Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blue stitches

Well. Another week, another story. or two.

Last week, on the advice my psychic Lynn Gardner, I visited a chiropracter/ herbologist/ medicine man/ shaman. After a brief visit, he recommended I visit a guy who runs a health food store, and ask him about his Hoxsey herbal remedy. So I did. Roger, at the Health Hut in Tucson, is quite a character. I really enjoyed visiting with him! Small world being what it is, turns out his brother owns one of my favorite restaurants down in Green Valley, Trivetti's, and that I may have actually met him there, because he helped out for the first couple year's of operation!

But Roger's first love is good health, and caring for it with alternative methods to good old Western medicine...herbs, spices, natural and organic products. And he's done a lifetime of research to find the best methods for solving problems.

For my particular needs, he made up his own concoction, a take-off on the original Hoxsey herbal remedy . This, for me, is a tonic to cleanse and build my lymph system. He also gave me some of his personal favorite tea, created to build the immune system. Tastes quite nice, and I add cinnamon and green tea to it for a little extra punch.

Plus, he suggested taking Inositol Hexaphosphate, a powerful antioxidant, which, according to Sloan-Kettering is used to prevent and treat cancer and heart disease. What the alternative guys say is that it's a strong method of inhibiting the proliferation of free radicals - a major contributor to almost all our ailments, particularly cancers, heart problems and arthritis. Sounds good to me!!

I know that a l
ot of people are skeptical of 'alternative medicine' - it's kind of like witchcraft or voodoo. I happen to be a believer. It's been around for centuries - must be for a reason! And after looking into all the ingredients, there's nothing there that could hurt me, so I figure it's worth a try.

This week has been more about tests and scalpels and such. Tuesday I had another needle biopsy. Left breast this time, checking on a mass the MRI found that the mammogram missed. This was ordered as a biopsy via ultrasound, or if it was not detected with the ultrasound, they were going to put me back in the nasty MRI machine and find it again that way and stick me with the bloody needles while I was in the machine. Thankfully, they found it with the ultrasound.

I managed to get a couple pictures this time. This first sho
t shows a smudgy looking black area running vertically - that's the suspect mass.

This next picture shows the needle piercing the mass, where it snips off little pieces and gobbles them up for evaluation. The needle is the little white line thingy running sort of horizontally.

After they get
the samples, they insert a tiny metal clip to indicate where the bad guy might be, should they want to visit again.

This next shot is the ma
mmogram, taken to confirm the placement of the clip. The tiny white dots are calcification in the breast tissue - not unusual or a problem. The little square white dot is the metal clip. It's kinda hard to spot - it's in about the 1:30 position from the center of the shot, one of the larger of the dots.

Then... later in the day, I went to yet another lab for a PETscan. A PETscan, a
Positron Emission Tomography scan, is an imaging technique that allows physicians to examine many organs of the body and is helpful in diagnosing many diseases, such as cancer. Other techniques, such as CT scan or MRI, only show organ structure, where as PET shows organ structure and function.
( )

This was no
thing like the MRI - other than being in a tube - it was very quite in comparison, and considerably more comfortable for me, because I was on my back instead of in a face down position. They were kind enough to let me take a picture of the machine, from both ends. Makes you wonder who dreamed up these contraptions!

Yesterday wasn't quite as much fun. I went under the knife, for the umptiumpth time - this time for the bratty squamous cell cancer on my arm. My sweet silver fox insisted on accompanying me, probably to make sure I wouldn't drive myself (which the doctors forbade me to do, but ...). It was done under light general anesthetic, which I wasn't very happy about - but I like my surgeon very much, and respect her and trust her, so I didn't fight it - too much. I showed her another little thingy that I knew was also a skin cancer (from way too much experience with the damned things), so she sliced that one off too. I now have about 32 stitches, some dissolving kind, and some bright blue ones that have to stay in for 17 days. 17 days? OK.

Amazingly enough, I don't hurt too badly today. A deep dull ache in the biggest incision, but nothing I can't handle.

Just had a phone call from one of the doctors - he has the results from the PETscan and wants to see me as soon as possible - so I'm going in tomorrow. Not too excited about hearing those results, since he wants to see me so quickly.

More news when there is more news.

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