Almost definitely certainly 100% sure I’m ok

So you know a while back (ok, I just checked – it was more than a year ago) I mentioned how I was low in iron, and the doctor wanted to do a few tests to find out why.  Well, those tests led to a few more tests, and scans, and having cameras inserted in places that cameras should never go… but it was all happening at the glacial pace of public health waiting lists, so I wasn’t particularly worried (it’s when they bump you to the top of the list that you know they think it’s something bad).

Until I got a phone call on Friday asking me to come in to the hospital on Monday to talk to one of the many specialists who’s poked me with things.  That was a bit of a worry – I’d never had an appointment booked so rapidly before – but I convinced myself it would just be yet another “we’re not sure exactly what’s going on, so we’ll leave it a few months and see if anything’s changed” discussion.  Except it turned out to be a “we’re nearly certain it isn’t cancer, but just in case, we’d better check” talk instead.  Which was a bit scary.  Because even when a doctor is telling you all the reasons she is convinced it’s not cancer, your brain has a tendency to latch on to the “cancer” bit of the conversation.

Anyway, the upshot is that I probably have endometriosis, but it hadn’t been picked up earlier because I haven’t had any of the pain that’s usually associated with it.  So that’s good news, because there are various options for treating it (and presumably, given my age, it will cease to be a problem in a few years anyway).  Where the scary C-word comes in is that one of the blood tests I had showed up a marker which can indicate ovarian cancer.  That marker also shows up with endometriosis, so that’s probably all it is.  But there’s a very very small chance it’s not.

So, in order to remove that small doubt, I have to have surgery so they can take a biopsy (and poke around with some more cameras – I really should ask for a photo album, they’ve taken so many pictures of my insides!).  And I’ve been booked in for 18 August.  It’s keyhole surgery, so I should be in and out on the same day, but I will be given a general anaesthetic, and the thought of that is a bit scary – there’s something about the idea that they can make me unconscious that I really don’t like.

What I’m not particularly concerned about (apart from the first few moments of panic when the subject first arose) is the spectre of cancer.  It just seems so unlikely (and not just in a wishful thinking way – the specialist seemed to think so too), so I can happily put it in the “worry about it if it happens” basket, and concentrate on more immediate worries – like the fact that I’ve been instructed to bring dressing gown and slippers with me for wearing in the day surgery waiting room, and I own neither.  I wonder if I can get away with a pair of socks and an old jersey like I wear at home if I need to get up in the night… yeah, probably not.  Might need to go shopping.

Creativity and problem-solving

As usual, I’ve failed at keeping up with my blog (and my promise to upload the rest of my Athens journal), and as usual the excuse is being too busy with thesis stuff.  I’m kind of buried under an avalanche of data at the moment, and it’s taking much longer than I anticipated to dig my way through it, with the result that every time I have a spare moment I feel like I should be doing a bit more work on it.

However, I did manage to take some time for a little creative project last week.  One of my colleagues (who I hope doesn’t read this blog – if you do, Rosalee, look away now so the surprise isn’t spoilt!) just got engaged, and the rest of us were discussing what we could get her as a present, and I’d just recently spotted a quilt pattern I wanted to try and that looked like it could be easily adapted to a small project, so I volunteered to make a set of placemats in return for the others paying for the materials (yeah, because I have so much free time at the moment…) .  But it’s good something to just do something creative and non-work-related, and I managed to get it done in a weekend plus a few evenings, and I’m pretty pleased with the outcome:

I think we’re planning on having a celebratory morning tea for her sometime this week, so we’ll be giving them to her then.  Hope she likes them!

But now I’m paying for wasting last weekend playing with crafty stuff by having to spend as much as possible of this weekend working.  Except when I turned on my computer this morning I discovered one of the hard drives (I have two, a solid-state drive to hold the operating system, and a normal drive for the data and non-essential programmes) wasn’t working.  Luckily (or sensibly) my thesis data is backed up online, so that’s safe, but all my Athens trip photos are on that drive, so I had a moment of panic thinking they were lost (or, at least, only retrievable with expensive intervention from an expert).  But I decided to try and figure out the problem myself first, and opened up the case to have a poke around.  And discovered that the clips holding the pretty case lights I’d installed when we built the computer (because the case has a window in the side, so of course it needed lights to make it all glowy and sci-fi looking!) had lost their stick, so the light cable had come loose, and must have knocked the bus cable as they fell, because it wasn’t plugged in properly.  So all I had to do was push the plug in a bit more firmly, and the drive started working again.  I had to remove the case lights entirely (at least until I buy some more clips that will be a bit more secure), so my computer is now all boring looking, but at least I haven’t lost everything!  And, even better, I didn’t have to pay someone to fix it for me – sometimes even just knowing a little bit about what goes on inside a computer is a very useful thing!

Right, time to make some dinner, then back to work. Hope you’re all having a restful weekend…