remember immediately prior to surgery I was experiencing major pain and was on major pain medications.  At that time I was experiencing many different pains and some of those pains I no longer feel.  Now, many weeks into my recovery; I continue to experience major pain and continue major pain medications.

Upon a recent visit with my Oncologist Dr. L. at the Moffitt Cancer Center, I asked if these pains could be a result of the cancer being in my Lymph Nodes, particularly the lumbar region.

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Image Provided by: NaturPhilosophie

This is the region that most of the pain is originating from and then spreads to other areas of my body.  Dr. L. responded that the pain I am experiencing would not be a result of my cancer.

I mentioned in my post ‘quality of life……. (or lack of it)‘, that I have 2 specific pains that cause discomfort in my daily activities and is affecting my quality of life.  I also mentioned I had an appointment with my Primary Care Manager (PCM); and we discussed my current pain issues.

The visit with my new PCM Dr. T went very well and I was extremely satisfied with her ability.  Dr. T. is the head of Internal Medicine at the MacDill Air Force Base medical facility and she took quite a bit of time to discuss my past medical history and current issues that are taking place.  She was truly interested in me and having me feel better.  Additional medications were prescribed and referrals are submitted for other specialized care.

20170416_194313 (2)These referrals for specialized care include a Urologist to continue the care and follow-up of my recent surgery.  Other referrals include Neurologist, Pain Management, and because I have the service available to me, a referral was put in for Optometrist.   Recently, I have noticed the eyes are not what they once were and having an examination would be a benefit.

I expect several more weeks of appointments to take place and the hopes are this pain that is affecting my daily activities can be controlled to a minimal level so that I may have a better quality of life.

quality of life………… (or lack of it)

Several weeks ago in my post ‘Pain Explained?‘, I concluded with the following words –

My friends, it is a good bet the cancer is in other Lymph Nodes in my body and based on other symptoms I am experiencing, it could also be in my bones.

Could the pain I have experienced for 10 weeks now be a result of Lymph Nodes and Bones?

I will receive answers and have more information next week.

In today’s post, I write the following words –

With the recent move to Tampa, Florida and change in healthcare, comes more doctor visits, appointments and more medications.

The transition to this area is a struggle with regards to finding new doctors and scheduling the appointments.

My insurance provider is through the military and they can easily change my location.  Now that we are in our new location, I was assigned a new Primary Care Manager (PCM), who handles most if not all the referrals I need for specialist care.

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goodqualityoflife.com.au

Prior to leaving Pensacola, Florida, I was able to get my Urologist Dr. P. to refer me to see an Oncologist in Tampa for 2 visits.  This is how I have able to see my current Oncologist Dr. L. and have my subsequent tests a couple of weeks ago.

Last week, I had my first visit with my new PCM Dr. T., who is the head of Internal Medicine at the MacDill Air Force Base medical facility.  Now that this visit has taken place, I can continue to have referrals made to Dr. L. at Moffitt Cancer Center.

As mentioned in the beginning of this post, it was thought the pain I have experienced since my surgery may be a result of cancer being in my Lymph Nodes and Bones.

It appears no cancer is in my bones and though I do have cancer in the Lymph Nodes in my lumbar area; Dr. L. indicates it would not cause the pains I am experiencing.

I have 2 specific pains that are causing me discomfort in my daily activities.   Because of these 2 separate pains’ intensity and consistency I have been and continue to be on a large amount of pain medications.  Overtime the pains have increased and so have the pain medications.  My quality of everyday life it not good and I am not enjoying life at all right now.

And now with chemotherapy treatment again, I will struggle more so if the pains are not controlled.

20170416_194313There is much to do here in the Tampa area and so many other activities that Gary and I would like to do – but I am unable to do them at this time.  Between the pain and the side effects of the drugs I am taking, I just cannot do much at all.  This bothers me, I want Gary to enjoy his life and I want to enjoy mine as well.

Now that I have my new PCM Dr. T., I hope to find the reasons for these pains and find a resolution to stopping them or treating them so that my quality of life becomes better.

Round Two

This past Monday’s post ‘This Friday – The Next Stage‘, I wrote the following –

Dr. L. is honest and upfront with respect to my cancer.  There is no cure for my cancer; this next round of chemotherapy treatment is to hopefully stop the cancer from spreading or slow down the progression of it.  Once this chemotherapy is over, there are other treatment options available and at that time we will discuss the next steps to be taken.

This Friday, I will begin my next round of chemotherapy, the next stage in my journey with cancer.

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Image Provided by: note.taable.com

In today’s post, I write the following –

Round Two –

Today I start my chemotherapy.

I have been through this before and I know the process.

Round one of chemotherapy was 1 treatment for 2 weeks and then 1 week off.  There were 4 cycles that resulted in 12 weeks.

Round two of chemotherapy is 1 treatment for 1 week and then 2 weeks off.  There will be 4 cycles that results in 10 weeks.

I have been through this before and I know the process.  What I do not know are the results.

For now, I do not know the results of the chemotherapy treatment once it is completed.  These results will be revealed many weeks from now.

For now, I do not know the results of how this chemotherapy treatment will affect me.  These results will be revealed in the next many days from now.

Round one of chemotherapy I was tired a lot, but was never nauseated and did not lose my hair.

Round two of chemotherapy I expect to be tired a lot and I hope not to be nauseated or lose my hair.

I have positive expectations of this chemotherapy treatment for both long term and short term.

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This Friday – The Next Stage

The last day of March in my post ‘So, what’s next?‘, I concluded with the following –

Next week will be a busy week; we are moving to a new location, but more importantly test results and doctor’s visits to determine what is to come next in my battle with cancer.

In today’s post, I begin with the following –

Last week was certainly busy as Gary, his mom and I traveled from Orlando to Pensacola to take mom back to the younger brother on Monday.  The next day Tuesday, we hooked the RV to the truck and made our way to Tampa.

We have settled into our new temporary living location at the RV park located on MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida.  We are fortunate again to be living on a military facility that offers many amenities to us.  Besides the RV park, we have the base commissary, movie theater, gym, and the mess hall & other food establishments on base.  We are also within minimal walking distance to the base’s white sandy beach on Tampa Bay with views of both Tampa and St. Petersburg skylines.  Directly out of the base gates we are greeted with the very nice city of Tampa.

You may remember two weeks ago after my initial consultation at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, I had a series of tests because it appeared my cancer may have spread.  In my post last week ’57 Today‘, I spoke about a brief conversation I had with my new Oncologist Dr. L. about the possibility of my cancer spreading to Lymph Nodes in my lower back also known as the lumbar region.

Friday of last week I met with Dr. L. to discuss the results of the previous week’s tests and my future.

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Image Provided by: moffitt.org

At this time, there is no indication my cancer has spread to any major organs or my bones.  However, it is confirmed my cancer is in the lumbar region Lymph Nodes as well as the thoracic region Lymph Nodes.

Dr. L. discussed his concerns and we had a conversation about the treatments available and expectations.  It was decided the next step for me is to have another round of chemotherapy.  This time a different drug will be used over the course of the next couple of months.

Once the chemotherapy treatment is completed, tests will take place again to determine the results of the treatment.  Upon the receiving of those results will determine what comes next with regards to my battle with cancer.

Dr. L. is honest and upfront with respect to my cancer.  There is no cure for my cancer; this next round of chemotherapy treatment is to hopefully stop the cancer from spreading or slow down the progression of it.  Once this chemotherapy is over, there are other treatment options available and at that time we will discuss the next steps to be taken.

This Friday, I will begin my next round of chemotherapy, the next stage in my journey with cancer.

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57 Today

Gary, Roxy and I hooked the RV on the truck and moved to Tampa a day early.

That took place yesterday and because of it, I am a little late on reading your posts and responding to comments.

I promise to catch-up today.

So, here is a little video of that travel from yesterday, and something important about today.

My Life; part of the blues?

From my post ‘find the humor‘, my friend and fellow blogger tcriggs over at Canary in the coalmine left the following comment –

Love this! thanks!

Btw… the post today on my blog, is for you… please stop by. I hope you like it!

I visited tciggs’ blog and read the post ‘If you fail to succeed, but do so Epically… did you actually succeed?’, that concluded with the following –

CONFESSION:

My husband is a singer/songwriter incognito… (he even sings one I wrote! *gasp*)… Still, as an avid music lover, and having a freakishly weird unintentional skill (yes, even commercials!) for remembering notes, chords, and lyrics… he plays covers now and again.

You know…Those favorite songs that speak to him.

One of the songs he plays and sings is by Sun Volt, called “Windfall” on acoustic guitar. (I tried to get him to let me record him… to no avail… sorry! But, I have evil plans for the future… stay tuned… )

Anyways… Quite literally, every time I hear him play this song… I think of the blogger ‘Spearfruit’… (Terry), dealing with some pretty heavy sh*t these days…

I can’t explain why… like I said, but when I hear it, I think of him.

I can say with certainty; I immediately wish him well and healthy…

I left a comment appreciating the mention and wanted to respond also in a post –

I am always touched when I am mentioned in another blogger’s post – as I consider myself no different than anyone else.

Per my ‘About Me’ page –

So, what makes my life more special than others? Well nothing really. The difference is this is my life that I am writing about.

I visited Son Volt’s website and read their BIO page.

Their BIO seems familiar to my life and me; here are some excerpts –

“There are only two kinds of songs,” Townes Van Zandt said, well before he died. “There’s the blues, and there’s zip-a-dee-doo-dah.” The new Son Volt album is titled Notes of Blue.

… “For years I’ve been drawn to the passion, common struggle and possibility for redemption that’s always been a part of the blues. Everyone has to pay the rent and get along with their significant others, so many of the themes are universal. For me, the blues fills that void that’s there for religion, really. That’s the place I turn to be lifted up.”

Why does this song and this group remind tciggs of me?  Maybe the answer is in some lyrics –

Now and then it keeps you running

It never seems to die

The trail’s spent with fear

Not enough living on the outside

Never seem to get far enough

Staying in between the lines

Hold on to what you can

Waiting for the end

Not knowing when

May the wind take your troubles away

May the wind take your troubles away

Both feet on the floor, two hands on the wheel,

May the wind take your troubles away

Trying to make it far enough, to the next time zone

Few and far between past the midnight hour

Never feel alone, you’re really not alone

So, what’s next?

A week ago in my post ‘Central Florida Visit‘, I wrote the following –

This coming Monday I will have an appointment with a new Oncologist Dr. L. with Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida.  Per U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals for Cancer rankings 2016-2017, Moffitt Cancer Center is ranked #1 in the Southeast and in the state of Florida and #6 in the nation.  After visiting their website and the recent communication I have had so far has me impressed with them and my hope is this feeling will continue after my appointment this Monday.

In a little over a week we will make our way back to Pensacola.  Depending on our visits next week, upon our return to Pensacola, our plan may well be to hook the RV to the truck and drive back to central Florida.

In today’s post, I write the following –

That appointment with a new Oncologist Dr. L. with Moffitt Cancer Center took place this past Monday.  This visit and the unplanned additional visits had Gary and I extremely impressed and enthusiastic about having my continued cancer care taken over by this new facility.  If you read my post ‘Pain Explained?‘, a couple of days ago, you know this week was filled with many tests at my new healthcare provider location.  Results of these tests and a course of action will be provided to me early next week.

This past week Gary and I had plans to view some possible locations to live and plant roots for a home base.  Because of the results of my CAT Scan last week, and the awaiting of results of this current week’s tests; our plans have changed some and the searching is on hold for now.  So, what’s next?

I mentioned in a past post that Gary and I brought his mom to Orlando, Florida back in December.  She lives with Gary’s younger brother who lives near Pensacola, Florida.  Because the younger brother is having health issues we brought mom here to Orlando to stay with the older brother.

Monday of next week, Gary and I will depart from Orlando and take mom back to the younger brother.  Tuesday of next week, I will have my last appointment with my current Urologist Dr. P. in Pensacola.  Wednesday of next week, Gary and I will hook the RV on the truck and make our way back to Tampa, Florida.

For the past 8 months we have lived at the RV park on the Naval Air Station Pensacola.  For the unforeseeable future, Gary, Roxy and I will live at the RV park located on MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

Next week will be a busy week; we are moving to a new location, but more importantly test results and doctor’s visits to determine what is to come next in my battle with cancer.

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Pain Explained?

In several past posts, I have written about pain and other issues I am experiencing.

In my post ‘Pain‘, I wrote the following –

The pain is here today

For this one thing I know

As the days become weeks

The pain will come and go

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Image Provided by: NaturPhilosophie

In my post ‘Exactly 1 Month‘, I wrote the following –

I will admit though, I do not feel excellent as I am having difficulties with some pain and other minor issues.  I am not sure if they are related to the surgery or my cancer diagnoses and if over time I will overcome these minor issues.

In my post ‘It’s 2:16 in the morning‘, I wrote the following –

I also have pains not associated to my surgery and recovery that make it difficult at times to find a comfortable position to sleep.

In my post ‘I don’t know‘, I wrote the following –

So, I have aches and pains and other issues that bring me down and I think to myself; are these pains associated with cancer spreading or they a result of my surgery and I am still recovering; or are they result of inactivity on my part because I am restricted to a certain extent to exercise and being more active?

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Image Provided by: http://www.causes.com

In today’s post, I write the following –

A week ago I had a procedure and a CAT Scan performed to try to find out the cause of my continued pain and other issues.  I will be honest here, as I am always honest and sometimes blunt on my blog.  The other issues I have referred to is my bowel movement; yes, we all have bowel movements that is part of our bodily functions.  Mine are no longer considered normal and go from one extreme to the other and at times has caused disruptions in my daily life.  I saw a Gastroenterologist early last week and he believes I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome; most likely resulting from my recent surgery.  He indicated it usually corrects itself over time and medication was prescribed to help with the symptoms.  He also suggested a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy (Flex Sig) to rule out cancer.

Tuesday of last week the Flex Sig was performed as well as a CAT Scan.  The results of the Flex Sig indicated no appearance of cancer in my rectum which was near my bladder, when I had a bladder.  This is good news.

The results of the CAT Scan were not so good.  I have several Lymph Nodes in my lumbar region that have increased in size since my last scan took place in early January.  Because this scan only showed the lower part of my chest, there was one Lymph Node in the thoracic region that is also larger in size.

These results have changed everything.

This past Monday upon my initial consultation with my new Urologist Dr. L at Moffitt Cancer Center, I proceeded with blood tests and a Chest CAT Scan.  Today I am having a MRI on my Lumbar Spine, and Echocardiogram, and a Whole-Body Bone Scan.

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My friends, it is a good bet the cancer is in other Lymph Nodes in my body and based on other symptoms I am experiencing, it could also be in my bones.

Could the pain I have experienced for 10 weeks now be a result of Lymph Nodes and Bones?

I will receive answers and have more information next week.

There is a mirror

There is a mirror you see

Right in front of me

And as I look at the current me

I am reminded of what I use to be

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The daily shower to clean the body

Now the body seems so shoddy

There once stood a man who some thought a hottie

But now that changed man he considers himself a nobody

 

The shower stands in front of that mirror

The doors open I am not far but nearer

I have changed much it is so much clearer

And times I see myself as inferior

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You see that mirror it sees the truth

It tells me my reflection is so much different from my youth

As I open the doors, that shower that booth

You see that mirror it sees the truth

 

But it only reflects the outside of me

There is much more to me, than one can see

My mind will wrestle with the reflection of me

But I remind myself, that, that I can still see

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The body is unimportant, because I have changed

Yes, the inside is a little rearranged

But the personality that cannot be exchanged

It remains positive and it remains unchanged

 

There is a mirror you see

Right in front of me

And as I look at the current me

I am reminded of what I can be

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