lean back

lean back –

Since my last post about my back pain a lot has happened. I’ve contemplated changing the name of this blog to one of the following titles as my latest health issues reflect them:
  • Protruding disc in the City
  • Slipped disc in the City
  • Bulging disc in the City

What do you think?!

So what happened you may ask?….well I ended up having surgery. It’s called Microdiscectomy of the L5-S1….ewww I know. It’s so gross and the 20 metal staples I had in my lower back confirms how nasty it is – not the tramp stamp I had in mind…hahaha.

I had the surgery on April 12th. Two weeks before that I couldn’t walk anymore or sit up in a chair. The pain I experienced running down my leg all the way into my foot was unbearable.

Two weeks pre-surgery until now, 5 weeks post-surgery, the only thing I can do is lay down. I was instructed to only sit up 3 times a day for 15 minutes at a time for a full month after surgery. Standing is okay and walking short distances. No driving for at least one week, and then if driving only short distances because I a) couldn’t sit up for long, and b) it’s crucial not to make any sudden movements or twisting.

So that’s it. My life has been laying down…thank God for my husband and kids who have been really understanding. I’m following doctors order to a T because I don’t want to do anything to reinjure the disc.

I’ve posted below a blog I wrote in February that I never posted. I found it on my phone so I thought I share. It’s about the one and only day I took public transportation….enjoy…

Day one riding the looser cruiser aka the bus. Of course it didn’t come and I was already ready to walk back home and hop into my car to make my trek to work.

You see for the past year I had an indoor covered parking spot right across the street from my building that was reasonably cheap by downtown standards.

A couple of weeks ago the owner informed me the building’s condo board wasn’t allowing externals to park there anymore.

It was crushing news. My car is my haven.

So now I’m sitting here writing about my new way of commuting.

I’m trying to find the silver linings….hmmm….

 1. I’ll walk more
 2. Blog
 3. Sleep? (And risk snoring and God forbid drooling!!!!!)
 4. Passenger drama

That’s it for now I’ll let you…oh wait a second!!! The guy sitting next to me just picked his nose and flicked his booger on the floor in the aisle.

I have no words.

I’m out!!
******************************

Lean Back

 

the way you make me feel

the way you make me feel

Back from a one week family vacation in Punta Cana at the Hard Rock Hotel. What can I say? It was awww beautiful, relaxing and a long needed rest. And it was HOT and I met a very white (heavy make-up) Michael Jackson…yay!

We had a tough week before we left. We had to put down our beloved dog named Scooter. He would have turned 17 on June 1st. When we got home, we were greeted by an amazing and thoughtful card from the Vet clinic with Scooter’s paw prints on a little white card.

IMG_8871[1]

How amazing is that?! Sad…but a meaningful surprise.

I’m still struggling with that damn protruding disc that pushes on the nerves in my spine, which causes severe throbbing pain running down my leg into my foot. A constant ‘Charlie horse’!

I almost drove myself to the emergency room in the middle of the night the other day, except I remembered that this is not an emergency…like what are they going to do for me? Give me narcotics?…no thank you…wheel me to the operation room for an emergency spinal surgery…doubt it. Plus emergency rooms in the middle of the night creep me out…a whole host of interesting characters appear…trust me I’ve seen it all!

So I had a visit with my family doctor who sent in a requisition to see an neuro/orthopedic surgeon. Great. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes…

I wanted to share a blog post written by  a woman in Ottawa whom I’ve met through a group of breast cancer ladies. She actually organizes monthly get-togethers which includes a wide range of women at different stages of diagnosis.

This post is hopeful for newbies to the #sexybreastcancer community. A very, very inspirational and wonderfully written read:

http://keepingabreastofellen.blogspot.ca/2017/03/five.html

Ok, so as I’m writing this I got a call for an appointment on March 30th with Dr. Richard Molton, a neurosurgeon. Good timing eh! If he can cure me I might marry him…not exaggerating…or I’ll drain my bank account and hand it over to him (he’ll be poor)…well I hope he’s a miracle worker, otherwise my next move is heading down to Argentina to see one of those voodoo healers who will place his hand on my forehead and speak in tongues.

This is my favourite Michael Jackson song….and this video is so great with BS singing with him live…a must see…and BS is really super hot…and how much do you want to bet that they’re both lip syncing??

amazing grace

amazing grace

Have you ever seen the movie called Silkwood?

Silkwood is a 1983 film starring Meryl Streep, Cher and Kurt Russell. It was inspired by the life of Karen Silkwood. She worked at a nuclear plant or something like that. In the film the employees would have to walk through a detector to make sure they weren’t exposed to radiation due to the materials they handled in the plants.

Meryl Streep’s character walks through and the sirens go off. She is brought into a shower area and is stripped, scrubbed and hosed down by other staff in hazmat suits. I watched this movie when I was younger and I’ve always been haunted by it, it was such a powerful true story.

silkwood

As a cancer patient, exposure to radiation is part of the detection and treatment of your disease. This is scary on it’s own.

January ignited my memories of Silkwood.

As I’ve mentioned, recently I’ve been telling you about my back/ass pain….well…I know what it is now but of course it wasn’t a straight forward diagnosis.

I was sent by my radiation oncologist for an MRI of my back. The results showed that I have a protruding disc in the L5 S1 area of my lower back.

Okay so now I know why I’m in so much pain, but the test revealed something else… in my T1 T2 area of my back they found a 5mm x 3mm bleeding area or something else.

HOLD THE PHONE!

They told me the radiologist said they weren’t sure what it was…in medical terms they say ‘inconclusive’.

What does this mean? It meant I had to go back for a second MRI with contrast of my full spine and brain for a better reading.

They said best case scenario it’s nothing, worst case scenario it’s cancer…metastasis…aka my breast cancer would have spread.

They did say not to worry because they were pretty sure it wasn’t cancer but given  my history they have to make sure.

Alright, let’s do this. So I went for a second MRI with contrast. I was in the machine for 120 minutes. That’s a long time given that it’s like being in a coffin. Ridiculously claustrophobic.

What freaked me out the most was the cage they put over my face.

Good news though, the spot they found was nothing. Brain and spine are clear of metastatic disease.

Woohoo.

In between the MRI’s I had a full body bone scan. This involves going to the nuclear medicine department in the morning to get injected with a radiopharmaceutical, only to return a few hours later for the scan.

All this to say, I’m grateful for the pass on the cancer front, but the upheaval that all these tests and anxiety causes me is exhausting.

I think I might hit a wall soon…three years later and the cancer emotional rollercoaster ride is still going.

I also think if I walked through a machine to detect the radiation levels in my body, the sirens would ring and I’d be scrubbed down until I bled just like Maryl Streep’s character.

 

 

 

king of pain

king of pain

November 10, 2016 is the day I was standing near my bathroom sink getting ready to get in the shower. I coughed. And that cough has altered my life in ways I didn’t know existed.

With all the cancer treatments I’ve been through and still going through…which is hormone therapy…YUK…which can wreak havoc on my body…, well nothing has compared to the last 8 weeks of chronic pain.

Pain that shoots down my leg that starts in my left butt cheek.

But what’s worse then the pain is how tired it makes me, and how tired I am of being tired.

tired…tired…tired…lazy…lazy…lazy…on and on.

I’m watching Mariah’s World right now and she gets off the stage and is literally carried then wheeled to her dressing room by her entourage.

Can you imagine? Being wheeled around all day by hot-back up dancers then handed a glass of champagne….lol…it’s really all too much. I envy her though, NYE fuck-up and all…like ~ do you think she cares about that? I don’t. She’s Mariah Carey with endless bottles of bubbly… who cares if she lip syncs and walks off the stage, she lives in oblivion a place I’m not familiar with.

Anyway, ya so being in pain and tired is challenging and I read somewhere that it can lead to insomnia and depression.

Great. Pile on the layers of crap I have to go through. poor me! I want to be optimistic and enjoy life, enjoy being ‘cancer free’ but life seems to throw me a curve ball every once in a while that just brings me down to reality. Brings me down like the universe is letting me know not to get too joyous.

Well…I’m going to say it here… screw you ass pain… you won’t nor can’t bring me down!

 

 

 

let your backbone slide

let your backbone slide ~

“So many suckers on my sacroiliac…It’s like a rap-sack, backpack, wic-wic-whack, give me some slack jack”…..

4 weeks ago yesterday I coughed standing up getting ready to get into the shower.

COUGHED!

That’s it. And now I have to go to physiotherapy 3 times a week to fix my dysfunctional sacroiliac…really…WTF?

Can you believe that you can sneeze or cough and put your back out?!!

I’m tired and I have words to describe how annoyed I am. How can this be?

My family doc said it’s definitely not cancer…really? I don’t know but I think after all my treatments my bones are very brittle. The chemo and the hormone therapy pills I take now can suck all the calcium out of my bones.

It could be possible that I’ve broken some bones or slipped a disc so I’ll have to go for an xray to rule it out.

Once a cancer patient ~ always a cancer patient.

As I’m sitting here writing this blog I want to desperately replenish my coffee but I can’t get up….hahaha….fuck!

I’ve never experienced chronic pain before…even when I was doing all my treatments and surgeries.

The worst part is that I was told that my back is weak from sitting in my chair at work all day so that’s probably what caused me to screw it up so easily.

Great…so now I have to sit for the next 17 years working with a broken back…it doesn’t make sense…I mean; it’s not natural to sit at a desk 8 hours a day, five days a week.

Picture this: Black Friday at Chapters, I was at the cash paying for my purchase. About 20 people in line behind me. Just so you know, I have a really hard time picking things up with this pain…and what do I do??? Drop my wallet and all my change fell out…

No one helped me…I stared at the floor for about 10 seconds before I bent over to pick everything up….the other problem was that I can’t pick up change easily with my long nails…

It hurt a lot and I felt like a giant loser…come on give me some slack JACK!!

Happy Friday everyone!!

SU2C draft footage

SU2C draft footage ~

I’m sharing with my blog followers a short video of the Stand Up 2 Cancer red carpet event in LA on September 9th that I covered as press and a cancer survivor.

Disclaimer: it’s not the finished cut but it’s a start and I can’t wait anymore to share it as I feel very proud of myself for diving in and just going with it.

I’m also very proud of what Canada is doing to contribute to the fight against cancer, and the revolutionary results that are coming out of our city and country. We should be very proud to be supporting these SU2C Dream Teams….

money, money, money

money, money, money ~

I have a dilemma. I guess you could say it’s a good dilemma, one which a lot of people would wish for. Actually, I have two dilemma’s but I’ll start with the first one.

When I was off on sick leave I wasn’t paying into my pension. As a matter of fact since I’ve been back at work in February I haven’t paid back into my pension from when I was off. This may seem like not a big deal, but apparently it makes a huge difference when I retire.

I’m eligible to retire when I’m 62 years old..2032 or 2033.

I’m 43 years old right now, turning 44 in January. This means I have 16-17 years left to work towards retirement.

Here’s the thing, whatever amount that would have to be deducted from my paychecks now to pay it back will make a difference for us monthly. At this point in our lives it’s the most expensive time for us…mortgage, cars, kids activities, on and on…

Since being diagnosed with cancer, I feel less worried about my financial future. I feel like if I survive to attend my retirement party and give a thank you speech…I’ll be one of the lucky ones, so who cares about the money…I want to take advantage of every penny now.

Tough spot to be in? Yes, it is. What would you do? Save every penny for the future or spend like you may not see tomorrow?

Second dilemma ~ I threw my back out while I was getting ready to leave for my son’s hockey tournament in Jay Peak, Vermont last Thursday, so over a week ago.

I had a 90 minute message on the Friday at the resort’s spa hoping it would relieve some of the pain. It didn’t. I was fine with that knowing time should heal the wound.

It’s been 11 days now and the pain has shifted from my tail bone and the general middle back area to my left ass cheek, and now I’m having trouble walking!

Jesus Christ.

Is it pain? Is the bastard cancer coming back? Is it old age? …. you know how I threw my back out? …. I coughed really hard…that’s it…

I had a full body bone scan in April that was clear…great, but that was 8 months ago…do I need to go back for another one?

#sexybreastcancer can rear it’s ugly head at anytime…shit…fuck…it’s gotta be muscle relatedl!!

Is my ass too fat or my bones too weakened? I feel like I did a thousand squats on my left side only.

See why money doesn’t mean a thing when you presently have worse worries…