(Forgive me, I was a science major.)
Beauregard has been vanquished!
However, Atlanta is definitely still aflame, and the borders of my fingers and toes are still in tatters. And at a remote battlefield called my pelvis, the forces continue to mount in a lymph node I call Vicksburg.
The scalpel-bearing carpetbaggers are massing at the borders…we’ll see.
It’s been quite a roller coaster afternoon. I should be thrilled - tumor gone bye bye! But I’m perturbed that not only did a node survive, it fucking GREW three sizes that day. And the fact that yeah, surgery is still likely to take a hatchet to any mysterious microscopic cancer cells in the perimeter - that perimeter including, frankly, stuff I need. And yeah, there may be more chemo to follow. Keep that earth a-scorching.
So I’ve been unduly tearful, aggravated and just plain worn out. Not to mention the drugs that I’ve been alternately taking and avoiding.
And explaining your PMS to a confirmed bachelor is quite amusing, I must say.
So tomorrow I get the CAT scan results.
And I realized what my biggest fear is.
It’s knowing that whetever they tell me, it won’t be good enough for me.
Yeah. If it’s not totally disappeared, I’ll be disappointed. If it’s 60% smaller, I’ll still call bullshit on all that burning scorching treatment. If it’s gone from view, I’ll grumble about needing my ‘margins’ cleared, wherever they are. (I’ve also developed a slightly irrational fear that since I have pelvic nodes, my ladyparts are huddling in danger. I want to keep them! Besides, I’m feeling vaguely life-affirming and may want to give birth to a superhero baby someday.)
Bah. So, it’s 245 AM, and I’m baking kugel.
Happy New Year.
It’s weird wrapping a piece of Gorgonzola in Glad Press-and-Seal wrap, when I spent all summer wrapping it around my chest to shower.
- Bad reaction to CAT scan constrast
- Excessive consumption of “Mythbusters” and sugar free iced tea.
Tomorrow I have one of these:
The rational side of my head says that what’s there is there. Nothing to be afraid of. Why bother worrying? Nothing can change what’s going to be on the picture.
The frosting side of me is a bit more quivery.
Cat Scan. Get it?
So much beauty. The Rose Gardens, the Japanese Gardens, sights of the Pacific Northwest, on my last day in Oregon, making sure I laid eyes and hearts on it all. Contemplating the pines and the firs as the backdrop for the gorgeous Japanese Gardens, knowing that I had to seize every moment, tears welling in my eyes as the tour guide spoke of harmony and peace and perfection, just being that much closer to mortality making it even more special and beautiful -
Wait a fucking minute.
I’m a dyed-in-the-black-wool New Yorker, for fuck’s sake. I hardly travel at all. Why should cancer make this any different? Will I ever get to Oregon again? Who knows. Would I anyway, cancer notwithstanding? I’m a lazy fuck with dreams of eloping to Vegas and pining for the fjords in Norway (don’t ask, I don’t understand that one myself.)
And all the poignant, Make-a-Wish, end-of-dreams thoughts that were traveling through my wispy little fuzzy-new-haired skull vanished in a puff of internal eyerolling. (That’s probably when I sprained the second ankle of the day, slipping off another trail of restful recycled local pebbles.)
Yeesh, that was close.
Has cancer changed me? Perhaps. Has it made me ridiculously sappy? Lordy, I hope not.
(Still and all, a fun trip. And I definitely overestimated my ability to bounce back after a 24 hour theater experience and a red-eye flight and eating my bodyweight in donuts and excellent, excellent coffee.)
- Steel Magnolias
- Love Story
On the other hand, avoid them anyway, just on general bad-acting principles. Although Sam Shepard is quite the hottie and has all the best lines in Steel Magnolias.
Considering I woke up at noon and have been sobbing all afternoon, I’m going to skip the belly dancing class tonight.
I’m not ready. Granted, I’ve stopped sobbing and have had a cup of coffee with slightly ripe half and half. But the reality is, I can’t do it.
I hate reality.
I am not, however, above playing the cancer card and asking for a deferral of my class. Sneaky, huh?
So, tonight my BF (aka the Badger, aka Snooki - ok, that last one was a lie) went out after a hard day at the office and got me 2 pints of Ben & Jerry’s - Cherry Garcia and S’mores, just “to have something interesting.”
If I could hug a pint of ice cream, without it gushing unromantically all over me, I would.
Instead I’ll just eat it.
(BTW Turkey Hill ice cream blows. And I have way too much ice cream in the freezer now. And lots and lots of love.)
The line between elitist and working-class grocery shopping is a thin one indeed. Also, I apparently have the palate of a six year old with a college degree and a Weight Watchers membership.
Also, this diet will totally cure cancer.
To wit, my grocery haul tonight:
- Cold cereal (Kashi! Passing up the Coco-Roos was hard, though.)
- Tropicana 50 OJ
- American cheese (deli sliced!)
- Wonder hot dog buns
- Hot dogs (Hebrew National Kosher Reduced-Fat!)
- Baked beans, canned (vegetarian!)
- 1/2 gallon Turkey Hill ice cream
- Chips Ahoy!
- 1 pint soy creamer (for the BF. Seriously.)
- 1 bottle Yoo-Hoo (Shake, it’s great!)
…that’s how creatively dead I feel right now. And frustrated. The only vaguely interesting things I can do are cook (chicken korma, anyone?) and crochet (baby blankets, anyone?). I can’t write funny things, or serious things, or even naughty things. I can’t go pursue spots or pitch ideas. I can’t expand teh SuperEgo empire. I am completely frustrated. I don’t know if it’s the disease, the fatigue or the drugs - how were so many musicians and comics addicts? I think the Oxy is making me boring. I don’t know if it’s just the need to survive day to day. Maybe it’s the high level of Cocoa-Roos (off-brand cocoa Puffs) in my diet.
All I know, is I’m NOT FUNNY. I’m not succeeding at being an artist. And my fingers hurt.
Pour me another bowl of Cocoa Roos, bartender. Just line ‘em up.
So, after a nerve-shattering eleven months (!) on chemo, Mom has a clean CAT scan. Huzzah! She also has zero strength to get around, which sucks big time.
Today we went out for breakfast for the first time in many many months. And as I saw her walking slowly (understand, my mom NEVER walked slowly. She’s always fiercely navigated the streets of Manhattan like a minnow darting among the cattails) towards me, I was frankly alarmed by her expression. I thought it was pain, or sickness. It wasn’t. It was fear. Fear that she, who walked a couple miles every day to work, who could outrun the 2nd Avenue bus easily, couldn’t navigate the two and a half blocks to the diner and back.
On the way back, fortified by eggs and toast and social banter and eyerolling at the neighbors, she was just dandy. But she expects, after nearly a year basically stuck in her apartment, that she’d spring whole from her mattress and be back in a flash, to walk and shop and see movies and take care of her ailing daughter.
She’s too hard on herself. She needs to conquer her fear, get over that hump, and not be so set back because she’s not instantly good as new.
She needs to listen to me!
I need to listen to me, too, frankly. But that’s for another rambly post.
Mom: I don’t think he’s (the oncologist) finished with me yet.
Me: No, probably not, what with followup-
Mom: Ha! A warm body on Medicare. That’s me!