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Posts tagged “uterine cancer

Return, Resolutions, Repeat

I'm back....

I’m back….

That’s right, my lovelies – I did not run over any armadillos, I did not get a cat, I did not mix vodka with orange juice, I did not become a brain eating zombie, I managed to stay awake for at least one hour a day, I resolved to clean the house when absolutely necessary (which it never truly was), I did not use a drone to attack the neighbors, I ate no cauliflower, I checked my phone once a day, and I never told facebook what city I live in, no matter how many times it asked. 10 Resolutions made, 10 completed. Completing such daunting tasks gives me such a sense of satisfaction. I don’t know that I can top this in 2015, but damn it, what’s live without challenge?

I’ll get to this year’s resolutions in a moment. I really want to give the real ending to the attack on the cyst, because I couldn’t before I told my dad (aka pop) the facts – I didn’t want to ruin the holiday for him or for my niece – I mean I had to ruin it for Andy and some of my brothers, co-workers and friends, and of course, it was a bit of a downer for me too, but I couldn’t do it to my dad. I think I’ve told most people, if I haven’t and this is where you get the news first, I’m sorry. It’s not the thing you get any enjoyment out of telling people and one thing I’ve learned is that no matter how many people I tell, there’s always going to be someone that I forgot to. I can think of five or ten or fifteen now. Fact is, I’m tired of telling people. Here’s a fact: Telling people you have cancer (again) is fucking hard. You feel bad that your are giving people bad news, you feel you have to make them feel better, they always ask how they can help and it’s just generally a bad thing. If I tell you, just tell me that you love me. Or if you don’t love me, just say, hey, whatever you need. I’ll keep talking if I feel like talking about it, and if I don’t keep talking about it, and you have questions, ask me. I have a blog, seriously, it’s not like this shit is secret.

Anyhow, I read the CT scan before the surgery. I saw the words “possible malignancy” – I saw the look on the ER doctors face when he had to tell me there were some concerning items on the scan. I know my body. I knew something was wrong. After surgery, when Minion 1 arrived, and I asked her about the offending nodule and if they found cancer, she danced around it, saying that they “don’t think” anything is wrong, but they are only using human eyes. I much preferred the way I found out the first time – the resident held my hand and said it straight up, we can’t confirm it yet, but from the preliminary pathology, it looks like cancer. This time, I knew I was going to hear not very good news at my appointment. I know when they take a biopsy, they look at the sample to make sure it’s a good one. They don’t just randomly snap out a bit of tissue and hope for the best. And while they are checking, they can notice whether they have good cells or abnormal cells. Sure, they may not know if it’s malignant with certainty, but they know if something’s up or not. Minion 1 needs to work on her delivery. I should give lessons.

I also knew I wasn’t healing as quickly as I have in the past. I had some pretty hideous bruising. I lost my appetite. I knew things were different, but I wanted to believe what the Minion 1 told me. So when I got to my appointment on the 22nd, I was ready for the news, or at least I thought so. I went by myself because Andy was in Pittsburgh with my nephew and brothers for a Steelers game. I didn’t want him to not have fun because I had an appointment. I asked my niece’s mom to go with me last minute, but she couldn’t. So I just resigned myself to going it alone. I got there on time, checked in, and waited. I got weighed, and found out I’d lost 40lbs since October. That’s a lot. And then I waited. My blood pressure was almost normal, but there was much excitement by the nurse when I told her I was off the morphine and just taking percocet. I wasn’t in pain. That’s good. Yay. No need to undress. Hang out, Dr. will be in. Now, Dr. K is a presence. He’s a tall, funny guy, with a southern twang to his voice and he’s always cracking jokes with nurses and staff and patients. I suppose you have to when you have to give the news he’s giving. He’s almost never late. I can sometimes hear him talking to other patients when I wait for him. Today I can hear him telling one that they will beat this thing, and that they will be in to review the chemo and radiation schedule with her, etc, etc, etc. Not good. It’s still taking a while for him to see me. I wonder where my treatment coordinator is – I have presents for her and Nurse Sue and Dr. K – just little holiday gifts to say thanks. I don’t hear Anne outside either – not good. Finally, Dr. K arrives with Minion 2 from the ER nightmare. They sit down. Sit. That doesn’t usually happen, so yes, it’s another harbinger of doom. Dr. K looks at me and doesn’t mess around – the biopsy shows cancer, and launches into how we could treat it. No surgery, no radiation, two different ways to address it with chemo, there’s no protocol for cancer in this area, quite frankly he doesn’t even know how or why it came back, it shouldn’t have at this point, once you pass two years, there’s a much less likelihood of recurrence. I just kinda look at him, and tell him I don’t have dying on my agenda. He said that’s good because he hasn’t, and isn’t, giving me permission to die. I’m not crying, I’m almost relieved because now I know – I awkwardly hand him the card and ornament I brought him – tell him I don’t know if he Jewish, or celebrates Kwanza or Christmas, but he can hang the ornament on his Hanukkah bush if he wants to – and thank him for taking such good care of me. I can tell this is as hard on him as it is for me. I think the Minion 2 wants to bolt, but is glad I am not crying and that I am, matter-of-factly, addressing what I need to do. Dr. K tells him to talk to me about the MRI, since he hasn’t staged it yet, and needs the MRI to determine what all is happening in the dark recesses of where the stupid pufferfish lies. I tell him I think the unwieldy beast is starting its dark resurgence because I’m having some discomfort in the area, and he says that’s what he wants to see on the MRI. Minion 2 has ceased sweating, I truly believe he thought I would lose it like I did when they offered my the psych hold in the ER. I maintained calm. OK, I was in shock, but it still didn’t involve crying.

You are never really prepared for the news. I’m still not sure I have accepted it, and probably won’t until they hang the poison bag on the rack and it starts dripping into my arm. Dr. K and I hug, he assures me that we will kick cancer’s ass and be laughing about this in no time. He tells me this is a shitty way to end the year, and a shitty way to start a new one, but go home, enjoy the holiday, and they will call me with the chemo schedule the day after Christmas. I tell him I trust him, he got me through it the last time and will this time. I shake the Minion 2’s hand, and like a scared bunny, he hands me the packet of papers for checkout and flees the room. I head to checkout. As I stand there, alone, having just been told my body has betrayed me, it hits me, and I tear up. I have cancer. Fuck. The receptionist asks me about the papers – I tell her all I know is I have a 4 week appointment on the 5th, and Dr. K wants me to have an MRI. She asks if it is scheduled – I tell her I don’t know – I was just handed papers by the Minion 2. She looks, and doesn’t have a clue why I have been handed all of Dr. K’s results and notes. I suddenly realize I need a note for work, and another prescription for percocet. I ask if she can get that for me when she asks him about the other papers. She does – he tells me I’m off until after my 4 week check up. I realize we never even looked at the incisions. Good thing I heal OK. She comes back with all my papers – I ask her if she can give Anne and Sue my cards and ornaments. She will. I’m still not really connecting to any of this. I get my appointment for the MRI and visit summary and head for the elevators.

I don’t break down until I am in the car. Then I am a snotty, sobbing, weeping, sniveling, snorting, coughing, choking mess for about five minutes. And alone. Horribly alone. And also very glad to be alone because I don’t have to worry about making anyone else feel better about my breakdown. I text who I need to text. I need to get groceries while I am down here. It’s funny how the trauma and the mundane activities intersect here. I need to get food. I also need to get home. I start the car and go to Giant, and mindlessly wheel the cart up and down the aisles, tossing shit in I don’t really need, but I have a fuck-it-you-only-live-once attitude and decide we’re having a fucking rib roast and ask at the butcher counter for a small incredibly expensive rib roast. Two hundred dollars later, I’m checking out of Giant with my rib roast. I forget to buy water. I’m not even hungry. I need to go home and that’s the last place I want to be. My iPod won’t fucking charge. I’m not going home until I have the opportunity to sing loudly with my iPod, and preferably with OWTH, until the pain inside is purged. I must also see my friend, Pony-Pony. I need some normality in this surreal scene. I also need gas. Actually, GAS first.

So I drive – first to a gas station. I fuel up and head to the MHS barn to see Pony-Pony. He’s not there. They probably are making him be the stupid donkey is some live nativity somewhere. I keep driving. I see my friends, the goats, at the goat barn, and I yell “fuck you” at the sheep in their pasture. My iPod is still not charged. I see some cows. I see another pony, and another, none of which are Pony-Pony, but at least I saw them. I keep driving. I realize my blood sugar is quite low, and I am a little shaky – I’ll got to Hardee’s. This whole time I feel like I am in weird freaky film where my character is in a dream world unbeknownst to everyone who sees her. It’s like none of this is real. I finally get the iPod charged enough to commence screamsinging. Fortunately, RTE 322 is not busy and I can cry and sing and drive all at once with no worries. It’s not real. It’s not real. I get to Hardee’s and order some sort of burger and onion rings. I manage to choke down the onion rings. I head home.

The drive was cathartic. And pretty scary. Occasionally I would look down at the speedometer during pauses between songs. I pushed 100+mph more than a few times. It’s not really my fault the car goes that fast. I slowed down several times. I wanted to get home and then I didn’t. I would have to tell Andy and then other people. This is the part that sucks. I finally drove home – I walked in and Andy was all excited to tell me about his trip and the game – and I killed that with a look. He asked how the visit went and I lost it. I sobbed and cried and told him how sorry I was he had to go through this all again. My kid is a good hugger. He told me I was the strongest person he knew and it was just cancer, and I could beat it. Then he proceeded to hug me some more. When he was adequately covered in snot, he went and got the groceries from the car. I didn’t want my expensive rib roast being stolen in this neighborhood

The C-monster is such a fucking burden. Not only do you have to worry about being sick, but you have to worry about bills and work, and the house and telling people and not upsetting people all while being told that this is the time you are supposed to focus on yourself. If there are people who are able to do that, I wish they would have a network where you could find out their secret. Because once you recover from the shock, you have to think about who to tell, and when and where and how and how are they gonna react and if they are old, like my dad, are you going to kill them? And then there’s the logistics – appointments and chemo and food and laundry and the joys of all the changes in smell and touch and taste. And when you have been the head of household for the last 24 years, that just doesn’t stop, you still worry about that. It’s just a lot. And no matter how much you have people tell you they will do whatever they can to help you, you don’t want to ask, because you don’t want to be a burden, and you want to be strong and tackle this yourself.

I’m tired of writing tonight, and I am tired of watching this fucking pathetic Steelers game while I type. I’m tired of being sick and doctor’s appointments, and not wanting to get out of bed. At least there’s minimal pain. At least there’s plenty of food in our house and we have functioning utilities. I can still write. My bed is comfy. I have a new blanket to take to chemo with me. It’s all gonna be over in 18 weeks (it better be). Tomorrow is the MRI – it will be a whole new experience for me, so look forward to that blog entry. I sure hope there’s no metal inside that suddenly gets torn from my body like I’ve seen in horror movies.

Good night my happy people…I’ll be keeping you updated – hug on your loved ones and do something fun with them before they can’t, or you can’t. Sleep well. Oh, about those resolutions, still working on them. I won’t be bound by your constrictive linear timetables. Kisses.

Oh yeah – three years ago yesterday, I got my first diagnosis. Happy Anniversary. I didn’t know the 3rd anniversary was also cancer.

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 My Days in Poppyland…

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So, I’m trying to wean off of the morphine. I had my appointment with Dr. K. My treatment plan is this: suffer. No, really, it’s manage the pain for now, try to lose 30lbs or the weight of a medium size dog, and then try some laparoscopic surgery in the New Year. Not exactly what I wanted to hear as my doctor was stabbing me in the side saying “yep, your cyst is back and no, I won’t cut you open.” Apparently, the pufferfish is not the toxic life threatening kind of blowfish. It’s just a pest. An inconvenience. A bother. And I’m stuck with it at least a while longer. Because of where it is, and my “fluffiness”, the Dr. would like to see me drop some “fluff” to be in a better place for the procedure. He has said if he goes in and it would be more hazardous to remove it, than it would to leave it be, it’s gonna stay. If he can’t get it with a laser, I’m stuck with it unless something more dangerous grows alongside it or I am impregnated as part of an alien experiment. It’s like a baby I’ll never deliver. Again, another example of me wishing for something and getting it, but only in the universe’s twisted system of fulfilling my dreams.

So my days are now categorized into “manageable” and “unmanageable” – the pain is ever present, but there are days when it is tolerable, and days, like this morning, where it is brutally cruel and tortuous. I waited too long to take a pill, and I was rewarded with two hours of writhing around on the bed bellowing like an elephant seal and looking like a beached beluga whale. And to make is stop, or rather, dull it, I had to double up on the opiates and send myself into a coma for an hour until it was time to go to work. Don’t worry, I am smart enough to not drive on coma mornings. And every time this happens, I make a silent wish that medical marijuana will someday be the law in PA. Because I believe that much of my pain would be squelched by a cannabis brownie.

This will not deter me from the Wine and Whine OTR trip this weekend in which we shall descend on local wineries like thirsty locusts and suck up grape nectar until we tumble back onto the bus. I’ve never done one of these wine tasting trips, but I am looking forward to it. Although I believe there’s some sort of cautionary bit on my prescriptions about alcohol intensifying the effects. Also long as it’s not intensifying the pain, I should be OK.

I apologize for my failure in the witty blogging that you’ve grown accustomed to, but the narcotics dull my shine. I hate not being myself, and I hate being in pain and there’s no happy medium. But I’ve committed to myself to write my way through this, so maybe one other person who is struggling with the magnificent residual gift of the c-monster doesn’t feel insane. They give you all these pamphlets about what treatment is like and what the effects of chemo are, etc, etc. And they show all these smiling “survivors” on TV, all bright and beautiful – but what you don’t hear about is all the goodies that the disease and the treatment leave behind. I’m still having to randomly smell phantom odors (all of which are unpleasant), I’m tired a lot, my hair still tries to be curly, and then there’s this fucking stupid cyst. But there’s no evidence of any cancer, so for that I’m grateful

So since I took my happy little blue pill an hour ago, I’m nodding off as I type, so this signals I should try to get some rest while I’m in the honeymoon stage of numbness. But before I go, I should announce that in my efforts to defluffitize, I’ll be trying to eat in a healthy manner. That means no more “single serving” pints of Ben and Jerry’s and stuffing pizza in my mouth like I am the beaked creature in Beetlejuice whose head practically opened in half. I’ve asked my coworkers to punch me or knock unhealthy food from my hands at the office, so if you see me in a public space dining on sugar bombs, please feel free to do the same. I am somewhat upset that I am trying to do this during the eating season when orange kitkats, turkey cranberry paninis, and warm chocolate cookies are taunting me like tiny demon sprites around my head. And now it’s time to watch American Horror Story, because the morphine and percocet don’t give me enough weird scary dreams on their own.

Peace my pumpkins, be well.


Pufferfish Becomes Superpufferfish XL

Who ever said ignorance is bliss should have a monument erected to them. I believe I would be so much happier if I was stupid. There’s a price to be paid for knowledge, and for having information at our fingertips on the internet.

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I won’t belabor the issue – my most recent CT scan (yesterday) report appeared online last night. In addition to having a ridiculously low and almost non-existent level of thyroid hormone (I knew it was low, but this was way below the low end of the measurement scale) I had the joy of reading that the former pufferfish has, in less that four months, become superpufferfish xl. That’s right, the pelvic mass that we all thought was defeated in a previous episode has not only recovered but has evolved like a Pokemon, say like a Igglybuff transforms into a Jigglypuff (see images below). It is now the size of a pink grapefruit or softball instead of a common baseball. And being that it is a holiday, and my dear Dr. K is out of the office until Monday, and probably did not feel compelled to check my medical records at midnight as I did, will not see the transformation until Monday, and they are not going to call me until Tuesday. I know my treatment coordinator saw it, because she called me about the thyroid thing, and left a message about that, but nothing about the SPFXL (Superpufferfishxl). Back to the waiting for the news.

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Of course, as is typical, I use the sacred interwebs to research this evolution. Things that grow so fast are often malignant. The only positive I can derive from my online inquiries is that there is no change in the nearby lymph nodes or other organs, which is a good sign. Whatever it is, I will deal with it, but I hate being in the no woman’s land of not knowing. I can feel it fighting with the other organs nearby for space, particularly my bladder and stomach, and it is annoying. Not to mention the pain it is inflicting by its inflation as it rests on the nerves in my lower spine and coccyx. (I should state that I love the work coccyx). Either way, it is going to be jabbed and poked and prodded with sharp needles and cutting tools, and it’s gonna mean that there’s gonna be no Riotfest in my future because I’m gonna have to take time off for hospital visits.

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And I’m scared. That actually goes without saying. To deal with the fear, I’ve been binge eating because nothing conquers fear than a package of limeade oreos, Chinese food and coolattas. Which makes me more uncomfortable. But I am letting myself have the 4th of July to wallow in self-pity. Tomorrow I’ll take an extra effexor, and get out in the world and see some babies I don’t have to take away from selfish, self-absorbed and self-indulgent adults, and remember just how strong I am. And see fireworks. The world is a better place with fireworks. Or explosions. Explosions are good too.

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Celebrate the day, my little firecrackers.

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And the Answer Is…

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No Malignancy found. Just inflammation, blood and fluid. See you in June, for your 4 mo. check up.

She lives!

Thanks for all the good thoughts.


Two Days Ago, This Had a Witty Title.

While I was hanging out in recovery on Friday afternoon, I was coming up with witty titles for my thoughts post-mining. I had several. I don’t remember any. Sorry. I feel like I leave you all down when I can’t be funny. I let me down too, because no one cracks me up like me! I am quite hilarious, the nurses found the giraffe joke much funnier than Andy did while we were at the hospital.

First, let me say that in rereading my blog entries recently, I have noticed numerous typos. I hope they have not been very distressing. I do read and edit this babble before I post it. I know it seems chaotic and free-form and sometimes not even funny, but I do edit. Not very well though as evidenced by my recent writing. And down goes another career path…”editor” now lies in the heap with “famous ballerina” and “badger rancher”. Please continue reading despite the poor grammar and editing.

Second, this post will be tinged with the sorrow of tomorrow’s lost snow day. My last hope for a snow day has been dashed by the local news. It appears it will not be more than nuisance snow, with super duper frigid temperatures to go with it. What that means it I will be forced to return to wearing boots and being uncomfortable all day. So, if the weather is reading this, here’s how it’s gonna go, you will either provide snow days, or get spring going, I’m tired of having to go out and about in boots for no other reason than to prevent frostbite.

Now that I’ve addressed those issues, let’s talk about how Friday went at Hershey Medical Center. I arrived early, got ushered into a holding area, and then hustled along to the Radiological Procedure Area in the basement. First observation – the regular radiology area is not as attractive as the radiological oncology area. No fish. A fun little TV area for the kiddies. But no awesome wall of fish. There’s no cell reception in there. Wifi is free though. Andy and I both left our cell chargers in the car so the phones died fairly quickly. Turn the paperwork in, wait a bit and we are off to our procedure area. I get to have the one right in front of nurses station. They don’t know what a treat they are in for! I get into my gown and hop on the bed. Jabbing and stabbing starts. IV in one hand, poor arm trapped in those vicious blood pressure machine, but at least they give you warm blankets. Finally all the necessary numbers are recorded and I am freed from the multiple hands everywhere making sure I am human. It’s time to wait. Oh good! There’s a clock directly in front of me! I can watch every anxious minute pass by. I take some pictures and post them on facebook, and try to think of a way that I can get the nurses to let me have the cool stuffed bird at their station. And watch the clock. Watch the flippin’ clock. Then a new nurse comes to take me to the cell where they will jam that needle and probe into my side and go on adventure…but I won’t care, I’ll be enjoying sweet, sweet, sweet moderate sedation.

Moderate sedation does not mean what I thought it meant.

I ride on my bed through the halls into a room with a ct scanner in it. It better have stickers. I get parked against the wall. The resident who will be assisting tries to pronounce my name and butchers it. I joke about it. My nurse jokes about it. Resident seems nervous, and when he says “I’m going to listen to your heart and lungs”, I reply “I’m pretty sure I still have them”, he doesn’t get it. Then he asks if I understand what this procedure is. Sure do, you’re going to put me to sleep, and then, like testing the doneness of a cake, you will spear me with a needle, find the pufferfish, stab and grab it, and tell me whether or not the C-Monster has been reborn. That’s when I see his terror – no, says Dr. M.. there’s actually 4 scenarios: 1. We can’t get to it because it’s in there too deep. 2. We get to it and find out it’s an infected mass and we have to put in a drainage tube. 3. We get in, get samples and get out. 4. We get in, we get samples, we drain fluid, and get out. All could go horribly wrong and you could bleed or get sick or worse. K? Oh, and you are only getting moderate sedation – you’ll get a local anesthetic, some stuff that makes you feel like you had two or three drinks, but you will be awake the whole time. Holy shit, two or three drinks? Doesn’t he know I have an affection for hotvodkacocoas? With pain meds. I’m gonna feel every little poke. Good dog, how am I going to survive this? I try not to show fear.

Kind nurse #1 helps me get on the CT table. I guess I have to have a scan first. Makes sense. I note the lack of stickers. KN#1 tells me not to fear, the stickers are inside. I tell them that’s good because I would have to make a formal request like I did in radiological oncology. I don’t do CT scanners without stickers. Wait? What is this? I have to lie on my side. Interesting. Then they start to prep me for the event. What? I stay on the scanner the whole time? Hmm. I get oxygen, more IVs, needles, and finally large velcro straps to keep me on the table. Apparently I will be sliding in and out of the machine throughout the procedure, like some sort of amusement park ride. And I will be AWAKE. Did I mention I will be awake? Yes AWAKE.

My plethora of tubes, wires, and monitor leads keep getting yanked about as I pop up and down in the machine like a whack-a-mole machine on its side. We finally get it right and I hear the Dr. getting started. And then I FEEL IT. Because, as I mentioned, I AM NOT ASLEEP. Not that I don’t try to fall asleep – I keep closing my eyes and trying to nap, so that I am not focused on the bizarre feeling of this snaking needle meandering through my lower abdomen on its way to Location: FPF. I FEEL it find Pufferfish. I FEEL IT attack it, grab some meaty goodness and head for the exit. THREE TIMES. Okay, it hurts less than a tattoo, or childbirth or playing chicken with a lit cigarette, but it still hurts is a weird achy way. And not a good way either. Back to popping up and down in the machine. I hear the words “we’re almost done”.

Key word: ALMOST. I was about to breathe a sign of relief. Except, that was when the sharp pointy stabbing thing went back in with a tube to drain some fluid. More achy weirdness. More sliding in and out, up and down, and the promise that I am about free. I ask the KN#2, well, what’s the deal? Good, bad, don’t know? Her cautious reply is that the Dr will be in to talk to me in recovery, and usually it’s a week to ten days until there’s anything back from the pathology lab. Being quite lucid after the procedure since the medication to relax me didn’t exactly relax me, I realize that before I was strapped in, they told me that there was a pathology lab right there that would look at the samples when they were extracted to make sure they had good samples. Oh well, I will wait for the doctor.

I crawl off the machine and onto the rolling bed and back to my curtain. I try to sleep for a bit before they page Andy to come back. He really like that part. Here’s your pager son, we will page you when your mom is in recovery. So off he went to get a coffee and have some breakfast. I can’t sleep. I’m restless. It’s 11:30. They page Andy. He comes back and I get lunch. No jello. Just applesauce and a turkey sandwich and some Oreo cookie snacks. A healthy lunch. And water, I haven’t had anything to drink since 1am. Phones are mostly dead. He won’t let me watch TV. Won’t let me since the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang song. Or the Barney Song. Or You Are My Sunshine. Or the Wake Up Song (I wrote that one) Or the Carpenter’s song about birds appearing. So apparently I am not allowed to sing. So what do I do for fun? I die. Not really, just that my leads came off the monitor and it just looked like I was dead to the nurses. Who looked up and saw I was not really dead before they got those shocking paddles ready. That’s when they took away my monitoring devices so I couldn’t hold my breath while wildly wiggling my finger to make it look like I stopped breathing while my pulse was erratic on the monitor anymore. So now all I could do was swing the unattached monitor lead on my index finger around and around until the doctor got there.

Apparently, the Dr. is not coming. He usually doesn’t see the patients after the procedure unless there were complications, and I had none. I’ll find out from Dr. K. next week. Now, I’m not dumb. You always get good news right away. When I have to wait, I pretty much know it’s not a happy thing. They did drain fluid from the Pufferfish. I can feel the difference. I know I should think positive thoughts – I am – maybe not the kind you are expecting – but I am thinking I am glad I have such excellent medical care and an exceptional medical team, who I trust, and if it is malignant, at least it’s been being monitored and it’s far less serious than the last go round, and I made it through this whole nightmare once, I can do it again. Since I am not going to see a Dr., they have decided that I can be dismissed, sadly, because they have enjoyed the entertainment I have provided. Andy has been told that he can take me without supervision to the car in a wheelchair. I must not walk. They do not tell him that he must not crash the wheelchair but they do tell him no strenuous activity and I am not to shovel snow every again. In my life. Ever. Never. Don’t even think about it. (This is not medically mandated, but I like their thinking.)

I get dressed and then get in the wheelchair. Andy was a pretty decent driver. When I yelled FASTER! He complied. While waiting for the elevator he spun me around until I was dizzy. He effectively wove in and out of the slow moving people in the hospital’s main corridor, and didn’t park me outside in the cold while he got the car. I would recommend his services in this area highly. Finally I was in the car, gobbling up a loaf of Irish Soda Bread, and wistfully looking forward to the day in bed and my snow day on Monday. The snow day I am now being robbed of.

And I had a witty title already for when I wrote this entry. But it’s two days later and I’m two days closer to knowing what comes next. I hate having my life on hold. I hate it even more than being denied a snow day and still having to wear boots. I still need to go to the store even though I don’t need milk and bread now. I would like a coffee too. So it’s off to rip off the band-aid from my wound, and head into the real world. Frightening though it may be.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back sometime this week to reveal the outcome. But before I go, I almost forgot – the stickers inside the CT machine? They were from Finding Nemo. And the one directly in my line of sight? A Pufferfish. Coincidence? I think not.

 

Funny foot ghosts

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Stuffie just out of my grasp

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And Whatever You Do, Don’t Feed the Pufferfish After Midnight!

The Countdown begins. I am past my no-more-food cutoff, and just an hour away from no-more-water. All I keep thinking about is that they get in there, find out that my new resident, Pufferfish, or FPF for short, has to come out NOW. As some of you may recall from the Gutting of .’11, they were just gonna take the behemoth tumor out via laser, and that ended with 7 hours of surgery and a hideous scar across my belly full of staples that I wouldn’t even look at for the first week. And who can forget those lap sites from when they went in and then changed their minds and fetched a scalpel instead, that days later spouted like a damn fountain? Good times, good times.

Anyway, of course I’m nervous and dreading the forced smile of whoever gets to tell me the results. It better come with jello, that’s all I have to say. It’s supposed to be in-and-out. My pre-scavenger hunt scan is at 8:30 and the theft of fluid and issue is at 10. I am guessing I’ll be done by noon. And back in bed by 4pm. To sleep the weekend away.

I don’t even think I will get results tomorrow, probably not for another week. I’m working on the positive thing, but I think the whole chemo/radiation thing kind of puts the damper on that. It’s hard to shut off the part of the brain that remembers all of that. Not that I haven’t spent hours trying. But, there are more important things to decide…

What to wear to this event? I thought about pajama pants, because it’s not like I am going to go shopping after I am violated, but there’s that stigma about wearing them in public and I really don’t have any slipper that go with them – I don’t even really want to wear shoes, but that whole sub-zero temperature thing is working against that. I mean, I don’t want to be there for both the amputation of frost-bitten toes and FPF exploration. But I know you have suffered enough introspection, reflection, sadness and pathos in this blog lately…I know what you’re really after.

UPDATES AND OBSERVATIONS:

Update: I saw the hooker from the bus again the other morning. She was still working the red rabbit coat, but this time she had a posh purple evening gown on (and she missed the early bus).

Observation: If Dunkin Donuts has cookie batter and brownie batter filled donuts, why don’t they have brownies and cookies?

Observation: Why do pill (tablets) have line scored in them to break in half, and yet be impossible to snap in half?

Update: I bought a new pair of tweezers. This means I will find the other three, most likely by spearing my foot with at least one of them.

Update: Oreos now come in a lemon flavor. I am pleased.

That’s enough for now my friends, I am going to read for a while til I fall asleep. Whatever religious rituals or spiritual practices you partake of, send some mojo my way. I’ll try to pull off a photo essay of the day’s events. Since I am intellectually thwarted by instagram, check FB for fun-filled shots of the day unfolding, as long as my camera is not confiscated. G-rated, of course (if G means gore). And they better give me a ct-scan machine with stickers on it, or there will be hell to pay. Buh-bye lovelies.

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Gutting 2.0 – Pufferfish Has To Go

Well, I will be at Penn State Hershey Medical Center bright and early Friday morning for the live action version of “Operation”. We’ve moved from draining a cyst to doing a biopsy. Under moderate sedation. And while they go in after the pufferfish that has taken up residence in the spot where the ol’ uterus and co. used to reside, I’ll be off will Lil’ Nemo in Slumberland. Seriously, if you have not seen that animate film,. Little Nemo’s Adventures in Slumberland, you need to. One of the most troubling animated films I’ve ever enjoy. Those wacky tree creatures unsettle me every time.

 

So of course I got the call this morning, on my way to work, just in time to screw up the whole day. Then there was pain. Pain unlike I have had since the last neulasta shot. I couldn’t find a place to be comfortable and I only had aspirin at my disposal. I literally wanted to lie on the floor and cry until someone put me out of my misery. When the hospital called at lunch time to review my medical history and asked me my pain level, I was at 5. Which I probably understated. It was a fucking 10. But all is well in the home again, a new prescription of pain medication is within the grasp of my chubby little hands. I just want this all to be over. The not knowing is the worst part – once I know one way or another, I can figure out what is next, but not knowing puts everything on hold.

 

Anyway, that’s where things stand right now. I’m trying to keep my positive attitude and think positive thoughts, but I know that right now I positively need another half of a pill and to try and sleep. However, in other news, I somehow managed to delete all the contacts in my phone last night. If you have my number, text me with your name so I can rebuild my peoples. If you need my number, comment here, or send me a fb message.

 

On the plus side, I bet there will be a rainbow of jello to choose from after I wake up on Friday. And maybe Andy will want to go see the Lego movie with his mommy after the invasive probing is completed. So if you pray, pray for me, or ask the universe for favors, or sacrifice a goat or make a voodoo doll in the shape of my uterine cavity invader. Just send the good thoughts my way. Presents are always welcome, but not required, but again, I’m still looking for a cheap used ipod shuttle or something since my good friend the mini is now lost.

 

I know I can get through what ever it is, I just want whatever it is to be a false alarm.

 

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Almost to the Finish Line

Well here we are…one week out until the last chemo treatment for banishing the ol’C-monster. I must say I’ve got some mixed feelings. I don’t mean that I’ll be sad that treatments are over, because I will be OVERJOYED that they are over. I will be thrilled to one day soon walk up some stairs without being winded, or to know that feeling ok will be replaced soon with feeling pretty good to feeling healthy! But as I’ve written about before, there’s new fear that’s planted in your brain once treatments are over…is it coming back? Who the hell came up with 5 year survival rates? And why does a person with cancer have to be told about them?

And lately, I have an even bigger question…are there staples inside me, because sometimes when I put the laptop too close to where my incision was, it gets really warm and then it stings for a while. Do I need to stay away from super magnets?

I’m kind of scared too, because knowing I see a Dr. every three weeks and there are all these blood tests makes me have a little comfort, because if something else is wrong, they will know right away. Once all of this is done, I’ll only be seeing the Dr. once every three months at first, and it will be up to my body not to betray me in the interim. I was fortunate enough not to have had any real complications and not very aggressive cancer cells, so in retrospect, for me, this didn’t really seem that difficult at all. Although during those days when everything smelled nastier that dead fish in the hot sun, and food of all kinds made me retch, and the bone pain, ah, the bone pain that fell like pac-man was chomping ghosta right out of my bones…that was tough, but honestly, looking back, this all could have been sooooo much worse.

I’m not going to write too much tonight. I’ve been fighting off a fever all weekend, along with a very sick tummy that responded only to some lamb biriyani and some na’an. Something about curry cures my sick tummy, but once the curry was gone, the sick tummy came back. I need to rocket out of bed bright and early tomorrow and go get my blood test since I was too sick to do it Saturday and they were closed today. I can’t make up my mind if I am hot or cold, so it’s blankets on, then off all night. I am really looking forward to just not having to think about being sick anymore.

So I’ll end this with another paraphrased quote I read, and unfortunately, I don’t know who to credit it to, but anyway, it went something like this…that I’m not that strong or courageous, the only difference between me and those who give up, is that I told myself…just get through today, just one day. And did it all again the next day, until I got here. … I know that when all of this is over, there will be other challenges to face, all I hope is that I can meet then with the same spirit I met this one. Bon Soir, mon, petites.