It’s been awhile since I have been able to post anything. Life has been happening… and this week has been a doozey.
My grandmother lost a battle to cancer this week and died at the age of 84. It’s hard to believe that a woman with such strength, drive and dedication to family, church and life can die. I know that initially sounds very silly. Of course, we all know that everyone dies. It’s the end, and part, of life. Every day, still, I just feel like someone is going to say that she isn’t really dead. She lived a long, full life. She had a lot of family and friends who supported her throughout her life. She had a loving, and devoted, husband who stood by her side through thick and thin. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend, sister, daughter, author, writer, musician and so much more. She loved needlework, sewing, and dabbled in knitting and crotchet. She taught me many lessons in life.
I plan on doing future educational posts related to certain types of cancer. Very soon.
About a month ago, we revisited Bubba’s specialist. His fevers had become closer together and the consistency we had had in the past was no longer present. The specialist ran some more tests just to follow up on his diagnosis, and to be sure there wasn’t another cause for what happens to him. We followed up that appointment this week, the same day Grandma died. We found out that his ESR (sed rate) and CRP (c-reactive protein) levels are very high (indiciating high levels of inflammation in his body), and he had a slight elevation in his red blood cell distribution width. What this means is Bubba has yet to have a normal sed rate. This is a possible sign of more than just PFAPA. That means that his fevers may be a symptom of another issue, rather than the issue that happens to him so frequently. There are a number of other possibilities, and at this point the doctor won’t speculate, because if Bubba tests in a normal range his diagnosis of PFAPA will remain. Some other causes of his condition (and elevated rates) include other autoimmune diseases that will last his lifetime. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are two of them. In my opinion, and analysis of his results, he doesn’t have lupus. I suspect it could be something like juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. We had more follow up blood work this week and we are anxiously awaiting results. I won’t even get into the blood work fiasco we had at the follow up appointment, but simply put it had to be redone because of lab screw up. Just what you want to do two times in one week – lab work for a 2 year old.
The doctor believes that it still could be PFAPA and it’s just changing (as it does happen in the course of the illness). However, if his sed rates and CRP levels stay high, there is more than likely another cause.
I plan on doing a future education post related to juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
As I have written about before, after giving birth to Bubba I had a severe flare up in my SLE. I went back on several medications to get it under control, which worked very well for a year. Then I started to have severe, horrible, stomach pain from the medications. I stopped taking them and have been battling with keeping the flares under control through supplements and controlling life stress. I have not been completely successful, and on top of that my stomach condition has worsened. After a recent appointment, I have been referred to a GI specialist to help me sort through what is happening. It has been suspected as a gastric ulcer from the NSAIDs, but diagnosis can’t be done until after an endoscopy if the GI specialist feels that is the best course of action.
On top of that, in keeping up with my health, I found out at a recent exam that I am going to need yet another mammogram, and sonogram for breast screening this week. I have been through both of these screenings in the past for a fibro adenoma that was found on a sonogram around the year 2006. A fibro adenoma is a benign tumor. It was discovered after an examine, and sonogram, of the breast based on a sharp stabbing pain I had been having. This latest lump was discovered by my health professional, and not by myself. I am ever so thankful that it was discovered and will now be tested. As before, I have every hope and belief this will just be another “bump” (or lump) in the road! Nothing more than that!
There will also be future educational posts about breast cysts, and fibro adenomas and other benign conditions.
The Life part…
Why do I share this information? This is a health journal and blog. I hope it shows how very important it is to keep up with your regular appointments and check ups. It is truly amazing how time flies by and how life just keeps on moving. So much so, that sometimes we lose track of how long it has been since we took care of our needs and saw our physicians.
Keep on living life, and fighting the good fight. The biggest lessons I learned in life from my Grandmother were about perseverance, strength and facing life head on. Strength, bravery and persistence are essential pieces of keeping your life (and health) on track.