Friday, June 21, 2013

Bat Shit Crazy

Bat shit crazy. That's what Claude, my best friend, my anam cara, called me the other day. Why? Because I was laughing my ass off about my cancer. Now, I know I said I wasn't going to turn this into a “My Struggle with Cancer” blog. I'm not. There are special blogs for that, like the one my brother-in-law uses: Caring Bridge. It specifically exists so that patients can inform their families and friends of their progress, feelings, etc. It's a grand thing, but my blog is not intended for that. However, a few of you keep asking how I am, so here is a brief update...and the reason I was laughing...

The day we got the results, I was not alone. Thankfully Claude was there visiting. After reality hit, we looked up what “well differentiated” means. It's a good grade of cancer, if such exists. It's less aggressive and slow moving. The next step was to see the oncologist, which we did last Thursday.

This doctor wanted to examine me again. Great. Every time someone prowls about my innards, I start to bleed. Besides, what's to see? Regardless, I found myself sans pants and assuming the position as I met the nurse, the oncologist, and the assisting physician pushing along a large machine. He took out a transducer and began rolling a condom over it.

I did not think it boded well.

We're doing an ultra sound,” the doctor announced as I was told to follow that classic command,”Scoot yourself down.” As the exam progressed, I was asked, “What is your level of sexual activity?” To which I replied, “This is the first condom I've seen in two decades.”

Everybody stopped. The room was still. I'm not sure if they were trying to compose themselves, or if it was a moment of silence for my lost libido.

The exam was soon ended, and Claude was called in to join me in the doctor's office. He advised that there is a small area of recurrence, and the treatment would be radiation. First, I needed a CT with contrast, after which I was to make an appointment with the radiation group. He did not feel that the cancer had spread.

This past Wednesday, Claude took me to the lab. The night before, I had to drink several ounces of a hellish white substance, which one patient said tastes, “ like a pina colada”. The next morning, 45 minutes before my appointment, I had to down another bottle. That patient must be bellying up to one pathetic bar. This liquid tasted like a cocktail of coconut and spew.

At the lab, they give you one more drink, flavored with Crystal Light and followed with a carbonated chaser. The next step is to establish an IV for the contrast. That took nearly an hour. The tech tried both arms and both hands until she found a cooperative vein. From there, the CT went normally enough. I was wrapped with cotton balls and blue bands of bandage tape over every attempted IV site. By the time I came struggling out with my walker, I felt as though I should have two guys on my right, playing drums.

So, that's all for now. I'll make my appointment in a week or so with radiology, and at that point I'll find out the extent, the treatment, and the duration. Keep a good thought.

Once this is handled, I am going to proceed with my plan to have lap band surgery. I am finally accepting the fact that I need to do something radical in order to save my leg and reverse my diabetes. Aesthetics also come into play, a bit. Once upon a time, a long time ago, I knew an artist and author named Nancy Blair. She created the Amulets of the Goddess predictive set.

Her studio was in my home town and, upon occasion, she would have a sale of her experimental statues, unfinished works, seconds etc. You found wonderful goddess stuff at Nancy's sales! One day, a friend and I were at such a sale. My friend was of a similar body type to me (she has since had gastric bypass). At one point, she picked up a “tile” of the Venus of Willendorf. This was one that would have gone into an Amulets of the Goddess kit, but hadn't fired to Nancy's satisfaction. It showed a frontal view of the goddess, surrounded by a raised circle.

My friend held it flat on her palm. “Do you know what this is?” she asked, innocently.

Well, yeah. It's the Venus of Willendorf.”

She shook her head. “Nope. It's you or me tubing down the Delaware.”

I lost it. She was dead on. I have never forgotten that. Now, I'm tired of the Willendorf look. I need to revamp my health, my body, and my diet. Maybe I'll even try to go meatless, but I'm not swearing to it.

I am continuing with my physical therapy. Happily, Bob is also a Reiki master, so I'm getting the kind of therapy that goes beyond the mere working of muscles. As a matter of fact, my pal Natalie sent me a wonderful gift for healing: a crystal wand topped with a rose quartz.

Bob was drawn to it as soon as he entered the room, and now uses it as part of the therapy. Thanks, Nat. It's a beautiful thing!

The new flyer for the Para-X show in October is out:

There is apparently a walking dead costume contest as well, so come get your zombie on!

I'm told my article on Glastonbury will be appearing in the next issue of Fate. I'll keep you posted.

On the Sherlock front: Episodes 1 and 2 are in the can. There will now be a brief hiatus while our boys go to New Zealand to do additional work on the Hobbit series, after which they will return to Britain to shoot episode 3. Rumors say the third series will air in November, but that is only speculation.

I found this wonderful posting on Tumblr. I had plans to make extensive use of it until I read it more carefully.

                           Perhaps Sherlock is displeased by the error in grammar.

And finally...

Happy Summer Solstice, everyone! May your crops flourish, your children thrive, your worries diminish, and the bees bless your hives.

Till next time, be well!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Once upon a time, there was a Science Fiction magazine called Omni. In one issue, there was a cartoon that made me collapse to the floor laughing. The caption was: “It's just one damn thing after another”.

I had no idea it would become a life theme for me.

In 2006, I had uterine cancer. Everyone told me that it was just menopause. My body told me differently. They did a radical hysterectomy. The cancer was between a stage 2 and 3, so no radiation was done.

I was cancer free for 6 years. We aren't sure about last year because I could not walk to get to my doctor. He has since left St. Peter's.

This past month, I started bleeding. I knew what my body was trying to tell me. I went to a new doctor, who saw a mass. Biopsy test revealed that the cancer is back. We know it is well differentiated, which is a good thing. My prior surgeon called it “a slow, stupid cancer”. Let's hope its I.Q. hasn't risen in the last year or so.

Next step:  blood panel and CT scan with contrast. My biggest fear is that it spread to the colon, causing the constipation I've been suffering. On the other hand, my gastric issues may be a coincidence, in which case...Gods bless constipation. It I didn't have to strain, I would never have bled. I had no other symptoms or pain, so this wouldn”t have been diagnosed for a while.

Think good thoughts, everyone. I intend to go back to writing my usual blogs after this, but I will keep you all posted. After all, who wants to read a depressing cancer blog? Meh.

Thanks, folks!