From the monthly archives: April 2014

I’ll be heading back to the NIH for more followup scans for the pheochromocytoma protocol in May.  I’ll be there nine days which includes the two days flying in and out of DCA(Not much I can do around town carrying luggage).  On Thursday morning the day after I arrive will begin tests and the first MRI. I will have the next MRI on Friday. After that I have free time until the clinical appointment on Tuesday.

This will be the first time, I can enjoy touring around DC area because of the lull time between scans and clinical appointment. I’ve been to a few places already because of the last two years. This allows me to a focus on a few more places that I need to visit. And catch up with a friend or two in the DC area. I’ll post on the blog of a few things I had the opportunity to do.

Since, I thought the schedule would have me return on Tuesday.  I booked my round trip flight too early before I received my exact schedule. Now, I have a return flight on Thursday as well, to avoid change fees. It makes more since to forgo return flight on Tuesday, and book a one-way flight back on Thursday.

But, having the additional two days  will be good if an abnormality arises and gives me time to ask questions. I rather not rush to make the Tuesday flight with unanswered question.

Then, I arrive back Thursday night and have CT and MRI the following morning at 8 A.M. here at UMC. Which should be very tiring.I’m sure the MRI results will be fine, just another 6 month follow-up scan. Waiting is always the hard part. Hopefully I’ll remember to get a copy of scans on the CD, so I can review the scans myself. Otherwise on Monday, I will have to pickup the results instead of waiting for the doctor to give them to me on June 3.




I’ve just started drinking coffee. I am going on about two weeks now. I just realized it makes me feel great. I’m not sure why it makes me feel the way I do. I feel happy and have the energy that I need. I can accomplish more goals that I need to finish without the added fatigue.

I tend think, since the removal of my right adrenal gland with the pheochromocytoma back in 2008, that the coffee makes up for the lack of the other adrenal.  I know doctors tend to think the other adrenal will take up the slack for the missing adrenal. They are most definitely wrong(*I’m not a doctor). They say this while having two adrenals.  Living with the pheochromocytoma you do indeed have all this extra energy along with other junk you don’t like that it causes.

Here is where coffee comes into play in my life.  I enjoy the taste of coffee. Especially fresh roasted beans. Drinking black coffee is the only way, with no additives. I’ve been trying all the various dark roasts from a local coffee shop along with some of the medium roasts.  I’ve found roasts I love. I also hate flavored coffee. I can’t say I would ever enjoy them, not my cup of tea(Ha! I do love a cup of black tea e.g. Earl Grey).

So, next step was to invest into a coffee maker, because it was a waste of money to buy a cup of coffee every single day. I can buy the coffee and brew it myself cheaper. I found a perfect coffee maker that makes one cup at a time. The coffee maker is made by the Hamilton Beach called “The Scoop.”  It seems to pull the flavor and aroma out correctly. I still think it is wasting a small bit of the grinds but I’ll figure that out within a week or more.

OK, now  back to how is coffee changing my life. I am a person who loves to drink only water. So, of course introducing caffeine back into your diet has an immediate effect.   I am more alert, which is a given.  Last Saturday, I was able to clean up and finish several tasks I’ve be meaning to get done. I used to wake up and want to do something on Saturday.  Then I would  get extremely tired and go to sleep and the day was wasted. Well,  not anymore. Coffee has definitely helped where my left adrenal is not picking up the slack. It also has the added benefit when exercising. I am still training on the treadmill, for another 5k to improve over last time. The added energy does help.

I’m not sure why everyone drinks coffee. I’m sure it is because of addiction and they need it to wake up in the morning. Water can do the same thing for the body but maybe not quite the energy-inducing effect of caffeine. But I enjoy the taste of coffee and need to find out what coffees are good and weed out the bad ones as well. I guess that is one way that differentiates me from the crowd, because I do love the taste of what the coffee I have brings out. Hopefully, I won’t be drinking full pots of coffee in the morning because I am craving the caffeine.

So, in conclusion the coffee adversely affects me in a good way. I’ve never had soda bring on this feeling. I sure do miss the second adrenal sans-tumor. So, every little bit helps.  Also, coffee is good for you according to articles that are leaning towards that. Having a cancer diagnosis takes a toll on your mind and body. If I need drink coffee to make me feel better. I will. You have to step outside sometimes and do stuff to for yourself. It improves quality of life. Eating healthy does as well(I’ll save that for another post).