Thursday, December 18, 2014

De-Liver Me Tour, Top of the 7th, Rain Delay Part II ~ Dec 15, 2014

UpdateIt was raining cats and dogs on the way to San Francisco. We were expecting the worst, but much to our surprise drivers were being sane, courteous and careful. Decoding the parking map for Kaiser was a bit of a challenge but we prevailed and got a bit of a walk in.

Raining Cats and Dogs - open edition Art Print
My doc told me ahead of time that he was going to do a biopsy so we could get a definitive answer as to what we were looking at. Cystic masses are quite common on organs of the body, but this one appeared denser than anticipated which was the cause for concern. We should have the results in 7-10 days. I'll remain on the Liver Transplant "pink list" accruing points, but not eligible for transplant, for the time being. 

All went as planned, and it only took about two hours. The crew was great from admissions, to the procedure room, to the "park her here until she lands back in this world" recovery area. There is something to be said for conscious sedation. I don't remember a thing, even the post procedure conversation with my doctor. Good thing Rod was there. 

Rays of sun peaking through the clouds

Watching the Sunset of Nature's Splendor with Light Beams bursting through the Clouds on A Lake Michigan Shore A Seascape Nature Photograph
Watching the sunset of nature's splendor 

Just heard from my Team Pharmacist ~ There is no longer any evidence of the Hep C virus detectable in my blood: zip, zero, squat. I'll remain on the Ribivarin and Sofosbuvir drug regimen to keep it so until the transplant. 

Time to Celebrate

 December 21, 1986
Gold Hill Hotel in Gold Hill, NV

But Seriously Folks
with our witnesses Barbara and Steve Novacek

Our 28th wedding anniversary is on Winter Solstice, December 21st. Since I am on medical hold at the moment and off my leash, we've decided a little adventure would be an great way to celebrate. We're going to spend a couple of days at the Timber Cove Inn north of Jenner. Foul weather means fireplace, reading, King's Cribbage and great food. Good weather means exploring the neighborhood, coastal walks and great food. We're talking win win here. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

De-Liver Me Tour ~ Top of the 7th, Rain Delay


I got a phone call from my doc at UCSF, the Tumor Board reviewed my most recent CT scan. Audrey and Carmine are still there of course, but the good news is that there are no new tumors. The Hep C virus is still detectable, but at such low levels the lab can't assess how much, only that it is unquantifiable. We are headed in the right direction.  

Rain Storm with High Wind at the Lighthouse Pier Head on Lake Michigan in Grand Haven Michigan No.84320pm - A Fine Art Photograph
Rain delay due to elements beyond our control

The CT scan also revealed a small cystic mass on the tail of my pancreas. It is not a typical location for liver cancer to spread, but it does raise concerns. This development puts me back on the pink list for the moment, inactive, but still accruing points. I'm not quite at the top of the list yet, but if I was and a liver became available it would go to the next person waiting. This may seem harsh, but it makes total sense. 

The next step is a trip to Kaiser San Francisco for an endoscopic ultrasound. If a sample of the mass is needed to determine its nature, the doctor will do a fine needle aspiration while I'm there. I will be in the "twilight zone" and feeling no discomfort. The first appointment available was 3:30 pm on December 15th. It is of course Trisha's birthday, so I'm taking that as a good sign. The biggest pain is going to be surviving 15 hours of no solid food other than jello, bouillon or fruit juice before 9 am. I'll be chewing on my arm by the time we get released in the late afternoon.

If is it only a cyst I should be able to return to active status on the Transplant List. If the lesion on my pancreas is cancerous, the next step will no doubt be surgery to remove it, but we'll cross that bridge IF we come to it.

Original painting - The warrior queen
The Warrior Queen

For now I remain the fearless warrior: we have our sites set on Alberta next summer and perhaps a trip to the Northeast and the Maritime states for autumn color. Taking the year off from our usual craft fair circuit was a good choice. We've been able to relax and work around the Rancho. Rod is Santa this weekend at the Garlock Tree Farm in Sebastopol. He's so totally in his element with the kids. Just call me Mrs. Claus. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wednesday Wonder ~ Can't Wait Until Friday ~ December 10, 2014

This amazing creation is simply off the hook ~ check out Terry's shop

Old Salt Shaker Cuff Bracelet, Repurposed Vintage Jewelry, Hand Crafted OOAK, Art Glass Beads Incorporated
Old Salt Shaker Cuff Bracelet ~ Repurposed Vintage Jewelry

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Little Things in Life ~ December 7, 2014

You can have an impact on a stranger's day or life with a simple act of kindness. Toss a small pebble into a quiet pond and watch it's energy move outward in infinite rings. We all have the power to make a difference.

Pink Water Lily with Lily Pad
Pond Ripples

I was at Kaiser Friday morning for my weekly blood tests. When I came out of the building entrance, I noticed a little lady with a cane standing on the opposite curb across the driveway. Without thinking I walked up and asked it she might like a hand stepping down. She looked up, gave me a big smile and reached for my hand. She asked if any cars were coming and I signaled to a red Jeep starting to pull into the lane. The driver gave a thumbs up that she'd wait. I walked with her across the road to the sidewalk. We said goodbye and she was on her way. 

As I turned back to cross the driveway the Jeep driver pulled up next to me and rolled down her window. She was smiling and had tears running down her face. All she said was "That was the sweetest thing I've ever seen."

I was floored and pretty much spent the rest of the day grinning. No matter what is going on in your life, there is always room to give a little: a smile, some assistance, or maybe just a thank you. Pay it Forward.