Saturday, April 26, 2014
I'm feeling totally uncreative with my blog titles today.
I know I haven't blogged in a while, but I needed some time to think about what I wanted to say, and who I was going to talk to and all that. I didn't want to talk to my parents about the medical stuff until at least all my initial tests were done, because I was freaking out enough on my own. I didn't need them worrying about me, too, especially since they are so far away and our family isn't like.. set to "super close" in the factory default settings. I mean, friends that get up in my personal space kind of freak me out because I don't know what to do.
I have a few answers at least. My CBC came back as mostly normal, with a higher than usual viral cell count. The doc wasn't worried about that. I had to wait nearly a whole week for the ultrasound/ mammogram, though, and that's where I was kind of hung up. I wanted to talk to people about it, but I didn't want people to worry since it was probably nothing.. and I'd rather have a beginning... middle.. end to the whole doctor story, you know?
So I went in for the world's weirdest mammogram and the world's longest ultrasound earlier this week. (I also had my 6mo dental cleaning somewhere in there too. All this crap got scheduled together!)
The mammogram looked pretty clear. The tech really wanted to try to get my problem area (armpit) in the scan, so I learned mammo-yoga to get where I needed to be. She was really pushy! Like.. physically! It was kind of funny. And strangely, it totally didn't bother me that she was playing with my boob like it was play-doh. We had a great time! LOL
Anyway, the mammogram didn't really show us what we needed to see, so I went on to the ultrasound. All we really knew at that point was that it didn't look like I had breast cancer.
The ultrasound was pretty interesting, and it confirmed all my suspicions. My lymph node is not normal. The one that is acting up is about an inch long and pretty inflamed. I've been trying to tell.. SOMEONE about this for a while, but always had trouble since in the time it becomes inflamed to the time I actually get to see someone about it... well.. multiple weeks pass and the inflammation goes down enough that it can't be felt. I'm very thankful that this PA that saw me actually felt it and I was able to get some more tests.
The radiologist looked at the ultrasound pics and said that nothing looked worrying to him. Basically, it doesn't look like cancer. I don't think the radiologist really specializes in lymph nodes, though, and I left there feeling very unsatisfied. It was good to know that he didn't see obvious cancer tumors, but all he could really tell me was that I wasn't dying, and I should go home. He said that he wasn't going to refer me to a surgeon, and that if the lumpy lymph really bothered me, I could go on my own and get a consult from a surgeon and ask to have it removed.
So, I went home grumpy and txted both of my parents about what was going on and thought about what I wanted to do.
I mean.. I really need to put new tires on my car like.. yesterday, and I don't really want to shell out for "elective surgery," if the insurance was going to pull that card.
The next day, I received a call from the PA that saw me. She said that at the size this thing is, it's borderline worrying. And while it doesn't look like cancer, she'd feel better referring me to a surgeon and having both of us just be done with the thing.
Apparently the lymph nodes are very touchy and quite mysterious. I asked her all the questions I'd tried asking the radiologist, and got about half the answers I wanted, and felt much better about things, but I still have more questions for the surgeon. Unfortunately, no one has called me about that yet, and I thought someone from the surgeon's office would be in touch this week.
To be completely honest, the possibility of lymphedema is terrifying to me. It was a strong motivator for me to lose weight, and the possibility of it happening to me with a lymph node out frightens me. I have enough issues with my body. I don't want gigantic swollen extremities while we're at it. I'm still working through the problems I have! I'm not ready for something like that!
There's also a small lingering fear in the back of my mind about the node itself, too. If the dangers of lymphedema are not that great from just one node removed, and I decide to go ahead and do it, they still send it off to be tested. They could find something there, too!
So, I haven't really been that social this week. After coming back from Easter, spent the next two days recovering (food-wise) and bringing my calories back down. Then, my brother visited for two days because we wanted to give him my old computer.
Now, I'm recovering from that! I feel like I've been on some crazy calorie roller coaster.
My weight is still the same it's been, so I've been quite successful in maintaining. I'm still trying to figure out whether or not I'm mentally ready to go back to losing. I know it sounds weird, since I desperately want to drop at least 10 lbs this year... But if I'm not doing it, I must not be ready, right? So, still struggling with that. Mostly, I think I want to lose weight to look better in costume, and if that's all that it's for, then I really have more body image issues to work out than just weight issues.
I also have like 4 costumes to make for the con season this year and I am feeling totally unmotivated. I have bits and pieces of all four, but I'm dragging my ass on it.
Or maybe it's three. Let me think about it...
I want to get working on this Morpheus costume (Sandman, not the Matrix) for TheHOTcon in Sept. Those punks aren't waiting a full year for the second one. They are crazy. If I can get it finished sooner, I will take it to AnimeFEST
I need to finish my Secret of Mana costume for AnimeFEST also. I'm making Sprite. I decided to make a wig from scratch for this. It is probably a bad idea, but it seems like the only way to get what I want.
I would like to make a Limdo/Uruki costume in his female form for AnimeFEST also. This is the main male character/love interest in Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu. His celestial warrior kanji is "female," and he can't use his powers unless he's female. So, activating his mark changes his gender. I think this is a creative workaround that will let me do a main character without having the male body :P
I also want to finish my Kyoko costume. I mean, I wore it to NDK as it was.. and it wasn't totally finished. It was ok, though. It needs a few small repairs, some buttons sewn onto the wrist cuffs, new arm warmers, and MAYBE boot covers. I have some boots that will work, but they are very tight on my gigantic calves. They aren't totally accurate the way they are now, and they are also pretty uncomfortable due to a steep heel. I mean, the heel is gigantic, but the platform is not big enough to make the angle of the arch more comfortable. You know what I mean? I've worn crazy heels before and felt great just because the platform was also nice and big.
Anyway.. I guess that's 3 1/2 costumes? I thought there was another.... I'm going to make a Lleneth Valkyrie costume for next year, probably... but I'm worrying about that next year. My wig should be in soon, though.
And there's always the possibility of re-sewing the white parts of my Arshtat costume and wearing it again...
The main thing about the costumes that's currently bothering me is the fact that the stuff I made to fit me last summer doesn't fit very well anymore. It's all pretty tight, because I'm up 13 pounds from last summer, and it's stayed constant there since last fall. I guess that's why I'm so bummed/conflicted/whatever. I'd probably feel a LITTLE BIT BETTER maintaining if I knew I could still look my best in my costumes. Let's not lie. I wouldn't be 100% HAPPY, because I still need to lose like 35-40lbs to be at my personal best... but if I could at least feel good about the way I look in costume, I'd feel a whole hell of a lot better about life in general.
And for those reasons.. I'm seriously considering not bringing those costumes to AnimeFEST. I can still WEAR Kefka, but the pant legs are pretty darn tight. The makeup takes a long time to do.. so I've been thinking about swapping to another kind of white face for my base and seeing if that knocks some time off of it... I mean, I'll have to do more white makeup for my Sandman costume, so it'll come in handy... But I'm thinking about taking a break from Kefka for a con to not have to worry about that stuff.
I mean, I wore Kefka to AnimeFEST last year, and once I wear it to a con, I feel like of done with that costume at that con. I don't know why. I HAVE worn the same costume to the same con multiple years, and it's never ever a big deal, but I feel like I need to keep pushing myself to have something new and exciting to show off.
My Sandman costume is my next "BIG" costume.. and after that, Lleneth Valkyrie. I'm not sure if it's a good idea to keep pushing "big" costumes this close together, but I also feel like I need to in order to prove myself, I guess. I feel like since I'm not as slender or.. uh.. model-icious? as some of these other cosplayers, I need to try all the hardest for validation within the hobby.
And honestly, that's utter bullsh*t, or at least it SHOULD be, since I ultimately do this for myself. Since it's such a public hobby, though, I think there's a lot of the same feelings in it as say.. writing something very personal and then choosing to share it with people. Just the act of doing it makes you vulnerable, so you end up seeking praise, etc. and try to avoid the negative stuff.
So, this past week has been filled with way too much bad food, me trying to balance it out on the slow days, and mostly just laying around and feeling totally unmotivated and bad about myself. I know for a fact that once I get started on a project, I will feel totally better because I'll feel productive, but it's really hard to get started when you are in that rut!!
It's all too familiar, since weight loss is the same way :P
Still, I'm working out, trying to wrangle food (alebeit a bit unsuccessfully), and keeping the house clean. After all, I couldn't have totally fallen into a pit of despair if I'm still willing to clean out the cat box and do the dishes, right? :P
Hopefully in my next blog, I will have more info about my lymph node. I'm not holding my breath. Getting things done with this "medical facility" thing is very slow!