Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This is how the day went.


Appointment time for CT was 9:30 AM, with a 9:15 arrival.  Of course I left the prescription sitting on the dining room table, where I had left it out so I would remember to bring it.  Doctor's office faxed it over and we were called back by 9:40 AM.  

I am so happy because I have so much fun to look forward to, wearing my favorite SU2C sweatshirt.

Umm.  Mochaccino flavored barium.  Doesn't get much better than this.  Breakfast covered by insurance!

SOOOOOOO very extremely vomitous.  

I *almost* drank the whole first container, then another patient ratted me out and the stupid tech made me drink ANOTHER CUP!  Rude Albert.
After waiting for almost 2 hours, I was finally scanned in 4 minutes.  Now fully nauseated from the barium/contrast combo, we focused on lunch (hoping I'd eventually want to eat it).

Doesn't everyone go to Sarcone's after a CT? (For the record, I got a tuna and a veggie)
On the PA turnpike to visit the in-laws... 

The rainbows have yet to bring bad news. Do you see the faint double?  The Hawaiians say it's a blessing.
Thus completed the day of my 20 month scan.


ps. the results are in:  no significant change in mediastinum anterior (original tumor site) or the fibrosis in left lung.  just a bonus kidney stone for fun!  life in remission continues...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

How To Distract Yourself From Your Ever-Creeping-Closer Scan

Three words:  The Daily Show. (A few more words - it's important to have at least a week's worth of episodes stockpiled on your TiVo or DVR.)


Best of the best.

And included here is a link to an excellent interview Jon conducted with David Rakoff, dark and hilarious writer, almost 2 years ago.  I like his pessimistic M.O. - he says at one point during the interview, "Pessimism is detail-oriented thinking."  Perfection.

(Psst.  Watch the interview if you want to understand what I write next.) Don't get me wrong, I love Kris Carr as much as the next person.  But I'd rather not add another layer of guilt on my already Princess-and-the-Pea type pile, by feeling like my ultimate survival is dependent on my ability to think optimistically.

You'll have to excuse me, I have to go eat my dessert salad before I go to bed, so my stomach can prepare for the scrumptious mocha flavored barium breakfast that is chilling to optimum ingestion temperature in the Penn. Hosp. refrigeration system at this very moment.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fear (and wanting to spend the next week under the bed)

Some days are stunners, sunshine and unicorns, hazelnut coffee and sweet potato pie.

Today was not one of those days.  Today was the opposite of sweet potato pie, perhaps like sucking on raw horseradish root.  Some days taste like scat, all day long.  Sorry to disappoint, I don't want to get into too much detail about the rottenness of the bad mood details.  Simply frustrated with the continued uncertainty and unfairness of this fragile life.

Got a scan coming up in T minus 4 days.  A CT this time, three cheers for no radioactive glucose!  Quite honestly, I haven't done much active worrying the past few weeks, a big deviation from my usual pre-scan behavior.  I'm sure there's a live anxiety current running just below the surface - I can tell because as happened 4 months ago, I've been having difficulty swallowing (instead of feeling itchy, my telltale anxiety symptom).

One of my wise therapists told me recently about how when we are feeling down in the dumps, our memories tend to pick out all of the other times we felt down in the dumps and push them towards the front of our brains.  All we can remember in this state are other times we were in this state.  Sad times mean we've always been sad (and let me add my own piece here:  that we will always be sad).  In times of grief, all we can see is grief.  You get the idea.  While this makes perfect sense to me, as our brains are always looking for links and logic, it's still nearly impossible to talk oneself out of a mud puddle.

Most of you have heard this Florence + The Machine song already, but I played it on repeat during this morning's commute to my final day of training for the new job.  There are so many lyrics that simultaneously stir and comfort, and of course, as any good lyrics are, they are open to multiple interpretations.  I'm mostly sure that this was written about some volatile relationship, but I prefer to think of it as our relationship to whatever dogs us from our past ("It's hard to dance with a devil on your back").  In my case, it's fear.

Fears of the future ebb and flow with the phases of the moon, and perhaps that's the most reassuring news:  once they flow, ebb comes next.

Ready for a new moon.

PS. My goodnight gift to you: click here (song starts 1:26ish).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


do you feel it?
I'm not quite sure how to describe the confusion I feel at the moment.  I realize this blog is not dedicated to politics, but it is mine and I can do what I please.  Many of you are probably aware of this whole Chik-Fil-A ridiculousness going on all across the good ol' U. S. of A.  For me personally, the thought of eating that food knowing where (or rather NOT knowing where) it comes from, how the animals are treated, how the meat is prepared and grease-i-fied for your eating pleasure, is enough of a turnoff.  Chicken nuggets are not my thing.  But beyond that, knowing that by paying them for their fast food, I would be contributing to the promotion of hate, my Chik-Fil-A appetite is no more.

On top of the anti-gay funding, I have also learned about the Eat More Kale fiasco, and how CFA continues its hot legal pursuit of a guy in Vermont who prints (in his house) shirts that apparently rival the slogan "Eat More Chikin".  REALLY???

Then there's this whole voter ID business.  Let's try everything in our power to disenfranchise the Obama voters.  Take away one of the only ways people have to feel included in our national debates.  Let's move our country backwards.

Don't get me wrong, I am glad (after being reminded by an old friend who lives in a much different nation) to live in a country where we have opportunities, healthcare, clean water, mandatory public education.  But why are there so many people here intent on hating others?

I wonder if just one of these haters had a major life crisis and found a community of people immediately activated in their support, perhaps they might value community differently?

I do believe in the power of community love and passionate people.  And not for nothing, I do believe we are here on this planet to help each other get through tough times.  If you're not helping, at least get out of the way.

Your good news for the day:  Judah had his yearly check up today for a kidney condition he was born with (discovered in utero).  The doctor looked at his ultrasound and could not detect a problem!  His kidneys are gorgeous and lovely and he no longer needs to see the specialist.  Luck and love.  Hallelujah!