Thursday, March 30, 2006
We bought a couple of powerball tickets because we figured our luck couldn't get any worse. This morning we found that we not only didn't win, we had none of the numbers.
So I guess we learned that the universe has a dry sense of humor.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
I mailed my hair off to Locks of Love today.
The old people I work with say it looks like Dorothy Hammil, but it's way more urban and trendy than just the plain bob. Although one guy told me that they messed up and didn't make it even in the back...
This was a surprise for The Hater when he picked me up at the airport, but he really likes it. When we first started dating it was shorter, and a little different than I'm wearing it now. It was certainly thicker...
My hair will grow back after this whole thyroid thing is fixed. It'll be fabulous. And then I'll think about growing out another 10 inches to give away.
I will soon be an official member of the Second Smile Club. Some people are just too happy for one...My total thyroidectomy is scheduled for April 4th, Monday morning at 9:30. I have to be there a couple of hours early for the hustle-bustle excitement. I've already called one of my coworkers to meet me at our clinic on Sunday so that she can start my IV for me and hep-lock it so that it doesn't clot. She's a great stick and my veins are habitual hide-and-go-seek-ers, so it only makes sense to me that she be the jabber. (And, if she misses, I can never let her live it down!)
I should be able to go home from the hospital on Tuesday. Possible complications that might keep me from going home will probably center around my blood calcium levels. See, we have four little parathyroid glands on the underside of our thyroid gland, and they help to regulate our blood calcium level. They have the tendancy to get upset when you mess with them, so the surgery itself might make them angry. If that happens, I'll receive calcium in my IV and by pills. It's not too big of a scary deal.
My throat will obviously be sore. The surgeon said that most people complain more about the pain from their throat from the anesthesia instead of the surgery site. Over the next three weeks after surgery my neck itself will swell, get hard, and relax like a roller coaster ride. I'll probably be on a yogurt and chocolate pudding diet for a little while.
Mom and Dad are planning on coming into the city Saturday night, which means I'll probably spend Friday night and Saturday cleaning like mad. They plan on leaving Thursday morning. The Hater has Monday and Tuesday off of work. I'll have the whole week off of work, but don't be jealous, I'll be tired and sore and won't even get to enjoy playing hookey.
I think The Hater and I are mostly over the shock and have turned to a now-what-can-we-do-to-fix-it mode. Our good friends had us over for supper last night; it was beautifully perfect timing, and great burgers to boot. I think tonight we'll start making lists of things that we need to do this week.
Other than that, I don't have anything exciting to report.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
I had a great trip home, in spite of the c-bomb. My flight was delayed, which gave me more time to abhor the Kansas City airport. It was almost midnight when I made it back to the apartment, zonking shortly thereafter.
Zoloft continues to follow me around like a puppy. She keeps crying and bringing me a string. I think she's upset that I didn't bring back a baby flying squirrel.
One of the hilights of my surprise trip home was visiting the property in Giles County. The pond was a perfect hue of green. Dad was checking bird boxes when he found a flying squirrel nest... and we had a fun time playing with the babies. It's been years since I held such sweet babies!
This morning I'll leave work to meet with the surgeon. I'll update as I get more information. Thanks for all of your kind words and wishes.
And I almost forgot the tagline to the title of the post... When I was at home the bruises on my neck looked like hickeys. One of the old men drinking coffee on the square asked me if my husband knew that I'd been neckin' while I was out of town. I didn't drop the c-bomb on him.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
I think this has been the longest absence of a new post sine the birth of this blog. The last month of so I've really had a hard time finding random things to write about because I've had some health concerns that did not have an official diagnosis, and I didn't want to scare anybody until I had a full story to tell. This post is that story.
I went to a family physician about a month ago who palpated an enlarged thyroid gland (in my neck). We drew labwork and waited two weeks for results. During that time I developed occasional difficulty swallowing dry food, like bread. The nurse called me to tell me that my labwork was fine and there was no need to worry, but they started me on a thyroid hormone medication anyway, with plans to recheck labs in six weeks. I noticed there was a slight bulge on the right side of my neck.
The next week I was working and one of my patients leaned to hug me, but it was a neck hug instead of a body hug, and it was painful. I went immediately to one of the oncologists with whom I work and asked him to look at my neck. . He said it probably was not cancer, but made some phone calls for me and refered me to an endocrineologist in the city.
Nobody is accepting new patients at this time in the city. I thought there would be at least a three month wait to even be seen. The office called me and made me an appointment for two weeks to see the physician and possibly have an ultrasound and fine-needle biopsy.
Wednesday, three days ago, I saw the endocrinologist. He, too, felt the mass on the right lobe of my thyroid gland. We did an ultrasound and found a much smaller mass on my left lobe. We biopsied both places, taking three samples from each side.
I went home and took a great nap. The doctor called while we were making lunch - the left nodule was benign and the right nodule was cancerous. I have thyroid cancer.
Dropping the C-bomb
The question was do I continue to go home for my surprise visit - or do I stay in the city. The Hater and I talked about it and decided I should continue my previous plans. I called a few close friends and headed to the airport, not three hours post diagnosis.
I sobbed in the terminal, which I think is totally fair. Some people gave me funny looks, but nobody accused me of being a terrorist, so that was good.
Sister picked me up from the airport Wednesday night. We had been planning this for a couple of weeks. She told Mom and Dad that she was going to Nashville to meet a friend and go see a hypnotist at the comedy club... and brought me home, to which they were muchly surprised.
Thursday morning I dropped the c-bomb on Mom and Dad. Thursday afternoon after Sister got off of work I dropped the c-bomb on her. Last night we had a big gathering of close family and friends, after which I dropped the c-bomb on them.
Nobody knows what to say when you drop the c-bomb, and that's okay.
Not to panic, obviously; I gave up worrying for Lent.
Monday afternoon I begin my journey from Tennessee back to the city. Tuesday morning I'm going to work, but will leave during the day to have a meeting with a surgeon about a thyroidectomy. I won't know any more details until after that time.
My parents are planning on coming to the city for the surgery.
My Professional Opinion
Don't cry for me, Argentina. It is true that I've got cancer, and it'll be true that I'll have a time of suck to get through, but everything should be okay. The type of cancer I have is 100% treatable and has very successful treatment plans.
If you've got to have cancer, it's not one so shabby to have. I will be on a thyroid-replacement hormone for life, but it's relatively cheap. I will have to be followed by a specialist if they decide to take my entire thyroid gland.
I don't know yet when my surgery will be scheduled. I may or may not undergo radioactive iodine therapy (I-131), but I am already making Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles jokes. I doubt that chemotherapy will be involved.
Standing in the Need of Prayer
All prayers, good vibes, and well-wishes are most appreciated. I will keep you updated.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
I know what you're thinking; I don't really have a fascination with the bathroom. I am intrigued by the fact that it's something that everybody does and nobody really talks about in polite society. And being a nurse has provided me with numerous opportunities to take an active role in someone else's bathroom experiences, which has increased my comfort level with the subject.
Thus another blog post about the potty. To the left is an outside view of a public toilet in Houston. It's classy enough; the mirrors are a nice touch. It kindof blends with the scene ... and, look, a brave soul wants to try it out!
To the right is the inside view... of the same public restroom made completely out of one-way glass. So when you're actually inside the restroom it's like sitting in a glass box. The story goes that nobody can see you from the outside, but I'd be one of those people with my face smashed to the glass trying to see if the privacy really is for sure.
I think it's too fun. I don't know about you, but I'd give it a try. My biggest concern is not the whole glass-privacy issue, but that it's made of glass period -- which leads me to believe it would be steamy hot inside during the summer. Trust me, I've done hot toilets in the summer; they're not fun.
My unsolicited advice? If you see it, try it once... but be prepared to squat and hover if it's either extreme - hot or cold. And then come back and tell me all about it.
Try not to make the dorky faces like the girl above, either. You'll lose cool points for that.
Monday, March 20, 2006
But this weekend! This weekend it started raining Saturday morning and didn't quit until this morning. It was a nice, slow drizzle, and things are already starting to green-up. I'm super excited.
Right now it's really windy and our chimes are singing a bangy tune. It's music to my ears.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
The truth is that several weeks ago while The Hater was gone on a trip I discovered the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby and picked up a couple of paint-by-number projects. The process really intrigues me, and it's been a great way for me to detach myself from everything else to concentrate on painting, albeit a paint-by-number.
My first one was a pot of pansies, which I think would make a great addition to any garage wall. Yesterday I almost finished one called "House Sitting", in which a cat is eyeing some bird-candy. It's not finished yet, but I'm sure it will be garage-worthy, too. You can't expect higher decorating standards for kits that cost $3 and $5, respectively.
So I stood over it for too long yesterday, playing. I finally went to bed last night when my neck was so tired I could hardly hold it up. I'm hard core like that. Soon I will smell of the heaven that is Icy Hot, and then I will attempt to finish my weekend-by-number masterpiece.
My next project should be to design a set of books called Life-by-Number. I think they could be like the Idiot's Guide to - books, but more classy. Or one big book with lots of chapters about how to do different things. I think it's a great idea, but right now I'm going to be partial to anything that involves a neutral neck position.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
And next year? Watch out... I predict they'll be even hotter. It was a great season, boys!
Friday, March 17, 2006
Now it's somewhat different. I'm tired all of the time. ALL of the time. I'm having a hard time getting out of bed in the mornings. I'm tired at work. Then after supper it's all that I can do to stay awake for a couple of hours, and usually fall asleep on the couch early in the evening.
My coworkers think that I'm energetic and perky, and I guess compared to them I am. It's really not a fair comparison when they've all got at least twenty or thirty years on me... But the point is that I'm tired.
The last few weeks I've been too tired to do my workout tape in the mornings. I thought maybe if I started exercising that my tiredness would dissipate. I tried it for about four weeks, but it started making me more tired. It lives in the closet now with our other movies.
It's morning and I'm getting ready for work... except I'd rather be sleeping. I think I'm going to write a policy and procedure for my manager that will require all employees to take a paid three hour nap every afternoon. I think I could convince her that it really would increase productivity during the active hours...
My big plan this weekend? After I work and eat my oatmeal? I'm going to sleep with blind abandon.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
The Hater and The Count are driving to Tunica, even as I type, to spend their Spring Break trying to make enough money so that they can live a life of perpetual vacation. I'm thinking we'll all end up going back to work on Monday.
Speaking of work, that's what I'll be doing while they're gone. Even Saturday--- volunteering for a Saturday isn't nearly as bad as having to work it. Maybe I'll get to leave around noon. It's the thinking about working on a day where I could be sleeping that's the bad part. Once I'm there it's usually not so gaggy... Usually on the weekends we mostly give shots, but sometimes there's hydration or treatments involved. I won't know until Friday what will be in store, but even then there's always the chance for unplanned excitement on Saturday.
I've not decided what other excitement I'll get into this weekend. The Hater's not been gone for 6 hours yet, and already Zoloft is going nuts for attention. I think it'll be a night of laser pointing chases for her.
And me? I'll probably have oatmeal for supper.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Monday he took Harrison, my truck, to get oil changed and face washed...
Today he did some laundry and went grocery shopping...
He's the greatest husband ever. And while he was grocery shopping? He bought me some pizza bites as a treat while he's gone this weekend... because, and I quote, he said he was afraid I'd just eat oatmeal while he was gone. He thinks that because such things have happened this spring. Although that was before I discovered chocolate oatmeal, which means my chances of eating only that this weekend is greater now.... or was until I had a bag of pizza bites in the freezer.
I think he should take his vacations more often... and if I'm really a princess he will dust and vacuum tomorrow!!
Monday, March 13, 2006
Sunday, March 12, 2006
But oatmeal isn't great, you say. Oatmeal is another form of gruel, an edible gloppy punishment, you say. Oatmeal could not have been part of any successful kitchen experiments...
I decided I was not hungry enough to justify a heatum-meal from the freezer, so I started boiling water for some less-than-exciting oatmeal. I plopped a dollup of smart butter into a bowl with a couple of packets of splenda and wondered how I could make oatmeal more exciting.
I opened a cabinet, poked around, and then the cogs started turning as my eyes found something magical... Godiva hot chocolate mix. I plopped a couple of heaping tablespoons of the mix into my now simmering oatmeal, followed by a splash of milk.
At this point The Hater comes into the kitchen, wondering what smelled so good. What are you doing, he said, I thought you were making oatmeal...
Chocolate oatmeal. He asked why it smelled so good, to which I replied, because that's what they eat in heaven. It was wonderful.
It was so tasty that I wanted to share my secret with you. The next time you're not entirely sure what you want to eat, consider oatmeal. Tune in next weekend when we discover the secrets of bleu cheese and maple syrup.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
The Hater and I ended up pimping ourselves out in Midwest City today for work-related things. They quickly added our names to their bank, but never officially assigned us to help. We picked up some things on our own, but after lunch we were given the 'you're no longer needed' nod.
Much after this I don't remember. I fell asleep in the car on the ride back to the apartment, at which point I climbed into bed and slept for another three hours.
So I'm awake now, but thinking seriously about going back to sleep for the night. That's right, folks, it's another exciting day in OKC. I deserved this weekend!
Friday, March 10, 2006
When apartment people have to come in to do maintenance with the AC or do bug sprays or look to make sure the ceiling hasn't fallen in, they put up flyers a few days in advance so that pet owners can close their pets in another room. Zoloft knows this as kitty jail.
Yesterday she did hard time in kitty jail. She had our bathroom and bedroom to wander and control, but The Hater said that she started crying for parole as soon as he came home. We played hard with her last night (with her favorite string and the laser pointer). This morning we revisited the string and she's been very vocal with us, demanding love and attention.
Little does she know that today is another day she'll have to spend in kitty jail, and she'll have no chance to post bail until I get home from work tonight.
It's so hard to be a spoilled inside cat.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Womens' rights have come a long way, baby, and much of this is thanks to the United Nations. I think the UN rocks and that some political leaders in this world need to make better efforts to work together. Although I could continue a post about politics and the UN, how some leaders need a time-out, how the International Criminal Court really is a good idea... this post should be about gender issues and language.
Language? What does language have to do with gender issues?
You might be surprised. I challenge you today to be an active listener to your own conversations and the conversations around you. Listen to the adjectives and pronouns used to describe people.... figure out what distinctions you use when describing a person to someone else.
PS: Happy Birthday, Mom. I know you don't read this blog, but well-wishes are with you, anyhow!
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
A few weeks ago they talked about using raw eggs to wash their hair before there was shampoo. I offered that you could wash your hair with beer, too. They thought it was a waste of beer, but I argued that's why they made The Beast. Due to the generational gap, they didn't get it.
Last week one of my coworkers talked a mile about the miracles of vinegar.
So this past weekend I poured white vinegar into the washing machine, and lo, nothing fantastic happened.... other than clean clothes. But my coworker had sworn by its magical color-fast properties, so The Hater and I bought two gallons at Sam's for $3.00.
This morning before I took my shower I heard her little voice in my head telling me about how brunettes can use vinegar to bring out natural hilights in their hair. On a whim I took a quarter cup to the shower, and after I had washed and rinsed my hair, I leaned back and let it run.
It was cold. Of course I was taking a hot shower, so then steamy vinegar clouds made me hack and want to gag. And then, the burning... my eyes caught fire as I reached for the shower head and tried to wash my face. I went through this motion three times before my eyes quit feeling like they were being peeled from the inside-out. Go ahead and laugh, it's amusing in retrospect, but at the time it was sharp misery.
After the shower I dangled cold, wet hair over The Hater's sleeping face. I told him to wake up and smell my hair. I wondered if it smelled like vinegar, if I'd have to wash the smell out again before I went to work. He said it didn't smell like anything but wet hair, and I made him smell it several times to make sure. Nobody at work made hair-smell faces at me, so I guess it turned out okay.
And my hair does feel softer! I mentioned it to my coworker, who said that I need to work on my vinegar-wash technique. Duh.
In honor of my elders, it only seems fitting to close with these words of wisdom:
On curves ahead
That rabbit's foot
May you always catch the yellow light at Cyclone Corner-
May your numbers always crunch the first time-
May you always be surrounded by those who love you-
May your heart be filled with peace, love, and understanding-
and flowers continue to follow as footsteps wherever you may go...
Happy Birthday! We love you!
Vol Mom is mother to Vol Abroad. My mother and Vol Mom grew up neighbors and are good friends. Vol Mom's son, Vol Bro, and I were in the same class. Once Vol Bro and I were at his grandfather's house and Vol Bro wanted to make cookies. We made a big mess of dough, but then realized that neither of us were allowed to turn on the oven to cook them. I voted we do away with the dough to avoid being in trouble for playing in the kitchen. Vol Bro proceeded outside to the carport, bowl of dough in hand, and used the wooden spoon to flip the dough up to the ceiling. I remember dough on the carport, dough on the ceiling, dough in his hair, dough on his shirt and up his arms. His giggles were quelled when his grandfather came around the corner and pulled him back inside the house. (At which point Sister and I returned to Nana's house, two doors down.) The end. HBDTY, Vol Mom.
Monday, March 06, 2006
We set up tents and cots, triage and administration, and had approximately 47 volunteer Poncan citizens brought by bus and processed through the system in a little over three hours. In all I think it went really well. Other than some space issues, needing more room, we didn't run into a huge amount of problems with the drill.
I've been working with MRC for a while, but I'm thinking about signing up with DMAT. They're deployed with national disasters and upsets. There's a meeting at the end of April, so I'll probably think about it between now and then.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Last week he shaved his beard because he was tired of playing those games. He had thought about just keeping a goatee, but he ended up shaving it, too. Which is fine - how he wears his facial hair is up to him.
The thing about the beard was it helped to anchor his face so that you didn't notice as much if he needed a haircut. Tonight, babyface has an out of control swag on top of his head... and it's cracking me up.
Friday, March 03, 2006
It's edgy. It's scary. It's gross. It's pretty people doing wild things. It's RTV.
Never heard of it? I bet that you have. I'll google "reality tv" and share my findings with you. If you're into technology enough to play on a computer, I'm betting you've also at least heard of one of these shows:
That's right, folks. We can makeover your bedroom for under $500 and marry you off to a little person who has just been fired by Donald Trump before midnight, but only if you're willing to eat a plate of fresh cow testicles and wash it down with a tall glass of bile, blended with fish eyes and earthworms.... now that's good tv!
The Amazing Race, Survivor, Fear Factor, Dancing with the Stars, Skating with Celebrities, Pimp my Ride, Trick my Truck, The Real World, Road Rules, American Idol, The Apprentice, The Bachelor, American Inventor, America's Next Top Model, The Simple Life, Beauty and the Geek, Big Brother, Unan1mous, Wife Swap, Extreme Makeover, Blow Out, The Contender, The Surreal Life, Project Runway, Starting Over, Nashville Star, Amish in the City, The Anna Nicole Show, Average Joe, The Benefactor, Family Plots, He's a Lady, Jackass, I Want to be a Hilton, In Search of the Partridge Family, Joe Schmo, Last Comic Standing, The Littlest Groom, Making the Band, The Mole, My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance, The Osbournes, The Princes of Malibu, The Real Giligan's Island, Scare Tactics, Fear, So You Think You Can Dance, The Swan, Temptation Island, Top Chef, Trading Spaces, Trading Spouses, While You Were Out, The Will, Three Wishes... just to name a few.
The Hater and I are ever amused with the different RTV shows, and we have friends who are absolutely taken with some of them. One has never missed a season of The Real World, ever. My Sister likes to watch The Amazing Race. My coworkers are always talking about Survivor and Dancing with the Stars. One of my college roomates was taken with The Osbournes. Our friends tried to convince us that Breaking Bonaduce was so crazy that we had to watch it. It would seem like there's some random RTV show meant to entertain everybody.
Even us. We're not immune to the ploys of RTV. Thursday night was like winning the RTV lottery -- 4 of the people we didn't like on American Idol were voted off the show, and our favorite couple in Ice Skating with the Stars won the competetion. It's true that I fell asleep before the winners were revealed, but thanks to the DVR I was able to play catch-up Friday morning.
Before we grew bored of it, we really liked watching Fear Factor, too. This is a show where pretty people do stupid stuff to compete for money. The girls all look like they could be models, and the guys all look like they would be worthy of escorting them anywhere. They do gross and exciting stunts to see who wins -- and the show commentator both encourages and makes fun of the contestants. The Hater and I always mused that they should do a regular person show, where average people without super strength or divine beauty compete for the cash prize instead.
We decided that the most difficult stunt for me would be to stand neck-deep in a small tank full of fish. It doesn't matter what kind, they could be goldfish for all I care. But the idea of having to just stand in a small tank with hundreds of fish swimming and touching me - even for a mere five minutes- gives me goosebumps and makes me feel nausated. I like my fish already cleaned and cooked and served with sweet tea. Sometimes I think I could muster up enough willpower to do it for a cash prize, and then sometimes I think I'd hyperventilate before my toe was even in the water. Real People Fear Factor, featuring my wacked out version of ichthyophobia.
When we were in college there was a show on MTV called Fear. They'd take a group of young adults to a haunted location, make them watch videos of the history of the place and watch psychic people shiver and be afraid... then they'd lock them up for a couple of days and make them go on trips from their "safe room" by themselves with only radio contact. The game was over when all of the assignments were completed. It was a lot of fun to watch, and The Hater, Angry Dissenter, and I were convinced that if we could be on a team of three, we could calm each other down to complete all of the assignments. I'd totally pick ghosts over fish.
Although it's all somewhat entertaining, I miss The Cosby Show. It will be interesting to see what comes of RTV -- and what replaces it in ten years. Then, when we will look back and still wish that Xzibit would have shown up at our door to pimp our ride.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
And not like my friend's cousin's hairdresser's brother once sat in a booth behind someone famous at a fancy restaurant... I for real know someone famous! Which means that by reading this blog, you're only two degrees of separation from famousness. So go brag to your friends... because you're two little degrees from the one, the only, the talented singer-songwriter Marianne Beard!
Who? you ask... Only the greatest new up-and-coming musician whose songs are fresh like warm bread and smooth like soft butter. Marianne is a phenomenal musician with a clear voice and a pure soul, and I know her from way-back-when she serenaded the stairwells at Corlew Hall. She was great even then, but now? Now's she's professionally great!
Just for Today, Marianne's debut album, is available now! If you like music, check out some clips from her new cd here, and when you get hooked, you can go here to buy it. Then come back to this blog and tell me how much you liked it. Our favorite is her song Broken, so make sure that you check that clip out...
Her webpage is up and running -- so stop by and get to know her. That way you can say you're one degree from famousness... and that you, too, knew her back when.
-the self-proclaimed President of the Marianne Beard Fan Club