How things catch us unaware…

I have been getting steadily worse since I started this blog.  I have tried and tried to keep playing…doing heroics and LFR in hopes that I could Raid again.  But this last bit of news I got last week, along with me feeling very crummy and weak, has left me wondering how or if I will continue to play World of Warcraft.

A week ago today, I received the results of a fine needle biopsy done on a thyroid nodule my neurologist found accidentally during an MRI of my neck while looking for evidence that my RA had spread to my spine.  I was told I had thyroid cancer.  It was a shock to both of us, but my neurologist was quick to look up the specifics of the type diagnosed…papillary carcinoma-cystic type and reassured me that it has one of the highest recovery rates of any other cancer.  Then in the next breathe, he was on the phone to my Rheumatologist to relay the news and get them going on a referral to a surgeon and/or endocrinologist.

I am scheduled for surgery on Jan. 16th and see the Endocrinologist on Jan. 7th.  Not sure for what, but she wants to see me before my surgery.

The surgeon said this type of cancer is a slow growing type and that I have probably had it for at least 2 years.  It is definitely why I am feeling so terrible and why my RA meds don’t seem to be doing enough for me lately.  It seems to have sent my RA into overdrive for some reason.  Lucky me.

So now, after spending the last day and a half in bed feeling miserable, I have wondered what to do with my blog.  I guess as far as giving up WoW, that won’t happen…my family thinks I should play when I am able and have as much fun as I can.  God knows that some days I can’t think fast enough for LFR…found that out the hard way was called everything under the sun the other day.  So I won’t be doing that again.

Now to figure out what I can do…

Maybe this would be a good time to farm ore and build up some gold?  Or maybe fishing?  Dailies of course…as long as I keep it solo.  At least it would pass the time and keep me busy with something other than doctors and all this tossing back and forth in my head.

There are many people who play WoW with similar health issues and for the same reasons.  To be able to get away without leaving home, to relax and have fun and socialize with friends can make all the difference some days.  Some days it is ALL there is that keeps us going.  I just need to keep the group activities to a minimum unless I am confident that I can hold my own..i.e. having a good day.

And on good days…let me tell you…I am going to run LFR if I can with WoL running from now on!  My last LFR run on Calizari was a really good run.  But I was shocked to see her topping meters at 72K+…on trash.  It was EVERY trash group in the room, since someone goofed and pulled a bit too much, but it was fun!  My overhealing done was 31.5%…which was much lower than 4 of the other healers that group.  If I would have been logging that and could have uploaded it, maybe I could have seen what it was I did right.  For the most part, I didn’t have to think about anything during that pull.  It was nice.  But that changed the following day…I was shaky and not feeling well and should not have even tried LFR…I barely did 25K healing  with 47% of it being overhealing and couldn’t move fast enough on fight mechanics.  Huge difference…so I will stick to doing LFR or Heroics only when I am feeling pretty good.

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How I wish I had been running WoL!

At least I managed to get Calliophea caught up to Calizari gear-wise.  I really love playing my resto shaman gals.  Lots of fun!

Merry Christmas to all…and may you and yours have a great New Year!

What to do on Tuesdays…

Trying a little Transmog

Calizari finally got her feet wet in Transmog yesterday.  Only two pieces tho…Head and Shoulders…I like the shoulder animation.   I keep looking at the Tier 14 pieces and just can’t get excited about having any of it drop other than for upgrade purposes.  Stats…purely stats.  It wasn’t as expensive as I thought it would be to transmog so this is something I could get more into later.  She will need a matching set eventually…and that will require some research.

Not a busy week, but not boring either.  She went into a guild run of as many folks as we could get to do 10man Dragon Soul.  One of our Rogues changed his main for MoP and is trying to get his daggers and other achieves so I decided to help out.  Only 2 bosses left but a few needed to go early…so hopefully we can run it again tonight and have enough people on long enough to finish it up all at once for this week.

Server maintenance… extended server maintenance…gives me more time to watch more videos recorded from live streams.  Woohoo!  I watch primarily Resto Shaman streams/vids when I can find good ones.  There are getting to be some that you have to pay a subscription just to watch their stream….no thanks!  I pay enough just to play…there are plenty of other good streams that are free to watch that I can learn from.

What else to do during server downtime?  Look at UI compilations over at UI Interface!  I recently tried out this one http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info16804-ShadowmagesUI1920x1080Wide.html and like it so far.  The only problem I am having is reading the text…it’s a bit too small for me on 1920X1080 resolution…have not tried to go down a step with it yet tho.   And I found another that I am going to give a shot today.  Also on Wowinterface of course…http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info21811-DargansElvUI.html  I made a second copy of  WoW on my second hard drive to try it out.  If it runs smoother and is easier to see and read…I may try it out for a week or so.  Gives me something to do I guess…that and read up on Heart of Fear mechanics.

Dailies…and more dailies

Dailies didn’t start out to be so bad.  I mean, they result in multiple things needed in game…namely Reputation, Valor Points, Gold and Motes of Harmony.  So all in all, doing them isn’t a total waste of time.  It may not be the fun thing that I would like to be doing, but it has its purpose.  So I keep trudging on.  What else is there to do?  Farming ore to prospect, fish for a couple hours…Oh,  level alts…which I ended up doing.  When dailies get on my nerves or I think too much about having to farm Heroics for Valor once I have rep to Revered or Exalted with the factions…I jump over on my Draenei Resto Shaman and quest or run a few normal randoms.  Something a little more mellow I guess is what I need once in a while. Less people crowded over quest givers…less traffic in the quest areas.  She leveled so fast with Heirlooms it was ridiculous…so much so that she was broke (after flying training) once she hit 85 and had to take up fishing to put gold in her bags.

So this is what I work on when I get tired of rep dailies……..

Seeing the Alliance side of things! :)

I guess my curiosity got the best of me…I started a Dreanei Resto Shaman and she is just the cutest thing.  With the help of guild perks and BoAs…she is almost halfway through level 86 now.  I can’t make up my mind what professions she should have yet…something that will help her actually make some decent gold I hope.  And if she is going to catch up gear wise with guildies, then she should probably do Leatherworking for sure.  But I would like to do Jewelcrafting on her as well so she can supply herself with gems when she needs them.  Although the way the market has been this xpac, they aren’t all that expensive this time around.  But that could change when they finally get around to putting in Epic gems.   <shrugs>

I have been busy on Calizari too…can’t neglect her!  She has had some strange luck in LFR tho.  In the 4 weeks I have put her through LFR she has gotten these drops: Shoulders of Empyreal Focus…not once, not twice but three times, Feng’s Ring of Dreams, Cape of Three Lanterns and Leggings of Imprisoned Will.  Not too shabby.  But 3 weeks of the same exact piece dropping off the same boss?  Geesh!  She has picked up 3 Valor pieces as of tonight.  I really need to get her into a Sha of Anger….soon.  And I giving serious thought to dropping Mining to pick up Leather working this weekend also….once I have farmed enough ore so I won’t run out of gems any time soon.  I could level an alt just for Mining and Skinning…it would never touch a daily quest, which is a plus.  Heirlooms make it so much faster and easier too.  If I bought the Heirloom pants it would be even faster!  ;)

Then there is Ezdenia…she wasn’t forgotten.  I worked to get her to 90 this past week too!  She does have Tailoring and Enchanting after all…so she needs to work on some of the rep stuff asap…getting the new bag recipe is top priority!

Ezdenia as Shadow for dailies

Not too bad for a cranky, arthritic Grandma with nothing else to do between doctors appointments huh?  Hope you are all having fun as much as I have been.  Who knows what I can get done by this time next week.

Staying busy…

So far I have been staying as busy as possible between doctor appointments and waiting until the day of my surgery.  But I will be damned if it isn’t one thing or another that comes up!   I received a call from my Rheumatologist office first thing this morning to tell me to get my butt in to get retested for ALT levels.  I guess my last blood test on the 10th came back with a slightly elevated ALT, which is liver function.  So now it needs to be rechecked and if it is still elevated….then I assume I will be taken off the Prednisone and put on something else?  I don’t know.

All I know is that I really want to jump into WoW and try not to worry about all of this.  I can not believe they haven’t been able to figure out exactly what is going on yet after 10 months of this crap.  So I have RA, and now they are going to be doing MRIs looking for MS and neuropathy in my feet.  None of this is good by itself, but come on…MS and neuropathy on top of it?  No wonder I spend as much time as I can in WoW trying not to think about all of this.  It’s the only way to block out my worries and have a laugh or two during the day anymore.  Hubby is stressed out from all of this too…and I feel so bad that he has the added stress of  being the only one working to keep us going while we wait to see whether or not I can/should file for disability.  The longer it takes for the docs to figure out what all is wrong with me, the more stress it adds of course.  Hubby just makes sure I have my WoW sub paid and does not complain one bit.  The only thing that would make it even better is if he played WoW too…but he isn’t interested in the slightest.  So, he plays Call of Duty or one of the many other fps games he has to relax after work.

I have been staying busy on Calizari and Ezdenia lately.  Both have their production/gathering professions maxxed out!  The hardest part will be getting Ezdenia leveled up and doing dailies forever to get her rep up to get the Tailoring/Enchanting recipes from all of the quartermasters.  Sigh….

I am not sure I am liking all this daily grind…but it does help keep a toon from being broke.  It is a decent source of gold, which is always handy.  I guess I was too use to being able to grab a tabard and farm heroics until I had all the rep I needed.  But things change…boy, do they change!

Calizari has done two weeks of LFR so far and has managed to get 3 pieces of gear from it.  Add two pieces of Valor gear, the Direbrew trinket and the Horseman’s ring and she is sitting at 469 equipped ilvl.  Not too bad I guess for taking a few days off from the dailies grind.  It just got to be a little overwhelming trying to do all the dailies that she needed for rep that opened up Valor gear for her.  But I am back on it…making sure to get it done every day.

Getting there….

The gear this xpac isn’t very flashy yet.  I guess if I don’t like the look once she gets more LFR gear then I will have to take up Transmogging.   That alone will be an undertaking.

And then there is Ezdenia…

Looking cute as ever!

If Ezdenia were Shaman, she would probably already be 90.  Lol!  I just have more fun on Calizari than I do Ezdenia.  I ended up going Shadow so she could level a little easier.  Maybe its just that I haven’t been feeling so great lately and can’t/don’t want to have to get into Disc healing right now.  I really don’t know.  I just know that I don’t have to ‘think’ about doing anything on Calizari, it just comes automatically…and that means I have more fun healing randoms and LFR.  And that is the idea….fun.

Trivenna is still collecting some dust.  She is 51 and I am debating on whether or not I want to respec her to Prot or Ret for the remainder of her leveling time.  I need an Alchemist/Herbalist so she would come in handy.

Guess I have spent enough time typing….time to get busy on dailies….again.

IRL getting in the way of Raiding….again

This past couple weeks have been frustrating.  Today I realized that I may not ever raid again…at least nothing above and beyond LFR.  My health just isn’t going to allow it I guess.  By the time they figure out what the heck is going on with me, I will have missed too much time and have lost my spot to raid.  I will be right back where I started…looking for a guild that wants to raid but needs to fill spots.   What a PITA!

I have been referred to a Neurologist and was told that they will be scheduling a head and/or spine MRI.  The only thing my rheumatologist had mentioned during my appointment was that I may have neuropathy in my feet.  That alone is not good but I was too curious to know what they could be looking for in a Head/Spine MRI.  What I found I didn’t like either.  I found two things they look for when they do these specific MRIs…the first is tumors…the second is lesions or scarring of the nerves caused by Multiple Sclerosis.  So now I am comparing symptoms and the biggest one I have been having almost every night is the numbing/tingling of my arms, legs, hands and feet.  Sometimes its all of them being numb and tingling when I wake in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.  It has gotten progressively worse over the past week and I am now on pain pills every 8 hours.

It helps, but I am still having a hard time walking.  So between that and the pain meds, I am not driving for now until they get this figured out.  I really don’t know what to do at this point but stop researching things until one of the doctors has a definite diagnosis.

I have been playing when I can and just try to focus on having fun and doing whatever I can in WoW for now.   There is not much else I can do at this point.

I am scheduled to have surgery on Nov. 8th for a separate health issue as long as nothing comes up that could postpone it.  So I only have from now until then to get a few things done before I have to take a week or two off.   I am hoping that is the longest I will have to stay off of my desktop, but I will have my laptop to keep up on reading and forums during that time.  I need to stay busy and focus on recovering so that I can tackle whatever is next.  Without WoW to keep my focus away from the stress that has been building up this past 10 months and the fact that I have been getting worse…I would no doubt be much more stressed than I currently am.  Playing has been a way to  steer the focus away from all of this between doctors visits.  Now it will be my focus to get me through up to my surgery.  During my recovery I will be doing lots of reading.  I have lots of Terry Brooks Shannara series to finish yet and keeping up with resto shaman blogs, MMO Champion forums and of course the WoW forums should keep me busy enough for the first couple weeks.  If that isn’t enough, I have two rather thick Sudoku books to work on.  ;)

Having fun while I can, because the alternative sucks!

The road to 90

I was up and logged on at launch.  Ready to go and see the new zones and have some fun in randoms…but I let myself get too rushed.  There is still a lot to do of course.  There are quests in most of the zones to finish up and achieves to get, fishing and cooking to level up and then that boring Archeology to work on too.

I will go a bit slower on the next toon (or two)  that I level.  Not sure how I am going to get myself to slow down to enjoy things more, but I am going to try.

Figures that flying in Pandaria would cost us again.  At least its cheaper this time..no speed increase, but maybe next expac?

Cruising around Vale of Eternal Blossoms

What I have seen of the zones I quested in, I really liked.  Glad to see something different finally.  The changes to Cooking are nice…the specialization part threw me off at first, but its not so bad.

Guess it’s time to get some sleep and rest my shoulder again.  Tomorrow I can fish, cook and maybe farm a little more ore.  You know, more relaxing things than a healer having to dual spec  to dps through quest leveling.   ;)   Not sure if I will work on Ele more to improve my dps or if I will stick with healing.   I didn’t keep track of my dps the whole time, so who knows just how bad I am at it.  It will have to wait…I am too pooped to check it tonight…or probably tomorrow either.

Raiding and the 3Ps

Reading a few blog posts out there about bringing folks new to raiding into their groups and the feelings that go along with that.  So I thought I would come out with my first experience raiding back in Wrath.

My oldest son, the one that got me hooked on this game, started a guild on US-Garrosh (Alliance) and wanted to raid again.  So he busted his hump and recruited like crazy and apparently was only lacking one healer.  I was maining a Ret Paladin at the time but was just getting through Heroics to get geared up.  He poked and prodded until I said I would try raiding with him.  Ok…I went Holy and did my best to learn to heal.

I wasn’t ready until a couple weeks before the Plagueworks wing opened up, but in we went for me to get my feet wet.  Many wipes and lots of frustration later, we were waiting for Plagueworks to open up so we could rush in and see how far we could get.  After quite a few wipes and my son going back over strats, we figured out a way that worked for us and we were down to a sliver of health and wiped once more.  I forget how close, I just remember how frustrated he was because we were so close.  So we did bio breaks and went in again…taking deep breaths and giving old ugly the /rude gestures.  We were so close and folks were dying all over…and if it weren’t for the 3Ps that we tried our best to play by…we would not have gotten World First on Festergut!

YES….you read that right.  World First on Festergut…wow, were we all stunned when that popped up!  LOL!  And of course, the first thing my kiddo says is let’s get to Rotface fast!   LOL   That wasn’t as memorable but when we finally downed him, he looked at the times and said we were a close tie to whichever other guild had downed him just seconds before we finally did.

That group of goofballs had another surprise in store for them…my son finally told them that I had only been raiding for almost 3 weeks.  Chat was quiet, but vent was unreal!  Our little 10 man group was proud as hell and grats me on the addiction that is Raiding.

Things went down hill a bit after that.  Real life comes before games and it took a few of our raiding team away to deal with less fun things.  But that World First had gotten the attention of one of the larger, more well known guilds on our server for some reason.  Next thing I knew, I was being told to prep for doing 25man alt runs with said guild.  They needed folks to help fill their alt runs.  Wow…I was just amazed that they came to us and I was offered a spot to go and play with the big boys (so to speak).

Things for the guild never recovered after that and it disbanded and 5 of us faction changed to Horde and server xferred over to Mal’ganis.  It was never the same…but we did have fun for a while.  Then work took up all my time and that was when my health started doing weird things.  I hadn’t even tried to raid again until early in Cata but couldn’t seem to find the right place for my Resto Druid.  So I gave it up until about a year ago.  That was when I noticed problems being able to concentrate, remember mechanics and my reaction time was all messed up.  I made it up to Warmaster Blackhorn in January when I stopped raiding and within a week or so I ended up in the hospital.  Yup, something wasn’t right.

Now,  I have Fibromyalgia, seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis, IBS and apparently have become (or was before but it wasn’t as bad) lactose intolerant.  And it is all tied together, one disease to the other somehow.  But I want to raid again…I just can’t seem to give up the idea that maybe, just maybe I can raid again.  I am trying to come to terms with not being able to work like I did before or at all, but raiding a couple times a week would give me something to work towards.  It would be nice to have something to look forward to.

Some things I don’t have a choice in,  playing World of Warcraft is one thing I will NOT give up because of some disease that keeps me from being able to reach all my keybinds…I will be getting a Razer Naga as soon as the funds are available.  My son thinks that will give me the extra binds I need to play more like I use to.  For now I will continue using my Thermal Take Saphira gaming mouse and use modifiers or go back to clicking if I must.  Anything to keep playing…

See..I went all goofy here and stumbled off the path I started on.  What I hope everyone gets is that just because someone is new to raiding, does not mean that they will automatically be holding a group back from great things.  Sometimes they bring great things with them…like Patience…Persistence…and Preparedness