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Welcome to the DebiLyn Smith blog site. If you like what you read here, check out her website at

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas Surprise

I can't believe it is raining out? That's very unusual for us at this time of year. The snow is determined to cling to the grass though so there will be white for Christmas, although not nearly as much as usual. Enough to keep that Christmas feeling. Some of us don't go to Mexico during the Holidays for a reason.

We arrived in Terrace last week for the hysteroscopy. The gynecologist performing the procedure had met with me six weeks prior and we discussed the options of getting to the bottom of the continual menstrual-like cramping that has been on-going since taking the Tamoxifen. A side effect of taking Tamoxifen is uterine cancer. I kid you not!

Signs of uterine cancer are cramping , back pain and spotting. I do have the cramping and the lower back pain (from skiing the hard bumps at the ski hill possibly, or is it something else)The fear of growing more cancer was eating me up.  So to be sure, the doctor was going to go in with a camera and take pictures to assure both himself and me that all was clear.
When he asked to examine me, I politely opted out , telling him my regular doctor and girlfriend Dr. V was very thorough and had just examined me days before. He smiled at my ploy and let it go, saying there had better not be any "surprises" once I was on the operating table. I assured him there wouldn't be.

 I haven't had to flash the old wahzoo at a man other than my husband for over twenty years and was not looking forward to it. Fortunately when this doctor would get to look at it, I would be under a general anesthetic and not having to grin and bear the moment.

That's why I decided to decorate my south pole, complete with a Santa cap, white beard, red mittens on the inside thighs and plenty of Christmas stickers wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. I hear it was a hit and a good laugh for everyone.

The good news is that the pictures looked excellent, with no other surprises. Now we await results from the samples taken.

I went off the Tamoxifen the day after the procedure. The Zoladex that I take by injection every three months should be wearing off and my oncologist and other two doctors want to take me off everything to see if I am in menopause yet. After the chemotherapy and the drugs I should be by now. If I am, they can take me off the Tamoxifen and put me on something far less carcinogenic for the rest of the five folllow-up years. That would be VERY comforting. Although like with everything else I have been through, this comes as a trade-off. It means I am not protected from feeding my estrogen-receptive cells and so I am avoiding all soy products, all alcohol, as much sugar as is humanely impossible during Christmas and hoping I don't do what I've done all through my life and do harm to myself. It's easier this time because there is more than myself at stake these days. There are my children's children to live for. It's funny to love people that haven't even been conceived yet, that much, but I feel it. It's real and I need to do all that I can to make sure I'm around to welcome them all to this amazingly complex but wonderful world.

Wishing everyone a few good surprises for your Christmas as well!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Life In The Fast Lane.......Zoom

It was with relief and not just a bit of joy that I celebrated my 52nd birthday this week. As usual, I was spoiled, even more so this year with people trying hard to make sure I knew how much I was loved. I get it everyone, although I always did know. I'm sorry about the depression and sinking as low as I got.  The anti-depressants are working wonderfully. I seem to be able to be myself, while maintaining a sunnier disposition. They don't seem to mess with my mind, I'm not walking around numb or in a bubble. I am able to sweep aside any darkness that gathers and in some moments, stay in the darkness to sort a few things out before retreating again.
2011 had to have been the worst year of my life. But that is changing!
We spent the last week in November visiting good friends in Victoria and meeting my daughter's fellow for the first time before heading to Vancouver to watch the BC Lions capture the coveted Grey Cup! What a weekend. While down there I had my first breast MRI since getting the news I had breast cancer. A week later we got the results. Not the green light I had hoped for, but not a red one either. I'm to have a follow-up MRI in 6 months, not a year due to some fibrous tissue that is a little "suspect." There is also some fluid still floating around which we'll be talking to the surgeon about. Hmmm. So I don't get to pass "go'" and collect the $200 . Fudge.
I am leaving in the morning for Terrace for a hysteroscopy- a procedure where they knock you out and insert a telescope-like device into the uterus where they can take pictures and samples to rule out any cancerous tissue. There has been a constant cramping since being on the Tamoxifen- a known carcinogen that causes uterine cancer. Just another precaution...
 Once bitten, twice shy, as they say. I am thankful for the thoroughness of our medical system.
But I also wonder if it will ever end? Maybe I was too quick to think I would be "over this" in a year. I blew that deadline in August. Maybe we could set my 55th birthday as a deadline.
SPEAKING of, the deadlines for the next alphabetical blog is once again on hold. There are simply too many other things happening at once- you know the drill. The Christmas shopping, getting the parcels and cards out, decorating the house, baking for sales and then for yourself. My time is not my own these days, but I will try and get back to you again in the next week...or so.
Happy running around to you, as well!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

"E" is For More Excuses

I am pleased to say the Grey Cup adventure was so much fun that we arrived home hoarse from shouting "Hurray!" and exhausted from all that excitement. Yet, still on a roll,, we unloaded the BC Lion paraphernalia and donned our skis and gear to head up to the beautifully snow-submerged Hudson Bay Mountain. Alas, while visions of steep and deep danced in our heads, the winds outside our cozy abode decided to turn cyclonic and bash and crash and bang every hanging snow shovel, every wooden sign or flag pole rope. It was hard to sleep and even harder to ski in the wind crusted crud left behind. Only the brave or downright foolhardy made their way down the ungroomed slopes that morning. Once broken up by people ahead of you, you could make some turns, but your ankles were continually getting grabbed hard enough to break them. So we called it an early day, only to return to it in the morning well after the sun poked its head out. Slightly softened, the skiing improved as did the sheer grin of ecstasy crossing my face. My thighs burned in protest, my lungs sounded like I was a 3-pack a day hardcore, but I was back doing what makes me feel more alive than anything I have ever done in my entire life. I was free. I was a rocket. Unstoppable, feeling like I was one with the mountain and the snow beneath me. It held me up as I threw my knees left and right and left and right, riding the hard snow and drifts like  waves on an ocean.
But because of all that, I am pooped and am trying to sit here and write my latest blog in the alphabetical series. It IS half done, but I need some rest. Tomorrow will be the typical whirlwind Monday. I accidentally blew my blood test appointment so will have to try and get in for that as well as do the last of the Christmas shopping list for those far away. I set my birthday as the deadline for parcels to go out- and that's Thursday where we will be back up the mountain. What better way to spend a day getting older than doing what makes you feel so young and so downright healthy?
 So hopefully Monday night I can get the next blog done done. Because Tuesday I'm wrapping prezzies all day before boxing, addressing and shipping.
"E" is for exercise (as well as excuses.)