Friday, January 13, 2017

I got interviewed by a massage school student the other night. They chose me-I'm assuming-because I don't have any warrants outstanding or maybe it's my cheerful attitude. Maybe.

Okay yeah, no warrants. Also since P's been around, my uniform has been dry-cleaned so I'm the least likely to appear wrinkled(shirt-wise). 


It was about 'working with special populations' and I was thinkin', huh? You mean like, 'The Association of Terrible Tippers' or something like that? (I'm only kidding. My tippage has been stupendous lately and I can't figure that out either. Either my stories are extra hilarious or else I've been too tired to tell any. One of those things.) No no no. That's not what she meant at all. 

I had to think. Special populations. Hmmm.

I said, oh, well I have The Cancer People. I guess that's a population. Duh. And if you remember(cue dream sequence)while I was out for the first surgery, I decided to pick up the Oncology massage training for increased karma balance and stuff like that and thank goodness I did or else this poor child's interview would have been about People Who Work On Computers All Dammed Day and The Cancer People have way better stories(no offense). 

I tried to be authentic with her-in terms of expectations. We talked about how just treating a Cancer Person like a actual Person(which is what they are-duh)is the best way to go and I told her, hey if this is something you're gonna look into, make sure you're getting your money from your salary because Seniors and Cancer People-that work is not about tipping at all.

And I told her about this one Cancer Person who had actually experienced FIVE flavors of cancer. Can you believe that? Because I was like, uhhh no way. And I asked this person-because I think once you've been admitted into the Cancer Club-you get away with asking way bolder questions than you would in normal life-I said, okay which one was:The Worst?

And I asked this because there's this thang in the Cancer Club where it makes you feel better to think that other people have it way worse that you do. I know not what that is a soothing concept-only that it exists. 

And the person told me this story. In the 1970's, they found a tiny lump in their breast region and they scheduled some sort of tiny exploratory surgery and the hospital had them sign some sort of release-just in case-but not to worry because everything looked fine and when they woke up-they looked down and their entire breast was gone and they said, and I quote: I freaked out. 

Good. Said me. What kind of bullshit is THAT?

There was another terrible part to their saga where some sort of cancer crap showed up on their leg and how they treated it was-kinda like how you'd carve a Sunday ham? They kept taking slices and running those to the lab and if the slice showed any cancer cells, they'd have to take another slice. 

Here's me: HOLY. SHIT. 

Because that's how I soothe Cancer People. 


Anyway, this massage student told me about how she'd been called to stay with someone who was well into their 90's. Not to do massage or nursing or anything-just sort of general companionshipping type stuff and the student leaned in and said do you know what she whispered to me? And I said, no. What?

She said, the 90 year old woman said, 'They never take me anywhere.'


This afternoon, me and my throbbing massage hands took my Dad to see 'SING'. I asked him which was his favorite character and he said: all of them. 

I get gifts from everywhere, don't I? 

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In other news, I was recently informed that marijuana cures cancer so pretty soon I'm going to be applying for a couple of  surgical rebates-just as soon as my eyes stop rolling. 

I am horrified by recent events in the Department of Affordable Care.


And in the Department of Good News, so far this year, this is the only doctor I've seen. 





Thursday, January 5, 2017

I want to see this. And I want to look at this.  And this is really interesting. I saw two doctors that are on this list. One-for about 37 seconds and the other? Guess who? Pink shirt. 

I think I read something about the Affordable Care Act where it said, that ACA wasn't covering your magical cancer centers-you know, the fancy ones(in Illinois=Northwestern) and that your chances of survival went down if you didn't get your initial treatment in Fancytown. 

Huh. 

Kinda glad I didn't know that going in. 

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I cruised through last years calendar and counted how many days I spent at Loyola. Now here, I don't mean 'in hospital' as they say across the pond. I mean how many days I went there. (Remember: parking= 5 bucks a throw.)

Guess.






Nope, more.





Fifty. I was there fifty different days in 2016. Maybe for a blood test. Maybe for a surgery. Probably for some sort of appointment. And 2016 is not even the year we're calling 'The Bad Year'. (I'm not calling it 'The Bad Year' as you will note that I came out of it Not Dead, so, for me, I'm thinking it was more kinda like 'The Miraculous Year' but I wasn't the one doing the laundry.) And for the record, 2015 was actually only a bad 4 months. Oh, it gets complicated, doesn't it. Lawd have mercy. How come I didn't win Cancer Blog of the year. Too many F's and not enough lemons/lemonade, right? Gaaaaah. 

So all of a sudden, it seems kinda quiet over here, ya know?
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Went to a party. There was a candy store of liquid selections. I mean like, Everything Good In The Universe. "What would you like?" inquired the charming hostess. Look around wildly, thinking thinking what could I have? She said, I even have La Croix(which I just read is pronounced lah-croy as opposed to Lah Kwah which is far less amusing, no?) Then I am standing there negotiating with my intestines. Really. This actually happened. Water. I better have water as I move toward the sink. Well, at least have COLD water says the charming hostess indicating the Britta in the fridge. Okay says me. Thanks. 

Hallo from then other side. 

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The however. So I'm clear of cancer. Which is a huge thing, no? Cue the confetti. BOOM! But! Because I am an overachieving polyp farmer, I have to come back in three years for more colonoscopic high jinx. 

I was kinda frowning about that. It's a funny funny thing. Like how I mocked Walker Texas Ranger in an interview and sometimes I come home and pop on the teevee and what is on but GRIT teevee and who is looking at me but Walker Texas Ranger himself. 

And another colonoscopy. Oh how we BEGGED my Mom to buy us some Wyler's when it first came out. They even had root beer flavor and she would rarely cave. 

Isn't it ironic. 
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I was e-ing with a friend of mine that had her own year of extreme crapatosis and she apologized for not following my blog and that she hoped the chemo went okay(Has anyone seen my hair lately? A woman at the library-after we saved her life with a candy cane(low blood sugar)said, Miss Ann? (which in my ear sounds like Mithann because I have that whole self amusement thing going on) You have a good big head ah hair. 

Uh huh, said me. It just keeps getting wider. 

Anyway, I said to my friend, here's the thing: I think the blog saved me. 

Because while unspeakably painful things were going on-the needle biopsy in my neck comes to mind-I was flat on the table trying to remember every detail so I could write it down. 

It really helped me. 

So thanks for that. 

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Questions from the audience? 

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Yesterday, at the library-where we had a good bit of fun(or I did anyway)-a woman approached the desk and asked us where she could find the cemetery that had the angels. 

Something I am trying not to do is making eye contact with my immediate co-worker and give any indication of anything other than a normal day in paradise because really, who am I to judge? But I think we sent her upstairs to youtube for some reason-or maybe that's where she was headed and we just got out of her way. 

I know not. 

Way later-and after this guy came in picking up the motherlode of assorted New Year's self-help books for his girlfriend-one of which was entitled: How Not To Die and I said, ya better read that one first and we're all-all of a sudden-filled with merriment and the angel lady is leaving and I catch her and I say: So? Did you find them?


And she says, Nahhhh. There were videos of angels at the gravesite but they don't look real.


Hmm, thinks I. How. Do. You. Know?



See the face?


I received an assignment in the form of a heavy, filled-up, re-used Amazon box-which was most delightful because where I live currently is the home of a dedicated recycler. I do my best but I am no match for P. 

There was a cheerful card with instructions and even when I saw the card I was already all-in because this assignment came from one of my favorite humans on the planet. I have many. I am lucky. 



On the card were instructions regarding a family tradition of what to do after experiencing a particularly rough year. (This year wasn't last year but it had it's challenges, didn't it?) You were to take the enclosed items to a large body of water. We decided on the Des Plaines River because it runs the length of Illinois, then into the Mississippi and eventually the Gulf of Mexico and it wasn't too far from home. 


It's a beautiful sunny day but it was also deceivingly cold. 


We walked and walked until we got to the water. What you don't know, is the other night, Grantley the wonder dog-not having relinquished her superhero powers of flying up three flights of steps in a single bound, crashed into the bottom stairs. Hard. 

I guess she never got the memo regarding the aging process which is a quality she has that I will always admire. She is not going gently into that good night. No way. No how. 

But we have a glimping(grimacing and limping) dog in our midst and the general stressors of a changing political landscape from two different unsatisfied perspectives and the Bears are losing like they always do(so why do we have to keep watching?) and all this other nonsense going on and this that and the other thing happening or not happening and long story short? This had already been a very difficult day.

We got to the water.  


The grapes are left from last night, throwing a flower into the water is a New Year's tradition is somebody's country and then you have two (Hamptons Dahling) sea shells 
and the finest salt. 


From across the water we heard a noise.  I don't know if you can see it, but we seem to have woken up a deer. 


Then we heard a wood pecker. 


Then we saw the ducks.


The idea here, is that the salt represents the tears that you've shed in the past year and by flinging the salt-filled shell into the water, you release the negative energy back where it came from. 

Then you make a wish for the New Year. 


(Apropos of nothing, in 2017, I'm going to try and accept that I have gigantic hair. )


Back to the ocean she goes. 






We were then instructed to take our sorry asses for some fine brunch dining 
which we did and it was delicious. 



It was actually perfectly perfect. 


And P even remembered to bring some home for Grantley.


The end.