Tuesday, June 28, 2011

40 hours

I did it.  I worked my first 40-(plus!) hour week last week (see the above screenshot of my timesheet...yes, I have to fill out a timesheet <sigh>).  I didn't have any appointments or therapies, and no new problems arose that compelled me to call one of my many doctors.  And so I did it.  My greatest accomplishment?  Getting a draft, albeit extremely rough, of a manuscript to my boss and co-authors at 4:30 on Friday.  This manuscript needs to get done before I can do two others that are in my queue, and some of my collaborators are following this blog.  Therefore I'd appreciate it, cancer and associated ailments, if you'd get out of my way.  Thankyouverymuch.  

Indeed, apparently I've been working TOO much.  The timekeeper person in DC called me and asked if I wanted to give back all of the sick leave hours that people donated to me and I haven't yet used.  I said I still have chemo every third Wed. and am concerned that I won't have enough leave on my own to cover that through October, and also I might be needing sinus surgery soon.  She said oh, you'll have to fill out another application for people to donate sick leave, because the other sick leave is for CANCER and not sinus surgery.  I sputtered but, um, yea, I wouldn't have the sinus issues if I never had CANCER.  It's all RELATED.  She said she'd have to talk to her supervisor, and I'm to call her on Thursday, presumably after I know more about the possibility of sinus surgery.  I was cursing my big mouth.  It never crossed my mind that anyone would not relate said sinus surgery to cancer.  I should have said that the sinus INFECTION was caused by cancer treatment.  But I just jumped straight to surgery, because that is all that matters to ME.

This brings us to the topic of sinus surgery.  Here's where I'm at:  tonight I took the last antibiotic of a 3-week course, and this was nearly in tandem with the previous 3-week course of a different antibiotic.  I've been shooting yet another antibiotic up my sinuses for over a week now, again for the second time.  I was taking Claritin for weeks to dry things up, but I quit on Sunday because I hate it so much and things seem to have been dry for quite some time.  Now on to the symptoms:  I have always been able to breath through my nose and have never been congested in spite of four sinus infections since December.  (Perhaps mine could be dubbed Rubber Sinuses?  I smell [pun intended] a new superpower for the next X-men movie!)  I have had some drainage, but I currently have no drainage, and only once did a glob of green goo drain out of one side with a sinus wash.  I have had some sinus pressure, but I currently have no pressure (interestingly, the sinus pressure presented only WITH the Claritin and went away when I quit taking the Claritin).  I have also had some dizziness and upper tooth pain, both of which can be associated with a sinus infection, and those are both resolved.  I do, however, have dimmed hearing in my right ear, and my voice is "nasally".  I am therefore somewhere between healthy sinuses and a sinus infection.  

Any predictions?  When I see Dr. Oncologist tomorrow for Herceptin chemotherapy, will she recommend sinus surgery or not?  Will she first call for a CT scan?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Interestingly, I am no longer vehemently against sinus surgery if it improves the prognosis against future sinus infections.  I am sooooo tired of being on so many drugs, specifically antibiotics.  My microbiota needs a chance to recover (and it will recover to a stable and slightly different community, according to Les Dethlefsen and David Relman's data on the effect of ciprofloxacin on the human gut microbiota).

I'll end with a random shout-out to my awesome sister, Holly.  We love you and your Precious little dog, too!

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