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Author: xraymd Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 37076  
Subject: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 10:03 AM
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Greetings, all, I’ve been away from the boards for a wonderful reason, and then a not so wonderful one.

The good news: a nearly 3 week trip to Israel from mid-June to early July. My parents had been wanting to take the family for, oh, only about 20 years and finally all of us were able to go at the same time. There were 6 of us traveling: my parents, twin brothers, my fiancé and me. I had no expectations for this journey apart from making my parents happy to be part of it, but BOY OH BOY was I ever unprepared for the endless awe and amazement I felt every single day at all we saw, did and learned. My parents had been there 3 times earlier (and my dad had made a separate trip on his own – he volunteered for 3 weeks in a factory on a kibbutz as a part of a philanthropic mission) and they were eager for us to experience their own awe and pride. We had a guide who took us all over the country in his van and who was literally our own personal historian. Every day was chock-a-block full of sights, activities, things to learn – we went on an archeological dig, climbed 1200 feet to Masada, planted trees, went under Jerusalem in tunnels, traveled to Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Haifa (the Baha’i gardens are jaw-dropping), Tiberius, the Galilee and the Golan Heights, then on to Jerusalem (had a private tour of the Hadassah Hospital and the Chagall windows; stunning) and finally the Dead Sea region. My dad, who is almost 79, is extremely fit and practically ageless – our guide who had been many years in the Israeli army was asking how old my father was and remarking on what a fine specimen of health he is and how the guide hoped he’d be half as active when he reached my dad’s age. Indeed, my dad was first to the top at Masada and first in line as we snaked our way under Israel through tunnels and caves. So it’s easy to believe that he likes to travel in a take-no-prisoners, if-it’s-Tuesday-it-must-be-Belgium style that left the rest of us initially a little breathless but the farther along we got in this journey, the more and more passion it stirred up and we were right there with him starting our days every day by 8am and not stopping till early evening for all the astonishing history we were taking part in discovering for ourselves, from museums to temples to Roman ruins and example after example after example of human enlightenment, betterment, spirituality, endeavor. I truly had no idea of the scale and the scope until I was there and experienced it for myself. An epic journey for our whole family, and a gift beyond measure.

The gift also was about what I did *not* know before going (for it very well would have kept me from taking full part in the often very physically demanding activities we did). The not so good news: I’d been having some nighttime back pain for about 18 months that woke me up from sleep but once I was up and about during the day, the pain went away completely so I did not think too much of it. I thought I might have had a small slipped disk or that I was having some bony changes of age (I’m nearly 52 so I’m allowed to have a little arthritis of my vertebra) – something that maybe some physical therapy could handle, if I could ever make the time to go. I finally asked an orthopedic spine colleague about it and he had me come see him in the office, pronounced my physical exam normal and suggested that I get an MRI of my back just to be sure it was indeed as minor as we thought it was. On my return from Israel I had a few days before I had to return to work and was able to get the MRI done. To both of our shock, it was NOT normal and I have since had a more confirmatory MRI that demonstrates a tumor next to my spinal cord. Thank heavens it appears to be benign but this is still a very big deal. It is around T8 and T9 in my thoracic spine, in the front (harder to access) and has compressed the cord so severely that if it had happened quickly I would be paraplegic. It looks like either a meningioma or a schwannoma – a fairly rare circumstance, incidence about 3-4 million per year. Clearly not in the realm of an orthopedic surgeon – I have now been to two neurosurgeons and have spoken with a third and the result is that I will now have to undergo an extensive neurosurgery, presently scheduled for August 18th, and I will be out of work for a minimum of 2 months. And the most sobering realization is that there is a small but very real risk of paraplegia as the outcome, even if the surgeon does everything right. Apparently this has been silently expanding for some time, maybe 3 or more years, and causing no symptoms at all until it became sizeable enough to impinge on a nerve root. As one of the neurosurgeons has put it: “the spine can’t take a joke” – so a space-occupying lesion, even if benign, is a serious matter indeed inside the spinal cord. My practice knows and is rallying behind me – they are scrambling to hire someone to cover me because doing what I do for our hospital patients on top of what they do for our office patients cannot be absorbed for an 8-week interval. It’s pretty apparent that I’ve been indispensable and here is exactly where that is not exactly a blessing. I gave them a month’s notice of these developments but it is anybody’s guess whether I can actually wait until August 18th. Though since I am essentially still fine during the day, I am still working until then.

The diagnosis is still surreal to me and is now turning my world inside out. From having a little (though accelerating) nocturnal back pain to learning all within the past 3 weeks that I have a (out-of-the-blue) tumor(!) that needs to come out neurosurgically(!!!) and that the outcome could change my life for the worse vs for the better is practically unfathomable. But I am holding up okay so far. All I can say is I could not be more grateful for the marvelous journey my family just shared and I will be drawing a lot of strength from those rich memories. I also know how much strength there is to draw from right here at the Fool and I know your words of comfort, optimism and support will mean the world.

Love,
xraymd
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Author: blue3dragon Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26593 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 10:47 AM
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I don't know where to begin. So I'll follow your post. How wonderful to have that trip with your family. I can't even begin to fathom everything you saw, did, & learned.

As for your back. I for one (but not the only one by far) will be keeping you in my thoughts/prayers & sending you all sorts of healing vibes. Here I am worried about some sinus surgery that I've had twice before & you are facing something much more serious/in depth. Anytime you need to vent/talk/fuss or what have you, come here, email me or whoever. I/we are here for you.

((((((((((((((xraymd)))))))))))))

Michele

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26594 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 12:18 PM
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I know what it means to have a few words from your doctor tear your world apart. There's fear, confusion, and a whole long list of "what-ifs." There's waking in the dark with a laundry list of questions, and no one to answer them.

It's terrific that you had a wonderful trip. You've had a strong confident experience to buoy your spirits, and a closer bonding with your family. No matter how close you might have been before, this trip has clearly made it stronger.

I won't wave away your concerns and say, "oh everything will be fine." That would demean your situation and the courage you need to face it. But if the hope and love of your friends can help, you know you have it, from all of us.

When I was diagnosed with cancer I learned that you really can feel cyber-hugs. Whenever I panicked and pleaded for support, the hugs on the board gave me the support and help I needed. As I received them, I pass them on to you.

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Xraymd}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Nancy

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Author: AlisonWonderland Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26595 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 12:35 PM
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An epic journey for our whole family, and a gift beyond measure.

Indeed! What a wonderful trip you and your family shared! How great for all of you.

And as far as your medical situation -- like all your (imaginary/Internet) friends, I send you good thoughts and prayers for a positive outcome, with no long-term effects. I wish I could offer more than cyber-hugs, but please know that they're heartfelt.

{{{{{{{{{ xraymd }}}}}}}}}

~~ Alison

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Author: bleplatt Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26596 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 12:53 PM
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oh my xraymd.

TFMS and I are thinking good, very very very good thoughts for you.

best

bleplatt

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Author: malaoshi Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26597 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 1:12 PM
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Dear Xraymd,

Inspiring to hear your Israel travels, but this is mostly to mention a neurosurgeon at UCSF ( University of California San Francisco) who dealt with my daughter's cavernous angioma on the spinal cord between L2-3 ( or was it 3-4?) breathing and movement in grave danger.He has seen about 5 of these in his life. All well

Dr Lawton..He's great. Youngish and very very good...has many out of state patients I believe. Check him out in case you can talk to him about your case.

We'll be thinking of you. If indeed it is August 18, that is "chai"!

Warmly,
Malaoshi

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Author: Jubii Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26598 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 1:49 PM
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( ( ( ( ((((xraymd)))) ) ) ) )

I always enjoy reading your posts, will be thinking of you a lot in the next few weeks. When I don't know what to say, favorite-book quotes come wavering to mind. Two for you:

"Events may be horrible or inescapable. Men have always a choice--if not whether, then how, they may endure."

-Castillar Lupe dy Cazaril (Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold)

and

"All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well."

-Julian of Norwich (Katherine by Anya Seton)

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Author: yeilBagheera Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26599 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 2:01 PM
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Congratulations onf the family trip -- you all had a great explore. Of course you haven't absorbed it all yet. What an enriching time for you and your family.

Oof-da for the diagnosis. You do know that we're here. Write me in email if you want.

One of the healing lessons of my breast cancer survivor group (that emotion is part of what helps us get by) was learned when this little old lady joined us. She had moved to town (in her sevenites, at least) to live with her daughter. Her treatment had been decades before (well before many of us in the group had 'developed' breasts). So, she was a stranger to us. At the first meeting, we gasped when she explained that she was a 27 year survivor, because it was such a joyously long time. During her second meeting, she told us that she was impressed with our knowledge, because her surgeon had not given any details, even that he would be removing her breast. After the surgery, she was bandaged heavily and it was several days before she peeked. Then they kept her in the hospital for weeks. Finally, one morning she and her roommate were quite angry about the lack of information. While they were eating lunch, the doctor showed up (with out-of-touch cheerfulness). Well, Grace took umbrage at his nonsense, picked up the plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce and threw it him. He ducked behind the door and she got togo home the next day.
Every single woman around that table had empathy for that level of frustration, though most of us were surprised that Grace had felt it too.

YeilB
a friend on the Internet
as real as the Velveteen Rabbit

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Author: yeilBagheera Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26600 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 2:20 PM
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Thanks Jubii for the book citation.

>>>>>>>
"All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well."
-Julian of Norwich (Katherine by Anya Seton)
>>>>>>>

I was unaware of that (though I loved the book years and years ago)

My conscious introduction to Julian is from a song recorded by Bok, Muir, and Mayo.
"Love, like the yellow daffodil, is coming through the snow;
Love, like yellow daffodil, is Lord of all we know"

I learned it and gathered a dozen people to perform it once.

YeilBagheera

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26601 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 4:27 PM
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Two halves, one story:

Mrs. Goofy and I travelled to Israel about a decade ago (and from there to Egypt for a week.) [We would go back to Israel in a heartbeat, Egypt, with far grander archeological treasures, well, no.] Congratulations on your trip, it sounds like you did it the right way.

But the reason for my response is the second half. In 1984 I got married. On my wedding day, on board a boat in Boston Harbor, my sister said to me "What's wrong with your face?" Well, she's in the medical profession (PT) and I'm kind of used to on-the-spot diagnoses, but this one took me aback.

It seems I had a facial droop, not severe, but enough so she noticed it, and she insisted I go immediately to the hospital, blah blah blah. "You might be having a stroke!" Well, I wasn't sure of that, but I was sure I was "having a wedding", so I didn't. In fact, I didn't until I returned from the honeymoon, another two weeks out.

And it was diagnosed as a Bell's palsy, nothing to do, ignore it and it will go away. Six months later, it hadn't. Second verse, same as the first. Nine months later, it hadn't. Went to a new doc, did a catscan, he immediately picked up on a small tumor growing on the nerve bundle which controls the facial musculature. I went under the knife only a couple days later for microsurgery, him scraping this anamoly off the nerve bundle, and in the process threatening to destroy part of the nerve system which controls everything on my face. Nice. It was located behind the left ear, where the nerve bundle exits the brain and runs out onto the face. He told me that by the time it was detected more than 50% of the nerves had already been destroyed; the face is apparently well over-built, so by the time you see something wrong, it's very wrong.

The story ends happily; although I did not recover all of my previous facilities (I smile lopsided, for one thing), I came through it fine; the surgery lasted two hours longer than predicted which made Mrs. Goofy nervous, but everything was A-OK.

That was 24 years ago, and I suspect things have progressed since that time in the "digging around and excising tumors" department. Since you are in the profession, I presume you have a pretty good recommendation on your surgeon, and you should be confident of a good outcome.

I am, for you, and I hope for only the best. Please keep us in touch; we value your contributions to the Fool, and reach out for you in your time of need.
 


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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26602 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 4:34 PM
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Greetings, xraymd!

Thank you for sharing with us your marvelous journey with your family. What a blessing it must have been for you and yours.

I was shocked to read what your nighttime pain turned out to be. But glad to learn that you finally went in to get it checked out, that it was suggested that you get an MRI and that you had it done (some of us can be so stubborn in this area) and that your tumor has been slow growing.

You are most certainly in my thoughs and in my prayers. {{{{xraymd}}}

Fondly,

Shire

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Author: GuildWarsQueen Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26603 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 4:38 PM
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(((xraymed))))

I hope your surgery will go smoothly with no complications and you'll make a fast and full recovery.

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Author: 492dea Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26604 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 5:27 PM
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Hi xraymd, oh dear, what a development! Here is a virtual hug {{xraymd}} and a helping of good thoughts & wishes for a most positive outcome to the surgery! Please keep us updated on the CC/CD board!

492dea

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Author: dove29 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26605 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 6:02 PM
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(((((((xraymd)))))))

- dove
(not so good with the words today)

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Author: reader99 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26606 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 7:21 PM
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Odd what a fine line it is between avoiding hypochondria and ignoring something that turns out to be important.

In May, DH, who has never been sick a day in his life and embraces the mind over matter, work-through-it idea, finally admitted that it isn't normal to have a continuous headache for 3 1/2 weeks. Even then, I had to pressure him and did so when his voice became hoarse at the end of week three.

We went to the hospital and they did a head and neck scan. They told him he had a headache because a tumor in his neck was pressing on his skull causing the headache. After that sank in they said it could possibly be cancer, so they wanted to do more tests.

He is now entering week six of radiation and chemo at UF Shands Gainesville for a baseball-sized squamous cell carcinoma with metastases to the nearby lymph nodes. This was never visible from the outside. If he had any teeth, and were the sort to have 6-month dental checkups, it could very likely have been caught much sooner.

This coming week they will scan again. If it has shrunk enough they will operate; he may have to chose between eating by mouth or ever speaking, depending what all they have to take out to get the tumor. If it has not shrunk enough (it was wrapped all around the carotid artery), they will send him home on hospice and his choices will be to slowly strangle to death on the growing tumor, or stop feeding through the stomach tube he has been using for a month, and starve to death. He already weighs 118 lbs at 5'9", down from 170 before, so he wouldn't suffer long.

He has never drank, drugged or smoked - the usual causes of throat cancer, and although he served in Vietnam his service record doesn't suggest that Agent Orange could be to blame. He has drunk 5 to 15 sodas a day for 50 years, and there is some internet buzz that diet soda changes while sitting on the shelf and may contain carcinogenic benzene by the time we drink it.

An article in this month's Reader's Digest says that 25% of new cases of neck/throat cancer are caused by Human Papilloma Virus (see the TV ads for a vaccine against it to prevent uterine cancer). The little research I did suggests that 70-80% of adults harbor this virus during their 20's and 30's, and most have fought it off by 40 or 50, usually without ever having symptoms. It is kin to the virus that causes warts.

His doctor told him that we all have little cancers in us a lot of the time, but our immune system kills them off before they can take hold. It seems his immune system had a moment of inattention, and away it went.

Suddenly the various screening tests that I have always been inclined to postpone or not do, seem very important. Luckily I got medical insurance recently, so I've had a mammogram (normal) and a pap and HPV test (results not back yet but it is contagious) and will be seeing the dentist in August.

I omit all the drama caused by his obsession with work and wanting to do physical yard work outside in Florida in July while undergoing chemo, and how he can't drive right now and I can't stand heat and pollen.... Luckily he started drawing social security a while back, and when he was diagnosed started drawing from his IRA, so there is no financial need for him to work.

I learned that if you are a veteran it is smart to sign up with the VA for medical care in advance even if perfectly healthy. If he had already been registered, then the hospital and testing he had done at first at a local hospital might have been covered by the VA; as it is he owes over $10,000 just for the diagnostic process. Don't get me started on delays and waiting two nights in the hospital just for one doctor to spend ten minutes looking in his throat with a tube, and how they treat the condition but not the patient.

Before we realized he needed to go through the VA, I learned all about what exactly is required to qualify for Medicaid and will post same if any one has an interest.

By a sort of back-handed good fortune, about the time he started looking really sick, his 90 year old mother's dementia progressed enough that she doesn't know who he is. If she did, she would be worried and upset; as it is she just doesn't know.

I'm going to stop now - he has to sit upright for 30-60 minutes after each tube feeding so he won't throw it up, and it is easier to do if he plays bridge on the computer. He would rather lie down but is finally grasping that if he dies he won't keep his nourishment.

Reader99
Drinking V-8 since 2008

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Author: xraymd Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26607 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 8:13 PM
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Greetings, Reader99, I am so sorry to learn of DH's health issues and it is clear that this must be causing you a tremendous amount of stress. The VA in Tucson has an excellent Hospice facility - when the time comes for DH, can he avail himself of VA services for this where you live? The Tucson VA has an inpatient facility so that when such time arrives as the patient is not so easily cared for at home due to symptom management issues, the angels also known as Inpatient Hospice nurses can help take care of him should he need to be admitted. And that is a very real possibility in due course, so if you were not aware of this service as also being an option through the VA, it is worth knowing about, especially because it would be a covered benefit of his VA eligibility.

I have no knowledge of this but cannot help but wonder whether there could be effects from Agent Orange and other exfoliant chemicals that could predispose to squamous cell CA in a patient who has none of the risk factors (smoking, drinking, doping) that you cite. Regarding HPV (human papillomavirus), it is the leading cause of cervical cancer and that is why the vaccination has recently come out for young women up to age 26, in hopes of stemming the more aggressive forms of it. HPV is indeed contagious, so much so that virtually all of us have been exposed to it as children (it is an extremely common skin virus that generally manifests at most as warts but clearly there are more virulent strains that lead to the cellular transformation to cancer in susceptible tissues like the cervix. If you turned up with HPV, it is far more likely than not due to remote exposure and your competent immune system created antibodies to it that hang around to protect you. Much more likely than your having an active HPV infection with an aggressive strain.

I offer you my support, for I have taken care of many patients in your DH's circumstance. All of these patients wished to live as fully as they were able, as long as they were able, but when they were ready to go, Hospice was a blessing and none lingered nor suffered for an inordinate amount of time. There are no easy or foolproof answers, only words of support and of comfort.

((((( Reader99 and DH )))))

xraymd

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Author: bleplatt Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26609 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 8:48 PM
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oh Reader! our thoughts and prayers go out to you.

b

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Author: cellarer One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26610 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 9:01 PM
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{{{{Reader99}}}}}} and husband.

{{{{Xraymd}}}}}}}

Words are too weak.

Peace,

Grannydoc

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Author: yeilBagheera Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26611 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 9:27 PM
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{{{reader99}}}

Thanks for posting. I hope he got all the trump cards today and won the bridge game.

YeilB

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Author: hheuer Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26612 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 9:54 PM
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xraymd, yet again you impress me. what a combination of good and bad news in your post. and you appear to be handling what must be a terrifying diagnosis with grace. Terrifying even though benign (which is very good news in itself).

my best wishes to you and to your DF, who must be going through some shock and dismay of his own.

Hilary

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Author: AlisonWonderland Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26613 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 10:54 PM
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Oh my goodness, reader99.

Sending your DH good thoughts and keeping him in my prayers. And cyberhugs to you, for it must be so difficult for you as well.

{{{{{ reader99 }}}}}

~~ Alison

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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26614 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 11:40 PM
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{{{Reader99 and Dear Husband}}}

I hope you and your husband have friends or family nearby? This is an awfully large burden for just the two of you to handle.

Shire

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Author: BklynBorn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26615 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/27/2008 11:49 PM
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dear both xray & reader - thank you for sharing with us. i do love this board. what a great sweep of support.

my conclusion: i have no problems.

BklynBorn
grateful for everyone here

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Author: Sparkle13 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26616 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/28/2008 7:52 AM
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(((((xray & reader & your families)))))


My thoughts, prayers and good vibes are headed your way.

Sparkle

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Author: legalwordwarrior Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26617 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/28/2008 11:13 AM
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(((((((((((xraymd)))))))))

How wonderful that you got to go on your trip and spend such quality time wit your family. How awful that you got such bad news. I have total faith that all will be well for you during your surgery and you will come away from this healed and ready to tackle every obstacle in your way!

LWW

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Author: kimmmmm Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26618 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/28/2008 2:39 PM
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{{{{xraymd}}}

{{{reader 99 and DH}}}

kimmmmm

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Author: minnesotagirl Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26619 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/28/2008 2:45 PM
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((((xraymd and Reader99))))

oh dear, I will be thinking good thoughts for both of you and your significant others--thanks for sharing.

MNgal
...heading off to the doctor tomorrow to get a suspicious lump checked out, hopefully it's nothing.....

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Author: hheuer Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26620 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/28/2008 3:30 PM
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(((((Reader99 and DH)))))

I'm hoping that the tumor has shrunk. Good luck with next week's scan, and with everything else. That's a hard, hard way to live, and it can't be easy for you to live with, either. Take good care of yourself, as well as him.

Hilary

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Author: vickifool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26621 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/28/2008 4:07 PM
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(((xraymd)))
(((reader99 and DH)))

sending positive energy for all of you.

Vickifool

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Author: blue3dragon Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26622 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/28/2008 5:28 PM
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Oh Reader99. I am so sorry you & DH are going through this. You will also be in my thoughts & prayers.

(((((((Reader99 & DH))))))))

Michele

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Author: sender2 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26624 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/28/2008 6:31 PM
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My thoughts and prayers will certainly be with you. I really appreciate all you have done for us (GO!) and others, and some of that good Karma is bound to come back to you.

Sincerely,
Karen (sender2)

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Author: sender2 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26628 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/29/2008 3:04 AM
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I read xraymd's post and entered the reply above before going out. When I got back, I read through all the reponses, and found out about reader99's DH's troubles. My thoughts and prayers go out to you both also.

Karen (sender2).

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Author: DrBooa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26631 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/29/2008 11:41 AM
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Oh, xraymd.

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{xraymd}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

I am so very sorry to hear your news. I wish I could give you a hug in person. Words are completely failing me right now. I am so, so very sorry. I know your world must be turned topsy-turvy right now, and surreal, and unreal, and like a familiar landscape in the blink of an eye turning strange and unknown and free of landmarks or anything to orient yourself by. Everything gets subtly altered, like in a dream, and like in some dreams, it seems things change without consulting you or the laws of physics. It feels like nothing can be trusted. I kept waiting for my teapot to turn into a mynah bird, or something, after my DH's diagnosis.

I am glad it appears to be benign--I hope sincerely that it is. I hope you find a very, very good neurosurgeon. The threat of possible paraplegia is in some ways more frightening than death--DH has that possibility from the lesion inside his cervical spine, and I think that makes him more afraid than dying. (I am selfish, and horrible, and told him that the brains in the jars in Futurama seem to live pretty good lives...I just want him alive.) I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and in my heart, xraymd. I love you, and the world would be a much poorer place without you in it. I will pray for your neurosurgeon, too, to do an excellent, excellent job. This is devastating news, but I hope and pray there will be a positive outcome from all of this.


--Booa

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Author: DrBooa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26632 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/29/2008 12:06 PM
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Oh, Reader99, I am sorry for the pain and fear you and your DH have been through.

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Reader99}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

I pray the tumor will have shrunk enough for surgery, and that your DH has a good surgical outcome.


--Booa

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Author: CassWoman Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26635 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/29/2008 4:11 PM
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reader99,

That is devastating news all the way around.

I am sending you lots of love and light, and if you need a support group, I suspect that I am not the only one here who is willing and able to listen any time.

Cassandra

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Author: CassWoman Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26636 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/29/2008 4:13 PM
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xraymd,

You are so loved and supported!

I am so glad you posted about this, and I am incredibly grateful that I will be able to see you before your surgery. I'm sure there are numerous people here who will want to hear how things go, so please tell your DF to call me after you are out of surgery and I will post here about your condition - and I'll cross-post it to the CC board and wherever else you wish.

Blessings, and see you soon!

Cassandra

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Author: Myownigloo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26642 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/29/2008 7:45 PM
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Thank you for sharing all of this.

I look forward to hearing of your full recovery.

(((((((xraymd and family)))))))

MOI

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Author: ARRazorback Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26646 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/29/2008 8:16 PM
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((((xraymd))))

Sending good vibes....

ARR

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Author: makasha Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26648 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/29/2008 9:58 PM
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{{{{{{{{{{{{xraymd}}}}}}}}}}}}}

{{{{{{{{{{{{reader99}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

I will keep both of you and your loved ones in my thoughts and hope for the best possible outcomes for you.

Kasha

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Author: PipneyJane Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26650 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/30/2008 8:28 AM
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(((((((((((xraymd)))))))))))

Honey, words can't take away what you are going through but I hope and pray that knowing we all care will make a difference.

I am glad that you had an amazing holiday. And so sorry that you came home to such a 1-in-many-million diagnosis.

And the most sobering realization is that there is a small but very real risk of paraplegia as the outcome, even if the surgeon does everything right.

And, being a doctor, this is what you're dwelling on isn't it? The worst case scenario. I've tried to explain to my husband that planning for/accepting the worst case scenario doesn't mean I've given up or that I'm obssessing - it's "if I'm not fine, these are the things you need to know/take care of/understand", then I can get on with ensuring the worst case scenario doesn't happen. Every doctor and nurse I've ever met is exactly the same.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

- Pam

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Author: PipneyJane Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26651 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/30/2008 8:36 AM
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(((((((((Reader99 & DH)))))))))

I am so sorry to read what you are going through. I'll pray that the tumor has shrunk enough for surgery.

- Pam

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Author: xraymd Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26652 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/30/2008 10:25 AM
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Dear Cassandra and EVERYBODY who has written to me so far:

What am amazing surge of love and hope - the tide raises my level of trust and faith so immeasureably higher and even just a few words from each when amassed create such an unstoppable force for good. I will take every step during the surgical interval and the healing afterward knowing how much care surrounds me. I feel calm, collected and carried on the shoulders of all who have wished me well, and am now fully ready to proceed.

I saw the neurosurgeon again yesterday for a pre-op re-check. He heard of my progressing symptoms even just two weeks after I had first seen him and he declared that the surgery date has to be moved up. It was for August 18th and it is now for August 11th (malaoshi, if that date is not as auspicious as the first one, don't let me know - but if it is, please do tell me!). He told me that he was even willing to do it TOMORROW except that he will be going out of town for 10 days - taking his family to San Diego before school starts - and disliked undertaking such a major procedure and then being away during the post-op period. I could not disagree and would actually rather NOT have a rush-rush-hurry-up rescheduling. He has not seen any neurologic deficits even yet but his main concern is the acceleration of the nocturnal pain preventing me from getting any real rest. I am now sleeping between 1.5-3 hrs a night because once I wake up in pain (absolutely after the first hour and a half), I am not shaking it off as I used to just by sitting up or walking around. So once I am hurting, it is very hard to obliterate it to zero-to-minimal pain that lets me catch another snatch of sleep and that's why such attenuated sleep in the past few weeks. I admit that I am feeling it now. He did start me on a medication that I asked about which could help cut the edge of the worst pain, thus allowing me to get sleep in spurts once again that would at least add up to something more than I am getting now. First dose was yesterday and my fingers are crossed. I am still totally fine during the day, though now a bit dizzy from the sleep deprivation and have been advised that until I become acclimated to the medication (Lyrica) that I could also be a bit woozy. Needless to say, my fiance has put his foot down and is insisting on driving me because he is afraid I will fall asleep at the wheel. I am not resisting - I am accepting his decree and am turning in my keys for the time being.

Ironically, one of the patients of the neurosurgeon originally scheduled for August 11th is a patient I would have been rounding on. She is on our practice's census as To Be Admitted for that date so I was already aware that she had that surgical slot. I did not even have to propose to the neurosurgeon that maybe we could swap dates (I know this patient and if she'd heard I had a need, she would have voluntarily offered to take the later slot with alacrity). But the choice was the neurosurgeon's, not even mine, because he has the right to triage cases and has told me outright that if he had a concern, he'd have me in the OR even that very day. It was just coincidence that I happened to know who occupied the slot that he required me to take but since I *do* know, I actually feel better about it because that patient is a sweetheart whom I have taken care of on 3 earlier occasions and I am aware that the neurosurgical problem she is dealing with is something more chronic that has flexibility in scheduling where evidently mine has less. So at least I don't have to feel like I have imposed.

The practice was aware that I would be out as of August 18 and now it is a full week earlier so we have to get even busier at figuring out how to cover me. These are challenging times, but they will stand behind me so even though I did not like to have to tell them of the date change (there are SO MANY tie-lines between what I do and how certain aspects of patient care can proceed, it is very difficult to have to suddenly fill my shoes) it is already apparent that they will make the accommodation unhesitatingly.

One bright spot: my close friend from medical school became a pathologist and is married to a neurosurgeon. She met her husband during our neuroanatomy lab way back in 1995 - in fact, I introduced them because her husband was my lab preceptor and she was in a different group with a different preceptor and I thought that she would appreciate his teaching style. I had no sixth sense that he would be smitten with her but on reflection, they had such similar, particular, methodical and deeply committed approaches to their work that it seems like it was fated. Needless to say, he became an integral part of her life and by association my life during the remaining years of med school training and I always had the deepest admiration for him. He does adult neurosurgery but has specialty training in pediatric neurosurgery and gets specialty referrals to treat children. He has worn his hair in a buzz cut for many years and I have seen photos of him in the past with a full head of hair so I asked awhile ago why the change in tonsorial style. He said it was because the kids he treats so often have to have their heads shaved for their procedures that it makes the kids feel better to see him with his head shaved. He has always been an angel like this so of course I thought of him when I received my diagnosis. It has been awhile since I've been in direct touch with my friend and him but of course we reconnected immediately - I sent him a CD of the MRI which he looked over and had some thoughts about (which were echoed by the neurosurgeon who will be doing my procedure) - it was very reassuring to me to hear how similar the approaches sounded. It was not QUITE so reassuring to hear from him what the risks are (paraplegia being the worst one) but he was just as honest as my neurosurgeon - I knew he would be - and my own neurosurgeon was very patient and thorough in answering all my questions about those risks. Apparently, the worst risk is of low blood pressure during the induction phase of the anesthesia because that would cause decreased perfusion, or blood flow, to the cord which might be unable to cope with it given its current severe compression from the tumor. And there would be no way to know that this was happening until after the surgery were over. The only thing that can be done is aggressive prevention, which means the anesthesiologist must insure that I am given high dose steroids at the outset and am put on high-rate fluids and possibly pressor (blood pressure elevating) medications to insure that my blood pressure remains on the high side during the procedure. The neurosurgeon tells me that as he proceeds, he has less concern because once he decompresses the spinal canal and then excises the tumor, the compression of the cord is increasingly alleviated and the risks of a cord infarct decrease significantly from then on during the 6 hour surgery. So it is no surprise that I keep hearing how anesthesiologists have work lives consisting of long stretches of boredom punctuated by moments of terror. But the other thing that my friend's husband told her (and asked her not to tell me) is that he thought that mine would be a fun case. My friend told me anyway because she knew I would appreciate it, and boy did I ever! It gave me some real cheer to think that a neurosurgeon would find this surgery fun - I mean, if I have this tumor anyway and if it has to come out anyway, why shouldn't it be fun to do? So I told my neurosurgeon what my friend's husband said and he grinned in assent, saying, "I wouldn't do this work for my career if I did not find it fun!" I thought that was pretty cool.

I had a list of questions for the neurosurgeon that were probably not the usual questions a patient puts to him, but I am practical and since I am a physician myself, I think of these things. First off, I wanted to know how it would be handled if I were to start my period during the procedure - should I already have a tampon in place just in case? He said NO TAMPONS (risk of toxic shock, even if remote) - during the surgery I am clad in some kind of a mesh undergarment that can be lined with a pad and also allows for a Foley catheter to the bladder which I will apparently have in place for 2-3 days post-op (hello, UTI!). I am blanketed and only the surgical region is exposed, so any bodily fluid (or other) eliminations are contained by the blankets and those angels, the nurses, effect any needed post-op cleanups. Of course, that led me to inquire about eliminations - my bowel habits are regular but I wasn't sure if I would have had a poop by 5:30am the day I am to report. He said that he routinely Rx's stool softeners pre-operatively to make it easier to move my bowels in the post-op period given how much narcotic I am likely to receive (which causes my gut to slow and results in constipation very hard to overcome). He says that if for any reason my bowels relax during the procedure and I have not been able to go in pre-op holding before being taken back to the OR suite, that the swaddling again contains it and does not interfere with the surgery itself. I swear I am going to have nothing but clear liquids for a full 24 hours beforehand. Hello, jello! I also asked how my limbs are kept from falling asleep during the lengthy surgery and he advised that I am well-padded to alleviate pressure points. He showed me that I will be on my stomach, with my arms opened, elbows bent, palms down, not quite to shoulder height (considered a "safe" position for averting reduced blood flow) and that my head is in a special cradle with a face-shaped hole that permits the endotracheal tube to emerge (which is where I will receive oxygen and anesthesia), so there will be no strain on my neck. I told the neurosurgeon that during my MRI, which took nearly 1.5 hours because the neuroradiologist wanted to be so thorough, my right hand fell severely asleep to the point of real pain, yet I wanted to stay stock still to avoid degrading the images due to motion artifact. The MRI tech had placed a squeeze bulb in my right hand to signal her if I was having any trouble, and that's why my right hand and forearm went numb, because I was trying to hold onto the squeeze ball and still not otherwise move - my left arm was fine. Upon hearing this, the neurosurgeon did an extra series of clinical evaluations on my right arm to be sure I was not developing numbness from my cord compression and he was satisfied that I was not, and that the exam was normal. I was satisfied, too - I have had no problems whatsoever since that MRI in early July - but now I know for sure that attention to my limbs is thoughfully paid in detail during the procedure. Lastly, I asked the neurosurgeon about power outages - it seems like such a ridiculously remote possibility, yet it happened *this very week* at the hospital. The lights went out on the ward for about 10 seconds before they all came back on again - we don't know if it was nearby construction work or a storm in the area but that is the very first time in 10 years of being there I can recall even the briefest power outage and I was paying VERY CLOSE ATTENTION to how it reversed itself. The neurosurgeon advised me that in the OR, there are special plugs for certain equipment that are connected to powerful generators so that even if the lights went out momentarily on the wards, this does NOT happen in the OR - he said at most he might experience a tiny drop in the power of his instrument but it would still function because the generator response was so immediate. I'd asked him specifically about the bone saw he will need to use and he advised me that it was very unlikely to fail due to a power outage (my concern was not very high anyway, but he did allay it). I had spoken with another surgeon colleague on the day of the power outage in the wards and she was telling me that she was in surgical training in NYC in 2003 when there was a multi-hour blackout. She had some rather hair-raising stories to tell about intubated patients who needed to be bagged and about other surgical equipment that went on the fritz. Yipes! (Probably some article somewhere about it in one of the New York newspapers at that time.) But despite my having inquired about it of the neurosurgeon, even I think that possiblity is beyond remote and that I am not inclined to fret over a potential power outage. But I had to ask.

Anyway, thanks for letting me journal all this in excruciating detail. It has been therapeutic in two ways - first, I feel better reiterating it as it seems to condense itself into a series of steps that I can manage going through once I make it concrete by telling it. And second, I started out in pain when I was initially writing (as has been usual lately, having woken up in pain and having to get up) but in the hour it's taken me to write this, I am now pain-free and ready to greet the day. So, hooray!

Love,
xraymd

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Author: yaszmin Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26653 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/30/2008 10:31 AM
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Dear xraymd,

It's hard to find the words to say to someone so eloquent as yourself. Please know that my thoughts and my prayers are with you and with your family through this difficult time, and I am hoping and praying for the very best of outcomes for you.

{{{xraymd}}}

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Author: yaszmin Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26654 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/30/2008 10:32 AM
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{{{Reader99 and DH}}}

You are both in my prayers.

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Author: malaoshi Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26656 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/30/2008 11:28 AM
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Dear Xraymd,

Enjoyed your touches of humor and SOOOO glad that you have medication to help the worst of the present pain/sleeplessness.

I'm really impressed at how thoroughly you have researched everything to do with the operation and how you can now put it all together, and give yourself a clear picture of the event on the 11th.

Sorry to quote my life again, but other people's experiences sometimes help. My daughter's worst outcome was breathing and paraplegia problems a la superman.For that reason she had refused to get engaged to her boyfriend.

My daughter, who is NOT woolly "new age" ( Harvard and Stanford postgrad, analytical as hell) said that before she went into surgery she also asked her surgeon to say positive stuff while he was operating. Because he was like yours,( who sounds great!) ready to discuss the operation in detail,he agreed to do that ( hers was also a 'fun" operation for him!)and then she contacted all her family/friends and asked for positive thoughts starting at 6 a.m. that morning...

Dont' laugh. She came out in a wheelchair with breathing apparatus, but she was already talking perfectly sensibly...something no-one was expecting. It is four years ago. She married the boyfriend.

Her second baby will be delivered ( Caesarian) the day before your op. She is fine!!!(Weakness in one arm so extensive/intensive computer work in a high powered job not possible but minor in the scheme of things.

So...

I propose to everyone on the board that at whatever time you suggest, Xraymd, we all just post on this board

"I'm thinking of Xraymd! I know that the operation is going to go well and she'll be ready to read our messages soon!" etc. etc.

We'll be sending positive messages from all over the world. Somehow, you'll know the Universe is there with you....with our love and our hopes for you, to cherish you. We are not strangers..

Come on, August 11!

Just set a time period for us, Xraymd!

Warmly,
Big Momma.

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26657 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/30/2008 11:39 AM
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My daughter, who is NOT woolly "new age" ( Harvard and Stanford postgrad, analytical as hell) said that before she went into surgery she also asked her surgeon to say positive stuff while he was operating. Because he was like yours,( who sounds great!) ready to discuss the operation in detail,he agreed to do that ( hers was also a 'fun" operation for him!)

I also had reassuring phrases said while I was undergoing surgery. I'd asked the surgeon, and she was very pleased to do so.

There is nothing spacy or new age about this. If the head of the breast surgery unit at Mass General and Dana Farber is willing to do this because she has found that patients who have reassuring phrases do better after surgery, then I think it's a valid treatment.

Nancy

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Author: DBAVelvet74 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26658 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/30/2008 2:00 PM
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I had a list of questions for the neurosurgeon that were probably not the usual questions a patient puts to him, but I am practical and since I am a physician myself, I think of these things.

Yep. Those are definitely not questions I would have EVER thought to ask :)

On the 11th DH and I will be off on a romantic getaway since the 10th is his b'day and the 12th is our 2 year anniversary, but I will be thinking about you and sending all the good vibes I can muster your way.


(((((xraymd)))))

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Author: cosmos284 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26668 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/30/2008 10:03 PM
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{{{xraymd}}}

You're in my thoughts.

Take care.

Cosmos

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Author: cal8 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26674 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/31/2008 6:23 AM
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I had spoken with another surgeon colleague on the day of the power outage in the wards and she was telling me that she was in surgical training in NYC in 2003 when there was a multi-hour blackout. She had some rather hair-raising stories to tell about intubated patients who needed to be bagged and about other surgical equipment that went on the fritz. Yipes! (Probably some article somewhere about it in one of the New York newspapers at that time.)

Don't worry about this. I was there at the time. What happened was that when the blackout occurred the power went to the emergency backup. The problem was that the emergency backup generator was steam driven. It was hot and one of my personal pet peeves was happening, the fire hydrants had been opened up by kids in the neighborhood. The water pressure was too low to feed the steam generator properly and we lost emergency power.

Charles

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26685 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 7/31/2008 1:39 PM
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((((((((((reader99 & DH)))))))))))

Ishtar

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Author: Kasuma724 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26751 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/6/2008 4:30 PM
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A year or so ago, I "flunked" a mammogram and had to go for further testing. In that waiting period before finding out I was perfectly fine, I got a lot of reactions from the people I told. I'm going to repeat my favorite one to you.

"You have the right to freak out as little or as much as you want to or need to. But be aware that there are MANY people in your life who love you, and who will be with you every step of the way - no matter what the medical outcome is."


I found that to be the most comfort - it acknowledged my moments of fear, but reminded me that I don't go through things like this alone. The same is true of you.

You are in my thoughts and prayers - keeps as posted as you can.

Kas

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Author: xraymd Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26752 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/6/2008 8:47 PM
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Greetings, Kas, thanks so much for sharing your favorite remark. I completely agree that I am not alone at all as I go through every step of the waiting interval until I can finally have surgery. Here are some examples:

I am not clinically the same as when I first wrote here and this has me biting my nails for I am most afraid of having an irreversible neurologic catastrophe while I am waiting for surgery - the neurosurgeon has already told me that he has moved up the date to Monday August 11 (was supposed to be August 18 but he did not like the sound of my symptoms even though my most recent clinical neurological exam done by him on 7/29 was completely normal). He opted not to do the surgery sooner than 8/11 because he was out of town from 8/1-8/10/08 and did not like to undertake such a major surgery and then disappear (he did offer me 7/31/08 as an earlier surgery date but we decided against it for this very reason). So the gamble is that I will be clinically uncompromised in this interval. The worry is the degree of cord compression and whether my spinal cord will give up the ghost for being so impinged upon before I can go under the knife to get the tumor pressing on it excised - and what makes it really and truly a worry is that the compression continued relentlessly IN SILENCE. It was happening without my having any idea for cord compression is not painful - the only way I would have noticed is either I would have developed neurological deficits (leg weakness, bowel and bladder dysfunction) or having developed pain as the tumor began to encroach on the nerve root as it exits the spinal cord (THAT causes pain and indeed that is finally what I noticed). So psychologically I have been most unnerved by the fear that the cord compression could become complete and that I would have no warning, just a sudden and possibly irreversible paraplegia. Now that has been hard to live with. HOWEVER, as I have been assessing how I am doing day by day, I have received unexpected help and support from the neurosurgeon's partner who could field my questions, tell me which symptoms were of less concern and advise me on if I needed to be treated emergently and not try to wait for my chosen neurosurgeon - plus the neurosurgical nurse practitioner at the hospital has had some practical advice for me on how to take care of myself in this interval. There was some support that allayed my nagging fears and let me feel more secure at continuing my activities even if I was not feeling entirely normal. So the countdown to the surgery date is on and as each day gets done I am one day closer to getting this taken care of.

Another way I know that I am not alone is that I have received the warmest tide of support I could ever have hoped for right here at the Fool. I have been beyond blessed to benefit from the expressions of hope, faith and optimism that everybody has directed towards me. Your reply today reminds me of how lucky I am that so many have taken time to send a message of comfort. It truly pays itself forward: I am still making hospital rounds though very, very slowly and I am walking close to the wall for an extra sense of security. Of course this is being noticed and more than one concerned staffer has stopped me to ask if I am all right. My answer is that come Monday I hope to be made surgically all right but in the interim I have been buoyed by their wanting to know if they could help me. As part of my hospital rounds today, I went to see one of our patients (my age) who had just had a mastectomy for breast cancer. I did not opt to reveal any news of me to her because it was much more relevant to be sure that I could do what was necessary to help take care of any loose ends that the surgeon did not know about or deal with at the time - it turned out she'd developed a bad migraine and the medication to treat it was delayed and it was just fortunate that I'd stopped in when I did because I could take action to get it delivered from the inpatient pharmacy and get relief sped on its way to her. If I had not already had the words of support I've been benefitting from so far myself, I might not have been there at the right place and time to see to her comfort and I have no doubt that it could have been some hours until the nondelivery of her medication would have been discovered, so she was spared unnecessary discomfort.

So paying it forward really makes a difference, and every time I get another reply cheering me on and wishing me well, it just makes me feel that much readier and stronger in a way I can share that with others. So I share that with you here. Your wishes have a positive effect well beyond just me and I thank you again, immensely, for all of them.
Love,
xraymd

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Author: xraymd Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26756 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/7/2008 2:33 AM
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I propose to everyone on the board that at whatever time you suggest, Xraymd, we all just post on this board

"I'm thinking of Xraymd! I know that the operation is going to go well and she'll be ready to read our messages soon!" etc. etc.

We'll be sending positive messages from all over the world. Somehow, you'll know the Universe is there with you....with our love and our hopes for you, to cherish you. We are not strangers..

Come on, August 11!

Just set a time period for us, Xraymd!

Warmly,
Big Momma.


Greetings, Big Momma, thanks so much for sharing the encouraging story of your daughter. And thanks also for your proposal above! I love the idea of having the same positive thought on the mind of my Fool friends out there at the same time, like an electric current of support lighting me up from within! So here's what I propose in response - rather than post it at the same time, if anyone interested just wants to think a quiet affirmation on my behalf, the time to do this would be on Monday August 11th, 2008 at around 7:30am MST (which=PDT at this time of year, the time zone of California, for even though I am in Arizona, our time zones are a little weird). That's 3 hours earlier than Eastern, 2 hours earlier than Chicago, 1 hour earlier than Denver and the same time as LA. The surgery is going on for about 6 hours so there is no one single time, really, to beam up some good wishes, but that's around the time everything will get started so that's what comes to mind.

Thank you for this lovely idea. I promise you I will feel cradled in goodwill!

xraymd

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26757 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/7/2008 6:05 AM
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As part of my hospital rounds today, I went to see one of our patients (my age) who had just had a mastectomy for breast cancer. I did not opt to reveal any news of me to her because it was much more relevant to be sure that I could do what was necessary to help take care of any loose ends that the surgeon did not know about or deal with at the time - it turned out she'd developed a bad migraine and the medication to treat it was delayed and it was just fortunate that I'd stopped in when I did because I could take action to get it delivered from the inpatient pharmacy and get relief sped on its way to her. If I had not already had the words of support I've been benefitting from so far myself, I might not have been there at the right place and time to see to her comfort and I have no doubt that it could have been some hours until the nondelivery of her medication would have been discovered, so she was spared unnecessary discomfort.

When I was making my long, slow progress through cancer treatment (and mine was longer than usual, because I was part of a clinical study and went through two rounds of chemo prior to surgery, then surgery, then radiation, then more chemo) one of the things that saved me was going to work. I went every day except while recovering from surgery, and that gave me something to do, let me feel that I was still contributing, and saved me from sitting in my apartment day after day doing nothing but worrying. Having something to think about other than my own health kept me going. And my co-workers were concerned, caring, wonderful people. A lot of them stepped up who I thought didn't even know my name.

How long will your recovery period be? Will you have someone who can help out during the day if you need assistance?

Nancy

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26762 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/7/2008 1:14 PM
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if anyone interested just wants to think a quiet affirmation on my behalf, the time to do this would be on Monday August 11th, 2008 at around 7:30am MST (which=PDT at this time of year, the time zone of California, for even though I am in Arizona,

C and I will be sending all the energy we can!

Ishtar

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Author: WendyBG Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26764 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/7/2008 1:28 PM
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Dear xraymd, you will be in my thoughts and prayers. As one of your many admirers, I fervently hope that your outcome will be perfect.

{{{xraymd}}}

Wendy

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Author: xraymd Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26789 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/8/2008 2:06 AM
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When I was making my long, slow progress through cancer treatment (and mine was longer than usual, because I was part of a clinical study and went through two rounds of chemo prior to surgery, then surgery, then radiation, then more chemo) one of the things that saved me was going to work. I went every day except while recovering from surgery, and that gave me something to do, let me feel that I was still contributing, and saved me from sitting in my apartment day after day doing nothing but worrying. Having something to think about other than my own health kept me going. And my co-workers were concerned, caring, wonderful people. A lot of them stepped up who I thought didn't even know my name.

How long will your recovery period be? Will you have someone who can help out during the day if you need assistance?


Greetings, Nancy, I can attest to the benefits of continuing to work even at reduced capacity. What you say about feeling purposeful and having that circumvent too much overfocus on contemplating my own navel (i.e. getting too obsessed with how my own health is doing) really turned the tide for me. I am certain that defraying my own frets made me available to help others in a way that magnified the benefit for both my patients and me. And the evidence is mounting that people I know and love, and even people whom I barely know, are lining up to be ready to help me. That is a comfort beyond compare and I think it is going to be extended to my fiance who will be the one at home taking care of me (already we have had repeated offers to be sure dinner is brought to the house on a regular basis).

Nonetheless, my last day of work was today and I was hoping it would be tomorrow. I am having some unmistakable neurologic changes of concern and the partner neurosurgeon covering for my vacationing neurosurgeon has commanded me to halt. I can't disagree with him - it has become far too obvious around the hospital that I am unsteady on my feet and I don't need to overdo it and cause alarm when my aim has been to foster healing. So now I am staying at home tomorrow and laying low this weekend. The covering neurosurgeon does not believe I will be hurting myself to move around the house or to be driven to dinner but he did say that it is too much for me to cover the expanse of the large footprint that is the one-story spread-out hospital I round at. I am not contesting this. My partners have already stepped up and split up the current patient census. Thankfully it is light and they will divide and conquer to get everybody seen and to work with the medical residents on getting them taken care of.

My recovery period is supposed to be 8 weeks - but that is because the neurosurgeon is all too aware of what I do and knows that it is all or nothing. No such thing as light duty as a rounding physician who takes call. So I have to be fully ready to reassume my duties when I return. His best estimate is that if all goes well I should be feeling better (though far from healed) after 2 weeks but will fatigue easily and he won't allow me to return too soon. If the physical therapy team after the surgery feels that I will need more assistance than can be managed sufficiently at home, they will recommend inpatient rehab and I would go.

I cannot imagine having 8 weeks off - but of course I would rather NOT have to have them off. Still, I hope to be doing some daydreaming during that time about what are some good ways going forward for cementing the activities I undertake that maximize comfort and optimism around me.

Thank you for your support; it is very gratefully received.

xraymd

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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26791 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/8/2008 7:57 AM
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My recovery period is supposed to be 8 weeks - but that is because the neurosurgeon is all too aware of what I do and knows that it is all or nothing. No such thing as light duty as a rounding physician who takes call. So I have to be fully ready to reassume my duties when I return. His best estimate is that if all goes well I should be feeling better (though far from healed) after 2 weeks but will fatigue easily and he won't allow me to return too soon.

It is reasuring to hear that your neurosugeon won't let you return to work too early.

This may sound like a silly question, but is there someone in your life who can e-mail the board to let us know when you are out of surgery?
I know I can speak for everyone at TMF when I say that our dancing shoes are polished and waiting to be put to good use.

Cheers,

Shire

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Author: xraymd Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26796 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/8/2008 3:46 PM
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This may sound like a silly question, but is there someone in your life who can e-mail the board to let us know when you are out of surgery? I know I can speak for everyone at TMF when I say that our dancing shoes are polished and waiting to be put to good use.

Greetings, Shire, my fiance says he will try to check in with the board. And Cassandra will be checking in with him so she may be able to post updates as well. I promise no silence! I want to feel that primal WOO-HOO that everybody here hopes to sing out and happy dance to, just as I hope to be one of the happy dancers myself.

:-)

xraymd

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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26800 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/8/2008 5:43 PM
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Greetings, xraymd!

my fiance says he will try to check in with the board. And Cassandra will be checking in with him so she may be able to post updates as well. I promise no silence!

Very good!

I want to feel that primal WOO-HOO that everybody here hopes to sing out and happy dance to, just as I hope to be one of the happy dancers myself.

Our collective WHOO-HOOs will be so loud that they will surely raise the (hospital) roof! *grin* And I'm sure you will join us when you are able. *smile*

Cheers,

Shire

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Author: pattipf3 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26801 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/8/2008 10:13 PM
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Aloha xrmed,

I am sending you cool tropical breezes, warm wishes from the hawaiian sunshine and the sound of the ocean gently washing up to the shore.Plus a large dose of good thoughts. Back to lurk mode.Patti

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Author: TamarianG Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26810 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/9/2008 1:49 PM
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So here's what I propose in response - rather than post it at the same time, if anyone interested just wants to think a quiet affirmation on my behalf, the time to do this would be on Monday August 11th, 2008 at around 7:30am MST (which=PDT at this time of year, the time zone of California, for even though I am in Arizona, our time zones are a little weird).

I will definitely be thinking of you, holding you in my thoughts and prayers.

(((xraymd)))

-tama

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Author: xraymd Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26813 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/9/2008 2:59 PM
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Greetings, Tamarian, SO NICE to hear from you! And your good wishes are deeply appreciated. I am readier every day for Monday and am amassing all of the wonderful encouragement I am receiving and keeping it next to my heart, knowing it is calming to me and strengthening me for the best possible outcome.

Now, for a trip report. My fiance Steve and I got paid a visit by Cassandra, Gordon and Nate! We were so lucky to be on their route as they head from California to Texas to visit family then friends. The stars aligned perfectly to let them arrive in Tucson in time for a yummy dinner at PF Changs, then head with us back to our house to be our guests for the night for a respite before continuing on the long drive ahead in the Southwest to Texas.

I must say we were absolutely enchanted by Nate and fell utterly in love with him - he is the BEST baby of ever and there is a glow to both Cassandra and Gordon that is just a joy to behold. We have been fortunate to have them stop by Tucson on an earlier occasion a couple of years ago, and then Cassandra came through to stay with us on her own as she was heading to see family before Nate was a twinkle in her eye, so we have had good visits before. But this was an exceptionally poignant and meaningful time, even if of necessity brief, because there have been so many life changes which have taken place since the last time. First of all (Kas, I KNOW you know this), Gordon is so engaging and fun to talk to, it just magnified the joy of being with Cassandra again (for anybody who has been blessed to meet her, you KNOW that she is one of the most special people on earth) and we had a much longer opportunity to hang out with them and talk in depth about families and family history. And now there is Nate; such an angel as has never before been - Cassandra is absolutely comfortable and versed in being both fully herself AND being Nate's mom. Their own relationship was pure joy to partake of. She is so adept at being ready to meet his needs (and take care of her own) it is like she has been waiting for motherhood her whole life yet she is so present - so totally her wonderful self - that having Nate for her son just enhances everything else about her. It confers a comfort I have rarely been so lucky to see, and Nate is such a composed, funny, alert baby, with a ready smile and as entertaining as he is entertained. They brought this air of love and contentedness to us that was a huge gift to receive, especially at this time in my own life developments (Cassandra, I think that all that you spent time studying in your program over the past couple of years is already transmitting itself, and I feel already more resolute just from your overnight presence). I am gratefully having a period of relative stability over the past few days (inexplicably, I have begun to be able to lie flat again and not wake up after 1-1/2 hours in pain so I am much, much more rested than I have been for weeks) - and this period of stability follows a couple of scary weeks in which my walking had begun to degrade very markedly and noticeably. So having Gordon, Cassandra and Nate be able to stop by and check us out while I was doing relatively well was a particular satisfaction because we could get caught up without interference from my spine. We did have a "show-and-tell" because Gordon's dad was a neurologist so he has grown up with an interest in neurological developments, and was very interested to see any images of this spinal tumor. Since I had a CD of the MRI, we uploaded it to the computer for their perusal. So they've seen for themselves just how astonishing it is to suddenly show up without any significant warning until it got to the size it did, and that I am (fingers crossed) still yet overall intact. Monday is swiftly arriving and I am resolute. Their visit enhanced this feeling a thousand-fold and now I am wishing them their own excellent journey ahead full of their own resolutions and rapprochements and just the sheer joy of enjoying and sharing Nate with all. Steve and I feel like they brought love and blessings to us and left some behind with us. The house has a palpable air of peace and satisfaction from their gracing us and staying with us. All will be well!

xraymd

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Author: SolarCat One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26841 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/10/2008 10:12 PM
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Hello, everyone. Xraymd is my fiancee, life partner, and the light of my life.

I'm very moved by all the expressions of love and support here. Thank you all for your good wishes and your good will, your hugs and your prayers. They are truly appreciated.

I'm confident that she'll be in excellent hands and that all will be well, but it's hard to avoid some nerves. I'll try to post again Monday evening after I know more about the outcome.

Thanks again to all,

SolarCat

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26842 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/10/2008 10:18 PM
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I'm confident that she'll be in excellent hands and that all will be well, but it's hard to avoid some nerves. I'll try to post again Monday evening after I know more about the outcome.

Thank you!!

Nancy

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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26844 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/10/2008 10:52 PM
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I'm confident that she'll be in excellent hands and that all will be well, but it's hard to avoid some nerves.

That is cetainly understandable. We will be keeping both of you in our thoughts.

I'll try to post again Monday evening after I know more about the outcome.

Thank you, SolarCat.

Shire

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Author: blue3dragon Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26846 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/10/2008 11:12 PM
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SolarCat - thanks for offering to keep us informed. I will be keeping you both in my thoughts & prayers tomorrow & for many many days to come.

Michele

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Author: Kasuma724 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26853 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/11/2008 11:58 AM
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Xraymd is my fiancee, life partner, and the light of my life.



As you can probably tell... we're pretty fond of her too. Be assured that you are both in our thoughts and prayers. We are eager to hear good news, but take care of yourself and her first. We'll be patient.

Sort of.

You know what I mean.

Kas

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Author: FiddleDeeDee Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26855 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/11/2008 1:37 PM
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I just read this entire thread now, and I think she is still in surgery, so I've started sending positive vibes her way. I hope she will be okay - she is a stellar human being; we need to keep her! I look forward to hearing good news from SolarCat.

I don't think I've ever been to this board; it looks like something I could use in my own life! I look forward to perusing and learning - and maybe getting motivated.

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26856 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/11/2008 1:55 PM
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Nice to meet you!

Ishtar

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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26857 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/11/2008 2:21 PM
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I don't think I've ever been to this board; it looks like something I could use in my own life! I look forward to perusing and learning - and maybe getting motivated.

You will find good people here! You will find much motivation, encouragement and good advice on this board.

Cheers,

Shire

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Author: DrBooa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26858 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/11/2008 4:59 PM
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Thank you so much for posting, and I hope to hear good news from you Monday night (or whenever--no pressure). You will both be in my prayers (as well as xraymd's surgeon).

Please take care of yourself, too. Be sure you eat. I kept forgetting, when my DH was in the hospital.


Hugs to you both,
Booa

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Author: Frydaze1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26860 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/11/2008 6:50 PM
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Thank you, SolarCat, for taking the time to post here. I'm sure your time, attention, and energy are pretty maxed out, so for you to spend some on us is greatly appreciated.

You are now officially included in the well-wishing! :-D And when you get the chance, please let her know we are all here - behind both of you.


Frydaze1

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Author: yeilBagheera Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26861 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/11/2008 9:48 PM
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Welcome to this little nook of TMF,
we'll be glad to have you here.


YeilB
who has misplaced her harmonica

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Author: SolarCat One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26866 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/11/2008 11:59 PM
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Hello, everyone. I'm delighted to report that all the news is good for xraymd.

Her surgical team brought her through with flying colors. I'll leave it to her to give the details sometime later, but it's enough now to say that it's hard to imagine a more successful operation or a better outcome. The tumor was removed whole with absolutely no disturbance to the spinal cord. She's recovering comfortably with very little pain and in excellent spirits. And I do mean excellent. She's thrilled and grateful and happy.

She'll be up and walking tomorrow for her first physical therapy sessions. Everyone expects a complete recovery with no pain or weakness and almost no chance of recurrence.

Needless to say I'm very happy and relieved too.

Thanks again for all the good wishes. This place means a lot to her, and she is so thankful to know that she has so many friends and supporters here.

SolarCat

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Author: yeilBagheera Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26867 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/12/2008 12:37 AM
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Thanks for posting promptly. I'm grateful the news is good,

You done good, SolarCat.

Wishing you obth the best during the recuperation too --

YeilBagheera

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Author: AlisonWonderland Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26868 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/12/2008 7:06 AM
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I'm delighted to report that all the news is good for xraymd.

Wonderful news -- thanks so much for posting!

(from an earlier post by xraymd: primal WOO-HOO

WOOOO HOOOOOOOO! ! !

~~ Alison

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Author: medgoddess Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26869 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/12/2008 7:43 AM
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hand on forehead.

'fshew!

Here hoping for a quick recovery.
Kristi

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Author: vickifool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26871 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/12/2008 8:04 AM
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I'm delighted to report that all the news is good for xraymd.

Yay!

I'll be away from my computer for several days soon, but know that I will continue to send positive energy.

Vickifool

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Author: FiddleDeeDee Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26872 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/12/2008 9:00 AM
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Whew! Relief!!! HUGS!!!

Recover well!

Andrea

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Author: pachouly Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26873 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/12/2008 10:25 AM
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very glad to hear it!

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26875 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/12/2008 11:05 AM
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Give her lots of hugs from us.

I'm so glad it went so well!

Ishtar

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Author: DrBooa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26879 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/12/2008 12:18 PM
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Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know. Whew! Such good news, I'm so glad to hear she's doing well.

Hugs to you both, and I'm so happy it all came out well!


Thanks,
Booa

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Author: Kasuma724 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26881 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/12/2008 1:19 PM
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:::::::::::::::::happy dancing::::::::::::::::


:::::::::::::setting off fireworks::::::::::::::::::


::::::::::::::::doing a bit of a jig::::::::::::::::::::


::::::::::screaming WOOHOO a lot:::::::::::::::::



{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{xraymd & solarcat}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

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Author: Kasuma724 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26882 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/12/2008 1:22 PM
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You will find good people here! You will find much motivation, encouragement and good advice on this board.



And occasionally... a little silliness. But just occasionally.

Oh... and we are the collective aunties of Nate - son of CassWoman and Gordon. Nate is also known as Beanie Baby. And the room down the hall from him is Auntie Kas' room.


Oh... and welcome!

;-D

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Author: hheuer Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26884 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/12/2008 1:32 PM
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Kas's reply to this was so perfect that I felt compelled to copy-and-paste it in its entirety:

:::::::::::::::::happy dancing::::::::::::::::


:::::::::::::setting off fireworks::::::::::::::::::


::::::::::::::::doing a bit of a jig::::::::::::::::::::


::::::::::screaming WOOHOO a lot:::::::::::::::::



I'm so happy for both of you that the surgery went so well -- what a fabulous outcome! now, are you taking care of yourself during this stressful time?

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Author: LuckyDog2002 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26887 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/12/2008 5:21 PM
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Hey Solar Cat,

Thanks for keeping us updated. Sounds like xraymd is doing great and will be home in no time.

Best wishes to you both!!!

LD

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Author: 492dea Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26890 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/12/2008 6:16 PM
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Reader99, my heart goes out to you & your DH. This must be tough time for you both, yet you seem to be coping admirably well. Sending good thoughts your way.

492dea
have not kept up on this thread or would have responded sooner

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Author: 492dea Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26891 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/12/2008 6:19 PM
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SolarCat, thanks for taking the time to share the news. I am so glad to hear that everything has gone smoothly. Here's some more good wishes to tide you both through the next little bit!

492dea

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Author: bibliophage One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26893 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/12/2008 6:50 PM
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woo-hoo!

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Author: BklynBorn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26895 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/12/2008 8:02 PM
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<<the room down the hall from him is Auntie Kas' room.>>

~~~~

i saw that. busted, miss thing.

BB
(as in Beanie Baby - he's NAMED after ME)

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Author: SolarCat One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26901 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/13/2008 12:24 PM
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now, are you taking care of yourself during this stressful time?

I'm doing okay, thanks. Of course the house feels empty, but I do have the cat to keep me company (when it suits her fancy). And I'm spending most of the day at the hospital anyway. (I work for myself, so I've given myself a few days off.)

I'm expecting that xraymd will be discharged home tomorrow, one day earlier than originally planned. She won't have to go to a rehab facility first, which is great news. It means she's recovering extremely well on her own. Yesterday she learned how to get in and out of bed, and today the occupational therapist is going to teach her how to get dressed! It sounds silly, but she has to learn the right techniques to avoid twisting her spine for a few weeks. And I'll learn how to change the dressing on her incision.

We're expecting a return visit over the weekend from Cassandra, Gordon, and Nate, so that will be a great lift. (It sounds as if you folks track Nate's every move, so I thought I'd give you another installment.)

All for now. Thanks again!

SolarCat

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26902 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/13/2008 12:43 PM
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Thanks for the update!

Nancy

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Author: Kasuma724 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26903 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/13/2008 1:15 PM
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I do have the cat to keep me company (when it suits her fancy).

Well of course... she's a cat! ;-)

I'm expecting that xraymd will be discharged home tomorrow, one day earlier than originally planned. She won't have to go to a rehab facility first, which is great news. It means she's recovering extremely well on her own.


:::::::::::happy dancing, screaming WOOHOO:::::::::::::

(It sounds as if you folks track Nate's every move, so I thought I'd give you another installment.)

We prefer to think of it as being "intensely interested in all details of Nate/Beanie Baby's experience and development" rather than "tracking his every move". It sounds less stalker-like, ya know? ;-D

Please give a hug and kiss to all of the people who will be in your house soon. And continue to take good care of yourself - know that we have officially adopted you as one of the "good guys" in the world. You can decide later if that is a curse or a blessing. (You may want to check with Gordon.)

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Author: blue3dragon Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26904 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/13/2008 1:47 PM
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I'm expecting that xraymd will be discharged home tomorrow, one day earlier than originally planned. She won't have to go to a rehab facility first, which is great news.

How absolutely fabulous!!! Couldn't have heard better news today. :)

Continue to take care of yourself as well as xraymd. You'll need some time to unwind.

Michele

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26906 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/13/2008 2:25 PM
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Thank you for the update, and I'm so glad it's going even better than expected!

Hug her for me!

Ishtar

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Author: SolarCat One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26941 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/14/2008 8:15 PM
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We prefer to think of it as being "intensely interested in all details of Nate/Beanie Baby's experience and development" rather than "tracking his every move". It sounds less stalker-like, ya know? ;-D

That's a very subtle distinction. I stand corrected, I think.

Please give a hug and kiss to all of the people who will be in your house soon.

Of course we will.

And continue to take good care of yourself - know that we have officially adopted you as one of the "good guys" in the world. You can decide later if that is a curse or a blessing. (You may want to check with Gordon.)

Thank you, and you can be sure that I'll check with Gordon.

We brought xraymd home this afternoon, I'm very glad to say. She has already more or less discarded her walker and is insisting she's okay to walk around without help whenever she wants. I can already see that keeping her slowed down for the recommended eight week recovery period is going to be darn near impossible.

Please help! Tell her to take it easy!

SolarCat

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26942 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/14/2008 8:24 PM
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We brought xraymd home this afternoon, I'm very glad to say. She has already more or less discarded her walker and is insisting she's okay to walk around without help whenever she wants. I can already see that keeping her slowed down for the recommended eight week recovery period is going to be darn near impossible.


WOO! HOO!

This calls for

THE HAMSTER DANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76HcLEunsws

Nancy

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Author: medgoddess Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26943 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/14/2008 8:56 PM
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I can already see that keeping her slowed down for the recommended eight week recovery period is going to be darn near impossible.

*********************************************

Tell her that THE DOCTOR SAYS SO!!!!!!

And wouldn't SHE expect the same from her patients?

Snort. Doctors and nurses are the WORST patients. :) But I'm glad to hear that she's feeling feisty enough to do that.
Kristi

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Author: hheuer Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26948 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/15/2008 1:04 AM
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thanks for the update! Glad she's home.


We brought xraymd home this afternoon, I'm very glad to say. She has already more or less discarded her walker and is insisting she's okay to walk around without help whenever she wants. I can already see that keeping her slowed down for the recommended eight week recovery period is going to be darn near impossible.

Please help! Tell her to take it easy!


I tried. (Please click on the link and read her the message)


http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26902836

Hilary

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Author: FiddleDeeDee Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26952 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/15/2008 9:09 AM
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I can already see that keeping her slowed down for the recommended eight week recovery period is going to be darn near impossible.

*********************************************

Tell her that THE DOCTOR SAYS SO!!!!!!


Ferget the doc!!! Tell her WE say so!!!!!!!

Slow down xraymd!!!

Andrea

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Author: DrBooa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26964 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/15/2008 1:19 PM
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xraymd, darling, we all love you so very much, and SolarCat is doing his best to take care of you (and I'm sure he's doing excellently). Please, dearest one, please, do not push too hard. I know you feel like you can, and of course you want to, but please make it easier on SolarCat and try to take it easier than you feel you can. It may seem like it's easier if you get the TV remote/your book/your pudding cup by yourself, but actually, it's not, because the stress of seeing you push too hard makes one's heart race and adrenaline spike and not being able to trust you to stay on the couch and rest means that every bathroom break and shower break is fraught with worry and nerves.

So, sweetie, even though I'm sure you feel perfectly capable of doing <fill in the blank>, please, ask SolarCat for help. He will let you know when you can get it yourself--for right now, try to take it easy, give that walker a spin for another day or two, and know that we are all thinking of you and sending you love, good thoughts, healing energy, and possibly season one of Veronica Mars. 'k? :-) Humor all us worrywarts, especially those of us who are far far away and can't be there in person to make sure you take it easy. And hug SolarCat for me, I know where he's at, and it's a tough place. Be nice to him, and take it easy.


--Booa (who happily tied DH's shoes post-surgery, since it was way easier than trying to catch a 6' 3" guy keeling over from doing too much)

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26966 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/15/2008 2:02 PM
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This is such GREAT news!

Ishtar

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Author: birdmom Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26977 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/15/2008 11:49 PM
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Late to the party as usual, but...


YAY!!! So glad to hear everything went well.

Judi

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Author: CassWoman Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26991 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/17/2008 1:03 AM
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Booa,

I don't think xraymd will listen. I got a message from SolarCat tonight, and they were just about to GO OUT TO DINNER with her parents.

We'll be seeing them again tomorrow, and I will be sure to reiterate the importance of taking it easy!

Cassandra

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Author: yeilBagheera Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26992 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/17/2008 1:16 AM
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You can tell xraymd that her post on shoes was marvelous and we want to read more (figuring that typing is a low impact activity, so we can encourage her to do that).

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Author: CassWoman Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26993 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/17/2008 2:42 AM
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You can tell xraymd that her post on shoes was marvelous and we want to read more (figuring that typing is a low impact activity, so we can encourage her to do that).

If you saw how her computer is set up, you wouldn't be saying that!

Cassandra
hopes SolarCat has changed xraymd's computer setup....

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Author: yeilBagheera Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 26994 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/17/2008 2:08 PM
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oh, my!

Well, maybe baby watching will keep xraymd quiet.

Hope your time with family went well and that Nate is bouncing ('cuz aunties applaud bouncing babies!)

YeilBagheera

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Author: DrBooa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 27016 of 37076
Subject: Re: OT: News, good and not-so-good Date: 8/18/2008 12:39 AM
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Booa,

I don't think xraymd will listen. I got a message from SolarCat tonight, and they were just about to GO OUT TO DINNER with her parents.

We'll be seeing them again tomorrow, and I will be sure to reiterate the importance of taking it easy!

Cassandra


I did not expect her too, but I had to try. I'm so glad you're going to see her. Smooches to you, Gordon, Nate, xraymd, and SolarCat! :-)


--Booa

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