Saturday, April 30, 2016

Eventho I really need an editor and a tosser of punctuation, I know when I've been unclear, because my people tell me. 
----------

Here, an exchange with my Sympathetic Friend. I blocked out her personal stuff because it's nobody's business and I knocked out some of my colorful language because it's distracting and there's a 'r' missing. Lower case. Go figya. 















And that's when I fell asleep.

------------

But just to be clear(er), the thyroid thing is happening on May 12th. I'll just be there overnight(lawd willin') and back practicing my tap dancing a few weeks later. We're waiting on one more result from that nine jillion tubes of blood test-a-thon that happened just one week ago. Things are looking good but I'll wait till they tell me something officially. We'll check back with the hematologist in a month-ish. We still(once again, here I am referring to the royal 'we') have to hook up with a rheumatologist because of the clot thing and that HSP thing that happened way back on Thanksgiving. Then there's the hernia negotiations after that. Woo Hoo. 

P has this date in his head where he thinks I'll be all better and he keeps pushing it back further and further which both sucks and blows at the same time. It was May. Now it's June. 

My new thing at the library is to look for books after my shift ends on Saturday. Lately I'm not finding what I want so I throw them all back and start over. We were talking about this blog and why I'm writing it and P mentioned sympathy and I was like, gedouddaheayuh. (That's Long Island for Get out of here. You're welcome.) That was never the point at all. 

And I think...I think the book I'm looking for, is the one where the person has cancer-and all the stuff that goes with it-but that they don't necessarily croak in the end. And what is that thing that they say, write the book you don't see on the shelves? 

Something like that. 









Friday, April 29, 2016



Won't you please enjoy a little bit of 
good news delivered by a fairy. 







Thursday, April 28, 2016

I knew this was gonna be the hardest day and P was all-what about this(indicating the gigantic scar that runs both North-South of my personal hemisphere)? And I said, yeahhhhh somehow that didn't scare me as much as this. 

Go away Whoopie.

It was an all day affair for two appointments. Like a lot of things, a lot less fun as you go along. We started with the registration game-which we've played before and religion-wise we still classify ourselves as 'other' and would we like the chaplains to stop by while we're there? Sure. We'll take all the assistance we can get. Dammit. 

We got sent upstairs this time. We found our way down a hall and it was a sort of a temporary setting for PAT which is pre-admission testing and a nice nurse showed up right away and took my blood pressure which hurt like a word that starts with M and my temperature, and that thing on my finger and then questions. No news flashes for this one. I think it was all verifying what was already in the computer and we talked at length about ice cream. Brown Cow/Rainbow Cone and how the glorious P brought me home some Raspberry Rhapsody or something like that from a place in Chicago last night. 

She gave us the instructions regarding how much apple juice you can have on the morning of surgery and she said the  anesthesiologist would be "right in".


 Three hours later. 

Okay not three but, it was a long time until he got there. This time it was me hopping around the room. Taking pictures willy-nilly just because it was taking so long. Finally, in came a man who re-asked almost the exact same questions but typed other stuff. It didn't really take very long at all. 

And I even showed him this gigantic mark on my back that happened after the epidural in September. It doesn't hurt so I always forgot to ask about it. He called it a rash and I was like...uhhh ho no. This is not a rash. It's like a permanent discoloration and I got it HERE, my friend. 

I believe if I was a Kardashian, this would be setting off some sort of lawsuit. As for me-I just kept forgetting about it-with all this other nonsense going on. 

Maybe that's the moment I set the day off onto a terrible course. I'm willing to take a little bit of blame. Or maybe it started last night.






wooOOOOOoooo(dream sequence)oooOOOOoooooo






Last night, I came home from massaging, I was really, really tired and I stopped at the Jewel for the rest of my shot shooters("syringes" says P). They didn't have enough of them the first time out, so I had to go back and collect the rest. I park my car on the edge of the Jewel Parking Lot. Absolutely no big thang. 


Except I ran into the pharmacist and she had time to talk. 


She is a lovely person-you could not ask for a finer pharmacist-especially in our neighborhood-but last night, for some reason, she started running down all the restrictions of all the stuff I'm gonna have to be taking for all of eternity. Like there's a thing with Vitamin K, right? You either can't eat leafy greens at all, OR, you have to agree to eat them every single day.  Which is, ya know, not THAT big of a deal but that's not all the rules for that drug. 

Like all of a sudden she's talking about how I could bleed to death in a car accident because duh-she said-they ARE blood thinners and I felt myself doing the 'I gotta get outta here' feeling for my cough drops thing because I can handle one whole lot of stuff(and I have and I do) but that kind of 'things', was too much-even for me. 

--------

We had time between appointments. An hour and a half.  And appointment two, was needles in the neck. Again. And I'm scared because this stuff has visited upon my extended family and for me-it is where it gets scary. 

I was getting really agitated like a coo-coo bird. It was lunch time, I'm standing in their cafeteria and I cannot think about eating. I mean, come on people. This is me. I eat. 

I went to the bathroom and couldn't go to the bathroom. I went to the gift shoppe where I snuck this undercover photo. 



Hot Pickles. I've never even heard of hot pickles. 

We found a kind of a quiet place to sit, P read his paper and I tried to get a grip. Or an eighth of a grip. Not happening. 

Back we walk to where they told us to be. It was 12:46. They told us to sit and wait, which we did and then we got re-called for the, In case of emergency we should call P....sort of question that we'd just answered hours before. We were sent back to the same spot to wait. My appointment was at 1:00. We're watching the clock pass 1:00 and it's almost at 1:15 when they call out 'Anna Farrell' and we shuffle on after them. They send us down to the basement. We have been there before and get this: The radiology people have given away my appointment.

Here's me: I am at maximum aggitation. I've even spent a big portion of the morning going around saying: I'm very anxious about this appointment because I know I have to acknowledge the feeling. I've had five star therapy. I know the rules.  

The radiology woman? She's like, but they've already started. We can't stop their procedure that's already in progress. Like that's my problem-like I didn't want to get caught in traffic tonight or something along those lines. 

Whaaaaaaaaat?


What a gigantic load of crap. She shrugs and says, we didn't know if you were even coming. I was like......but I got cut off by P who starts the run down of our entire day right from the very beginning and you know what? I just let him go with it. It had been his torturous day as well. 

Now I'm agitated and I'm furious and I am still anticipating them finding some other rotten stuff hiding in my neck that has to be speared with a needle. Oh so entirely not cool at all. 

You know what we did? We had to wait. 



And eventho another room magically opened up so they could at least START my procedure, my throat-not having had to spend any time at all in the furious position-not lately anyway-felt like a family of robins moved in with some dry shredded wheat and the whole trick to this thing is not swallowing and that is the only thing I really really really  wanted to do. 

They had to spear only two lymph nodes-each one twice. It could have been worse. 





On our way home, we stopped at Ino's and the man on Judge Judy was being accused of cheating people on gofundme by pretending he had cancer. 

It was just that kind of day. 









Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A reader asks: Ya still workin'? 

(You have to zoom in on this unless you'd prefer to enjoy it purely for decorative purposes.) 

I have these weird bruise mark things on my hands and arms from the blood tests/blood thinner combination and one of my SUPERvisors-no really, they are-told me I am a warrior and those are my battle scars. It's weird to have colors on your arms all of a sudden. Bad weird. 


It's 15 days-ish till surgery and so-as I have ever so subtly noted, I've now put on my game face* and started to focus on remaining completely calm. Please wish me luck as I have been summoned to call healthcare.gov because of some misguided paperwork or something-that-if I don't follow up could result in the loss of any insurance I currently hold. 

Woo. 


More tomorrow*. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Grantley has applesauce on her head like some sort of crazy dog mousse gone wrong. It dripped coming out of the fridge because I had it turned upside down and I mention that because I just wanted to type the words: Grantley has applesauce on her head. 

Thanks.

Okay. We're there in Burr Ridge after having had all my vitals taken by John and in comes the doctor. She looks like she's maybe 23. If I said we were there for three hours, that might give you an idea of how thorough this was. I'm going to have to say, for me? Well, I tried to capture my facial expression(Do you know two of my work places have colored pencils readily available?) and I kinda sorta settled on this:

This is me-drowning in words. 

There was a very thorough physical exam behind a curtain so P-who has just about seen everything known to Ann-couldn't see. It kinda felt like how you'd greet an exuberant dog-like how she was checking out all my nodes-don't cha know-but it wasn't naked or robed or disrobed or whatever. 

That finished and it was time for the incredibly complicated talking part and I cannot tell you exactly when she lost me-there was something about possible genetic mutation and there was something bone marrow possibility and there was something autoimmune disorder possibility and my face looked like this:

And an American flag appeared over my right shoulder and a bad yellow tie-it was the craziest thing. 

I hope I am not imagining this, but I think, at one point I said to her: Is this fatal? And I also think her response was: no and maybe that's when I stopped listening and thought, okay then, get ON with it already, right? I got things to do. 

But my head just couldn't take any more words in. So, when they brought in this convienent, take-home, massively art-directed, big money, stupidly named, cardboard box, I knew there was trouble. Well, I actually sensed trouble when I even had to make this appointment but not this flavor of trouble. 


Wait wait. I can do better. 

There. 

Injections, at home, twice a day. Yipes. And of course, I'm like, uhhh I'm not doing that. Philip's doing it. And he thought it'd be the sort of a thing where you sorta just punch this tube thing into the skin like one of those epi pens? But nope, needles. Another young woman came in to sort of instruct us-like what angle to go in with and the schedule and stuff and eventually they released us back into the universe. Tanks be to jezuz(here I'm using my Irish accent acquired in my divorce settlement, you're welcome). 

There had been phone calls with my pharmacy and the insurance company and when we got to the Jewel to fetch the actual needles they told us that a months worth of this stuff is $3000 and that the insurance company wants you off of it pronto so they'll just release 7 days of it at a time for 15 bucks. 

Well, we started it, on the couch. The first one hurt more than the second one but by then we'd moved to a chair. Kind of a better angle maybe. Every 12 hours, in the belly. Not the same spot. Duh. 

Last night, Grantley got kind of interested and just when Philip had the needle in but not pushed the medicine through, she walked up to me and licked my leg. Twice. 

I laughed.

And then I got a stern talking to from Doctor O'Connor about the possibility of the needle breaking off and me ending up in the emergency room but I still think it was Really Funny. 
-----
That same day, Friday was a flurry of hospital phone calls. Hernia doc backing out of combining hernia repair with thyroid removal.(Not good in my opinion but I'm not the doctor.) Trying to make an appointment to see a RheumatologistI(what?!?)when the next available is sometime in July. How was the Lovenox going? Oh by the way/we need to do more blood tests/what time can you get here? They close early. 

I tay you what(Chicago accent indicated here)if this had been 11 months ago? I would have dropped everything and run like the wind over to the hospital but this time? I decided I'd go, but first I'd finish my salad. That's what's different now. 


Now, on top of the nine vials Thursday, here are six more. The two with the purple tops? They told me that test costs $1456.00 so they'd have to call the insurance company for approval and if they didn't get it within 72 hours? Do-over. 

I also asked if I could take a photo because I'm braver and bolder and she was cool with it. 

-------
Coming up this week: a whole lotta appointments which is why I must leave you now and get outside and play. Right after I try and clean off Grantleys head. 

Again. 





Friday, April 22, 2016

Oooooooh-kay.


Here are my notes from that phone call:

Finding on cat scan. 
Vein that drains into liver has a clot in it.
See a hematologist. 
Portal vein. 
Blood thinner. 


This picture doesn't really belong here 
except I think it looks pretty, doesn't it?


And that's all I knew Tuesday night. But this is how this medical stuff works. Mysterious worrisome phone call/don't hear anything 'till the next day/And what you do hear is that you have to make an appointment so you don't really know anything except it's hard to sleep. 

This stuff is not for the weak. Not this part anyway. 

The next appointment was for Friday to see this hematologist and I didn't have to change any work hours or anything, so that's reasonably coolish and then all of a sudden I DID have to change my library hours because I'm going to be a new patient and she doesn't see new patients in the Maywood(read: nearby) office. It's Thursday in Burr Ridge. Do I know where that is? Mmmmnot really. 

Well, I can't go, says P.  Okay, says me. Wednesday night, I say, yeahhhhh I think you should go with me. We negotiate. I win. Yay me. 

We leave early to get there early. Someone told me never to go to the hospital early because they're always running late but not these people. We got called in 10 minutes early. Imagine that. 

In the hallway, there's a most beautiful young woman with red hair sitting behind a table and Philip has to stop and talk because that's who he is and the topic was organ transplants and Philip said he's a donor. It's on his driver's license(I think I'm one too-except for that crack about me not having any organs left to share) but anyway that woman was GLOWING. I am not kidding. And she said, thank you. I'm a heart recipient myself and we were like: WOW. That's fantastic. Honest, she was twinkling in invisible fairy dust. It was so cool.

We did not even get to touch a magazine, when we were called in. This is a new facility. Well, the building is 5 years old but this cancer section is brand new. Check out this table. 

Brand spanking new. 


Our guy-medical assistant was named John. Here was an our-aged man that was SO happy with his job. He was funny but not annoying-seriously had all the ducks in a row-offered us some actual water. TWICE! Incroyable! And after we had a moment of silence for Prince(and also noted that KISS is coming to the Illinois State Fair-altho for myself I'd prefer to see the butter cow), when I explained that I was a hard-stick? He poked around both my arms for a good vein and when he didn't feel confident? He went and found an experienced nurse. You think this stuff isn't huge but ho ho ho. Gigantorrific.



Because here's how it went with an experienced nurse: 

Three bunny tails. Yipes. 

Okay so. Here comes the gacky luv story. Brace yourselves.

This is how many tubes of blood they had to get. It's blurry because I don't know if I'm supposed to be snapping these pictures so I was rushing so as not to be captured and thrown in the morgue or the department of soiled linens or something. 

I count nine, yes?


So, while I-in the role of the pin cushion-have this poor nurse trying to get all this blood out of my arm(it was not easy and she did a great job because what we've now learned is-the more they stick ha-the harder it gets to collect the blood)our man Philip reads me the clues of the crossword. Like for a distraction. 






Next episode: How I got from here to 

there. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Missed a phone call. From the original cancer surgeon with the nice haircut and the cool shoes. Hey-I think to myself-how did HE get back in the picture? I thought I was talking to somebody else. 

He's reviewed my cat scan and while there's nothing to be super worried about... You see that sentence? As I got to the words 'and while'? I'm already worried. And truthfully? When I get a message that starts with the phrase 'Miss Farrell'? I'm already frowning. I don't know who she is but I already don't like her. 

I go to the hospital online email joint or what have you and I send this non-urgent message:

Yo Dr. XXXXX-
I got your message and the nurse triage line was closed. I'd appreciate any updates because I seem to enjoy getting super worried about things. 

Thanks!
Ann Farrell

Because more and more I need to generate higher and higher levels of jocularity all of a sudden. Sue me. 

---------

Get home and play the message for Philip. I'm all ready to flip out over it-no really, I'm in the O M Gee pre-flipping position and he's all: S.     O.      P. 

"Standard.  Operating.  Procedure. 

The doctor got the test results and he reviewed them and he's just calling you because that's what he has to do. "

Oh. Says me. And I flip off the flipping out switch like there's nothing frown-worthy going on in the universe and I go to bed. Unflipped. 

It's a good thing to remember that this switch exists, because this anxiety crap is exhausting and probably a choice I'd be better off not making. 

Duh=me. 

----------

The doctor catches me this morning. His voice makes me a little nervous and frighteningly polite. He seems to have almost accidentally reviewed the cat scan(this is a theme, isn't it?)and? He found something. 

Oh, said me. 

He said he was sorry that I had to keep going through all this stuff but that the quality of the cat scans are so high now, they can see more stuff and I said, umm okay. 


And then I thanked him like a crazy person which is so hidiously mortifying but once you start there's no brakes, and I texted Philip that he could go to the appointment on Friday instead of me and he said that wasn't mentioned in my personal ad and I said: fine print. 








Sunday, April 17, 2016

Behold The Schlub!


Oh-kay. The contrast Cat Scan.  I worked a partial massage shift and then off I went to my appointment. What's interesting about THAT? Well. When I asked to get the time off, the manager filled that space on our computerized calendar-accessible to all employees-in with: DOCTORS APPOINTMENT. 


Hmmm thought I. Where does THAT announcement fall on the cool scale? Because before the first go 'round-they asked me what they should "tell people" and I said, (what are you kidding me?)tell them nothing. Know why I said that? I didn't want people to scare me with terrible stories. 

I've been thinking and thinking if there have been anybody I knew in any of the zillion jobs I've had who had cancer and I can only come up with one. It was at The Met. They sent me down to this sub-basement that I didn't even know existed to give this nice fellow his break. He had to keep working to keep his insurance in play and LUCKY thing there was this secret option on a sub-freight elevator that had to be run AND it had a chair. I felt pretty good about that. 

So this time-I'm not even 3/4th of a percent as terrified as I was the first time-I thought maybe it'd be good to get a little more authentic identity~wise, possibly/maybe and then my client(or my person-as I like to call them) says," So. You have a doctors appointment?" 

Hmmm. Ya know? 

-------

I'm extra early to the appointment in which I need to be early but not THAT early and it's a nice day so I ring up my Dad and we chat in the parking lot for a little bit and I see some daffodils popping up and that's cheerful.  

I go in. Fill out a form that asks me things like have you eaten in the past 4 hours and what are your allergies and on and on and find a seat. 

I'm sitting there reading a book watching people and I see this very young couple. Them and a 2 year old who's screaming for attention. Every time the child screams, all of our heads snap over in their direction and what we see are the two of them intertwined in full recline on the couch and it looks like they're preparing to handcraft a new baby on the spot. 

I wish for an umbrella so I could whack the side of the couch really hard but I'm not old enough to control the universe via my umbrella but that day is coming so I sit there and read my book think. 

The nurse calls my name. I am so happy. 

Follow the nurse into the back, take a seat in an actual leather-like recliner and she goes on a vein hunt. It does not go well. She says she usually doesn't go for a second try as she's digging in for the third attempt. It hurts. What are you gonna do.

The Cat Scan operator walks up and says my doctor called and that I do not have to have the contrast. 

I am FILLED with joy and wonderment. No, really. I'm skipping but I'm still sitting in the recliner. I HATE when I have to drink creepy stuff. In fact, I usually can't do it. My throat locks. 

They lead me back to a locker room where I have to take off everything that has metal on it. I end up with socks and shoes and underwear and the gown, open to the back and somebody mercifully ties it for me and I take a seat. There are 5 old Glamour magazines, a magazine that's all in Spanish and two Better Homes and Gardens. By the end, I read them all. 


I'm just hanging out when the nurse comes back with two jugs of goo. There's been a mistake. I do have to drink it. 




Two giant jugs of goo. Craptastic. They're served cold with a side of paper cup. I read someplace where their flavor was described as 'latex paint' and that, aside from a most hideous hint of what I'd like to call 'orange blossom' is what has to go down my pipes in the next 45 minutes. Cripes.

I play: Let's Make A Deal. One big sip for every 3 pages of the wrinkled Glamour. I know that's not going to work but I gotta do something. I play another game called: Let's Pretend This Is a Glamorous Vacation and this is a special cocktail handcrafted especially for you. That doesn't work either. 

I need the magazine across my lap because what I hadn't noticed is that the locker room is freezing and I'm drinking cold goo. At one point, what has passed my lips wants to move in a more Northerly direction but I just hang in there. Sip, sip, sip. 

I had two chats with ladies that also had to visit the locker room. It's a funny thing to be in this vulnerable position where everybody's telling everything. The second woman came in wearing grey scrubs. In a heavy accent she lamented the universe. Nobody loves anybody anymore, she said. 

'Ya think so?' That's what I say when people pontificate nonsense on my massage table. 

Finally it's my turn in the Cat Scan doughnut of happiness. The operator thought I'd be severely irked about the mix-up with the barium but I was so close to needing to heave it was way off the table. I told her I felt nauseous and she handcrafted me a wet towel to put on my forehead. No love. Pfffffft. 

The machine guy starts commanding me to breathe and off we go. I concentrate on the scent of the freshly dampened washcloth and how I do not want to mess up this nice lady's donut and when the time is right, I start singing: Jesus Loves Me in my head because that seems to help. 

The very most hilarious thing was that the machine guy-okay it's a man's voice recorded to tell you when to breathe and when to hold your breath and when to let it go? Somehow the very last 'breathe' fell off the recording and I 'bout turned purple. She came on the intercom and said:  BREATHE! 

I was done and released into the universe. Came home, took a nap and discovered an unexpected bonus-that barium functions as Roto-rooter to one's intestines. Woo. 
--------











Thursday, April 14, 2016

Sunday, we went to a Health Fair. I, again, felt like the type of human mushroom known as a schlub. It was really cold and wet outside and I had my winter coat on over a sweatshirt and my gigantic pants and I just felt like a schlub. 

Like, no I don't want yet another hidious tote bag and I don't want one of your refrigerator magnets and no, I wouldn't like to enter a drawing for whateverwhatever for me and six of my friends and FOR SURE I don't want some crappy ballpoint pen because they're reproducing like bunny rabbits in my condo which used to house art pens exclusively(okay not really but I had good sharpened pencils for which one could at least properly illustrate a schlub), but thanks. 

Thanks anyway. 

(I did take an organic banana because they lady said we could have a taste test to see which one we liked better and I was exhibiting such spectacular poor sportsmanship I thought, come on. Take a banana already.) 

We shuffle along(okay it was me that was the shuffler. P THRIVES on these events and had the worlds longest conversations with everyone who is anyone while I try to find a place to lean on the wall where he can see that I've got about 1.5 more minutes of patience on my patiencesometer and they are burning fast)and we get to a local kinda sorta expensive-ish, trendy, climbing-wall, women who wear hairspray/lipstick to work out kind of a place. 

(I said to P, hey do they still make grey workout sweats like Rocky used to wear? How romantic that he scored me a pair. Woo.) 

Mister Mc I Played Football in College Until I Hurt My Knee looks the two of us up and down. 

"Heh heh heh heh heh (nervous sales pitch approach type laughter)Hi!" 

Oh God, I think. Here we go. 

"Heh heh heh heh heh, heyyyyyyy guys, do you two work out?

I look at him like, Heyyyyyyy jackass, Do we LOOK like we're currently "working out"? But my mouth is much more polite than I am, thank goodness. 

UmmmmNope, says I. (Later P says I should have mentioned our 3 flights of stairs but whatever.) 

"Heh heh heh heh heh, wellllllll do you wanna work out?"

No.

"Heh heh heh heh wellllll would you like to enter a raffle for a free half hour work-out?" 

And like that. 

*Sigh* 


This week, I talked to a very young woman (who resembles a ballerina) who had to go back for a second surgery two weeks after the first one because one of her other bones splintered. She was dragging herself on to the El by way of an actual elevator(she was-at that point-not able for the stairs) and some lady says to her,"Just takin' it easy today, huh?" 

We were talking about how people said well meaning things like: Hey! Now you can catch up on your netflix and that her husband would come home from work to find her in the dark, laying flat on her back staring at the ceiling. 

She was swear-wording all over the place and then thought to apologize and I was like, oh God no, you go ahead. It has to come out. 

Not all the days are cheerful yo. 

----

I wrote to an old friend. She's either a friendapist or a therafriend, yeah friendapist but I sent her 4 chunky-style paragraphs of all this life crap that's happening(because cancer doesn't happen in a void, right?) with the heading: I need help. 

She got back to me with some good thoughts and ideas and I remembered that when I was in the hospital, a social worker came to visit and told me I was eligible for one more visit with her. I had totally forgotten about it. I think I probably tried to call her twice since September but she never got back to me and I forgot all about it. 

I called Loyola and I think it took about a day to hear back. I was driving through a neighborhood we wouldn't visit if you came here for a weekend, the phone rang and I answered. 

She said the wait to talk to a social worker was-get ready-FOUR TO SIX MONTHS. 

We briefly went through my laundry list of stuff and as I'm saying it out loud to another person, it actually doesn't even sound that bad, really, but we both agreed that having all this life stuff happening at the same time is 'a lot'. 

Did your Mom have those books called: Your Child from 1-3. Or Your Child from 3-5. As soon as I could read, I always read ahead on these things so I could know what was coming up but if I saw: Your Child At 54? I might have tried to skip that year entirely. It's like an f-ing snowball fight, ya know?  

The Loyola lady briefly went through my records, told me what great surgeons I have coming up-which is smashingly fantabulous and all but surgeons are like one day best friends, know what I mean? Most interestingly to me, she said words to the effect of: In six months, everything's going to be different.

She gave me another number of a place to call and I'm waiting to hear back from them. Oh yeah and I said, what do I ask for? And she said: Coping Strategies. 

Cool. 

-----

I bought myself a plant. I went to the Jewel in a nicer neighborhood and guess what? The 12.99 plants are HUGE. 
A Peace Lily is supposed to pull toxins from the air and for me? The fact that I dragged this thing up three flights of stairs is pretty impressive, no? 



To have a model in this photo cost me a piece of cheese. Totally worth it. 


Next appointment is tomorrow at noon. Cat Scan in which one has to fast for 4 hours and drink goo on command. Gaaaaah. 


Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Doctor Who Actually Makes You Feel Better



Imagine that. 

I went to my Primary Care on Friday-all by myself, dammit-I only need scribes when I anticipate hearing news that would render me incapable of listening, writing and not falling off the examination table at the same time.  

It is a thing tho. When cancer comes to town-you're thrust into a culture of doctor's appointments and when somebody asks you what's new, the only thing news-wise you have to blurt out is, well, I'm having more surgery and who wants to be on the other side of THAT conversation? Ummmnobody. 

I could tell the story of being out for a walk with G and P. The two of them have started my mandatory inclusion on the evening stroll. What is the name of this blog? Be positive and walk and I gotta get on it, right? 

So we're passing by Popeye's Chicken(The most Westernly point of the Chicken Wing Triangle) and there's a rusty red kind of an old Jeep-ish sort of a car-three men inside and I-like an idiot-think they've mistakenly set their giant bag of five dollar chicken meal deal boxes on the ground next to their auto. You know like how people drive off with their Starbucks on the roof of their car? So I just kinda point, like Excuse me, fellow citizens. Don't forget your chicken. (After you work a shift at the library it's hard to put the brakes on assisting people.)

Oh I guess I called that one totally wrong. The intention was to DRIVE OVER the bag of chicken bones on their way out of the parking lot whilst giving me the finger AND yelling 'F-ing white bitch' in my direction. 

FWB. Oh they have no idea, do they?

I brought my traditional laundry list to my primary care including The Most Inconsequential Things but I'm looking at surgery and I want to make sure everything is generally cool before that happens, right? I don't want to die of a crooked toenail. 

I even really like the-we think maybe she's an LPN? The one who takes your blood pressure and stuff. Even she is super cool-encouraging me to ask him everything about everything. And so I do.

I had 6 things and we had a fascinating chat about how surgeons view the dance of the bowels compared to how-general practitioners view it. The GP's don't rush toward Magnesium Citrate as quickly as surgeons and if you're not completely empty at the end of every day, it seems as if it's not such a crisis. 

Huh. 

We talked about the thyroid surgery and he assured me it's gonna be okay AND I even asked him(We got to talking about this in the car one day.) Like if your thyroid activities have to be ruled by medication from here on out, and if it's too high(that'd be hyperthyroidism) how come I can't just turn it up for a little while and drop some major poundage? He said, oh we don't want that, believe me. Me: How come? Ha ha ha. 

And a chat about cancer and the cure for cancer and why different scans don't pick up different cancer cells and he said the definition for cancer is only: cells growing where they're not supposed to (Oh man, I hope I got that right) and what I liked most of all about this appointment and this doctor was when I said some stuff-he corrected me but not like my 5th grade teacher-smacking my concepts into oblivion. It was completely a conversation.

I am so glad to be alive in a time where your health care IS a conversation, that I almost feel like looking up my doctor's mom and congratulating her on creating such a fine person but that'd be seriously weird, wouldn't it? 

Yeah.