A real pain in my jugular

Ever get the feeling that something  “not right” is about to happen? Ever follow your instincts, based on zero scientific evidence but a feeling, your own intuition? Ever just feel that strongly that you say hell, this is worth looking into, even if it is a pain in the ass to check out?

I am so thankful I did just that last week while the kids and I had our great escape out of town, alone up at the lake. We headed up ready for adventure. Swimming, kayaking and just some relaxed fun before the hubs and other friends and family were to meet us on Thursday evening and Friday for the holiday weekend. It started out well. All three kiddos and I snuggled in comfortably on Tuesday night. I had an aching “kink” or “Crook” in my neck but I was certain it was from sleeping funny the night before. Nothing a great big bed sans the hubs couldn’t fix. By Weds. this kink or crook or whatever  you want to call it was not good. My head was no longer on a “swivel”. Hell it was barely turning side-to-side at this point. Thank goodness my “littles” were cool with a little movie time in between swimming. By late Weds. afternoon the hubs had made the decision he was coming up TONIGHT.

Fast forward to Thursday morning, waking up a bit swollen, with the “kink” or “crook” warm to the touch. Ouch. This was looking not so good. And swallowing was hurting a great deal. Then there was my internal banter happening: “Don’t be dramatic, it’s probably nothing, but if it’s something you’re going to ruin everyone’s weekend! And we really didn’t want to ruin the special, ultimately AWESOME delivery of Lou Malnati’s Pizza making it’s voyage to see me with my BFF. Ugh! The back and the forth! But- seriously for the love of all things sacred, I NEEDED to be able to swallow this pizza by Thursday night. Ha.

After all that-This required a drive back into town to my cancer center. An ultrasound was ordered ASAP and alas there I was on the table. The tech Katie was just who I needed, soothing, calm and very matter of fact. A quick drive back to the cancer center and Voila! I had a 5-6 cm blood clot in my jugular vein. Yep, just hanging around! WHAT IS THAT?!? Totally nonchalant they tell me, pretty common around the catheter for the port. What? I played it pretty damn cool sitting in the chair by myself. Some blood thinners, and some promises to nurses and doctors that I would be “a good girl” for the weekend – ‘aka I wouldn’t get too wild and crazy’ and I was on my way back to the lake as quickly as I had come (and as quickly as that sweet Lou Malnati’s was making it’s way up there!!)Wow. Who knew? I am pretty sure the cutting me loose part had a lot to do with my general look of exhaustion highlighted by my bald dome, black bags and general lack of  sparkle in my eyes. I know it will come back eventually, but let’s just say my illness is making itself known to all those who look at me. Ugh.

So – the holiday weekend was terrific. Friends, family, fireworks,  ‘smores, campfire cones.  Swimming, grilling, bags, boat rides, “deep swimming” from said boat rides. It was all a blast with great people around me. Of course, I changed a few of my fave activities around a bit. There would be no jumping off the back of the boat in my finest belly flop or swankiest dive this year. No, no – the fear of “popping the clot” took over and my graceful ladder entrance took away all my stret cred at once! NEXT YEAR! Scattergories became a new adult fave! And the kids ran around feeling very “Lord of the Flies” so I am thinking my cancer didn’t affect things horribly. EPIC WIN!

When it came right down to it, I felt all those friends and family no longer with us dancing alongside us around that fire. I felt them in every laugh, every smile, every story – they were there. I can’t thank the friends and family who shared this weekend with us enough. Bringing so much love, activity and joy to a place so special was just another EPIC WIN!

Happy Belated Fourth All!

Oh and importing this beauty just made it taste extra special!!
Oh and importing this beauty just made it taste extra special!!

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