January 2020 Medical Update

Update on my medical stuff:

On September 26th I got out of bed and walked to the restroom. At about half way back to my bed I went to take a breath and it just wasn’t there. Nada, nothing, just absolutely no breath available. I did not panic as my mind told me that I probably just needed to take a puff on my albuterol inhaler (it didn’t occur to me that I couldn’t DO that). In order to do that I had to first find it – (it was in my bed, after looking through my purse. At which time I was sweating profusely) and then I needed to shake the inhaler a few times prior to it’s use. I did that, aggressively shaking my arm up and down (which probably saved my life) and then I shot two quick puffs into my mouth. I did that two times and at the second time I all of a sudden had a gasping breath. SO SWEET!!

I called my sister to tell her what happened and I went to the sink to start my coffee and had to sit right down because I was having a hard time breathing. I told my sister I would probably need to drive to the hospital to have myself checked (it’s only a mile away). She said, ” No hell you are not, you are going to call 911 right NOW!” LOL, gotta love your sister!

So, it was raining and I really didn’t want to bother the 911 operator or the ambulance crew but I did. They arrived and I apologized for bothering them as they took me to the hospital. I felt good, I just couldn’t breathe very well.

The doctor came in and asked me to tell him exactly what happened and how. I related the story. He asked if there was anything else going on and I said no. Then I remembered that in the night my upper left leg had started hurting like I had been kicked by a horse. It went away but I was cognizant that my left leg had been sore and throbbing for a few days. When I told him that he immediately stood up straighter, his eyes became pinpointed and he said, “Now you’re talking! I have to get you to CT quickly because I’m concerned that you may have a PE.” I looked at him blankly and he explained that it meant a Pulmonary Embolism which is blood clots in your lung. So, lo and behold and after the CT scan I found out that I not only had a PE but I had a SADDLE PE which means that both of your lungs are filled with blood clots. I later found out that the survival rate of those are not really great. They put me in the hospital and I was released Saturday with Eliquis pills (blood thinners). They explained that they could not keep me in the hospital unless I had an IV in me. He had told me originally that I would be going to ICU but my insurance must have not allowed that. As a side note about my leg: They did an ultrasound on it and found that I had blood clots all the way from my groin to my ankle and I never knew it. My leg did not swell or bruise or anything like that. It was sore and throbbed from time to time but I had no indication of a blood clot. The clots in my lungs came from my leg.

I did begin Radiation on my breast in October and had to go every work day for 4 weeks. I completed that mid November. I didn’t have any signs of the radiation until the last week and that’s when it turned very red and bruised looking and even though I only wore a sports bra it rubbed the entire underside of my breast raw to the point that I could not wear anything but a loose shirt for about 3 weeks. I was surprised that the actual radiation treatment only took about 15 minutes each time and I never felt a thing while it was going on and had no adverse reaction to it other than the topical issues which have now passed.

So here it is January 2020 and I am doing good. I will be on blood thinners for the rest of my life because of the PE and I have had no ill effects or blood clots that I am aware of (more on that to come).

On December 18th I got up and took a couple of steps and then felt dizzy but a weird sort of dizzy. I covered one eye with my hand and I didn’t feel dizzy any more. I uncovered the one and covered the other eye and the image I got was about 4 inches to the right and about 7 inches higher. With both uncovered my vision was off and made me feel dizzy. That lasted about 5 minutes and corrected itself. I called my neurologist and they told me they could not get me in until January and if it happened again I should go see an Ophthalmologist.

On January 3rd at about 5pm I was laying in my bed playing games on my tablet and all of a sudden I went blind in my right eye (for about 5 minutes). I called a fellow boondocker who is a nurse and she insisted that I go to the ER. So I drove myself to the ER. They did 2 CT Scans (one with contrast one without) and the tele-neurologist said it was probably not neurological and I should see an ophthalmologist. They wanted to transport me to Phoenix for that but because I was not having any other signs of anything, they let me go home.

I did see an ophthalmologist last Monday and he didn’t see anything imminent and they made me an appointment for January 16th to do a more in depth study to check for glaucoma (which runs in my family) and to see if I had a stroke (which would show as damage to my eye). They did an ultrasound on my neck yesterday and that came out good (they were looking for plaque build up in my carotid artery). They have said it could be a loose blood clot that got into my eye and they are concerned about that but I thought the Eliquis would take care of all of those so I have no idea. Update: There is NO glaucoma and the ophthalmologist said that I certainly did have a TIA (which is a transient mini-stroke) but not a full on massive stroke and it was probably caused by plaque that came from my carotid artery (they are 20% plaque). My neurologist has ordered 2 brain scans (with and without contrast) that we can check against the one they did last April prior to Chemo.

On a lighter note, I DO feel good! I started doing Silver Sneakers workouts at the Recreation center yesterday as well as light aerobic water sports. Today is a rest day and I will start going to the Rec center every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. YAY!!!

For those of you who are familiar with my blue “Kathy” truck, here is an update on her:
In February of last year (the same month I found out I had cancer) the transmission went out on that truck. In December I had it towed to a local mechanic and paid for a new transmission in her. I have that truck back now and am enjoying having it up and running again. I LOVE that truck!

On a side note: Rebekah is doing very well in school and is an absolute delight to have with me!