Saturday, we went to Gilda's Club for the Newcomers Breakfast. I had to take the day off work to go, but I figured the proper way to join a group is to start at the beginning, no? Thanks to my iPhone, I found a cool new way to get to Gilda's that is not the Expressway. (I'm staying off the Expressway because I no do wanna get shot at this time thanks, thanks, and thanks again.) I took Chicago to Grand to Wells and wah+lah. That is cooler than you know. I think we got there in about 30 Saturday morning minutes.
We went to the second floor and there were 4 tables set up. In my olden-life(and this would probably be pre-Second City training but cancer has increased the urgency) I would have sat in the F position as noted on my diagram. Like I'd be IN the group and all, but way, way, way on the edge. Now it's all-deep breath in and go right for the middle (Fig. C)where there was a nice hole waiting.
I was speaking to a cancer woman earlier this week. The topic of massage came up. Oh, she said, I could NEVER TOUCH PEOPLE LIKE THAT. I said, oh yeah? Well, I NEEDED TO MAKE A (F*ING) LIVING so I can't assume the imaginary cringe like you can, (you a-hole). (Okay I didn't say all the swear-verbage but oh you can believe that I thought it.) This is the same thing. I'd like to have the option of being a 'I do my best work at night/introvert' but my life prevents it at this time. And you know what? It's more of a life than I ever had before.
Anyway, can you imagine, some lovely volunteers got up early to stir up a giant pan of scrambled eggs on our behalf? I was honored to eat them, you know? And there was orange juice and coffee and teeny quiches and bagels and cream cheese and yogurt and breakfast sausage-I think that was it and that was a lot, wasn't it? (Later-when we cruised through the hideous Italian food mall known as Eataly, we had not a single temptation as we were still stuffed. (Have you been to Aldi lately? They have some Really Nice Italian stuff.))
So far, at every Gilda's thing someone randomly bursts out a few words about how much they loved her. Isn't that pretty amazing? It's getting to be where most of the people never heard of her(remember the staff member who thought Gilda Radner was the primary noogie-giver?) but there's still been someone in each group that speaks of her with genuine admiration. TeeVee is a powerful thing.
At one point, one of the staff people came around to each table and informed us of two rules. Please do not come to Gilda's Club if you are sick. Please put your dishes in the dishwasher. Words to live by, huh.
We met some lovely humans-once again-you have to be right out there with your sentence. Your medical elevator speech or whatever. I had been secretly worried that my sentence didn't have enough drama to qualify to enjoy the scrambled eggs in good conscience, but it's got commas in it so there was nothing to worry about and I think they'd welcome you even without punctuation cuz that's how cool they are.
There were 2 medical things this week. A sonogram of my neck and blood tests and a visit with the Blood Lady(the hematologist). I tried to get coverage for the Thursday when I had the sonogram but nobody picked it up so I told my supervisor I'd come straight to work after-except I'd be sticky from the goo and she said,"We'll take you sticky." and I thought that was Very Funny.
I tried to approach the sonogram like it was a vacation because paying for all these procedures has the possibility of preventing me from immediate fancy travel, right? ("Hello Queen Mary? I need to cancel my voyage.") So, if this is where I'm going, I might as well try and enjoy it. I had a lovely young woman who made a puddle of goo at the base of my neck and dipped into it with the sonogramming wand thing. It's not an unpleasant thing to have this done and when I got to turn to my right, she even turned the screen so I could see. She was hunting for lymph nodes-in my head I think they were little white hard pebbly things but they seemed to be like black craters on the screen.
She also had the coolest ergonomic chair. I've massaged sonogrammers before-it's a very tough gig on your body and I asked if I could try out her chair and she let me.
Fun is where you find it, if you look, yo.
The hematologist is the one that keeps me in this game. This risk of blood clots-such a gigantic bummer and also possibly a genetic abnormality(chew on THAT-Thanksgiving participants). I approached that appointment thinking she was going to tell me something but it's actually completely the other way around. I'm the one that carries the answers. If I have leg swelling or a certain pain I will have already entered Trouble Town.
And we talked about the cost of this blood thinner I have to take. If it gets to be too much, I have the option to switch to Coumadin which costs something like 2 bucks but THEN, I have to make a commitment to leafy greens. Is that not the craziest thing? You either have to choose a life with salad every day? Or none at all.
When I was a grade school twerp, we watched Ray Rayner in the early morning and Chelveston the Duke-as Ray called the wildly flapping duck that appeared on the show-would take great gulps of iceberg lettuce on live TeeVee in the early hours and I got to thinking if I too could have salad for breakfast everyday like Chelveston.
And the iron factor. I got a blood test before the appointment(the women in the Cancer Center are the best blood drawers in the universe) and after those results trickled in(heh heh heh)it seemed as if I was anemic so I had to go back and get another blood test to see what was what. I will know more next week.
The craziest thing is I have been very tired but I thought it was because I am Severely Lazy and Not Working Hard Enough.
Wouldn't that be a great Thanksgiving gift to find out it wasn't a character flaw?