I really wish I had kept my broken genes to myself!

Apparently this has become like a sleeping pill to me.  This is the place I go at night, to sort out all the emotions of the day before I can try to find some rest.  I can’t imagine that will do anything to gather more readers, but it is certainly helping my sanity.

I am trying to find the balance, for both my daughter and myself.  The balance between being properly scanned and “on top” of all our countless risks, while not letting doctors take over our lives.  Because the truth is, they don’t know a whole heck of a lot about Cowden’s Syndrome.  Most of them don’t care to find out, and the few that do, well – I will let you know.  I think we have 3 between us that seem truly willing to learn.

So today I took Meghan to the vascular surgeon.  The same doctor that has embolized the AVM in her knee 4 times.  The same doctor who in February, right after the 4th procedure, handed me the name of a doctor in Boston.  “We just drained  30 ccs of blood from under your daughter’s kneecap.  I don’t know why it was there.  You should go meet with this doctor and see what he has to say.  He will likely want to put a scope under her kneecap after she has healed.” 

After ascertaining it wasn’t an emergency, but not something we should sleep on, we met Dr. K in Boston over the April break.  He examined her, without the CD images that I had pleaded with the NY doctor to send up 3 weeks PRIOR to our appointment.  He said he wanted to keep an eye on it, and to repeat the MRI/MRA in 6 months.

So we did.  And on Monday the PA who had been in the OR with the surgeon and my daughter 4 times tried to tell me there was nothing in her knee.

Today, armed with a 2 page report and the paper the surgeon gave me in February with the Boston doctor’s name on it, we went for our visit.

I am still confused by the number of inconsistencies that happened in one small room.  The surgeon began by taking back his concern from February and telling me he just wanted the Boston doctor to get a baseline on Meghan “just in case.” 

Which, I though to myself, I am sure is true because I definitely would have made a 5 hour drive 4 weeks after a double mastectomy if he was so nonchalant.

Then, he held to his story that there was nothing in her knee.  Even as I pointed to an obvious bump he told me it was nothing.  I questioned him on the report, the one that says there is a stable 2.8 x0.7cm mass.  He told me he reviewed the CD and disagrees with the report.  Even as I told him I found the report to be strikingly similar to the December report, he offered to sonogram the knee to confirm “nothing.”  On sonogram he said there is a gathering of tissue (do I need to define mass?)

So, he said to bring her back in 6 months.  They will reevaluate.  Then we will repeat the MRI in a year.

Have I mentioned I cry when I am frustrated?

Well somewhere about 10 minutes into the conversation, when he was busy changing his story and disagreeing with the report I got overwhelmed.  Shouldn’t have done it, but I cried.  Fatal mistake.  I now look like a complete ass, when that is his job.  And he does it better than I ever could.  He actually had the nerve to lecture me that I would make my daughter upset.  I still can’t believe I took that.  (Still stewing!)  AND, I shot Meghan th evil eye to keep her quiet and remind her of her manners.

I HATE the crying thing.  I have been working on it for years.  UGH!

You know I wasn’t crying because i was sad.  I actually was really relieved at the thought that no surgery was necessary.  I was frustrated by arrogance, lack of clarity, and overall lack of concern for my daughter the whole person.

See, no one else knows the tears she sheds about this damned knee.  The things she can not participate in, or the modifications she has to make just to avoid pain.  She does them effortlessly.  Every day.  No one knows except me.  And it kills me.

So when we were leaving I tried to find the bright side.  I said, “See, at least you won’t need knee surgery this year.”  To which my far too bright, soon to be 9 year old responded, “I am not sure. To me surgery makes it worse, and not having surgery means no one is going to do anything to make it better. Guess my knee is going to feel this awful forever!”

Now I could have tried to tell her that maybe it will be better by itself, but I respect her way too much, because as much as I would love to believe it – I don’t.

AVMs are difficult to deal with anyway.  When you combine them with a PTEN mutation, they are ridiculous to control.

Just one aspect of a multifaceted disease.

I really wish I had kept my broken genes to myself.


Angry Penguin
Angry Penguin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It felt like anger at first, but it isn’t.  Sometimes even at my age I forget things I already knew about myself.

I cry when I am frustrated and overwhelmed.

I am not really angry.  That takes up too  much energy and I have none to spare.  To be angry there has to be a target of your anger.  And really, who or what am I going to be angry at?  And what purpose would it serve?

Now frustrated is a different story.  Frustrated is when the control freak can’t sit long enough to organize the pile on her desk. 

Frustrated is the dead sod in the yard, and the cucumber and zucchini that seem to have developed a “creeping crud” fungal infection.

Frustrated is when old “life” problems, like credit and identity theft issues that were solved three years ago start taking up time, and there isn’t much to spare.

Frustrated is when you can’t get a doctor who takes your insurance (despite countless phone calls) to order the tests you need so you can stay well enough to be on top of the (not so bright) doctors who are treating your daughter.

Frustrated is trying to plan some FUN events when doctors appointments keep getting in the way.

Super frustrated is having to go to NYC to see the knee surgeon tomorrow, on a perfectly nice – I should be scheduling a play date for my kid- kind of day.  Frustrated is being unsure how to get my point across without being escorted out by security, and/or without scaring my kid.

Frustrated is going to the appointment alone- when I really want my husband there, but knowing it is not the kind of appointment he should take off work for.

Frustrated is wanting so badly to let some of this worry go, and knowing I can’t.

Frustrated is a new medical issue, every time I turn my head. 

A toddler girl crying
A toddler girl crying (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Frustration IS Cowden’s x2!

Sometimes I cry when I am frustrated…  but everything always looks better in the morning.  ( I hope!)

TWO bathing suits to pick from!!!!!

I never owned a 2 piece suit in my life… even though you can’t tell! 

Sorry about the strange head tilt… Never owned a suit that wasn’t primarily black either!


 Today after a few annoying things happened (like setting up Meghan’s appointment for Friday morning with the stupid surgeon, and fighting with a credit reporting agency over an old identity theft issue)  I got to try on my new bathing suits. 

Now, this (almost 39 year old) body, is in no condition to model, but I was so very excited I had to share. 

Since the mastectomy I have had a lot of work getting used to my new boobs.  They are smaller than the old ones, and that seems to be just as difficult to adjust to as if they had become bigger.  It just changes everything – the way everything fits and feels. 

I have also had to get used to no underwire – in anything.  That has been an understandable, but difficult transition. So, I have pretty much transformed my closet into tops that worked for me.  Lots of new T shirts, a couple of dress shirts that still need a tuck at the shoulder to tighten them up by the boobs.  But all in all – its going ok. 

When I first put on last years bathing suits I did cry a little.  I had to immediately put all but 1 (which was salvageable, but not great) up in the attic.  Not only did the boobs just not work in those suits, the stress of the last few months has taken off some pounds.  So they were a mess. I ordered 1 suit a few weeks ago.  My husband made me take it off because he said it made my boobs look fake.  (LOL… newsflash honey… )  But I understood. 

Got these in the mail today and got the seal of approval on both.  I have some nerve showing them here… but I want to know what you think. 

So come on tell me – black, pink, or try again? 

Have to have some fun, right?