Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Me and My Dog

There are a lot of reasons I do not own a dog in real life. The simple reason is I don't really like dogs( or at least most of them I have met to date)The complicated reasons are: I am so small many dogs can knock me over. I do NOT have the time to be tied to walking a dog however many times a day you dog people have to walk them. There are very few reasons in my mind to have to be forced by the government to pick up poo. If I ever have a dog in my life it will be a cold day in H-E-double-hockey-sticks before you catch me carrying around a plastic bag of poo. There is no outfit on the earth that is well accessorized by a bag of poo. NOT ONE!!!

**If you don't know about my Dog Cancer then read the previous post.... **

Yesterday I was dragging Cancer around and it was one of the those mangy barky nasty dog days. The day was so bad I felt like I had my Dog Cancer and was forced to carry it's poo around with me in a plastic bag


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Dog Cancer

The day to day living with cancer is an interesting thing. While I was in chemo and “rocking the bald” I could not really hide from it. It looked me in the mirror everyday, and people asked me dumb- ass and/ or curious questions about it all the time. I had no choice but to pay attention to the physical reality and side effects of chemo.
Now, I have hair and I do not have the shiny skinned, bug eyed and bloated look that chemo so graciously creates. So for the general public I am, to quote Tim “the old lady with funny boobs” or for the most part a “normal”. Even though being bald and bloated and sick was awful it gave me a look that allowed me to be the cancer victim. Now, people still say things to me that seem odd, but they are different from the chemo/ cancer comments and questions. The other day at a restaurant it went like this “I like your hair”
I said “oh, this hair-do happened by accident” (what the hell else could I say to this stranger in a Vermont restaurant “restroom”on a Wednesday morning?) She said “I have had lots of haircuts I got….blah blah blah.” By this point I had tuned out wondering whether to bring cancer into the conversation…
I left the bathroom feeling kind of dejected. I am not special anymore. I am just the same as everyone else. Strange I know, because being “normal” is all I ever wanted during treatment. But now I know. I know that I will never be ‘normal’ again; I will never not have cancer looming over my head. I may get cancer again. I may never have gotten rid of it. I have a better chance of having more cancer than anyone who has no had it before. At this stage I am not sure if I will ever forget that. Not many minutes go by without thinking about cancer, talking about cancer or doing something about ….. cancer.

While you may think I sound like I am depressed by this you are incorrect. Getting cancer for me was not depressing, it was annoying and hard and scary and stuff but not depressing. I got through the treatment with a kick ass attitude and nothing will change that. But now cancer just won’t ever go away….Won’t go away like having a dog on a permanent leash attached to you won’t go away. Some days dragging this stupid barking mutt around is harder than other days. Some days, it is like having a little puppy- a lighter but still yappy and annoying.
Last weekend in Vermont it was a puppy. Today it is a big, but kind of quiet dog.
I just hope sometime soon I can drop the damned thing off at the pound.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I will possibly be rambling to the blog a lot this week. I have a lot to say after more than a week away from writing. I was away on a trip until 2 days ago.
I took some time with my son and ‘boyfriend like’ man person to visit friends in Vermont. Many of you know that I went to “college” there. I am an alumna of the illustrious Middlebury College in Middlebury Vermont. That is alumna, but not graduate … or for those whose Latin is a little rusty I attended the school but I did not graduate, I chose the what I call the 'leave college early combo number #3' of Fail out, get invited back, and choose ultimately not to return.

I discovered Middlebury on a bike trip to Vermont in the summer of 1984. 12 or so other kids and I rode 200+ miles through the mountains and little towns of that amazing state over 2 weeks. Every day we sat in a grassy patch somewhere to have lunch (mostly PB and J’s, Sliced Turkey, apples and sometimes a pint of Ben and Jerry’s when it was still made by Ben and Jerry) We cycled through Ludlow, and Bristol and Vergennes and many other places climbing massive hills including the frightening Middlebury gap(5 miles up, 9 miles down) On one day we rode into the little town of Middlebury (on the way into town we got to pee in the very old, but very chi chi lobby bathroom of the Middlebury Inn) Little did we know we would be back in town more than once, and that on the tour of the state we were often only within 20 miles of Middlebury.
On one of those lunch breaks we found a nice shady spot on the Middlebury College Campus across from the Admissions office. After talking to the other kids on the trip about US schools I learned more about the place. I grabbed a flyer from the Admissions building mail box display and miraculously that pamphlet made it home. There is more to the story, but ultimately in the fall of 1985 I matriculated into the class of 1989.
Through my 18 months at “Club Midd” (so named for the insane amount of luxurious sports facilities and such at the very wealthy college) and my bike trip and my many trips back to visit friends I fell head over heels in love with the state of Vermont and along with France and perhaps Scotland it is one my favourite places on earth.

We had amazing warm and sunny weather and many things to do and people to visit so we did not sit still much. Now, of course I am paying for it with post vacation tiredness. I truly believe I needed 2 days upon arrival to recover from the planning and traveling exhaustion part of the trip- not to mention the exhaustion of the 10 months of freakin’ cancer!! I think a 5 day trip would have been perfect AFTER those two days and then I need another 2 days to get home, and unpack and rest in order to get back to the routine of daily grown up life.
So, next trip I need to book 9 days?? I wish!!
One day.

Hawkeye? Hot Lips? How about Radar?

Paging Dr Frank Burns! Paging Dr Frank Burns! Have you met your patients? Or do you just look at their charts for a second and head into the appointments hoping you remember what the heck you just read???
Perhaps we should attach photos of your patients to the chart. How about one with hair, one without would that help you remember us and our medical details? Maybe a tattoo on our foreheads with the dates and details of diagnosis… would that help?

So, here is the story. Yesterday I was at my favourite Hospital I had a doc's (aka Dr Frank Burns) appointment. Bloodwork and a physical exam of sorts.
My sore hands and mouth cold sores and other lingering side effects are all from the chemo (I knew that, but wondered if there was anything that could be done etc but my medical team just shrugged at me)
Yesterday the onco nurse asked a bunch of questions and scheduled my Heart scan(needed during Herceptin) and mammogram in Dec. and sent the doc in to examine me. 40 min later the Dr showed up and asked if I had questions and I talked about the hand pain etc and was told it was from the taxol chemo.... then started the exam. Then the Dr asked about when my last Mammogram was. I said in January which was how I was diagnosed...the the Dr said... and catch this.... "THIS YEAR? OR LAST YEAR?" ummmmmm this year doctor.... because you are in this room for my FIRST exam since my chemo ended in July. You know.... the chemo we just finished talking about 2 minutes ago!!!
Perhaps the Dr got distracted while touching my boob...? Or maybe it is because despite their name on all my charts since this Dr has only met me 4 times including once in the elevator and had no idea who the hell I was.....
Today in herceptin I had to ask the chemo nurse for my bloodwork results, because they did not give them to me yesterday (they never gave me bloodwork results before either, but I figure the first post chemo test was preeeety important) Thankfully, everything is within normal ranges.
Dr Burns that should have been left to you, but I am thankful the nurse helped me with that.
Next time I am sick, Dr’s Pierce and Honeycutt will have to be called.

Monday, October 13, 2008

sorry everyone

I am just returning from a long awaited but far too short vacation in Vermont(one of the best places on earth.
I will be back to blogging later this week.
I have Herceptin this week and my first post chemo check up with my onco that I do not like. Woo hoo! You know I will have a lot to talk about after that meeting.

Cheers and more Ben and Jerry's for everyone!!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Smoke and Manners

On Monday the construction company finally gave us notice that we have to move our cars from the street by 7 am each day so they can pave the street that they have been screwing up/ working on since May. I did so for Monday, but they never paved the street. I moved the car for Tuesday, but they never paved the street. I did not move the car for Wednesday, and they still did not pave the street. I did not move the car for Thursday(this morning) because frankly, I don't trust these guys anymore and I had a lot of stuff to carry last night. I knew they might knock on the door again, so I figured I would deal with it.
I was woken up at 7:45 to laughing and talking. I thought it was my radio. Nope. I thought it was my son's radio. Nope. Then there was a knock at the door. Luke answered the door and I heard a man ask " is that your parent's green car over there?" Luke replied "Yes, but my parents are asleep" "Well go wake them up they have to move that green car!" Note the lack of Pleases and Thank You's in this interaction. I heard the conversation and the tone of voice by the construction worker was less than pleasant. Is it not normal to at least pretend manners when speaking to someone elses child?

So I got dressed and came down to move the car, totally prepared to talk to someone about their lack of manners with my son. I knew full well it would fall on deaf ears, but I still had to say it. Low and behold in front of my house I find 4 construction workers on my front sidewalk talking, laughing and smoking cigarettes! Keep in mind this is a tiny street so they are smoking less than 10 feet from my bedroom window.
I laid into them hard! I told them they should think about who they might be waking up with their early morning chatting (this is when I saw the cigarettes) and showed them how close they were to my bedroom window and suggested they should also use the word please when they spoke to people and most especially children. They said it was not them that came to the door, but another worker. I apologized and told them(this is the new paving crew, not the crew that has been here through most of the project)how bad this summer has been with the road construction and how this was the first time we had been given notice about moving the cars, I told them I had been ill all summer and how I have been constantly had woken up to knocks at the door at varying times through the day to move my car. Then I asked them to think about their choice to smoke so close to a persons house... and pointed to my still mostly bald head and said "Cancer!" and walked away....