Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Done and done!

Yeehaw! Quick status check:

After last week's "liver pain", I took a few Aleve, and I very quickly returned to 100%. So, Monday morning, I completed the last of my 5 CyberKnife treatments. In case you are wondering, it makes no difference that I waited a few days to complete that last session. It's just as effective. They said it was best that I let my liver "cool down", anyway, just from a comfort perspective. (From now on, whenever you think about my liver, please imagine the song "Hot Stuff" playing along in the background as its soundtrack.)

This technology is so new, I'm only something like the 1200th patient to receive it in Seattle. And for those of you who watch primetime television, you know that Seattle is not exactly some podunk, one-horse outpost of the medical world.

Anyway, for all practical purposes, we can now consider the only known cancer in my body to be dead and blasted to hell, effective immediately.

And with that, I leave for Kauai (sans kids) this afternoon, feeling on top of the world in every way.

I would close this post with "Aloha", but it feels too forced. Kind of like saying "Auf wiedersehen" to close out a blog post about Wagner. Does that make sense? I don't care if it doesn't, because I am now officially "on island time"! (Neil and I actually saw a pale woman at our swanky Maui resort last year wearing a long kelly green teeshirt coverup that read, in large white letters, "I'M ON ISLAND TIME." NO!!!)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happy birthday to me!

Feeling great today! Good as new!

Here's to 37 more-- (and more than that!)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Slight change of plans

80% done.

I don't have the flu. I do have pain in my liver. I think it's my liver. Not horrendous, but I do feel like I've been socked in the gut. They tell me that is sometimes a side effect to CyberKnife. But they want to make sure it's just that and not anything else. They are going to hold off on tomorrow's final treatment to give my body a chance to heal for a few days. It's rescheduled for Monday, assuming I don't feel worse.

I have lots of anecdotes and more information -- and I'd write more, but honestly, I'm too tired, and I just don't feel very well.

Miracle Cure!

Before my radiation treatment today, I decided to duck into Starbucks for some hot chocolate and chocolate chip banana bread. As the fellow rang me up, he yammered, "SOMEbody likes CHOC-olate..."


Perhaps wanting to ensure he hadn't offended my feminine sensibilities, he blabbed on, "Naw, naw. It's cool. It's all good. Seriously, chocolate's amazing stuff. Honestly. It fixes ya right up. Cures what ails ya. Y'know?"

I hoisted my cake in brotherhood and managed, "You got THAT right."

The hot chocolate was prepared and handed to me, and I turned to walk out. As I passed my chocaholic friend, he caught my eye and added, loudly, with a big smile: "Now you go ahead and tell me what in your life THAT aint gonna cure!"

Ok, seriously? Did he really just say that to me on this day?

Oh man, this is too good. I paused. Such a nice guy, IMAGINE if I dropped the C-bomb on him right here and now in the middle of Starbucks? I almost started giggling at the painful scene that would follow: The sudden, awkward silence. The redness rising in his cheeks. The anguished backpedaling.

Again I am reminded what a STRANGE arrow I now carry in my quiver. The ultimate trump card. The instant, guaranteed conversation killer.

Of course I would never use it like that. So instead, I grinned and replied, "NOT-A-THING, not a thing. You're right. The whole day's looking up from here!" He winked at me, and I walked out.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"We'll leave the light on for you", NEIL.

60% done.

It's been a crazy week in our home. Neil has been sick with a very nasty stomach flu for 3 days, and he barely left his bedroom that entire time. He'd sleep for 10 hours DURING THE DAY. Also, he'd get violently sick at times. Clearly, this bug was not something I wanted for myself. So, in the spirit of our "in sickness and in health" wedding vows... I almost sent him to a HOTEL. That makes me sound like a heartless bitch, yes, but think of it: I didn't want to jeopardize my chances of getting this CyberKnifing completed this week. Not to sound dramatic, but my life kind of depends on it. We've been planning it for months. The procedures, the scans, everything had to be timed perfectly. I worried that a wretched flu could potentially render me incapable of lying completely still on a table every day for over an hour. In the Cyber(Knife)World, you can't exactly get up and run to the bathroom to barf anytime you want.

I called my mom to run the hotel idea by her. I opened the call with, "I think I'm going to ask Neil to leave home." A little context might have helped. Poor mom. Like I'd start divorce proceedings THIS week.

I then asked a doctor friend (WLS) how to avoid getting such a bug, and she suggested this was probably not an airborne illness, so he could stay home, though we should use separate bathrooms.

We decided to quarantine Neil to our bedroom and the upstairs bathroom. He called the room his "pen". He was home from work for 2 days, and I avoided him like the plague. One home, two parallel lives, never intersecting. It was our little trial dysfunctional marriage.

Today, Wednesday, he went back to the office, but I awoke with a sharp stomachache. I started cussing like a sailor. (truck driver?) (dentist?) "IF I CAUGHT THIS FREAKING FLU, I WILL BE SO PISSED OFF!" That's the g-rated version.

Oddly enough, the stomach pain has lasted all day, but it has not led to anything greater. (by "greater", I suppose I mean projectile manifestations of the flu). The stomachache felt very high, just below my ribs. Then I started to wonder, "Wait, am I having LIVER PAIN? I mean, they are quite literally killing part of that organ as we speak. Maybe that smarts a bit?" I wasn't told I'd have any pain, really, only fatigue. And after today's 'Knifing (at the clinic, they call it "therapy", but I still prefer the term "'Knifing"), I definitely felt VERY TIRED. But what's all this moderate (not severe, but annoying) pain? I feel like I got socked in the gut. Is it the beginning of a flu? PLEASE NO! Stay tuned.

ps- My mother-in-law deserves a big ol' pat on the back for being so helpful all week. She even stayed extra long today and picked Betty up from school so I could rest.