Saturday, June 8, 2013

In The Past 8 Months....

Where to begin, where to begin?

In December 2012 Brandon, the kids and I moved to Buckeye where we stayed with Mike and Brandi for a few months. It was crowded, moving a family of 5 in with a family of 8, it was busy all the time. In March of 2013 Brandon, the kids and I moved into a small 2 bedroom apartment off of Cave Creek and Peoria. Brandon Starkes a new Job in January of 2013 With Prescott Equity Solutions as the #2 Foreman ( Brandon and the #1 Foreman, Greg are actually really good friends now) and he LOVES it!!!!! The boys started going to Larkspur Elementary School and they LOVE it!!!! ( Casey has a hard time changing schools) I started working for Little Dealer, Little Prices as there Administrative Assistant and I, of course, LOVE it!!!! Life is AWESOME and going really good right now, we are all doing things we love and then get to come home to the ones we love. Doesn't get better then that.

Now, on to the not so great things...

March 12, 2013 Dr. Patrick Lam did a Colonoscopy and Endoscopy on me to diagnose me with Celiacs Disease because the doc and I were sure I had Celiacs Disease. Well, the findings were much more severe then that. Dr. Lam discovered hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of Colon and Rectal Polyps and also some stomach polyps. Doctor Lam informed us that I most likely had a condition called FAP ( Familial Adenomatous Polyposis), FAP is an inherited condition in which numerous polyps form mainly in the epithelium of the large intestine. While these polyps start out benign, malignant transformation into colon cancer occurs when left untreated. People with the classic type of familial adenomatous polyposis may begin to develop multiple noncancerous (benign) growths (polyps) in the colon as early as their teenage years. Unless the colon is removed, these polyps will become malignant (cancerous). The average age at which an individual develops colon cancer in classic familial adenomatous polyposis is 39 years. well, I am 28 and my case of FAP is invasive. Dr. Lam did a few Biopsies on some of the polyps that looked suspicious and the results were crushing. The polyps had already started transitioning into cancer and the doc said that once that happens the cancer would start spreading to other areas pretty rapidly. Dr Lam referred me to a new Surgeon an Oncologist and a Genetics Counselor. My sister told me about Dr. Kim whom she briefly worked with at Banner Good Samaritans Hospital. I was also told to see Dr. Robin Obenchain in Oncology when then Refereed me to Kathy McCan for the Genetics Counseling. Kathy McCan did all my blood work and got my family's history of cancer and deaths caused bt cancer which was hard because most of my relatives that have had cancer have passed away. My blood test came back a LONG 3 weeks Later that I did in fact have FAP and that all my immediate family and kids would need to get tested. The doc said that there is a chance 15 to 20 percent that I could be the first one in the Yates/ Dieterich family to have FAP but the chance of me getting it from one om parents is 80 to 85 percent. Also, my kids, Aunts, Uncles, Brother and Kid have a 50/50 chance of having FAP. Out of 3 kids one of my kids will most likely have FAP but.... That doesn't mean that they have cancer now it just means that they will sometime in their life get Colon Cancer. Let me remind you that people with FAP have a 100 percent chance of getting Colon Cancer. There are other cancers that us FAP people are more susceptible to get such as: Stomach, Small Intestine, Pancreatic, Liver, Kidney, Brain and Thyroid. I am hopeful that I will not get any other cancers but then again I was part of the 2% that gets Colon Cancer at 28 so you never know. I think the hardest part about knowing that I have FAP is that my kids could have it too, I don't want my kids to go through what I have been going through.

I went and Seen Dr. Obenchain and she got the run down on all my problems and symptoms and why I decided to see a Colon Specialist. We talked for 2 hours and she didn't rush me, she just listened. She brought to my attention that even though I have the beginning stage of Colon Cancer I cant get the Chemo treatment due to the fact that the cancer and polyps will just grow back and with Chemo being pretty invasive and killing your immune system that wouldn't be good for me. Unless the cancer spreads to other areas I wont have have to go through the headache of Chemo and Radiation. Dr Obenchain said with me having FAP and the chance of getting other cancer I will have to see her for the rest of my life. That's fine thought, I like her and I would rather be checked up on every 2 months rather then not seeing her and it being too late if and when they discover something else.

SO.....  I went and met with Dr. Kim, the colorectal specialist and he told me that with the condition I had I needed my Colon out ASAP, which was no new news to me. The doctor wanted to do his own Colonoscopy so he could see for himself what he was dealing with. The Doctor said if he could he would like to try a J pouch. The J Pouch is The ileoanal reservoir procedure is a surgical treatment option for chronic ulcerative colitis, colon cancer and familial polyposis patients who need to have their large intestine (colon) removed. An ileoanal reservoir (or pouch) is an internal pouch formed of small intestine. This pouch provides a storage place for stool in the absence of the large intestine. Anal sphincter muscles assist in holding in the stool. Several times a day, stool is passed through the anus. Ileoanal reservoir surgery is a widely accepted surgical treatment for ulcerative colitis or familial polyposis because it eliminates the disease, gives the patient control of bowel movements and does not require a permanent ileostomy. Each patient considering this surgery is carefully evaluated to determine if this procedure is appropriate for them. This procedure is performed in one, two or three stages, but is most often done in two stages, usually 2-3 months apart. After doing my second Colonoscopy on May 6, 2013 Dr. Kim said that there was only about a 15 percent chance that he could do the J Pouch due to a large Polyp on the Sphincter muscle and the amount of Polyps I have in my Rectum alone. We went ahead and Scheduled my Surgery for my Colon to be removed for June 11th at 7:30amith a check- in time of 5:30am. The Surgery will be 7-8 hours, 12 at the most with a hospital stay of at least 5 days. I am very scared and nervous, hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. I cant wait to not be sick anymore, I want to be healthy and to enjoy life more.

Well that's it for now. I will update as this new part of my life begins.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Recovery and complications

I can't even describe how happy I was to be at home, in the comfort of my own bed and surrounded by my kids, it was nice. Brandon wasn’t able to stay and take care of me so being in the comfort of my own home was short lived. Brandon had to leave Thursday evening, the day after my surgery to go back to work so I stayed with my mom so she could help me with the boys. As much as I love my mom and appreciate her help and everything she does for me, I needed to go home. I was exhausted and in pain and the kids weren’t listening at all so I went home Sunday afternoon. I didn’t realize that I hadn’t peed since Saturday evening around 6 and here it was Sunday around 6pm and I still hadn’t voided and I was in excruciating pain with SHARP STABBING PAINS in my abdomen that would not go away. I talked to the on call doctor who advised me to go to the ER. Well, I was screwed because I couldn't drive and my parents had already started drinking so they couldn’t take me to the ER also. Holly was at work, Arthur was sleeping, Melissa was hung over and Brandon was in the valley so I called my dad to come get the boys. The EMT's showed up and my blood pressure was through the roof, my stomach was ridged and I was running a slight fever but because I had taken my own meds they couldn’t give me anything better to help with my discomfort L As soon as I got to the hospital the nurse did a bladder scan on me and my bladder has 722 ml of urine in it and the maximum hold is 400 to 500 ml so the put a catheter in me and ran some test. My blood work came back that there was an infection and the CT scan came back that my bladder and kidneys were inflamed, swollen or whatever you want to call it. After 5 hours in the er on pain meds I was released and sent home with the folly catheter. I went to the doctor a few days later and he took my folly out and I was able to pee, not a lot but I was definitely voiding. 2 days later I had to go back to the doctor because I stopped voiding, I thought the pain before was bad but this time it was way worse so the doc put the folly back in and that was to stay there for a week. After 5 days I was in complete discomfort so I was able to cut the folly out, yay!!!!! I have had the folly out for a week now and I am voiding on my own, not a ton but enough. I still have a kidney infection and bladder infection and I am on 8 different types of meds but I am on the right road to recovery. Hopefully this is the end of all the discomfort and pain and I can get back on with my life.


SO, I went to the doctor on June 14, 2012 because ever since my hysterectomy I have had bad pain and nothing, not even my surgery to remove my left ovary and the remainder of my cervix took the pain away. My pain over time started getting worse and worse those ice packs, heating pads, exercising and medicine stopped working.
Intercourse was so painful that the thought of that intimate moment made me cringe so it was time that I saw the doctor about it. Dr. Connelly checked me and saw that where my uterus used to be was a lesion that kept filling up with fluid and rupturing causing a severe infection inside that was extremely painful.
The doctor also saw when he put the speculums in me that my Kidneys were lower than usual and that he shouldn’t be able to feel them when checking me so he decided right then and there that I needed exploratory surgery to find out exactly what was wrong and what was where. Dr. Connelly put me on pre op antibiotics and anti inflammatory meds so that way my risk of infection was lower than usual.
I talked to the scheduling nurse for surgeries and she was able to get me in on Wednesday June 20th at 10 am. I was nervous but at the same time relieved that hopefully the doctor would get to the bottom of my pain and problems, I was ecstatic.
Brandon and I dropped the boys off to my mom on surgery day and left for Showlow early so he could take me to dollar tree, I wanted to do a little of cheap shopping before surgery and before I wouldn’t be able to anything for a while. It was nice that Brandon was with me that day because other then my hysterectomy in 2009 Brandon has never been to any of my surgeries and I have had 3 in between my hysterectomy and the recent surgery.
When I arrived to the hospital my emotions started running heavily, I have had many surgeries but I was so scared that something wasn’t going to be done about my pain that my doctor wasn’t going to find anything wrong and I would be left with not only my everyday pain but now the pain of surgery. Doctor told Brandon that I would be in surgery anywhere from 2 hours to 5 hours depending on the severity. Poor Brandon was all I was thinking and I was the one being cut open but I know how men are and sitting and waiting isn’t there forte.
The surgery nurse came in and asked me a whole ton of questions that I have already answered a dozen times and then the anesthesiologist came in and asked me the same questions and then told me that in 10 minutes I would be wheeled into surgery. It was 11:57 when they came to get me and told me to say goodbye to Brandon. I didn’t think it was going to be so hard saying bye and kissing Brandon, it totally sucked. As soon as I left the room I started crying so the anesthesiologist gave me a very good drug named versed (ver-said) and all my worries started to fade.
I remember waking up and hearing the nurse say "cough" I didn’t want to cough, I could barely move my leg without bursting in to tears because of the pain. I was maxed out on pain meds that the recovery nurse had to call my doctor and find out what to do next. I remember her saying that she knew I was in pain because my blood pressure was 135/98 which I guess was high. I also remember crying for Brandon over and over again, all I wanted has to be held by mu husband.
I was finally able to go back to my room where Brandon was and he immediately lowered the side rails and climbed into bed with me. I loved that he was holding me so close that I could smell his deodorant, feel his skin and hear his heart beat, that to me was more soothing then pain meds. The doc finally let me go home but I had to be on complete bed rest and when I looked at the clock it was 7:16 pm. Brandon told me that I didn’t get out of surgery until 10 after 4 and then I was in recovery until 5:30.  Holy Hell, how complicated was my surgery that I was in there for 4 hours? The doctor said I was a mess inside. My endometriosis had spread to the vaginal cuff so they had to cauterize inside my vagina, which was very uncomfortable. The doc also cauterized that lesion so I would stop getting so sick.
The complicated part of the surgery is that when he got inside he found that the kidneys, right ovary, appendix, Collin and bladder were all fused together so he had to un fuse it and put it all back where it belonged and that was time consuming. The doctor used a lot of mesh and a lubricant inside so that way everything stayed moist and in place,,, He also said that was the cause for all the pain during intercourse because not only was everything tied together but it all had dropped into where my cervix was… Ouch!!!
I was glad when I was finally able to leave the hospital and so excited that my doctor had fixed me. It wasn’t all in my head, there was something seriously wrong with me and soon I will be back to normal… That was such a good feeling and all I could think about on the way home was my kids and how much I wanted to hold the, J

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sick and tired of being sick and tired and broken bones

I am so tired of being sick and tired, I want a diagnosis and I want it now. I went to the ER on the 16th of March because I passed out in the bathroom, I was weak, dizzy, light headed, nauseous and my vision was blurred and doubled. The ER did an EKG because my heat rate was 106 and that came back normal. They started in IV thinking I was dehydrated but my heart rate still stayed in the 106 to 130 range. My CO2 came back abnormal so they did an ABG ( arterial blood gas) they stuck a needle in the artery in my wrist twice and that as well came back abnormal so I now have respiratory issues. My potassium came back real low so I had to drink this gross orange drink. My blood sugar was also 168, way to high for me. They also did a cat scan that came back normal so that was great news. The doc wanted me to stay in the hospital to run more test but I didn't feel comfortable and just wanted to go home. I followed up with my doctor, DR. Bornstein who diagnosed me a type 2 diabetic. I am now taking Metformin once a day for my high blood sugar and I prick my finger once a day. My new symptoms are fatigue, difficulty swallowing, loss of balance and shaking. My PCP ordered an ultrasound of the blood flow to my brain which has yet to be done and my MRI has been approved, So hopefully that will get done soon. I have an EEG on the 10th of April and a follow up appointment on the 13th at Phoenix Neurology and Sleep Medicine on 27th ave. and Deer Valley. The doc is thinking that I have MS ( Multiple Sclerosis)but I need the MRI to officially Diagnose me with that. The treatment that they can offer me kind of scare me because 2 of the medicines can cause heart problems and a heart disease and leukaemia. The third medicine is used to treat cancer patients and the 4th and final medicine is the only oral drug for MS that was approved in 2010 but hasn't showed in improvements in taking this med. I am so anxious for a diagnosis that any diagnosis will do.

On March 24th Jared jumped the ramp he had built with his bike and ran into his dad's truck. He came into the house screaming bloody murder, his wrist all swollen and bruised. Although Aaron and Sophia said that because he was moving it and using it, it wasn't broken and the Fire Dept. confirmed that it also. Jared went all week playing outside and on his bike and using his hand in pain without complaining Until March 30th, Jared could no longer use or move his hand so Brandon took him to the ER and sure enough it was broke. We have to take Jared to the orthopedic surgeon and possibly have surgery. I feel bad that I didn't take him to the ER sooner but I figured since he was using his hand it was fine. It is what it is. Today is his appointment so we will see what they have to say.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Expecting the unexpected

Sometimes I wonder why when bad things happen why do they happen to me? I know im not the only person in this world that something bad happens to but seriously? I wish this storm would go away. It started in 2009 with my hysterectomy and then finding out that i was left with things that should no longer be and that has been a 2 year battle until I had everything fixed on November 9, 2011. I felt fine once Dr. Connolly fixed me. I a few weeks later I noticed that I was more tired then usual and then I would get light headed and dizzy, i would then get nauseated. These little episodes would happen at all hours of the day and night. I found myself getting blurred vision and on occasions i would have no vision when all these symptoms kicked in. I decided to consult with Dr. Bornstein at the Heber/ Overgaard Summit Healthcare Clinic. Thinking it may be my blood pressure or maybe my blood sugar out of wack I decided to go to my parents and check all that. My dad in the past year was diagnosed a diebetic so I used all my parents equiptment. My blood pressure was 120/ 79 and 2 minutes later is was 130/72, still completelly normal. My blood sugar was in the 70's which is also completely normal for fasting as well. I finally went to the doc once my mom convinced me to because the day prior I was driving and all these symptoms came at once like they usually do but my vision was completely gone and when I got my vision back I was in the other lane of traffic and both Jared and Tony screaming because they were so scared. The doc also checked my glucose while fasting which came back at 94, 98 and up being too high and 69 and below being too low, my A1C was 5.1 percent and the doc said anything below 6.0 was good. The doctor had some concerns for me neurologically, all the symptoms were leading symptoms to Epilepsy, Partial complex seizure disorder. I wasnt having convulsions but i am zoning out like you usually do with Partial Complex Seizures. The doctor put in an order for a Cat Scan to rule out and cancer, tumors or any other abnormalities and a referral to see Dr Anderson, head of Neuro at St. Josephs Hospital. He is the best Neurologist in AZ so my sister in law that works at Good Sam Hospital says. While waiting for my cat scan to get approved I have found what does and doesnt trigger these episodes and watching tv and driving cause them so i limit the amount of tv watching and driving I do. It has been 3 weeks since finding out all this info and now I have completely blurred vision and it is now hard to make out pictures. I have tried reading far away and up close and nothing helps. I called the Doctors office on the 7th of February and the nurse had told me that my cat scan was not approved but she would go ahead and get me in with Dr. Anderson and he will do my Cat Scan, MRI and EEG. The past few days have been really good and my vision has been somewhat ok, thats why I have decided to play catch up now. Im great at typing without looking but I cant tell how I am spelling so forgive me if my words are spelt wrong. I am really scared and nervous and really irritated because it is hard to do anything anymore but hopefully I will have some answers really soon. Well thats all for now but I will keep updating as I am able to and have information.

Happy BIG 10th Casey

Today is my First born, oldest, biggest sons 10th Birthday. I am still in Awe that I have a 10 year old for a few reason. 1. I still get asked if I am 17 and I would never have had a baby at 10 right? 2. It doesnt feel like 10 years has gone by, and 3. It really doesnt feel like i am old enough. From the day Casey was born I was in love and I new my life would never be the same. Casey was a good baby from the moment I quit nursing him, I remember having to give him an 8 ounce bottle of infant cereal just to get him to sleep all the way through the night. Casey was an independent baby, once he could get the holding tecnique down he didnt want to be held when he was eating. He played by himself real well, he started walking without us forcing him too and could even talk some sentices at the age at 1. Casey was always a dadddy's boy and it was very rare he ever wanted mommy. Today, Casey is still a daddy's boy who does almost everything bu himself. He cooks, cleans, does some laundry etc. Its nice to have some help now. Casey sure does have an additude on him and im not sure what to think about that, im not use to having a very pre-teen child so I just take it as it goes. There is a lot I can say and remember about the prior years but I would have a novel on my blog if I continued. Im throwing a birthday party for both Casey and Tony at the end of the month so I will have a whole new story and pictures to share then. Happy 10th Casey Thomas Starkes, I love you so so much and I am excited for the years to come with you.

Also, as of February 4th a new little baby entered this world and let me tell ya, he is a beautiful baby, I love being an auntie and I cant wait to meet him.

Surgery Day

Ever since Tony was hit by a truck we started noticing little things like the sleep apnea, loud snoring, restless sleeping, bloody noses ( on a daily basis) slurred speech etc. We all thought that these symptoms were just side affects from being druged on his head for 48 feet. So we when we moved back to Arizona I took Tony to the doctor for a check up and Dr. Coss had said that the symptoms weren't from his accident but because he had gross, large tonsils that were infected. This was in August that Tony had been seen by Dr. Coss, he referred Tony to Dr. Cox the Ear Nose and throat specialist but they couldn't see Tony until November 22nd, REALLY??? That was 3 and a half months away. On November 22nd we went to the ENT, the same guys who put 3 sets of tubes and took out Casey's Tonsils and took out Jared's Tonsils so I knew the doc and trusted him. When he looked in Tony's throat he said,'' Oh ya, these babies need to come out.'' Of course they will still large, gross and STILL infected. We set the date for surgery for Monday February 6th at 6:30 check in time and 7:30 surgery time. I knew Tony was gonna be alright be it was the simple fact that he had already been through so much in the past year. Tony came out of surgery kicking and screaming like I knew he would and I just curled up next to him in the bed and tried my hardest to soothe him. Thank Heavens Brandon was with me because it killed me once again to see Tony in that kind of Pain. It is now Thursday and unlike Casey and Jared ( eating solid food right after surgery) Tony is still in a ton of pain and constantly still running a fever, all he can eat is ice cream, Popsicles and soft foods. Anthony seems to be at his highest pain level in the middle of the night and the doc says that's because he has time to left everything in his mouth dry out so needless to say Tony and I do not get a ton of sleep at night. Although everyday is a little bit better the the day before, I cant wait until Tony is his little ole' self again

Not Sure what to think of this

Rock On!!!

Going into Surgery, Peace Out!!!

Daddy Trying to soothe his boy

Trying to get Tony to do his breathing treatment

The Yummy Tonsils

Going home