Tuesday, October 31, 2006

morning miracles

This is my little miracle alyssum, my morning surprise that I found while watering my asparagus fern and mint this morning...

You may remember back in May when I planted it, expecting beautiful wonders all summer. Within two weeks all of my flowering plants were dead, fried in the hot summer sun. Everything was dead and withered, so I quit watering that pot. Instead I watered the plants that were still alive... which I think Darwin would have approved.

All summer. Hot hot hot summer. No water. No care. No fertilizer. No love. No whispered sweet nothings during the early morning waterings... and this morning, out of the blue, I noticed one of my dead plants has been resurrected and is now blooming those pretty blue blooms I had hoped to see all summer.

This is exciting stuff.

Tonight I have picked a lot of my mint plant to make into a sugar scrub. It's currently sitting in grapeseed oil, and will be for at least a month. Then, voila, I'll turn it into a scrub. I found the recipe and it should be wonderful. The Hater and I are looking forward to using it, but I'm more looking forward to it than he.

Meanwhile, now is the time to think about planing fall/winter flowers, which I've not done in the past. Because asparagus ferns and mint (and miracle alyssum) seem to be the only things that actually live on my porch, I thought I'd consult the floral powers that be who actually read this blog (i.e., Vol Abroad and Vol Mom) to see what I should plant. I have time this weekend to play in the dirt while The Hater is gone, and this is my official request to see if I should plant something other than pansies. And if I do, should I take up the mint and asparagus ferns to do so. It's a westward-facing porch that gets sun and wind most of the day.

Please dazzle me with advice as I enjoy these pretty purple blooms, at least for the rest of this week.

Monday, October 30, 2006

fear and cancer

I met a girl at the Summit this past weekend.

She is a fellow thyroid cancer survivor, about my age. She was smart and funny and interesting and carried around a great black and white picture of her son.

She has had two bilateral modified neck dissections and a thyroidectomy, and this weekend she was waiting to hear back from her doctor if the lymph node that was swollen in her neck was positive for cancer. It was.

The whole thyroid cancer thing is frustrating to me on many levels. It's not a quick and easy -boom- now you're cancer-free. "Remission" is a word used for other types of cancer. It's totally out of your hands. You have to get scans and go on ridiculous diets for the rest of your life. Going off of synthroid sucks.

I cried when I read her email. I cried because she was my friend that was supposed to be free of this monkey on her back (or in this case, her neck). I cried because cancer sucks. I cried because it could have been me.

It's not easy walking down a fearless path, but this weekend I met several fearless thyroid cancer survivors, including one particular gal who isn't done fighting it. And tonight I'm thinking of her.

Livestrong Summit, continued

This was a fantastic experience. The stage was decked out and everybody seemed to have a great time. Being surrounded by 800+ other survivors, caregivers, medical professionals and advocates made for an inspiring weekend. I even met several other young people with thyroid cancer.

The star of the show and namesake to the foundation... who really is as attractive in real life as he is photogenic. Lance was laid-back and just right cocky, which I guess you'd have to be to win the Tour 7 times, not to mention put together an army to start a revolution to eradicate cancer from 1 out of 3 Americans.

Excellent speakers... including Lance himself, Steve Case, Jim Collins, Elizabeth Edwards, John Kerry, Mike Milken, Andy Miller, Dr. Antonio Novello, and several other survivor-advocates who returned to talk about the programs they started in their communities.

This morning I'm going to email pictures to people that I met while at the Summit. Today at work I plan on shooting off some emails to test the waters about starting a support group.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

keep Austin weird

I'm back in town from the mountaintop experience that was the inaugural Livestrong Summit associated with the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Blogger is arguing with my picture downloads, so I'll add them at a later date.

For now, if you would like to glimpse at the weekend, this link will take you to exactly that option.

And you'll have to trust me that it was nothing short of awesome.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

"metastatic cancer breakthroughs"

I've been drawn like a magnet to the free cyber cafe, despite its slow connections...

Having a great time at the conference. Can't wait to get home and put together my presentation for work. We're going to light some fires...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

pumpking decorating contest

Vote for this pumpkin, you must. Mmmm...

Today kicks off the clinic's annual pumpkin decorating contest. I was drafted to decorate the pumpkin for the treatment room entry. This is the debut of my final product, everybody's favorite Jedi lizard.

The close-up:

How can you not love Yoda?

If you were here, I'd beg a vote for our pumpkin. Stop by on Halloween to vote and visit our MASH unit.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


begging for treats... And, yes, that is a Titans helmet on her collar...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

new video game

The Hater called me at work today to report very sad news: the video game he was hoping would come out today was actually shipped today. This means he won't get to play his new game tonight.

He'll have to wait until tomorrow to play the game.

Monday, October 23, 2006

ta-da and night-night

I'm exhausted. Between flu shots and pneumonia shots and regular treatments at work I'm absolutely worn out, and it's just Monday. I'm ready for the time change with every essence of my being.

This weekend I have a trip to Austin. I'm looking forward to it, but haven't started packing yet. The good news is that I'm going to get education pay for missing Friday. I'll be back late Sunday night.

The Hater will have to be the laundry-man this weekend. He says he's up to the challenge. He'll have to tear himself away from the new Marvel Ultimate Alliance video game to do the mandatory weekend chores. He'll probably have beaten the game before I get back.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Last night The Hater and I decided to change out of our pajamas and go on a wild tear to the metropolis of Lawton to go to a haunted house. We left our apartment about 8pm and drove an hour and a half to the Trail of Fear.

The attraction was supposed to close at 10pm, so we were pretty sure that we would be cutting it close. We took the scenic route a couple of times before finding our spontaneous destination. We were bundled for the 42 degree, windy weather, and set forth to be scared.

We went to two attractions at the Trail of Fear. We thought the first one was just okay, but did have a really neat 3D painted section that we've not seen before. The second attraction boasted a hayride out to a field where a very scary movie-esque scream-a-thon waited. We really liked that one, were appropriately scared at all the right times, and our only complaint was that it wasn't long enough.

We left there and headed back to another haunted trail we had happened upon earlier by accident, a money-maker for one of the Lawton volunteer fire departments. They had come in for the night, but went back to set-up for us to go through it. This was about 11:45 and it was 38 degrees outside. It was excellent, much better than the first attraction at the Trail of Fear. We both thought it was great.

We headed back towards OKC and found a little town with an IHOP still open. And in the sense of continuing our spontaneous adventure, I had pumpkin pancakes, which were pretty good. We ended up getting home about 3am, tired and cold.

We have fulfilled our spontaneous adventure void for at least a few more months.


Even if it's ugly,
a W is a W.*

Our humble review:

Both Offenses sucked it up.
Both Defenses didn't suck it up too badly.

The officials might have enjoyed their Christmas bonus from the Crimson Tide, but Tennessee won despite their attempts to sway the game in Alabama's favor.

We proudly wore our orange and white and proudly yelled at the tv at all of the appropriate times. The phone calls from home offering more play-by-play analysis are always appreciated.

* Unless it's this W, in which case its uglyness is unquestionable.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

a funny that is not so... funny

I found this joke at da5id's Philosopical Musings blog:
What's the difference between the war in Iraq and the war in Vietnam?
George W. Bush had a plan to get out of Vietnam.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Inferno plagerism

I thought I should just say that I'm feeling good this morning. I don't feel great, but I sure am feeling good. I even slept well last night.

It's a slow climb to feeling better after being hypothyroid for so long, and the side effects of the radioactive Iodine don't make it any easier. I think there are levels you pass through to try to get back to normalcy, and I think Dante would appreciate the comparison:
functional human
the "old you" you remember
This morning I would put myself somewhere between a functional human and the "old me". I'm still tired, and I still have a list of hypo complaints, but I'm feeling better.

And sometimes better is the most beautiful word in the dictionary.

*Maslow would probably argue that few of us ever achieve "normalcy", especially if he knew my family.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

ontological breakthroughs

This morning CNN ran a snippit story about how the political arena is evolving to include the internet for campaigning and fundraising issues. They mentioned that a big percentage of people have gone to the internet for information and research before making a big decision in the past two years.

The Hater and I were surprised that the percentage was less than 75% (but I can't remember what the number was now). We were also surprised that someone thought this was a big enough story to take up air time in the morning... can people really be that ignorant about the impact of the internet on America?

They mentioned campaigning via the web. They questioned what would happen if people went to the internet to research political canidates. They talked about doing this as if it was something that Spock would suggest on Star Trek*... but this is exactly what The Hater and I did before voting in the last local election.

"Besides", The Hater added, "just seeing someone's name on a sign doesn't make me want to vote for them". I do not understand the purpose of having fifteen political canidate "name" signs on a single street corner. It's wasteful and polluting.

These times are a'changing, and I think it's going to be interesting to see the impact of the internet (and individual blogs) on the next set of national elections.

* Live long and prosper.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Zoloft has learned to discern between the different cabintes opening. We know this because when the corner cabinet is opened she will run directly to the kitchen from any room in the house.

And then she cries because she's learned that's where the treats are kept. She has not learned that crying does not impact the chance of getting treats. She also has not learned how to tell what day of the week it is... because if she did, she'd realize that Friday is treat day.

This morning The Hater was packing his lunch, and you can only guess who made an appearance in the kitchen as he was reaching for a napkin. It was a vocally mournful, pitiful appearance, and then she continued to follow him around until he left.

She is persistant. You've got to give her credit for that. A rotten toot, yes, but persistant, too.

Monday, October 16, 2006

expired warranty

It's official; I'm falling apart.

2006 has not been kind to me, and I'm officially convinced that my warranty must have expired at the beginning of the year. As if metastatic thyroid cancer and a whacked-out shoulder wasn't enough, now SOMETHING ELSE is having problems.

You might should sit down for this one:

I have a gray hair.

It's smack-dab on the crown of my head and stands up to wave when I pull my hair back. It's not even in a cute place where I can tuck it behind my ear. I'm falling apart.

It's not completely gray yet, but it's more than halfway down the hair gray. The Hater, who says he's had gray hair since he was about three years old, says he still loves me, even though I'm falling apart. For the record, he has bunches more gray hair than I do. But we're not counting. I know the minute we start counting I'll find another one.

Last Christmas we went home and The Hater's Mom made fun of a small patch of gray hairs in his beard. We plucked them once, but he said it hurt too much to do it again. Since then he's embraced his gray hair.
He says he's like a good wine; he gets finer with age.

This has been going on for a while.
I thought I saw it waving at me a couple of months ago in the mirror. Several times I've drug The Hater into the bathroom to see if he could see it, too. (There's better light in the bathroom.) But before today he never saw it... and so I was in denial. Denial isn't such a bad place to be sometimes.

I broke the news to Mom this morning. She says she doesn't remember her first gray hair. Her words of encouragment sang that it's not that big of a deal. It was a very appropriate Mother answer, but that's the only real answer you can give when you're in your 60s and wear the salt-and-pepper cut with such grace. Blah.

Actually, I'm not as gagged about the gray hair as I am how thin it's gotten this year. Thinning hair has -by far- been one of the most annoying side-effects of whacked-out thyroid problems. I am pulling out wads of hair every time I take a shower. It's pitiful. You know how they say the Lord knows every hair on your head? He's had far less to keep up with on my head the last several months. I'd rather be gray-headded than have patchy dark hair.

But beggers can't be choosers. And either way I'm still sitting here with a gray hair on top of my head, waving like a flag.

The Hater says he's still not "officially" seen this gray hair, but it's there. Why would I make these things up, I asked. His wonderful answer, "I don't think it's gray. It's just a lighter color than the rest of your hair."

I want to Mulligan 2006 now, please.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

feet on my plate

Sometimes you have to wonder if the vegetarians* are the smart ones...

Last night The Hater took me to try a different local Japanese restaurant and sushi house. We found a sushi place that we liked, but this one was closer to our apartment. We figured that if it was as good, we might as well patron it instead.

Now is a good time to illustrate an important aside that The Hater is more of a seafood person than I am. But I am making efforts to venture outside of my net of safety; pun intended. Even though I'm willing to try sushi, at this point in my life I'm only willing to try the cooked kind.

We ordered a spider roll, which is a cooked sushi with soft-shelled crab, cucumber, avacado, rice, and rolled inside nori. Both cooked and low-key; right down my alley. I also ordered a nice vegetarian avacado roll. We ordered a tornado roll, which ended up having a super hot sauce that I didn't eat and The Hater could barely eat. We also ordered a tiger roll, which consisted of fried shrimp and rice rolled with rice, avacado, and eel. And what followed will be one of our more memorable dining experiences...

The waitress brought our plate out, which looked very pretty with the different sushi rolls on it. We began our novice identification test for the different rolls. The spider rolls looked both scary and intriguing, as two of them had legs coming out of them. Legs with feet.

The legs bothered me, but they didn't seem to bother him. I figured I'd eat other things and leave those to him to eat. I ate most of the avacado rolls. I ate one of the footless spider rolls and ventured to the tiger rolls, even though I hate shrimp. Again, the shrimp swam in my mouth, which grossed me out to the point of not even noticing that I was eating eel on purpose. I was in the special place where you attempt to chew and swallow without tasting anything, except I tasted it all. I tasted the shrimp trying to swim away from being swallowed, and it grossed me out.

Tiger roll: 1, genderist: 0.

I tasted the sauce on the tornado rolls and told The Hater it was hot. He picked up a roll and ate it, saying it wasn't that hot. Then, a few seconds later, he reached for his water and told me I probably shouldn't try to eat the hot ones. His face turned red and he looked uncomfortable, but he continued to eat the hot sushi. I am not a hot-eater and watched him instead.

The plate slowly emptied until only two tiger rolls remained, the ones with the little cooked crab feet coming out of them. The Hater pointed out that I hadn't eaten much. I told him I was suddenly full and couldn't eat any more... and then pointed out for the first time during dinner that there were legs still attached to our food.

He calmly pulled a leg out of one of the rolls and bit it. He made a face and put it back on his plate. We tried to pull the legs out of the rolls with our chopsticks and decided that at least the other sushi place didn't have feet still attached to is food.

We noticed that another person ordered the tiger rolls. He, too, was pulling the legs out of the center and setting them aside. In the car we questioned form and function and the art of serving food - if we were supposed to eat the feet. We decided that fish feet were not something we were ready to include in our diet.

And as we went to bed last night, after the lights had been turned out and moments before we fell asleep, I rolled over...

me: Honey?
him: Yeah?
me: I don't like feet on my plate.
him: That's okay. You don't have to eat them.

We laughed and relived the dinner. He confessed that he noticed the feet being served immediately and secretly hoped that I wouldn't say anything about it. He had plans to avoid them to see what happened.

me: Did you think I'd just pick it up and eat it? Feet and all?
him: No. But I wasn't ready to eat it, either.
me: I don't like feet on my plate.
him: Next time we'll go back to the place that didn't serve feet. Or go back to that place and nor order fish feet. We'll get something else.
me: I think I'll stick with the vegetarian sushi.
him: That's okay.
me: Avacados and cucumbers don't have feet.

* Vegetarians taste like chicken.
** Feet on my plate leads me to question the "culture card"...

I didn't even mention that the whole time we were eating there was a fish in a tank next to us, watching us the whole time. It was strangely wrong. He didn't seem to be bothered by the feet.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Worry no longer about what to get that special someone for Christmas.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Tonight I went to an educational dinner about lymphoma and some new-ish treatment strategies with monoclonal antibodies. It's all very exciting stuff, if you're into CD-20s and killing cancer.

The meeting was held at a super nice and ritzy restaurant. The kind of place where the waiter scrapes the bread crumbs for you between courses. The Hater, self-touted cooked-meat-judge, says they have the best steaks in town. I have to agree.

I ordered steak, seeing as how ordering anything else at this place would be an abomination. Medium-well. (Don't make faces... I don't do pink.) At heart I'm a well-done-meat-eater, but occasionally I venture out of the box.

The steak they brought out to me was not medium-well. It was very medium. Very medium. Pink, Pink, Pink. I didn't want to interrupt the speaker to announce to the waitstaff that my plate just blinked at me, so I took this as an opportunity to venture further outside my comfort zone. That, and the people around me were diving into their pink meat... and I figured that if they'd lived this long eating pink meat, I might make it through the meal, too.

I had no problem saving half of my plate for The Hater. He likes it when I go to these fancy meetings because he gets the leftovers. And he was very proud that I ate Pink. I told him about how it didn't slice smoothly; it really needed a saw, not a steak knife. He says it was the tendons that caused those problems, which is really too much information.

He says he is very proud of me, but I can assure you that next time I'm given the option, I'll be leaning more towards my comfort zone. I don't care for meat that moos at me.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


My boss came into work today late. She immediately set her purse down and announced that she was very sorry, but pulling into the parking lot she hit my truck. Hit my truck. She hit Harrison, who happened to be sitting where he was supposed to be, directly between the two yellow lines of his favorite space.

me: How bad is it?
her: Well, it's pretty bad.

I dropped everything I was doing and went to the parking lot to attend to poor Harrison. I found him still between his two lines, and she pointed to the dent on his left side. It indeed was a big dent, but the good news is that it was exactly under a previous dent he acquired in 2001 after a MTSU hit-and-run that happened while I was out of town (I was supremely upset when I found that honker.). It didn't interfere with the door or the gas tank. But she was right; it was ugly.

She offered to call her insurance. She said they might could hook the plunger up to it and suck it back out. I pointed out that it was a metal truck, not a plastic car, and the probability of that messing up the paint was high; and a paint job would be more expensive than getting the dent out. I told her not to worry about it. She insisted we call insurance. I told her it was next to the previous dent and was not a huge deal. I told her not to worry about it; it was a dimple that would only make Harrison more suave. (Would you really call the insurance company against Nana? No way.)

(Clarification: Bad news... Harrison earns a new dimple. Good news... it was next to his previous dimple, and compared to that one, it's really not that bad. But it would look awful to you if you didn't know the previous dimple existed. And the great news? Read on!)

We went back to work. About fifteen minutes later she called me to her desk. Before the dimple fiasco I had turned in a time off request for some days around Christmas weekend to go home. She pointed out that I had requested the 25th, which is already a company freebie. She insisted I take another day off to make up for that day. One of my coworkers agreed, and I quickly changed the dates on my form to gain another day home for the holidays.

At the end of this story everybody wins: My boss' insurance premiums won't be raised. She won't have to fool with extra paperwork or explainations. I gain another day at home during the holidays. Harrison's debonaire jaw line received a sophisticated dimple enhancement.

Nothing's to say that the extra day was even related to the accident. They have been talking about me taking some days off to be home for the holidays already... but it makes a better story if I imply that the events are related.

The Hater agrees that the new, bigger dent, still isn't a big deal. It worked out well that she actually hit Harrison at the previously existing dent, which made the accident look way worse than it probably was.

And what's a ding to a sexy farm truck anyway?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

gag a maggot

Tonight I am supremely and utterly gagged after I was led through a two and a half hour wild goose chase.

Last month I received a flyer from a local medical-type group that said there would be a training meeting tonight at 6pm. I left work a little early so that I could get down town and find the meeting room without being late. Imagine my surprise when nobody was there, but it was about 5:35pm, so I figured nobody was there because it was still early. A hospital security guard told me he thought the meeting began at 7pm. I waited. At 7:05pm I was still the only person in attendance.

I came home and sent an email to the person in charge of the group. I asked him to please understand my frustration. "Tonight I had to choose between a continuing educaiton activity that actually pertained to my job and your meeting, and I had to argue with my coworkers to defend why it was more important for me to attend the meeting that neither included CEUs nor a steak dinner. And tomorrow when they ask how my meeting went, my honest answer will have to be that I left early, drove downtown and waited an hour and a half on a meeting that did not happen. "

I understand that nothing can be done to change the outcomes of the meeting tonight. I understand that things happen and schedules change. I understand the expense that would follow a mass remailing of updated information, changing previously published schedule and date changes. However, the least that anybody could have done is post a sign at the door of the meeting room that said the meeting had been cancelled.

This is poor planning and leads me to question why I should attempt to reconnect with this group. I told him that in my letter, too. I read the letter to The Hater twice to make sure it wasn't too bitter. I wonder if there will even be a reply.

The Hater has shown the appropriate amount of sympathy gagness with me since I've been home. He also says that he knows when I'm really mad because I keep my lips clenched and when he asks if I'm still angry or if he mentions the topic, I only answer with a repeated, short headshake. It's picking up on context clues like those that keep him in the best of graces.

Monday, October 09, 2006

downward facing spiral

Over the weekend The Hater and I went to see a movie. While in line waiting to purchase the tickets we noticed a young girl standing next to the ticket window with a group of pepole. She was maybe 11 or 12 years old and was sucking her thumb while holding a baby doll that was draped in a baby blanket.

We were disturbed.

Upon further thought, I asked The Hater what disturbed him more:
A. the pre-teen sucking her thumb to the hilt
B. the pre-teen holding a plastic baby
C. the pre-teen making sure the plastic baby was draped in a blanket
D. the pre-teen holding said baby and sucking her thumb to the hilt at the same time
His answer was D. But he was also disturbed that nobody had reinforced that thumb-sucking was something she should have quit doing ten years ago.

I was distubed that she was not only holding the doll, but she was also rocking back and forth with it, patting its back, and keeping the blanket over its shoulders. Why would a pre-teen carry a doll to the movies anyway? This doll appeared to be a well-loved treasure, not something new that you'd think she was proud to take out and display to the masses at the mall. And why was she coddling it?

We obviously didn't stop her and ask her these questions. We didn't even ask the adults with her. But we asked each other.

We wondered if she felt loved. We wondered if she thought that if she had a baby, someone would have to love her and depend on her. We wondered if the people who failed to teach her not to suck her thumb had picked up the slack and taught her, instead, that she was loved. That she could be successful. That the future was hers, and there would be time for babies later.

But we didn't actually ask them. Instead we stood back and made our own assumptions, painted our own story to justify the scene that truly disturbed us. We stood back and wondered if our visions really illustrated a torrential cycle ... or one of the many random pre-teen phases ... or something that had no deeper meaning at all.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


That's what I'm talking about. That was some serious football.

We have two weeks to work on our rally against Alabama. Go Vols.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

go Smokey go

Have you voted for Smokey today? It's rally time!

Friday, October 06, 2006


This weekend marks The Hater's and my seventh date-a-versary. Neither of us remember the exact date, so we've claimed the first weekend in October as ours.

The Hater's romantic addition:" If we can survive the Bush presidency together, we can survive anything."


It's rally day, people. The big game is tomorrow and today is the day to dazzle your orange pride. Start the momentum. Be the energy. Think Vols. And then imagine Smokey chasing a puny, squashed-up faced bulldog back home.

weekend agenda: watch THE game

Meanwhile, we'll wrap up another week, albeit somewhat sneezy and snotty.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

infectious diseases and plumbing

Do you remember the anthrax scare that took place somewhere between three and seven years ago? There were lots of scare stories on the news and reports of post offices closing in large cities. If you watched the scare stories, you knew how to identify an anthrax scare...

And around that time I was in nursing school and had called home to talk to my family. I called my grandmothers to check in with them. It was at this time that one of my grandmothers became very seroius, and this conversation ensued:

gm: I need to talk to you about something very serious. I've not told anybody else about it yet.
me: What's going on?
gm: Well, you've seen all that stuff on the news about those poor people getting anthrax from their mail and post offices.
me: Yes, I've seen those stories.
gm: This morning I woke up with the burn of bile in my throat and I almost threw up. I've got the anthrax.
me: What?
gm: I've got the anthrax. It must have come in my mail.
me: Maybe it's not anthrax.
gm: Oh, no, I'm sure it's the anthrax. I'll probably be dead soon.
me: Grandmother, those other places that had anthrax scares were big cities. Big cities with lots of people. I don't think that Summertown, Tennessee would be in danger of being singled-out for an anthrax scare.
gm: Well, that's possible, but I'm sure that I have the anthrax. I woke up and couldn't breathe from the bile.
me: Have you broken out a rash? Have you been coughing a lot today?
gm: No.
me: Has anything else happened different today except for the bile?
gm: No, it was just the bile stealing my breath this morning.
me: You know, we've talked about this at school. I think that, unless you develop any other symptoms, you'll probably be okay...
gm: It was really scary. I just knew I was dying from the anthrax.
me: How about I call you tomorrow just to check on you?
gm: That's probably a good idea.

(story update: Grandmother did not have the anthrax.)

That's the back story to the story I want to tell you today. And this story doesn't have a single thing to do with breast cancer awareness month or BSEs or mammograms...

Sunday morning I violently woke up coughing and gagging on bile. I ran to the restroom and tried to catch my breath. I wanted to take some Tums, but couldn't because of its interaction with my Synthroid... so I ate a couple of crackers and sat up in the living room when it dawned on me... I know why I woke up choking on bile: I have the anthrax.

The Hater slept through my initial anthrax attack. I have since picked up an H2-blocker and some additional tums at the attempt to self-medicate, but if that doesn't work, I'll have the opportunity to make yet another doctor's appointment.

My warranty must have run out, because all of my plumbing seems to be falling apart. And if that wasn't bad enough, now I have the anthrax, too.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Hump day has brought us the lighter side of cancer. I've been googling around, looking for more exciting things to post in honor of breast cancer awareness month. And, even better, I've found some cancer funnies... to the tune of some top 10 lists...

And, yes, they're slightly low-brow.
And, yes, it's totally okay to laugh.
Laughter gets us through those hard days.
(And, yes, it's okay if you need me to explain why some of them are funny...)
Top 10 Pick-up Lines for Cancer Patients
10. A night with me is better than chemo.
9. Is there Heparin running through my veins or is it hot in here?
8. I've got a scar shaped like a hickey-- How about giving me a real one?
7. What's your diagnosis? I'm a Cancer...
6. It's not just my head that's bald, you know...
5. Is treatment lowering your basal body temperature? Because you sure are cool.
4. Hey, baby, let's go back to my place and compare scars.
3. You must have lost all your hair, because you are smoooooth!
2. Let's go back to my hospital room: you play doctor and I'll be the nurse.
1. Is that a chemo pump in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
Cancer personals: "Bald druggie seeks SO for hook-ups, incisions and full body scans. I'm used to getting "special" treatment, but my port is always easy access."

Sometimes people want to talk cancer...
Top 10 Ways to Stimulate the Cancer Conversation
10. I'm trying out for the lead in the Broadway version of the movie Powder.
9. (for testicular patients getting a prosthesis) Do these come in brass?
8. All this radiation, and I don't glow in the dark yet? What a gyp!
7. It's 11am, and so far I've been stabbed, felt-up, and drugged. How's your day going, doc?
6. Does this port make me look fat?
5. I got cancer, but I think it's broke and I want to return it.
4. My other tracksuit is in the wash.
3. Just call me Dandelion-head. Make a wish and blow.
2. Eyebrows are so last season.
1. Okay, guess which breast is the real one!
And sometimes you're tired of talking about cancer...
Top 10 Ways to Cut the Cancer Conversation Short
10. Yeah, well, I was getting sick of my haircut- so I figured, why not?
9. You should see how many presents I got. It was totally worth it.
8. Chemo is a great way to lose weight.
7. People are a lot nicer when they think you might die.
6. It was a perfect opportunity to get caught up on all my soaps.
5. Yeah it sucked, but look at this bad-ass scar!
4. How else do you think I got into college? They can't turn down a cancer survivor!
3. Now I get to wear this trendy yellow bracelet.
2. I don't really remember it. I was too drunk most of the time.
1. It's okay. I didn't have anything scheduled for that year anyway.
(submitted by Annie W., 21 yr. old- 10 month Hodgkin's survivor)
And in officiall honor of thinking pink:
Top 10 Benefits of Getting Breast Cancer
10. Time off work with no lies and no guilt.
9. Men in white coats are groping your breasts - and you're okay with that.
8. The ex is sweet to you.
7. Lose 10 pounds overnight without giving up wine and queso.
6. Your new boobs will face the horizon, not the South Pole.
5. Bonus: The new models will be paid for by insurance.
4. You become a noxiously avid advocate for mammograms.
3. Halter tops are a fashion option for the first time since 1972.
2. You get all the good stuff -- letters, books, emails, calls, flowers, cookies, stuffed animals, casseroles, offers to take care of the kids, calls from people you've not heard from since before you had breasts -- all without having to die.
1. You realize how many wonderful people there are in the world and feel so blessed to know them.
My personal favorites:
Top 10 Responses to Nosy Questions about Scars
10. Never go to Mother's Tatoo Parlor when you're high.
9. You think that's bad, you should see the exit wound.
8. I self-mutilate. Don't you?
7. Those damn flesh-eating bacteria are spreading, slowly but surely.
6. That's where the government put the chip to track my movements.
5. It's the only way to smuggle drugs these days.
4. What scar? What are you talking about? Oh my lands! THAT'S HUGE!!
3. I had to sell organs to get off the street.
2. I should have listened when Mom said not to scratch that mosquito bite.
1. That's where my Siamese twin was attached.
(of course, usually I answer my blatent stares with:
* You should've seen the other guy.
* You know, in some cultures it's rude to stare at people.
* Did I ever tell you about becoming a Samurai warrior?
* My husband and I really get turned on by our own blood. Is that strange?
or some other random off-the-cuff comment)

The Top Ten Lists were totally ripped from Planet Cancer. There are others there, too, if you want some more cancer funnies. I wasn't very familiar with their page, but I've really enjoied diving into it lately.

Another really cool cancer site out of Tulsa is aptly named Cancer Sucks. They're a self-proclaimed "charity with an attitude".

We're still thinking pink! Have you done your breast self exam this month? Have you had your mammogram this year? Cool people hate breast cancer.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

endangered boobies

In a desparate attempt to make a tic-tac-toe trifecta boobie post, and moving towards a whole week of boobies in honor of breast cancer month, this morning I bring you the blue-footed boobie.

Native to the Galapagos Islands, the Blue Footed Boobie has earned its name from the Spaniards, from the Spanish "bobo", which means clown. They can also take a joke, so don't feel too bad that people call them clowns all the time. Or that we mostly point and stare at their blue bills and feet.

Here's some more information from the Galapagos Islands webpage:

The Blue Footed Boobies above display part of their humorous courtship ritual whereby they raise their feet one at a time and then swivel their heads away from the prospective mate looking to the sky.

Other interesting Booby features are the highly evolved airbag sytems in their skulls which allow them to dive bomb into the sea for fish from great height, and the egg and hatchling nesting boundaries they make which are rings of Boobie poo. They aren't the only Booby on the island - there are also Masked and Red Footed Boobies about.
Boobies, boobies, everywhere... Have you called about your mamogram appointment yet?

Monday, October 02, 2006


If you've ever shifted your eyes over to the Sightseeing list to the right side of my blog, you may have noticed the Boobie-thon link before. (If you remember, that link appeared on my blog shortly after this post which relived a special conversation with one of my coworkers.)

Are you feeling froggy for a good cause? One of the things that frustrated me about finding this site after October was because it had already stopped raising money for the 2005 year. The 2006 year has officially kicked-off for the Boobie-Thon, and they've already raised over $1,000 -- after their first day! Since 2002 they've raised more than $20,000 for Komen -- thanks to people who have flashed for a good cause.

Finally, in the name of boobies and breast cancer awareness month, here are some randomly generated boobie names: (The Hater, who was given the option, has no comment at this time.)

Your Boobies' Names Are...

Bambi and Thumper

Sunday, October 01, 2006

BSEs 4 U

I can't think of a better way to officially welcome October than to remind everybody about doing their monthly breast self exams. That's right... it's the time of year again where you're bombarded with ideas about thinking pink.

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has information about how to do your own monthly BSE. If you're a spring chicken over 40 years of age, it's time to ask your doctor about getting a yearly mammogram. Here's some information from WebMD about mammograms and breast health.

Be proactive already. You don't need me to tell you that. What are you waiting for?

Here's what I had to say last year about breast cancer and BSEs. The Hater thinks it's one of my better posts. I think I agree with him.